Grain substitution for Fat Tire Clone


Dec 5, 2017
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Hey all, I am a new brewer and I have a grain question.  I bought almost all the ingredients for a recipe I found for Fat Tire that had the grainbill as:

8 lbs. 10 oz. (3.9 kg) 2-row pale malt
1 lb. (0.45 kg) Munich malt
6 oz. (170 g) Victory? malt
8 oz. (227 g) crystal malt (40? L)
2 oz. (57 g) pale chocolate malt

and then I signed up for BYO and found the recipe to include:

8.0 oz. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (80 ?L)

instead of the 40 L.
and none of the pale chocolate.

I already purchased the Pale Chocolate as Carafa Type I (300-375 lovibond) and was about to buy the crystal 40 as a sub for Munich Type II

but Beersmith puts the original recipe at 10.4 SRM instead of the 14 SRM the recipe states.

I'm wondering if I can simply use the Carafa Type I I have  at 110g skip the 40L and increase the Munich I to 670g.

Would that result in a close clone or should I stick to the original recipe with 40L and pale chocolate?  I don't have access to 80L here in Poland.

Thank you so much for your advice!

There is more to this than getting the color right. 100g of 80 L and 200g of 40 L may give the same color, but they won't give the same flavor. Having said that, I have made similar beers, and I find that the Munich and Victory are the most important for flavor, the others are mostly for color and have a minor impact on flavor. How important is it to you that the beer tastes exactly like Fat Tire? When I first started brewing I tried to clone my favorite beers, but I have found that there are wide variations in clone recipes (as you found) and even then you get different results based on your process. Now I just try to make beers that taste good, and I have greatly increased the amount of Munich in my amber ale (5 lbs 2-row, 4 lbs Munich and 1 lb Victory along with some C40, carapils and chocolate) because I really like the way it tastes.

I would say go with whatever you have already purchased and make choices that are convenient and affordable for you. Don't knock yourself out trying to get some particular grain because someone else's recipe calls for it. Try the brew and see how you like it. If it isn't dark enough or malty enough, then make some changes the next time. Your beer will probably taste great even if it isn't exactly the same as Fat Tire.

Thank you so much GigaFemto!  Would you think this would turn out allright:

80% 2-Row
14% Munich 1
3.5% Victory
2.3% Carafa Special 1

What changes would you make on this?

I'll be using Target, Willamette and East Kent Goldings with Wyeast American Ale II (1272).

Thanks again!
It looks to me like it will turn out fine. My own tastes would have me adding a lot more Munich, but it wouldn't be a Fat Tire clone anymore. Good hops and yeast selections. Do the brew, take careful notes, try it out and see if you want to change anything.

Where did you have Fat Tire?  If it is in Poland, it was probably a bit aged and oxidized.  You would be challenged to make it taste like that though you could keep it warm for a few weeks and shake it every now and then.

I'd add some crystal 60 or 120 adjusting up or down depending on the color.  This would keep it in the ball park.
GigaFemto, thanks!  Jomebrew, I live in Poland but I'm from the States and Fat Tire was the first beer I liked.  So if I've had the real thing and fresh, does that change your thoughts?
GoodNewsBrews said:
GigaFemto, thanks!  Jomebrew, I live in Poland but I'm from the States and Fat Tire was the first beer I liked.  So if I've had the real thing and fresh, does that change your thoughts?

No, I was only suggesting Fat Tire shipped to Poland would not be like something here in the States unless it was airfreight.  Then maybe.

Best of luck with the brew.