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Alchemy hour clone

Just finished brewing this past Sunday and already thinking about my next brew (cause that’s what we do right?). This will be my third brew (first was NB Irish Red, second was NB Bourbon Barrel Porter) but I was hoping to venture away from the kits for this next one. I also was thinking about a hoppy beer and what better beer to try to clone than Great Lakes Alchemy Hour.

I haven’t read any recipe books (plan to read Brewing Classic Styles at some point) and I have no idea how to translate flavor profile into ingredients. So really looking for as much help as I can get. My equipment allows for 2.5gal partial boil extract brewing. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a perfect clone but something close.

Here’s what I got from the GLBC website…

MALT
Harrington 2-Row Base Malt: Allows color and flavorfrom other specialty malts to come through; makes for very clean beer
Caramel 45: Contributes to amber color; provides complexity
Honey Malt: Contributes sweetness

HOPS
Mosaic: New U.S. hop; provides floral, tropical, fruity, and earthy characteristics
Nugget: U.S. bittering hop; provides floral, resiny aroma and flavor
Cascade: U.S. hop with citrus characteristics for aroma

So can anyone point me in the right direction? :cheers:

The two items you’ll need to design a clone are ABV (9.4%) and IBU (80). Plus its a double IPA so you want to keep that in mind. To me that means it will have quite a bit of malt presence to balance the extreme hoppiness.

Lets start with how much malt you need. If you google up a chart of SG vs ABV, you’ll be able to estimate what you need. I’d figure on your final gravity being in the 1.020-1.025 range, so I would say you’d need an OG of 1.090 to get around 9% ABV. Thats a pretty big beer. Personally I’d be happy with 1.080, but thats just me. For 1.090 you’ll need upwards of 2lb/gallon of DME, or 3.5lb/gal of malt if you’re going all-grain. I’d probably go with 5% honey malt for a sweet flavor, and 10% caramel 45 for a caramel note. DME will work for the base, or use any American 2-row as your base malt. Most are Harrington I think.

Now for bittering, Nugget runs around 10% AA. I’d figure on getting 3/4 of my bitterness from the 60min addition, so for a 5gal batch you’d need about 60 IBUs and that would mean around 1.75oz or a little less (1.75 x 0.25 x75/5 = 66). I’d use a 1:1 blend of the Mosiac and Cascade for the late additions and go fairly heavy on them. At least an ounce of blend at 15, 5, and dry hop with 2-4oz.

I’d ferment with something like US05 or WY1332. Just your standard american ale yeast with a dry finish and low fruitiness. I’d make a big starter for this beer, and I’d be darn careful to keep the ferm temp of the beer down in the low to mid-60’s until after the peak of fermentation. that means a swamp cooler and ice bottles, or this thing is going to take off.

See how I did this? Now you can do it for yourself.

Awesome! thanks a bunch for this information it’s super helpful. A couple questions:

  • Since I’m doing extract, I’m not too sure what you mean by 5% honey malt and 10% caramel 45. Would I use these as specialty grains for steeping? If so, what is meant by the 5%/10%? I assumed that’s the percentage weight of the entire grain bill but since I’m doing extract, not sure how to figure that out.

  • Any suggestion on the color of DME (dark, light, etc.)?

  • I’ve never drop hopped a beer before. Do you suggest leaf hops for dry hopping? I would think pellet hops would create quite a bit of crud that would end up in bottles.

Thanks again for the info!

Good questions. The 5%/10% was indeed for grain bill, but for all-grain. For a batch that was 3.5lb malt/gal (all-grain), 10% would be 0.35lb and 5% half of that. So that’d be 1.75lb and 0.875lb. I’d probably go with 2lb of caramel 40 and 1lb of honey malt just to make things simple, and since steeping won’t extract stuff quite as completely as mashing with base malt.

Definitely use light DME, its made from 2-row. The caramel 40 will give the beer a deeper golden hue.

Don’t dry-hop if you don’t want, the beer will taste fine either way. I didn’t read the info on Alchemy closely so I don’t even know if they dry-hop. Maybe not, it tends to be a little unstable. I’ve dry-hopped with pellets, it works but you have to wait for them to settle and that can take awhile. or you can use a hop sock with some marbles in it to sink it good. I don’t do that much dry-hopping myself.

I’m not saying this is going to be anything like Alchemy Hour, mind you. I havne’t even tried it. Just throwing together a recipe based on some of the info on the beer, and a basic understanding of what a double IPA is like. You can see that for yourself by checking out the BJCP beer style guidelines, just google BJCP to find them.

By the way, Brewing Classic Styles is a good book to have. I generally look at their recipe, and also check out NB’s recipes to see what they use for a given style. It gives me some direction that I then use to formulate my own recipe based on what I have on hand.

Download one of the brewing software programs to run your numbers through. All of them should list the % that the grain makes up.

Alchemy Hour is a fantastic DIPA. Good luck!

Note: there is what appears to be a fairly well founded Internet rumor that GLBC uses Wyeast 1028 at least for Burning River, and I would assume thy use the same yeast as their house ale strain. For an English ale yeast, it attenuates quite high and I think it’s among the cleanest (least fruity) British strains.

I wrote an email to the brewmaster at GLBC with this recipe to see if i can get any feedback. On another note. Any place I can get mosaic hops and if not, whats a good replacement?

Whole Mosaic are available here currently: http://www.freshops.com

Mosaic is a new hop and its kind of unique in its flavor profile. I just had a Mosaic IPA and it has a tropical fruit thing going on. If you can’t find it then look for another with that description, something like Citra or Galaxy are possibilities. But I’d try to get Mosaic if at all possible.

Whole Mosaic are available here currently: http://www.freshops.com[/quote]

Thanks! just bought a pound. Now I just gotta hope I can use them up before they get freezer burned :slight_smile:

[quote=“mattnaik”]
Thanks! just bought a pound. Now I just gotta hope I can use them up before they get freezer burned :slight_smile: [/quote]
Because hops are dehydrated, I don’t think freezer burn is a major concern. Oxidation is, though. If you keep them in the freezer and vacuum seal them, you should have no problem using them up before they go bad–unless of course you don’t find other uses for them in the next 12-18 months.

By the way, I bought a lot of hops from hops direct last year and found they they pretty consistently shipped me 20 oz per pound (sounds odd, I know).

Love to know if anyone has had any success cloning Alchemy Hour/Chill Wave all grain

I will tell you that this brew did not come out as planned. I should have reduced the DME and increased the sugar because it came out WAY too sweet. I’ve been letting them age and the sweetness is melding decently (5 months after brewing) but I can still only drink one of these. Better than the zero I could drink before. It was my second beer ever brewed so I blame that :slight_smile:

I will say that this does have a very similar flavor/aroma. I’d maybe cut back on the honey malt a little. Color was also very dark but that could just be due to being extract. Knowing what I know now, if I tried to clone this now AG my recipe would probably look something like this:

14lb Pale 2row
12oz C40
6oz Honey malt
Mash at 150 for 60+ min

1.75oz Nugget @ 60
1oz Mosaic @ 10
1oz Cascade @ 10
1oz Mosaic @ 0
1oz Cascade @ 0

add 1lb Sugar at the end of boil

Dry Hop: 2oz Mosiac/2oz Cascade

I’d probably use WLP007 just to guarantee a dryer finish. The idea is to get the sweetness from the Honey malt but still maintain a somewhat dry finish.

Also, I used leaf mosaic which almost guaranteed I will never use leaf/whole hops ever again. 5.25 gallons went into the fermenter I got about 4 gallons out due to hop absorption.

I’m sure this recipe would make a pretty decent clone of Chillwave. Just firing from the hip here though based on my earlier debacle.

[quote=“mattnaik”]I’d maybe cut back on the honey malt a little.
[/quote]
Good plan. Honey malt is potent stuff. You definitely have to try this again with modifications.

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