8 June 2013

posted by benjy edwards

I am a big fan of Three Floyds’ beers, so it is surprising to consider that of all their great hoppy ales, we have only ever brewed a clone of one of them, the classic Alpha King pale ale, although having brewed that beer almost twenty times somewhat makes up for the deficiency in variety.  Today’s double batch changes that, however, since we are going for not only a clone of their double IPA, Dreadnaught, but also a batch of Zombie Dust, their single-hop pale ale brewed with Citra.

The malt bills for the two recipes are not the same, which made it difficult to brew both from the same mash.  The solution was to change the malt bill for the Zombie Dust a little, by omitting the Munich malt which does not figure in the Dreadnaught, but keeping the carapils despite that it is not used in the Dreadnaught.  The other malts are Gambrinus pale malt for the base, plus melanoidin malt, which Three Floyds seems to use in most of their recipes.  The Zombie Dust has crystal malt in it, which we added to the mash after the Dreadnaught was run off, since crystal does not need to be mashed.  We used Briess crystal 40.

Sixty seven and a half pounds is a lot of malt, but it fits fine in the 26 gallon kettle with a liquor-to-grist ratio of 1 quart per pound.  The mash temperature was 154, which is lower than Three Floyds’ stated temperature of 159.  Mashing that high on our system will cause a very high finishing gravity, as we saw from the recent batch of Dark Ruby Mild.  The carapils will enhance the body without such a high temperature.  The brew day went well, except for loss of almost a gallon of wort when chilling the Zombie Dust, when Owen, our youngest son, accidentally knocked the hose off of the chiller.  Thankfully loss of very hot wort was the only casualty.

The original gravity of the Dreadnaught came in at 1.082, and the Zombie Dust at 1.060, both a couple of points shy of target.  As long as they finish dry, the ABV should be pretty close, however.  Needless to say, a lot of hops were used today, with Columbus and Simcoe for bittering the Dreadnaught, followed by additions of Centennial and Cascade for flavour and aroma.  Of course Citra was used throughout for the Zombie Dust.  IBU for the Dreadnaught should be about 100, and while Three Floyds says the Zombie Dust is 60 IBU, ours was calculated at closer to 100.  I’ve proven before that it’s not possible to over-hop a beer for my palate, so no need to worry about that.

The double batch from last week was kegged during the brew session, so the Blind Pig IPA clone was racked into kegs with a combination of Simcoe, Cascade, and Amarillo for the dry hop, while the Boathouse Bitter got more Belma, as the single hop used in the recipe.  Finishing gravities were low; 1.008 for the Blind Pig and 1.011 for the bitter.  We will probably brew once more with this pitch of yeast, most likely a single batch of an IPA.  With summer approaching (we hope!), the hoppy lighter-coloured ales taste best.

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