Just like the Ruination 10th Anniversary clone I brewed, this is a beer that I hadn't planned on cloning. That changed when my fiance and I were back in California, and we happened upon some Pliny and Pig while we were out there. Turns out Kristen loves Blind Pig. I'm not throwing the word 'love' around loosely either; no, she seriously loves that beer. So I added it to my to-brew list. Clone Blind Pig we shall!

Seriously though, it is a really tasty beer. It's pretty low in gravity for an American IPA, but it's rather dry, which keeps it very drinkable. I could drink about 5 pints of Pig, and wouldn't notice until I fell off the bar stool. In terms of a clone recipe, the only thing floating around the internet is the old Blind Pig recipe from like 10 years ago; that's the recipe with oak in it. It'll mark a good starting point for us. The rest of the info I found from interviews, Vinnie's sessions on The Brewing Network, and whatever else I could piece together. I'm fairly confident the grain bill is roughly the same. I'll cut the crystal malt down to around 2%, but that will be the only change. The website says it's 1.058 and 6.1%, that puts our FG around 1.010-1.011.

Now for the hops. First, the hopping amounts are fairly easy, we just halve the Pliny recipe. .5oz @ 30, 1.75oz @ 0 and 2.5oz dry hopped. I've heard Vinnie say a number of times that he likes to blend low cohumulone hops(Magnum, Warrior, etc), in with hops like CTZ and Chinook for bittering. The existing clone recipes cite a healthy dose of Chinook as the only bittering hop, but I didn't find the Pig's bitterness to be that aggressive. So I'll cut out some of the Chinook for Warrior. We'll keep the Cascade at mid-boil and in the finish, but also add Amarillo and Simcoe at flame out. A little Simcoe makes a big flavor impact, so I only added a little bit. Dry hops are Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, and Simcoe.

Brewed: 12-10-12
Dry Hopped: 12-23-12
Kegged: 01-02-13
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.011
ABV: 6.4%
IBU: 58
12 Gallons

23lbs 2-row
1lb Carapils
8oz C40
8oz Wheat
Mash @ 152
1oz Chinook (12.4%) @ 60
1.5oz Warrior (16%) @ 60
1oz Cascade @ 30
2oz Cascade @ 0
.66oz Amarillo @ 0
.66oz Simcoe @ 0
Dry Hop:
2oz Centennial
1oz ea Cascade, Amarillo, Simcoe
WLP001 - California Ale Yeast

There wasn't anything too special about this brew day or fermentation. I did a 60 minute mash, and 60 minute boil. As with most of my hoppy beers, I allowed the flameout hops to steep for 10 minutes before I began chilling the batch. I re-pitched about 125ml of slurry from my Scottish 70/- into each fermenter. Fermentation started at 62F, and I let it rise to about 65F at full krausen. Once things slowed down, I let it ride up to 68F before crashing it prior to racking to secondary. This recipe has one dry hop addition which the beer sat on for 10 days prior to kegging. I would have kegged them sooner, but we were out of town for New Years. I then crashed, fined with gelatin, and force carbed both kegs.

A good friend from the gym is throwing a birthday party in early February, so I designated one of the fermenters for his party. Since I didn't need that keg to be exactly like Blind Pig, I dry hopped it with Citra and Galaxy. I haven't cracked into that keg yet, so the jury is still out there, but I can happily report back on the keg that was dry hopped to recipe.

Results: 98% there

I've only had a few bottles of Blind Pig, so I'm not terribly familiar with all it's nuances. With that said, If this isn't dead-on, it's damn close. Color and clarity are great. Pig is definitely blonde, and this looks the part. Aroma is lots of sweet citrus. Mostly orange and some pine. Grapefruit comes through in spades; very squirt-soda like. It has a big hop aroma, but it's not aggressive or pungent. Not much malt aroma to speak of. The flavor follows the aroma: grapefruit, orange, and a little pine. There's a touch of caramel sweetness, but I'm digging for it. The bitterness is moderate, but no more assertive than many Pale Ales. Mouthfeel isn't too dry which is nice. This is definitely one of those beers where after taking a sip, you immediately want to take another. It makes for an empty pint glass in a hurry.

I'd love to confidently call it cloned, as this tastes identical to the Pig I remember. Unfortunately, I've only had it a couple times, and it's been 5-6 months since my last taste. The only thing that seems slightly different is I remember Pig being slightly more bitter, or at least the perceived bitterness was higher. Fixing that could be as simple as adding some more sulfates to my water, or using a higher ratio of Chinook to Warrior on the bittering addition. If you're a Blind Pig fan, I'd definitely recommend brewing this, and tell me what you think.

**Update**
I had Blind Pig last week, both on draft, and in the bottle. The real version was slightly drier, and had a little more Amarillo character to it than mine. Very close though. The dryness aided in the additional perceived bitterness I picked up. When I re-brew this, I'll go with a hopping schedule closer to the one Brett posted in the comments.


26 Comments

  1. Hi Scott - what's your dry hopping process look like? Are you using loose pellets, etc? Keep up the great work, love the blog!

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    Replies
    1. Rack to secondary, then loose pellets. For awhile I was using a paint-strainer bag over the racking cane to keep the hop debris out of the keg. Lately I've just been cold-crashing the secondary about 24hours before I keg the beer. It drops out all the hop material.

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  2. Recipe per Vinnie (Vague on hop amounts) in Mitch Steele's book on IPAs is:

    93% 2 row
    4% Crystal 40
    3% CaraPils

    Mash at 152

    Blend of CTZ and Chinook at 90
    Amarillo at 30
    Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial at 0

    Dry hop with blend of CTZ, Amarillo, and Cascade for 10 days.

    Aiming for 62 ibus.

    Who knows if its accurate anymore but you were damn close!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very Interesting! When I was piecing together a recipe, that book want out yet. I'm pretty damn positive Blind Pig has less C40 than 4% though. I'm starting to think that Vinnie gives recipes that are close, but not exact. The Hopping I'd believe though. That bittering would give a little more bite that mine needed. Amarillo at 30 wouldn't make much difference. Identical hops at flameout. The dry hop makes sense too.

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    2. Actually, I'm thinking about it, 3-4% C40 could be dead on. We totally love this beer, so I could easily brew this again in the future. The problem will be getting my hands on actual Blind Pig

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  3. I love blind pig, probably even more than the elder to be honest! I'm gonna give it a go in the next few weeks. I was planning on a little less crystal, 4 seems a little heavy for how dry and pale pig is.

    Hell, I have a hard time finding it in California! Hopefully you can get your hands on a little more and get this thing dialed, definitely a beer that needs a solid clone recipe floating around!

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    Replies
    1. I like the look of that dry hop. I'm thinking (5gal batch) 1oz each Amarillo/Cascade, and .5oz CTZ. I might re-brew it n a couple months. It was a big hit around here, and due to a party last Saturday, the keg is already 2/3rd gone.

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  4. Heyas Scott, I live in Cali and get the russian river brews (sometimes its tough). But If you would be interested in doing some beer trades via mail let me know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the offer! I'm pretty sure we get that you don't is Bell's, and the AZ local beers. I'm going to be up at the brewery next month, so I should be able to bring back a couple bottles. Seriously though, thank you! You guys rock

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  5. Excited to hear how the second batch turns out. Have you tapped the keg with Citra and Galaxy yet?

    I know you've mentioned it before but what water profile do you use for your ipas? Do you build from RO?

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    Replies
    1. I pulled a couple sips, but I'm otherwise saving it for a friend's party in two weeks. Heavy mango and tropical fruit aroamas. Flavor follows. The citrus and pine is mostly tossed aside. It's pretty incredible how different two beers can be with only different dry hops.

      RO water, I add Calcium Chloride And Gypsum + 2% acid malt for the pale beers.

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  6. awesome - hope to brew this one soon, though its soon hard as both of my own IPA recipes are so tasty, its hard to branch away!

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  7. Replies
    1. bertusbrewery@gmail.com is the best way.

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  8. I'll be brewing this tomorrow using Wyeast 1469 that I used on the 70/- recipe. I changed up the bittering additions a bit since I didn't have Chinook or warrior, but I think a charge of Bravo @ 60 will do nicely with the aroma hop character. So far I really like the character the 1469 gives to the ales I've brewed with it, but this is the first IPA I'll be brewing with such a low attenuating English ale yeast. Thoughts?

    Honestly, I don't know why I'm posting any of this, only to say, keep up the posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, just got around to replying to this (you've probably brewed it alright.) I haven't used Bravo, but I hear great things about it. You'll never notice that change in a beer like this.

      1469 could be really good in this beer. English yeasts in IPAs generally work great so long as yo drop the mash temp a little bit to help it attenuate. There are a boat-load of world-class IPAs made with English yeasts.

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  9. The recipe in Mitch Steele's book (as mentioned above) doesn't get into extreme detail when it comes to hop amounts. However, the Zymurgy article from a few months ago, where they showcased a bit of his IPA book right before it was released, actually DOES have the recipe with specific hop amounts.

    Just something to compare to if you decide to brew it again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you happen to have the recipe handy? I get Zymurgy, but I throw them away right after reading them.

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    2. Yep, I do... I'll post it here or send you an email tonight or tomorrow (I'm at work and Zymurgy-less right now!).

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    3. For 5 gallons...

      4.44 kg 2-row
      185 g Crystal 40 L
      142 g dextrin malt
      Mash at 153-154 F

      0.25 oz CTZ (16%) and 0.5 oz Chinook (13%) @ 90 min
      0.5 oz Amarillo (7.5%) @ 30 min
      0.5 oz each Cascade, Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe @ 0 min
      0.5 oz each Cascade, Amarillo, CTZ dry-hop for 10 days

      California Ale Yeast

      OG 1.057, FG 1.013, IBU 62

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    4. Pretty close to what I thought. The gravities are way off though. 1.057-1.013 does not equal 6.1%. That's pretty close to where I'll take the recipe though. Probably a pinch more dry hops, a pinch more bittering, and we'll be there.

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    5. I forgot to mention, thanks! That really helps

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    6. No problem! And I was wondering about the gravities as well... maybe someone at Zymurgy just did their best take on Steele's recipe and wrote it up for the magazine themselves. Wouldn't be the first time someone messed up a bit and it got missed.

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  10. brewed this about 10 days ago, but changed the hop schedule a little based on your comments. just stuck the dryhop basket in the conical last night - but went with 2oz Columbus, 2oz Simcoe, 1oz amarillo 1oz cascade to up the 'dank/pine' ratio. will let you know how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should be realllly tasty. Let me know how it turns out!

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