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Heady Topper DIPA Clone 1.0

I've heard a lot of people rave about The Alchemist Brewing's Heady Topper DIPA, but I've never had the opportunity to actually try the beer.  In cases like this, I tend to default to locating the actual recipe or a generally-recognized good clone recipe and brewing that.  I've had to adjust this recipe because I didn't have as much Amarillo hops as I thought I did - and went for Mandarina Bavaria as a substitute.  Otherwise this is the recipe I found.

Ingredients

7.25 pounds 2-row Brewer's Malt

12 ounces cane sugar (added during boil, 60 min.)

9 ounces Briess White Wheat Malt

6 ounces Baird's Carastan Malt

4-6 ounces of Rice Hulls (3-4 large handfuls)

3 gallons RO mash water, treated with 7.6 grams Gypsum, 2.2g Epsom Salt, 0.9g Calcium Chloride, 0.8g Magnesium Chloride, 0.2g Baking Soda, 0.2g  Canning Salt

1.9 gallons RO sparge water, untreated

0.6 ounces Magnum hops @ 12% AA (60 min.)

1 ounce Amarillo hops (5 min.)

1 ounce Apollo hops (5 min.)

i ounce Centennial hops (5 min.)

1 ounce Columbus hops (5 min.)

1 ounce Mandarina Bavaria hops @ 10.1% AA (whirlpool)

1 ounce Centennial hops (whirlpool)

1 ounce Simcoe hops (whirlpool)

0.5 ounces Mandarina Bavaria hops (dry hop 4 days)

0.5 ounces Apollo hops (dry hop 4 days)

0.5 ounces Centennial hops (dry hop 4 days)

0.5 ounces Columbus hops (dry hop 4 days)

0.5 ounces Simcoe hops (dry hop 4 days)

1/8 tsp. Brewtan B (mash)

1/4 tsp. Brewtan B (boil, 20 min)

1/2 tsp. Yeast Nutrient (boil, 15 min.)

1 package Omega DIPA yeast OYL-052


Brewfather reports that the beer will have the following characteristics:

  • BJCP Style:  22A Double IPA
  • Batch Size: 3.0 gallons estimated (3 gallons in the kettle, 2.65 in the fermenter)
  • Original Gravity: 1.078 SG estimated (1.065 SG actual)
  • Pre-Boil Gravity:  1.050 SG estimated (1.053 SG actual)
  • Final Gravity: 1.010 SG estimated 
  • IBUs:  105 estimated
  • SRM:  7.4 estimated
  • ABV:  9.1% estimated
  • BU/GU:  1.34

I'll add the actual values achieved above as I measure them.

I had to move to a 90-minute boil for this one because a 60-minute boil left too little sparge water to suit me.

Mash Schedule:

  • 60 minutes at 150F
  • 10 minute mash out at 168F
  • Sparge with 168F water (1.9 gallons)
Boil Schedule:
  • 90 minutes:  No additions
  • 60 minutes:  Magnum hops
  • 20 minutes:  Brewtan B
  • 15 minutes:  Yeast nutrient
  • 5 minutes:  Amarillo, Apollo, Centennial, Centennial, Columbus
  • 0 minutes (whirlpool):  Mix up the pellets and add few every 30-90 seconds as you stir and chill the wort:  Mandarina Bavaria, Centennial, Simcoe
Fermentation Plan:
  • Ferment at 68F for the first 3-4 days until fermentation starts to slow
  • When gravity is down to around 1.020 SG on the Tilt, add the dry hops
  • Raise to 72F until fermentation is finished, this should allow the fermentation to finish out and hopefully go through any "hop creep" in the fermenter rather than the bottle.
Brew Day and Post-Brew Observations

10/11/2020:  Had to substitute Mandarina Bavaria for the Amarillo hops in the whirlpool and dry hop portions of the recipe, so it may not be quite the perfect Heady Topper clone for that reason.  Hopefully it will be close enough.  

Had to shift 38 ounces of water from the sparge to the mash to have enough to cover the grain bed (the amounts given in the ingredients section are the adjusted figures).  I'll need to adjust the equipment profile in Brewfather to increase mash water, as it's been consistent about 32-38 ounces low.  

Adding the rice hulls seems to have helped with wort flow through the grain bed, which has been an issue in recent 2.5 gallon brews.  This is looking like a practice I should continue.\

Despite the reasonably good flow through the grain bed during the mash, the sparge was unusually slow. I wouldn't call it "stuck" because it definitely still flowed, but it was much more a trickle then a flow.  I guess the bright spot in this is that the wort was able to get up to boiling well before the sparge finished, which meant there was no delay in starting the boil countdown.

As I mentioned in the notes for my last brewing session, I've been really disappointed with my brewhouse efficiency since changing to 2.5 gallon batches.  I've adjusted to a 3 gallon batch size since then, in part because this gives me more water to work with for mashing and sparging, and in part because it means I can undershoot my volume and still get the 2.5 gallons I want - making it (hopefully) easier to nail the gravity at least.  This is the second 3-gallon batch.  I ended up with 2.5 gallons (roughly) of mash water and 1.9 gallons of sparge water, which is still shy of the 1.0 to 1.5 ratio of mash to sparge water that experts recommend.

Pre-boil volume was a little shy of the expected 4 gallons, so I added some more RO water to reach that. A refractometer reading returned 14.1 Brix, which for my refractometer would be about 1.059 SG, about 9 points higher than the estimated 1.050 SG.  I'm hoping this carries through to the end of the boil, because it would mean that my brewhouse efficiency is better on this batch with the rice hulls.  If that turns out to be the case, I may have a solution to my efficiency troubles.

Original gravity was a disappointing 1.065 SG after the 90-minute boil.  That's 13 points below what the recipe calculator computed in Brewfather.  

One thing that came out of this was that I think it's a good idea to do some adjustment to see if I can get my refractometer, Tilt Hydrometer, and hydrometer to measure close to the same figure.  I have to wonder if the pre-boil number of 1.053 SG was an overestimate by the refractometer and conversion factor.

10/12/2020:  Gravity has dropped to 1.062 SG with no obvious krausen or significant activity yet.

10/15/2020:  Dry-hopped the beer, now that the gravity is down to 1.028 SG and has somewhat stabilized.

10/16/2020:  Gravity is down to 1.023 SG now and slowly dropping, likely due to some hop-creep activity in the fermenter.

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