Saturday, October 6, 2018

Scofflaw Basement IPA Clone 1.0

At the BrewDog Annual General Mayhem (AGM) event in Columbus this year, I had the opportunity to meet the brewers from Scofflaw Brewing in Atlanta. I enjoyed all of their beers I tried, but one that stuck with me was their "Basement IPA", due to its sweetness and intense fruit flavors. The Scofflaw representatives said they brewed a sweet IPA because the market in Atlanta seemed to prefer it, as it was reminiscent of sweet tea. I reached out to ask if they'd share their recipe, but got no response.

I decided to take a shot at cloning it myself, just for fun. From their web site, I knew that it contained 2-row Pale Malt, Acidulated Malt, and Carafoam Malt. It is hopped with Chinook and Citra hops. It's a 7.5% ABV beer with a reported 40 IBUs. Given that the bitterness in Basement isn't particularly intense or harsh, I suspect it's late-hopped more like a New England IPA than a traditional West Coast IPA. For that reason, I'm not starting my hops additions until the last 30 minutes of the boil. This should provide a smoother bitterness and intensify the fruit flavors from the hops. I'll mash for 90 minutes, half at 152F for fermentability and half at 156F for some residual sweetness (hopefully). I doubt it will be a perfect clone, but will serve more as a starting point for trying to dial in a better recipe.

Ingredients

6 pounds Rahr 2-Row Malt (82.7%)
1 pound Carafoam Malt (13.8%)
4 ounces Acidulated Malt (3.5%)
0.20 ounces Chinook hops @ 12% AA (30 min.)
0.55 ounces Citra hops @ 13% AA (15 min.)
0.45 ounces Citra hops @ 13% AA (10 min.)
0.05 ounces Chinook hops @ 12% AA (10 min.)
1/8 tsp. Brewtan B in the mash water
1/4 tsp. Gypsum in the mash water
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the boil with the first Citra addition
1 packet Safale S-04 English Ale yeast
1/2 vial White Labs Clarity Ferm (for gluten reduction)
3 gallons filtered starting water plus 30 ounces *
(* If you brew this, I recommend reducing the starting water to 8 ounces more than the recipe crafter recommends. 3 gallons plus 30 ounces was way too much.)

(If you're wondering why the small amount of Chinook in the 10-minute addition, that's because I didn't want to open another ounce of Citra just to hit my planned 0.50 ounce final addition amount.)

The PicoBrew recipe crafter estimates the beer will have the following characteristics:
  • BJCP Style: 21.A American IPA
  • Original Gravity: 1.074 SG (1.069 SG actual)
  • Final Gravity: 1.015 SG (1.007 SG actual)
  • IBUs: 39
  • SRM: 5
  • Estimated ABV: 7.6% (8.2% actual)
  • Batch Size: 2.5 gallons (actual ended up less, see below)
Mash Schedule:
  • Dough In at 102F for 20 minutes
  • Rest at 120F for 15 minutes
  • Heat to 152F
  • Mash at 152F for 45 minutes
  • Mash at 156F for 45 minutes
  • Heat to 175F
  • Mash out at 175F for 10 minutes
A 75-minute boil is used,with this schedule:
  • 75 minutes: No additions
  • 30 minutes: Chinook
  • 15 minutes: Citra and Brewtan B
  • 10 minutes: Citra plus Chinook
The wort will be pumped through a counterflow chiller and then cooled to 66F before yeast is pitched.

I plan to let the beer free-ferment in a 68F basement, which is within the yeast's range.

I plan to bottle it with 4 small carbonation drops (medium carbonation) per bottle and hold it at 70F until the beer is carbonated.

Post-Brew Notes and Observations

10/05/2018:  It seems like there was too much water added again, as the mash compartment of the step filter was full to the lid. I'll need to reduce starting water next time around.

There was a fair amount of foaming near the end of Dough In and during the mash, but no spilling outside the drip tray.

As the Zymatic was heating the wort to boiling, it generated a Fatal Error #1 (heat loop inconsistency). After some diagnosis, I learned that the grain compartment overflow apparently clogged the duck valve and prevented the system from pulling wort out of the tray. I unclogged the valve and drained the tray, then removed the hops cages and cleaned the grain and remaining wort out of the tray. I then restarted the brew from the Mash Out step (although there was no grain in it). Next time I need to reduce the amount of starting water, perhaps to only 3-4 ounces more than the recipe software calculates.

Volume was probably low. I didn't measure it, but I'm estimating 2 gallons. Original Gravity came out at 1.069 SG instead of the expected 1.074. Yeast was pitched once the wort cooled to 75F, which was around midnight.

10/06/2018: This morning, I noticed the gravity had already dropped to about 1.060 SG and the temperature had only dropped to 73F, which is near the upper end of the yeast's optimum range. I moved the entire fermenter into my mini-fridge for 2-3 hours to cool it back down into the lower end of the yeast's range to avoid stressing it and introducing off flavors.

10/07/2018: The temperature climbed to 74F overnight, so I moved the fermenter back into the mini-fridge to cool down. I removed it when the beer was at 66F and the gravity had dropped to 1.012 SG, which is lower than the expected final gravity. That puts the current ABV at 7.5% and the apparent attenuation at over than 81%. By midnight, the gravity was still holding at 1.012 SG and the temperature was holding at 69F. A taste of the beer from the fermenter showed a mild sweetness and strong hoppy fruit notes which reminded me of the actual Scofflaw beer. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

10/08/2018: The temperature is now up to 70F. Gravity is reading 1.009 SG today, well below the estimated 1.015 final gravity.

10/09/2018: The temperature is holding at 70F. Gravity has bounced back and forth between 1.008 SG and 1.009 for the last day or two.

10/13/2018: I bloomed and heated a teaspoon of gelatin in distilled water, added it to the fermenter, and placed the fermenter in the mini-fridge to cold crash. I'll bottle in a week or so when it's cleared up a bit.

10/20/2018: The beer was bottled today, using four small carbonation drops per bottle (medium carbonation). Yield was 18 total bottles, owing to losses from the issues during brewing. Final gravity was reported as 1.007 SG by the Tilt Hydrometer.

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