I was going to hold off brewing this for another month or so, but screw it, I want some Younger now! Kristen and I were recently back in California, and made our way up to RRBC to try Younger; it was awesome. So I shuffled around some beers, and I’m brewing this next.
I’ll keep this post on the shorter side because I’ve written about this before. My first clone attempt was here, and it turned out really close. After trying Younger now, I can tell that my clone was a little too fruity, and not quite piney or dank enough. Younger’s Fruity/citrus to pine/dank ratio was pretty much on par with my Elder clone (which also tells me that recipe wasn’t dank enough).
To extrapolate that up to Younger, I grouped the hops into two categories. Fruity/Citrusy (Amarillo, Centennial), and Pine/Dank (CTZ, Simcoe, Chinook). Then calced the ratios of each recipe. My Younger clone was 54% fruity, 46% pine. My Elder clone was 47% fruity, 53% pine. I wanted a little more pine yet, so I revised the dry hop schedule for my Younger clone, and came in at 42% fruity, 58% pine. The odd ball is Warrior (I left it out of my percentages). I read a couple articles that mentioned Vinnie using Warrior in the dry hop for PTY, and this year using more than before. I’m tossing in 3/4oz for shits and giggles. I can’t see it making a massive difference.
On the malt side, we’re cutting the C40 down to 2.5%, as my beer was just slightly more orange than theirs. I also decided to cut the dextrose back to 5%, and make up the difference with 2-row. I’ll use a different mash schedule (a la Firestone Walker) to ensure I hit the attenuation numbers I need to. 1.088 OG is the goal, with 1.006 as the final. I’m not sure I’ll get quite that low, but 1.008 or lower will be perfect.
I dropped by the LHBS mid-week to pick up some 001, and then whipped up a 3L starter so it had plenty of time to crash before Sunday. We’ve been so busy lately, that I haven’t brewed anything in roughly a month. It’s nice to finally have a quiet weekend so that I can knock out a batch.
It was an easy, lazy-Sunday brew day. I took my time for once, and had a relaxing afternoon. 75min rest at 145*, then held 155* for 10, sparged, and then boiled for 90min. I chilled to 60F or so, and took 5.25gal into the fermenter at 1.090. Oxygenated for 90sec with pure O2, pitched the yeast, and buttoned up the fermenter. Set the controller to 16.7C on the fermenter fridge, and cleaned up.
Mash @ 145* for 75min then 155* for 10min
35ml Hop Extract @ 90
5ml Hop Extract @ 45
10g CTZ @ 45
1.5oz Simcoe @ 30
2.5oz Simcoe @ 0
1.5oz Centennial @ 0
1.0oz Amarillo @ 0
.5oz Chinook @ 0
WLP001 – Cali Ale Yeast – 350 Billion Cells
DH1: .5oz ea: Simcoe/Amarillo/Warrior
DH2: 1oz ea: CTZ/Centennial
DH3: .5oz ea Simcoe/Chinook + .25oz Warrior
DH4: 1oz ea Simcoe/Amarillo
Fermentation took off very fast. I had actually planned to hit the wort with another dose of O2 after 12 hours, but there was already a nice krausen forming. On the 3rd day, I nudged the temp controller to 18C (64F), and then slowly began to raise the temp up over the next few days until I hit 68F on day 7. At one week pretty much all activity ceased, and I tossed the first hop addition into the primary for four days. Then I racked the beer into a keg (secondary), added the second dose of dry hops, and purged with C02. I’m playing around with one of those Dry Hoppers from Stainless Brewing. So far it’s working well, and hop utilization seems good. I can easily pull out the old dry hops, and it’s easy to clean and sanitize. The next two additions went in four days after each other, purging with CO2 every time I cracked the lid on the keg. Lastly, I fined with gelatin, and carbed the beer.
I missed my attenuation mark by 2-4 points. I’m not sure what more I could have done with this grain bill to drive the attenuation lower though. I pitched a very healthy slug of yeast, plenty of nutrients, tons of O2, and I carefully controlled the temperature. I think the only two options would have been to pitch more yeast, or use more dextrose (I’m leaning towards the dextrose). In reality, the difference is barely noticeable considering how big this beer is.
So let’s get to how it tastes:
Color and clarity is flipping spot on. This beer is about 1SRM lighter than last years attempt, which looks perfect. The head fades quickly as most high ABV beers tend to do. The aroma is big, clean, massive hops. Tons of pine, tons of citrus, a little dank, a little stone fruit. I want to smell this beer as much as I want to drink it. As best as I can remember, this aroma smells identical. The flavor is massive hop at first followed by some clean alcohol, then a drying bitterness. The alcohol has a sweetening effect that counters the punchy bitterness. All in all, it finishes very clean on the palate. The mouthfeel is medium, bordering on medium-full. I think this is the one area I could have gotten closer to the real thing. I would have liked to have seen this beer dried out to 1.006-1.007.
So is it cloned? Yes. The flavor and aroma are identical to what I had up in Santa Rosa. I’ll excuse the slightly fuller mouthfeel. Side-by-side I’d bet one could tell the difference between the two, but be unable to distinguish which is the real Younger, and which was the clone. That’s good enough for me.
Would I change anything with the recipe. Ya. a little. I’d use a little more dextrose to help dry the beer out. Probably 1.33lbs or maybe even 1.5lbs. I’d drop the 2-row down to compensate. I might even use a little less Amarillo in the dry hop too. Maybe go with 1-1.25oz, and make up the difference with CTZ. That’s a very, very small change though. This, for all intensive purposes is Younger. For anyone looking to take this beer on, there are three really critical things.
– It needs to attenuate very low
– You need to source very fresh hops
– You have to be very, very careful about oxidation.
My batch this year tastes much fresher and has a much bigger hop aroma than last year’s. I attribute that to the fact that I gassed everything with CO2, multiple times.
So that’s a wrap. I’ll stake the flag and claim this is definitely the best beer I’ve brewed to date. As such, it’s been very hard to resist drinking this on a nightly basis. This one is highly recommended. Brew it, drink it, enjoy it.