Over the past couple years here at Bertus Brewery there have been countless requests to brew a Fresh Squeezed clone; about 98% of which happen to come from Mrs. Bert. Since I also really love that beer, and I'm currently woefully lacking an IPA on tap, it seemed that the day has finally arrived! Fresh Squeezed is a really interesting IPA. It's not very bitter, nor is it in-your-face-hoppy. It has a pretty big caramel malt character, but it makes up for all of that with really juicy, citrusy, fruity aroma. It's smooth, approachable, and really well brewed.
I started putting together a clone recipe for this as I start every clone, by drinking the beer, and digging up all the info I can. Deschutes is quite generous in that regard, and provides us with about 80% of the information right off the bat. The malts are 2-row, Munich, and C75. The hops are Nugget, Citra, and Mosaic. They're quite broad on their gravity ranges and they didn't provide any hop schedule, but something is always better than nothing. Thankfully the gravities aren't hard to work out. I degassed a sample of the beer, and I have to admit I was pretty surprised to see the FG of Fresh Squeezed is 1.018. I was guessing maybe 1.014-1.015 or so. Nonetheless, with an ABV of 6.4%, that puts the OG at 1.068, which makes this beer quite a bit bigger than I was expecting. So with the target gravities in place, there wasn't much else to do other than some color estimates, and guessing at a hopping schedule. As for the yeast, Deschutes uses an English yeast; out of laziness, I'm using American. There's likely going to be a difference as a result, but I've been busy lately and I just didn't have time to make a starter. Sometimes practicality wins out over the sake of exactness. I'm also swapping out Nugget for Apollo, although that one I can't see having much of a difference.
Brew day for this beer was actually pretty fun. Some friends I haven't brewed with came over, and we shot the shit for a few hours while brewing. I haven't brewed in close to 5 months, so I definitely wanted to stretch this batch to 10 gallons to fill up some kegs, if for nothing else. I mashed for 60 minutes followed by a 60 minute boil. I steeped the whirlpool hops for 10 minutes prior to starting to chill. Given I brewed this in mid-October I was actually able to chill it down in a reasonable amount of time.
This beer followed my typical fermentation profile. Starting around 17.2C, ramping up to 18.4, then finally 20C. Dry hops were added directly too the primary after four days, and then after ten days total both fermenters were kegged.
So how did it turn out? Close. The beers look remarkably similar, with the Deschutes beer being maybe one half SRM lighter. Maybe. Clarity is the same, the head is the same, the color is just slightly too dark on mine. The clone's aroma is distinctly 'Fresh Squeezed', but a little too potent. I can't believe I'm saying this, but there's probably 30-50% too much try hopping in my recipe. I could caulk some of the difference up to freshness, but not this much. I'm also picking up on a tiny bit of esters in the aroma of theirs, but it's very slight. That brings us to the next point though. You definitely need English yeast for this beer. I was being lazy and used American yeast, but when tasting the beers, the difference is there. The real beer is that soft, full mouthfeel that IPAs brewed with English yeast have. There's also some esters in the flavor at the finish. The clone, while medium-full in body is missing that 'Britishness' for lack of a better term.
So what would I change? First and foremost, I'm going to try WLP002. That will also probably include a lower mash temperature, as it won't attenuate as well as US05. Next, to address the color issue, I'm thinking of cutting the Crystal 75 back by about 1oz per 6gal batch. Finally I think 2oz of dry hops total is probably more accurate. 3oz total was a little over the top for this beer, and while it tastes absolutely fantastic, Fresh Squeezed just isn't quite as aromatic as the clone is. So that's about it for now. I can definitely say this recipe will get revisited somewhere down the road. Cheers!