Tag Archives: Clone

Wight Dust (Zombie Dust clone)

Wight.Dust

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.

DSC_2483

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:

Wight Dust:

5 finished gallons (6.5 gallon batch size – 1.25 left in kettle, 5.25 into carboy)

90 minute boil

Mash 150*

1.062 OG (targeting 1.065 – boil off was low)

1.018 FG

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

WLP002

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Brewing, Homebrew

Robert the Bruce (Scottish Ale) clone attempt 1

northfarthing.ale

Ahh Robert the Bruce – the man and the beer. We’ll start with the man that inspired the name for this beer – king of the Scots from 1306-1329 (yes I got this off Wikipedia). After brewing this I actually read quite a bit about Robert and was not surprised to see how historically inaccurate Braveheart is, but I still love that movie. It was the first ‘R’ rated movie I ever saw – I still wonder what my parents were thinking – I was maybe 11 by the time I saw it. It’s still a movie I watch once (or many) times a year. I’ve always thought the character Robert the Bruce was the most compelling in the entire film, largely because of the acting of Angus Macfadyen (FAATHHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!).  If you can get some Robert the Bruce (or another Scottish Ale) there is a fun and simple drinking game to play while watching Braveheart – every time someone on screen says “freedom” you raise your glass and say “Robert!” and take a healthy sip, if the English are on screen you say “dirty English bastards!” and drink.

Because of my interest in both Scottish Ales and Robert the Bruce I was intrigued when a friend of mine told me about a beer called Robert the Bruce by 3 Floyds. It’s a Scottish Ale that falls between the Scottish 80/- and Strong Scotch Ale (so I guess it’s about a 100/- ale) style categories in terms of gravity. Their website says that it’s 7%, but everywhere else has it at 6.5%. I figured I’d target 6.5% and ended up hitting 7% so either way I’m in the neighborhood.  The main info floating around the internet is that it’s bittered with Centennial to about 30 IBU and uses crystal, roasted and melanoiden malts. I found a recipe (below) that was supposedly from Nick Floyd on a forum from a post about 8 years ago and figured I’d try using the recipe as a starting point as it matched up with the rest of what I could find on this beer.

OG:17plato (1.070)
FG:5.5plato (1.022)
Ibus:30 All at begining of Boil (Centennial)
90 Minute Boil
MashIn 162 F Hour Rest
Yeast: Fullers

Colour 18 Srm

Malt 85% 2Row US
1%Black Patent UK
1%Roasted UK
5%Caramunich 40 German
3% Crystal 10 US
2% Melanoidin German
3%Crystal 55 UK
Ferment on the cold side 62-65 F

From there I degassed a sample and saw that it finished at 1.016, not 1.022. I decided to keep the same grist percentages and to target 1.065 OG and 1.016 FG for 6.5% ABV.

Here is the recipe I brewed:

Mash @ 149F

85% Rahr 2 Row
5% Weyermann Caramunich I
3% Simpson’s Medium Crystal (50-60 = 55ish)
3% Briess Caramel 10
2% Weyermann Melanoiden Malt
1% Simpson’s Roasted Barley
1% Simpsons English Black Malt

20 SRM
Centennial @ 90 mins to 30 IBU
WLP002 – ferment at 62*, ramp up to 66* as fermentation slows down.

Homebrew left, Robert the Bruce right

Homebrew left, Robert the Bruce right

It ended up at 1.067 OG and finished at 1.014 (7% ABV) so the mash temp was a bit low. Like most Scottish Ales it really didn’t taste great until it had been cold conditioning for about a month – was almost cloyingly sweet and the flavors just hadn’t blended yet. As you can tell in the picture, the homebrew version is a fair bit darker, it worked out to 19.8 SRM in Beersmith, but I wanted to start with this grist anyway since it was the only recipe I could find online that looked like it could be right. When we tried this side by side the commercial bottle was a bit old and oxidized so we really couldn’t do a true side by side so I’ll just describe how the homebrew version tastes.

The aroma is all malt, caramel, chocolate, dark fruit and just a hint of alcohol and esters. When I first take a sip I get a lot of chocolate and some bitterness and it changes quickly to caramel, dark fruit and just pure Scottish Ale  malt character (sorry I can’t describe that better). It’s definitely got a clean malt profile and the perfect balance of good old Centennial bittering. It’s crazy how the flavors change within a single sip – the finish is dark fruit and than suddenly a hint of chocolate. It’s been a while since I’ve had a fresh Robert, so I can’t really say that this is cloned, but its in the ballpark for sure. Robert is a bit more drinkable so I think getting this down to 6.5% would help. My regulator also went crazy and this is slightly overcarbonated, been slowly degassing it so that would also make it a bit more drinkable. I’ll have to reduce some of the character malts to lighten the color a bit as well. I remember the malt hitting me a bit harder so I will probably increase the melanoiden next time. Some friends might be heading near the brewery in the next couple of months so if they are able to bring back some more Robert I’ll tweak the recipe and rebrew this. In the meantime I’ll probably use a similar grist makeup to make a Scottish 60/- or 70/-.

I entered this in the March Mashness competition as a Specialty Beer with the description, “This is a Scottish Ale brewed between the Scottish Export 80/- and Strong Scotch Ale styles.” Not sure what to expect – never entered a Specialty Beer. I call it “Northfarthing Ale” as I thought the description of the Northfarthing of the Shire to be a lot like Scottland – (from LOTR Wikia):

The Northfarthing or the North Farthing was the least populated part of the Shire.

It was known for having a slightly cooler climate then the rest of the Shire and snow was more common here.

The soil tended to be somewhat rocky but was good enough to allow for farming and was where the Shire’s barley for their beer came from.

There was also much hunting done here.

Cheers

5 Comments

Filed under Brewing, Homebrew

Hamfast the Gaffer (Pliny clone) take 2.0

pliny_2.0

Good Day readers,

Brewed up another pliny clone on 12/13/12. Instead of following the same recipe from the Zymurgy article as I did last time I came across another blogger that believed he had a more accurate and up to date clone recipe and decided to tweak my recipe a bit. I want to compete with this beer and I’m not looking to make an exact clone at this point so I didn’t make all of the changes, but here’s the updated recipe and thanks to Scott for posting the info on his blog (which, if you like beer blogs you should check out):

Hamfast the Gaffer 2.0

Tasty McDole’s “hoppy” water profile

5 finished gallons (6.75 gallon batch size – 1.5 left in kettle, 5.25 into carboy, 5 into keg)

90 minute boil

Mash at 150* F for 90 minutes

1.072 OG (ended up at 1.073)

1.010 FG (measured)

88% Rahr 2 Row

5% Corn Sugar

4% Briess Carapils

3% Briess Crystal 40

110 grams CTZ 17% 90 minutes

24 grams CTZ 13.9% 45 minutes

32 grams Simcoe 13% 30 minutes

1/2 tablet Whirlfloc 5 minutes

74.5 grams Simcoe 12.2% 0 minutes (hot steep for 15 minutes before chilling)

32 grams Centennial 11.6% 0 minutes (hot steep for 15 minutes before chilling)

Servomyces added prior to chilling

After chilling whirlpooled with a spoon and let kettle sit for 2 hours before racking to Better Bottle, transferred only a small amount of pellet hop material – left the rest behind with 1.5 gallons of wort/trub.

60 seconds pure 02

WLP001 pitched at 65* F, allowed to free rise to 67* F for fermentation, ramped up to 70* F as fermentation slowed down. Racked to secondary at 1.013 onto 10 day dry hops – second dose also added in secondary.

28.4 grams Centennial Dry Hop 10 days

28.4 grams CTZ Dry Hop 10 days

28.4 Simcoe Dry Hop 10 days

21 grams Amarillo Dry Hop 10 days

7.1  grams Centennial Dry Hop 5 days

7.1 grams CTZ Dry Hop 5 days

10.7 Simcoe Dry Hop 5 days

10.2 grams Amarillo Dry Hop 5 days

Kegged/fined with gelatin on 1/2

1/8 pours crystal clear, tastes really great, still a bit harsh (always find that beers need at least 1-2 weeks in the keg to mellow out).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After 2 weeks in the keg this beer tastes really good. The flavors have mellowed and the harshness has faded. The addition of amarillo is very evident surprisingly enough, the aroma is pine, resin, floral citrus, a bit of earthiness/dankness and maybe a hint of fruitiness (from hops, not yeast). The flavor is all of the above with a bit more pine/resin. The mouthfeel is great, the hop oil lingers on your tongue – this is obviously from the large amounts of oily hops, but the 15 minute hot-steep before chilling increases this dramatically – and in a very good way. The bitterness is perfect and the malt flavor is right where I want it. I don’t think I’d tweak the recipe at all for the next batch. The color is lighter than the first batch and I like where it’s at. The gelatin didn’t seem to strip aroma/flavor and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again (previously I had refrained from using it in hoppier beers, but I think I’ll use it in all beers going forward).

This is a great recipe and every IPA/IIPA lover should brew it at least once. This will be entered alongside Bagshot Pale and maybe some other beers in Upper Mississippi Mashout, Great Northern BrewHaHa and MMXIII Midwinter Home Brew Contest. I’ll get some results posts up afterwards. The first attempt of this recipe got 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the three competitions I sent it to – I know that the competition will likely be stiffer in UMMO at least though.

7 Comments

Filed under Bitter, Brewing, Competition, Homebrew