I’ve only had a few sips of Zombie Dust when a friend brought a bottle over and I liked it enough to pick up some Citra and look around for a clone recipe. This beer is ridiculously popular for a smallish brewery out of Indiana that pretty much sells all of it at the brewery – I think it sets itself apart because of it’s rich malt character, it’s APA-like low bitterness, and because of the uniqueness of Citra hops. A lot of people seem to think of it as an IPA because it’s a stronger than an APA in terms of ABV, but this really does fall into the APA category for me. It just isn’t bitter enough to make me think IPA and I think bitterness is more of a determining factor with the APA/IPA styles.
I hadn’t used Citra very much prior to this beer and will definitely add it to the list of hops to buy in bulk next year. For my tastes I probably wouldn’t single hop a beer with it again (unless I made this recipe again), but I know that Heretic uses it with CTZ in their flagship beer Evil Twin which is one of my favorite beers – I could huff that aroma all day long.
It was pretty easy to find a recipe for this as there are 2 very popular threads on Homebrewtalk.com (here and here) with the same recipe that has been tweaked by the OP based on his findings as well as others that have brewed his recipe and provided feedback. I didn’t change the grist much besides increasing the Melanoiden malt a bit and mashing lower (I mashed at 150* where the recipe calls for 152* – I think the OP used a different yeast at first). I also decided to adjust the hopping by moving the 60, 15, 10, 5, and 1 minute additions into a 10 minute addition and a large hopstand for 30 minutes after the boil. I also increased the additions slightly since I try to produce 6.5 gallons of wort as opposed to the 6 gallons the recipe called for.
Here is the recipe I brewed:
5 finished gallons (6.5 gallon batch size – 1.25 left in kettle, 5.25 into carboy)
90 minute boil
1.062 OG (targeting 1.065 – boil off was low)
80.6% Rahr 2 Row
7.7% Weyermann Munich (8L)
3.9% Briess CaraPils
3.9% Briess Caramel 60L
3.9% Weyermann Melanoiden
21.3 grams Citra 13.9% FWH
56.8 grams Citra 13.9% 10 mins
120.7 grams Citra 13.9% 30 minute hot steep (aka hopstand or whirlpool)
85.2 grams Citra 13.9% Dry hop for 8 days
Pitch at 63, let rise to 66F. As fermentation wraps up increase temp to 68F. When within about .002 gravity points of target final gravity add dry hops. After 3 days cold crash for 3 days before packaging.
The aroma is intense – tropical & citrus fruit with some slight dank and malt aromas mixed in. I’m not a fan of tropical fruit, but the aroma in this is pretty specatcular. There is no grassy or other off aromas that I’ve read some people get when using too much Citra. There is a pretty high bitterness for a beer that had no bittering hops added besides a small addition of first worth hops. The flavor is also quite fruity, but it’s kept in check by the bitterness and the firm malt backbone. When I first smelled this beer I feared it would taste like fruit juice, but it certainly does not. This one has a nice tongue-grabbing mouthfeel that I believe I get from the hop-stand and high dry hopping rates. I had to fine this with gelatin as I was not very careful when racking and ended up disturbing the trub-cake in the primary after cold crashing. It now pours a beautifully clear orange/gold with off white head.
I don’t have any Zombie Dust to compare so I really can’t say how I’d change this from a cloning perspective. I really don’t think I’d change anything if I brewed this again – it’s a great beer as it is.
In keeping with the Lord of the Rings/Shire inspired theme of this blog I figured I should start explaining what some of the names of these beers mean. When I am following a clone recipe I try to use that beer’s name as inspiration for the clone. There aren’t zombies in Middle Earth, but there are a few forms of undead. I decided the closest thing to zombies were the Barrow-Wights that Frodo, Sam, Merry & Pippin encounter in the Barrow-downs. That led me to “Wight Dust.”
If you can get your hands on some Citra brew this – it’s a fantastic beer.