New Glarus Spotted Cow Clone Recipe

New Glarus Spotted Cow is a renowned beer from Wisconsin’s New Glarus Brewing Company, referred to by some as a cream ale and others as a farmhouse ale it is celebrated for its easy drinkability and distinctive flavor profile.

This unfiltered ale boasts a complex array of ingredients, which contribute to its creamy body and fruity undertones, making it a favorite among both casual beer drinkers and connoisseurs alike.

Spotted Cow is famously only available in Wisconsin, which adds to its allure and makes it a sought-after beer for those outside the state. Its unique blend of malted barley, corn, and hints of yeast-driven esters delivers a slightly sweet finish with just a touch of grainy spice, embodying the rustic charm of a true American farmhouse ale.

As we get started on the journey to recreate the New Glarus Spotted Cow, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions to craft a beer that mirrors the refreshing and nuanced character of this beloved brew.

Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply enjoying a quiet evening, a homemade batch of this clone will surely capture the essence of Wisconsin’s most famous ale.

Recipe Details and Brewing Instructions


  • Batch Size: 5.5 gallons – fermentor
  • Boil Time: 75 minutes
  • Original Gravity: 1.054
  • Final Gravity: 1.014
  • ABV: 5.4%
  • IBUs: 17
  • SRM: 5.9
  • Efficiency: 70%


  • 6 lb US – Pale 2-Row: Provides a clean, supportive base for the beer.
  • 2 lb Munich – Light 10L: Adds a slightly richer malt character and color.
  • 1.50 lb Flaked Corn: Lightens the body and contributes a subtle sweetness.
  • 1.50 lb Flaked Barley: Enhances mouthfeel and head retention.
  • 8 oz American – Caramel / Crystal 10L: Imparts a mild caramel sweetness and affects the color slightly.
  • 8 oz American – Carapils (Dextrine Malt): Boosts foam stability and body without impacting flavor significantly.


  • Cascade (0.50 oz, 60 min): Provides a floral and citrusy backbone, contributing the majority of the bitterness.
  • Saaz (0.50 oz, 15 min): Adds a mild, hoppy flavor and some bitterness.
  • Willamette (0.50 oz, 5 min): Offers earthy and herbal notes towards the end of the boil.

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 each Whirlfloc: Added during the boil to help clarify the beer.


  • Wyeast – Kölsch 2565: This yeast is ideal for Cream Ales due to its clean fermentation characteristics, which closely mimic lager yeast.

Brewing Process

  1. Mashing: Heat your water to 152°F and mash the grains for 60 minutes to convert starches into fermentable sugars.
  2. Boiling: 60 min boil –  Follow the hop schedule as outlined, starting with Cascade for bittering and ending with Willamette for aroma.
  3. Cooling and Fermenting: Chill the wort to 56-70°F before pitching the Kölsch yeast. Ferment until the beer reaches the final gravity of 1.014.
  4. Conditioning: Optionally cold condition the beer for a few weeks to mimic lagering, which refines the flavors and enhances clarity.  Details to do so can be found here: Cold crashing beer

Tips for Success

  • Water Profile: Aim for a soft water profile to enhance the clean, crisp character of the beer.
  • Fermentation Temperature: Keeping the fermentation temperature on the lower end of the yeast’s range can help produce a cleaner tasting beer.
  • Sanitation: As with any beer style, ensure all your brewing equipment is well-sanitized to prevent any off-flavors.

Food Pairing and FAQ 
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Food Pairing:

  • Seafood: Pairs well with light seafood dishes, such as grilled shrimp or fried fish.
  • Poultry: Try it with grilled chicken or turkey sandwiches.
  • Spicy Foods: The beer’s crispness cuts through the heat of dishes like buffalo wings or spicy Thai food.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I use a different yeast for a Cream Ale? A: Yes, while Kölsch yeast is ideal for its clean characteristics, American Ale yeasts can also be used if fermented at cooler temperatures.

Q: How important is water chemistry in brewing a Cream Ale? A: It’s quite important. Soft water helps in achieving the light and refreshing quality characteristic of Cream Ales.  Learn about water chemistry here!

Q: Can I increase the hop profile in this recipe? A: Certainly! While Cream Ales are typically mild, feel free to experiment with additional hops if you prefer a slightly hoppier version.

Wrapping Up

Brewing a Cream Ale offers an excellent opportunity to refine your technique in creating light, clean beers that are both refreshing and enjoyable. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced brewer, this style is satisfying to brew and even more satisfying to drink.

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2 thoughts on “New Glarus Spotted Cow Clone Recipe”

  1. How much water would you start with? If it’s 5.5 gallon batch and the efficiency is 70%, do you start with 7.15 gallons?

    • Hi Peter, that depends on the system you are using, everyones would be different. This is make beer easy so do not over think it is my advice, make sure the mash is porrigde like and you will be fine, then know what your boil off rate is, do a test with just water for an hour and see how much your system boils off. Here is a post to help you get started:


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