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Dave Line's San Miguel Clone

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At the back of Dave Line's book "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy" is a recipe for making a clone of "San Miguel" that uses a can of Edme Superbrew Lager as the base.

Instead of making the kit up to 40 pints, he reduces the total liquid so that you only make it up to 30 pints. By adding a kilo of Golden Syrup, he produces a lager with an average 5.5%ABV. To balance this out and add a bit of extra flavour and aroma, he also steeps a small amount of Hallertau hops in about a pint of hot water for 10 minutes and adds this liquor as part of the total brewing water.

Many years ago, whilst working in Spain as a holiday rep for one of the large travel companies, I spent nearly 15 months living on little else but San Miguel, so I've decided to make a batch up to see just how it compares.

I put it on yesterday afternoon and set my thermostatic heater to 16°C to give it a lower temperature ferment than I do with my beers and it has started to ferment quite nicely.

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  1. Alan H

    Hi Andy Is it essential to ferment it at the lower temp? I'm currently using my spare room for fermenting which is around 20c Cheers Alan

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    Not really. Lager yeast will generally perform well if the temperature is lower and the term "lager" originally only referred to the process of storing the beer at low temperature to allow it to mature. Nowadays it is generally applied to the beer instead. Commercial lagers are always going to be different from anything you can brew at home and it is hard to replicate a true lager at home without the technical equipment and facilities that commercial breweries employ. Brewing at lower temperatures is the suggested as the optimum conditions, but room temperature brewing will almost always be fine as long as the temperature doesn't rise above about 24°C, so I'd be inclined to just go with it and see how it turns out.

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  2. Andy

    How did it turn out? AB

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    It was quite good. Not really San Miguel but drinkable nonetheless. The reduced volume gave it a good body and the hops added a mild flavour and almost no additional aroma. The Golden Syrup left a slight aftertaste but all in all it wasn't a bad attempt. It has to be borne in mind that when Dave Line was first making this, the quality of homebrew "kits" was a bit hit and miss and some of those available were not necessarily good bases from which to start. It might be considered that using a "German Lager" kit to make a Spanish lager isn't right, but Edme was probably one of the better lager kits on the market at the time, so this may have been why he chose this particular kit. I have since made the Coopers European Lager, using 1/2kg of light spray malt and 1/2kg of brewing sugar, and it has turned out superb. Coopers suggest a 12 week maturation, but I started testing it after 5 weeks and it was pretty good. Dropping that one down to 36 or 32 pints might give even better results.

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  3. steve

    Hi I have just started brewing and have Dave Lines book I was wondering what Hallertauer hops you used as there seems to be several varieties. Ta

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    Hi Steve, I used Hallertau Mittlefruh as they were the ones that I had more of in stock at the time. I suspect that as you are only using them to make a "tea", you could happily use Hersbrucker or even Saaz without too much of a problem.

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