I finally tried Oberon last year and was delightfully surprised. Its pretty much a bohemian pilsner mixed with an american wheat beer. Extremely flavorful and refreshing at the same time. The signature Saaz flavor really won me over. Its got a great malt character thanks to the yeast. It reminds me a lot of Terrapin's beers, and their house ale strain is the Wyeast 1272 American Ale II. So I'll give that one a spin. The beer is also firmly bittered, but doesn't have any harshness. I'll go with soft water and 35-40 IBU's
I find myself wanting to make more beers for specific people now a days. IPA for dad, porter for my brother, and now Oberon Clone for my buddy. I sent an email to the good people at Bell's. No response yet, but after reading a few posts from people that got responses and tasting the beer recently, this recipe should get me close.
6 gallons - 75% Efficiency - 60 Minute Boil - 7 Gallons Pre-Boil
5 lbs American 2-Row
6 lbs Wheat Malt
1 lbs Munich 10L
Mash at 152 F
1 oz Crystal - First Wort Hop
1 oz Saaz - 45 Minutes
1 oz Saaz - 20 Minutes
1 oz Hersbrucker - 20 Minutes
Wyeast 1272 American Ale II - at around 65 F
It seems Bell's has a stock response. I read this exact same language that someone else had received. I can't blame them. Its cool that they respond in the first place. As for the hop schedule. A number of people describe a citrusy aroma and flavor. I swear I've tasted it when this beer is fresh and on draft. But the couple I've tried recently scream Saaz and Hersbrucker. Maybe the slightest hint of a suggestion of an american noble type triploid with some citrus in the background. Crystal and Chinook would fit the bill. I kind of have a hunch that there might be a kiss of Cascade in there. Haven't decided what to do with the recipe yet. I'll keep you posted.
Here is the Bell's Oberon Home Brew Recipe stock response:
There are certain things about our recipes that we keep close to the vest, but I can offer some guidance. The malt bill is relatively straightforward: stick with 2-row base malt and a decent portion of wheat, something in the 40-50% range. Wheat can stick a little, so use as much of that range as you can within the limitations of your lauter tun; adding rice hulls can help improve the flow. A touch of caramel malt will be all the color you need usually. Aim for a target original gravity of around 1.056 and moderate fermentability. The ABV should be just below 6%.
Oberon uses several hops, but the signature varietals are Hersbrucker & Saaz. Target roughly 30 IBUs. Don’t be lured into using coriander or orange peel: Oberon is spice-free.
You can culture yeast out of one of our bottles if you're comfortable with that; it's certainly the preferred option for a solid flavor match. Otherwise, the local homebrew supply shops around here have found that most people looking to clone one of our recipes lean towards ale strains with a straightforward ester profile & good attenuation.
I hope this information helps. Good luck with the brewing!
Bell's Brewery, Inc.