Monday, February 4, 2008

Pliny the Elder Clone

Busy busy brew day for us on Saturday. We knew it would be, as our first bottling attempt was this weekend as well as racking our Red Tail clone from the previous week. We really weren't sure what we were going to brew. We had talked about a few different possibilities during the week, but didn't really have a solid decision. I had found a clone recipe of Russian River's Pliny the Elder IPA which was getting rave reviews, but I knew would be expensive based on the amount of hops in the recipe. Less than an hour before leaving for the brewstore, I came to the conclusion that this was the beer I really wanted to brew, and Kat agreed.

Before we could start on this ale of epic hop proportions, space was needed in the fermenter and therefore beer had to be bottled and racked. Our original brown ale was looking fantastic - it had cleared up nicely and a solid layer of sediment was sitting on the bottom of the carboy. Cleaning and sanitizing the bottles was the real work here, especially without a dishwasher to sanitize. We were able to make the best with what we had. I found some unused organizing racks worked perfectly for drying the bottles after sanitizing. After the cleaning, we added the priming sugar and moved the beer to our bottling bucket. Then it was a fun and easy trade off, as Kat would fill up the bottles, and I'd add the cap. We ended up with 23 12oz. bottles and 12 22oz. bottles, just shy of our expected yield. We did take a taste of the beer, prior to carbonation and it was much better than expected. In 2-3 weeks time, we'll have a fantastic beer to share with our friends!

Our Red Tail was racked to a carboy, and we added an ounce of Cascade hops for dry-hop. The beer did still have a bit of a foamy head at top, which was a small concern. It had been bubbling away for the first few days and slowly tapered off just as our previous attempts so the other behavior was as expected. The sample tasted fairly balanced, but also a very mild flavor. Kat said that adding the dry-hop was "the best thing we could have done" to this beer, and I think she's right.

Brewing the Pliny Clone was a real treat to a couple of hop heads like Kat and I. Even Bob (of Bob's Homebrew Supplies) was impressed by the sheer amount of hops used in this recipe:

Pliny the Elder
1 lb 2-row malt
0.28 lbs crystal malt (40L)
0.86 lbs Carapils malt
1 lb dextrose
6.15 lbs light DME

1.5 oz Chinook hops (mash)
2.75 oz Warrior hops (90min)
0.5 oz Chinook hops (90min)
1 oz Simcoe hops (45min)
1 oz Columbus hops (30min)
2.25 oz Centennial hops (0min)
1 oz Simcoe hops (0min)

Wyeast 1056 American Ale

3 oz Columbus hops (dry-hop)
1.75 oz Centennial hops (dry-hop)
1.75 oz Simcoe hops (dry-hop)

Mash at 150-152F for 45min.

This was a noticeably different recipe from the start as we added and ounce and a half of hops just to the pre-boil mash. The other major difference was the addition of a pound of corn sugar to the boil. This will give lots of fuel for the yeast as it turns the sugars into alcohol and CO2. Let's get back to the hops though. In case you didn't do the math, there is over a full pound of hops in this recipe. This was our first chance to use many of the listed hop varieties for the first time. We both absolutely loved the Columbus hops which had a slight fruity aroma. The Chinook was a nice bittering hop as well, and came through strongly in the tasting. Our only issue during brewing was forgetting about adding Irish Moss, but we added a tsp. with about 10min left in the boil anyway. The airlock has been bubbling like crazy since Sunday morning, and we both know this beer will be tempting to taste as early as possible. We'll do our best to see how long we can hold out, it won't be ready for sure until the end of March and will certainly improve after additional weeks. Good thing we'll have 3 brews to tide us over until then.


Bob y Ana said...

wow big batch of piny, missed it since moving to egypt. having a friend bring me some supplies over from the states...the pliny clone, is it for a 5 gal batch?
thanks in advance for your help.

Connie said...

When do you put the corn sugar in? Beginning or end of boil?

Matt said...

So how was it?

Anonymous said...

I follow these clone recipes and have noticed a clear pattern. The authors of these recipes have either never made these recipes before or they post a recipe they made up that is completly bogus. In this case the brew turned out to be a real turd, as they never gave the verdict of their failure. Yet, here it is for some poor idiot to copy the same mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Double check another recipe for the Clone. I think its 12 lbs. 2-row, not a pound

Anonymous said...

No it is 1 pound because this is an extract brew. At the end it adds about 6 pounds of DME (Dry malt extract) It is more in the 12 to 13 range if you are doing all grain