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Mikkeller East Kent Golding IPA Clone

Hi everybody,

A few years ago, I sampled a glass of Mikkeller’s East Kent Golding Single Hop IPA, and found it a revelation. I’ve had better IPAs, but this seemed a really bold experiment in the form. Something about using low AA British hops in an IPA, with all their floral, earthy characteristics. This was before I was home brewing, so when I took up the hobby, I decided I’d attempt a clone when I had the expertise to do one right. I’m now six batches in, with two of those all-grain. I’ve had good results with each one, and I think it’s time to try my clone EKG brew.

I also pulled an earlier thread from this forum, in which Mikkel gave a recipe for the single hop series. Here’s what he had to say, and following that, I’ll post what I’ve come up with for the forum’s critique. I’m curious to hear what you all think.

[quote]For the single hop beers they are all brewed with the same base-recipe:
67% pilsner malt
11% Cara-Crystal
11% Munich II
11% Flaked Oats

Yeast is American ale (Wyeast 1056/WLP099)

Hops 60min, 15min, whirlpool and dry.
About 100IBU.[/quote]

And here’s what I came up with, for a 5-gallon batch that comes in at 6.7% ABV. I decided to use Magnum for bittering, since I wasn’t interested in compiling 100 IBUs of EKG in the recipe! I tried to use a pretty vanilla hop schedule, with the additions proportioned according to a Two Hearted clone recipe I found.

8 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger 64.0 %
2 lbs Munich Malt - 20L 16.0 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Caramel Wheat Malt 10.0 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Oats, Flaked 10.0 %
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] 17.6 IBUs
1.00 oz Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min 44.8 IBUs
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min 19.4 IBUs
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min 6.4 IBUs
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 20.0 min 9.7 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 ml] Yeast 10 -
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days[/quote]

Anyway, let me know what you think!

Those look like interesting recipes, but I think they have way too much going on in the way of caramel malts and adjuncts for an IPA. It’s hard enough when you’re using a low alpha acid hop to get their character to really shine, even when you’re using a simple grist. Loading them down with a complex malt bill like that is really putting them at a disadvantage, in my opinion. For an IPA, you want as simple a malt bill as you can get away with, to let the beer attenuate with a dry finish. I’d say stick with the Munich malt, and use a little caramel malt if you really want to- although going very much beyond 20 degrees or so is going in the wrong direction- but cut back on it to no more than 8% or so, at the maximum, and ditch the oats. Almost any kind of unmalted adjunct in this kind of beer is way out of place, really. You might get away with a little flaked wheat, but flaked oats or barley will contribute too much creaminess, where what you really need in this style is crispness. Then again, with an IBU level as high as what you’re shooting for here, these factors may not necessarily apply as much as usual, but I’m still skeptical. By all means go with your vision if that’s what you really want to do, though. I’m curious how your proposed recipe would turn out.

Hi, and thanks for the reply!

I suppose I’m primarily looking for advice on the hop bill–I’ve never used this many hops in a recipe before, and I was wondering if it looked like a good balance between bittering/flavor/aroma hops.

While I agree the grain bill is not exactly standard, I liked the beer when I tried it, and I think I’ll go with the grain bill Mikkel provided.

I probably won’t be getting around to brewing this for a month or so, but I will definitely report back with my results!

FWIW, I like the hop bill just fine. I’m a big believer in uncomplicated hopping, and I pretty much never use more than 3 hops in one beer.

Cool; thanks a lot. I’ll post the results when the beer is ready.

I am not a fan of WY 1056 with East Kent Goldings. Wy 1968 London ESB or Wy 1028 London will give you more more complex EKG flavors. I think the 1056 is too clean and does not bring out the earthy, citrus character of the EKG. I would use 5-10% med. crystal and add a pinch of black malt if you want some color. Good luck with your brew.

An update to this thread:

–I brewed this ten days ago. I’m still dialing in my mash procedure, so my original gravity was slightly lower at 1.059 than the 1.065 I was shooting for. In addition, I realized on brew day that my EKG hops were much higher AA than I was expecting, at 8.3%. I had to tweak the recipe a little to end up with the same bitterness.

–I ended up with less beer than I was expecting, too, mainly because of losses to the hop matter. Next time I do a beer with this quantity of hops, I’m using a hop spider and possibly bittering with a HopShot.

–The beer ended up at 1.009. A tasting of the gravity sample revealed a nice level of bitterness and tons of hop flavor. Based on what I tasted, I’d consider using a hop with more bite than Magnum the next time I make this beer, but I will hold off judgment until it’s carbonated.

–The beer was clearer than I’d have expected given the adjuncts used in the recipe.

–I got tons of earth, tea, and winey flavors from the EKG hops. The aroma is floral, earthy, and tea-like. Overall, pretty much how I remember the original tasting. I do remember a slight note of citrus that I’m not getting here, however. Again, I’m holding judgment until I taste the finished product.

Overall I like how this beer is shaping up. I’m definitely going to continue playing around with single-hop IPAs in Mikkeller’s framework…in fact I bought a lb of Centennials for just that purpose. I may not repeat this exact recipe, since I think I can probably improve on it by using an English yeast and possibly a second flavor/aroma hop.

The beer will be done carbonating next week sometime! When it’s ready I’ll post a picture and some updated impressions.

I’m glad to hear your follow-up on that recipe. It sounds like you pretty much got what you were shooting for in the way of hop character. I’d give that beer a good month in the bottle before you sample it again, or at least 3 weeks, bare minimum. IPAs take time to really hit their stride. Don’t rush it.

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