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Maple Arrogant Bastard clone (extract)

I was drinking an Arrogant Bastard (nothing out of the ordinary there) and all I could think was how awesome it would taste with some maple in it. I’ve done some regular brew-from-extract kits and have also embarked on one other extravagant beer idea (kiwi extra pale ale - which was a great success and probably leads to overconfidence).

I’m posting here to get some feedback on my idea(s) for this beer that I plan to make next weekend.

So I found this extract clone recipe:

http://hopville.com/recipe/911579/ameri ... ract-clone

And have gathered tips from the internet on maple (most have been highly inconclusive). I’m thinking my best bet with the maple is 32oz of Grade B at flame-out.

To me, this all sounds well and good - probably an amazing success. But I’m someone who takes it one step further pretty much everytime (and why not? it’s homebrew!)… So I want to add oak and/or bourbon to this bad boy.

For that, I was thinking I could soak an oak spiral in bourbon for a week and add it to secondary fermentation.

I’m looking for some feedback on this, and I also have a few questions for the forum.

What I want to get out of this beer is a very malty, very hoppy beer with bourbon barrel character and a nice maple finish.

  1. How long should I leave this in secondary?
    2a. Would a dry hop add really muck things up?
    2b. Should I change the hop process in the boil and do a dry hop method instead (or leave the process alone so as not to screw up the recipe and ALSO do a hop add)?
  2. Should I get off the spirals? I like everything I’ve read about them, but I figure someone out there probably has real experience with them.
  3. Am I really risking losing the maple by doing all of these extra adds?

My first reaction is “why” but to each his/her own I guess. AB is such a complex beer already, I’m not sure what you’re going to get out of the maple. But here goes…

  1. Until it’s completed the fermentation cycle. Take your measurements and good notes during the mash/fermentation as your FG will depend on mash temps, yeast, ferm temps, etc.
    2a. AB is dry hopped and for good reason. AB is malty, higher in alc and the hops are an integral part of the final product. Up to you though, you’re the brewer!
    2b. I would keep the hop schedule per the recipe. If you’re worried about too much aroma knocking back your maple then maybe back off the dry hop.
  2. The spirals work (I also make wine and they work fine) but the amount of time you’re going to need to impart oakiness is pretty substantial. There’s always oak extract, but be careful it can take over.
  3. Yes.

So AB is already a great beer. I get that you want to make it better and I hope it works. I’ve been down this road myself and my only real piece of advice is to make the original first as it’s supposed to be made according to the recipe. Then you have a baseline for making changes like oak and maple syrup.

I’ve added maple syrup before. Meh…

I’ve added oak before, some success. I’ve added oak extract and had to brew a whole other batch and add it togther to cut back the over oaking. Let’s see… blueberries to a kolsch, raspberry puree added to a chocolate porter’s secondary, vanilla beans, extracts, raw egg whites, Bourbon and vanilla (of course) and I’m sure there’s more.

If i had to guess, I’d say you were shooting for a barrel aged effect on the AB, to which I’d cheer you on because that is a path to greatness!

I would cut the Special B to 10% and sub the maple for extract to help drop the FG into the 1.012 range. I haven’t tried the Oaked AB yet, but it sounds good.

I have tried a number of times and ways without having any success at getting a maple flavor out of adding maple to the beer. My suggestion would be to use the maple flavor extract or candy oil and add right before bottling.

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