Sunday, June 14, 2015

Brew Day: Pliny the Elder-ish

It is not often that I try and clone a commercial beer. In all the years I've been home brewing, I can think of only a few instances where I've brewed a clone and most of those were of beers from the UK or ones I've never tried before. That said, I've not brewed in ages and I wanted to make something special for my first brew day of the summer. So what to brew... well I recently got hold of a few bottles of Pliny the Elder (bottled less than two weeks before) and I very much enjoyed drinking them. I've had Pliny numerous times now, but having it so fresh was really nice and reminded me how good it really is. Not the be-all and end-all of IIPA's, but an extremely well made version of the style, full of old-school pine and resiny hop character that is becoming harder to find these days. Pliny also won a bronze medal at last years GABF and you gotta appreciate that. A solid double IPA that puts up when others should just shut up.

Anyways, I came across a recipe for Pliny not long ago, apparently from the time when the beer was being brewed at Firestone Walker. I scaled the recipe down to 5.5 gallons and as I already had all the ingredients on hand, figured I had no excuse not to brew it. Well, sorta. The bones of the recipe is pretty simple, not unlike the other Pliny clones floating around. Rahr 2-row, crystal 60, dextrose, with a good amount of Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial, and Cascade. Amarillo and Warrior extract is also used for bittering. I even have some Amarillo extract on hand, as I got a tin of the stuff from Yakima Chief ages ago and never did anything with it.

The recipe I settled on is pretty much the same as the RR one, except I used CTZ for bittering in place of Warrior and ended up using Mosaic instead of Cascade, as the stuff I had was getting pretty old. I also increased the whirlpool additions to 1.5 oz each. The utilization I get in my 7 gallon kettle is going to be a lot less than the 15-20% they are probably getting in theirs. More hops cant hurt, right? I also adjusted the dry hopping up a bit for good measure. For water adjustments, I just went with my tried and true IPA profile, all RO water with around 300ppm sulfate and 45ppm chloride. Their water adjustments were more of a 50/50 balance between the two. Overall, I wouldn't call this brew an exact clone, but it should be pretty close. Looking forward to drinking this one in about a month.

Tin foil is our friend
Sorta like Pliny: Imperial IPA

Recipe Specifics:
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 14.25
Anticipated OG: 1.080
Anticipated FG: 1.010
Anticipated SRM: 7
Anticipated IBU: 70
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

93.3% - 14.00 lbs. Pale Malt, 2-Row
1.7%   - 0.25 lbs. Crystal 60L
5.0%   - 0.75 lbs. Dextrose

0.50 oz. Columbus @ 90 min for 25 IBU
0.25 oz. Amarillo Extract @ 45 min for 28 IBU
1.0 oz. Simcoe @ 30 min for 24 IBU
1.5 oz Mosaic @ whirlpool
1.5 oz Centennial @whirlpool
1.5 oz Amarillo, @ whirlpool
1.5 oz. Simcoe @ whirlpool
0.5 oz Simcoe @ dry hop (day 1)
0.5 oz Mosaic @ dry hop (day 1)
0.5 oz Columbus @ dry hop (day 1)
1.0 oz Simcoe @ dry hop (day 3)
1.0 oz Mosaic @ dry hop (day 3)
1.0 oz Amarillo @ dry hop (day 3)
1.0 oz Columbus @ dry hop (day 3)
Yeast: WY1056 American Ale
Mash 152F for 60 min
Brewed on 14 June


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