As I mentioned in my Micro Pale Ale post, we've got a big party coming up very soon, and I need to get some beers cranked out fast. All my friends will definitely expect a good IPA on tap, but I need something I can turn out in three weeks flat. After flipping through some past recipes, I realized the Blind Pig clone I brewed awhile back would be a good fit. It's a little lower in alcohol than the typical IPA, and the bright crisp hop notes taste good even when the beer is young.
Anytime I revisit a recipe, I always try to improve it where I can. This beer was excellent the first time around, but it wasn't quite Blind Pig. Close, but not quite. So based on the recipes a few people posted in the comments, and my own thoughts after tasting the clone and the real beer, I made a few changes. First I nudged the C40 up a hair. Secondly, the hopping incorporates a little more Amarillo, and a little more CTZ, with just a little less Cascade and Centennial. Finally I'm using Super San Diego Yeast because I'm in a hurry, and I can re-pitch slurry from my Micro Pale that's done fermenting.
Another simple and easy brew day, although it was very windy, which I really don't like while brewing. I think I've gone a solid 6 months without changing around any equipment or techniques, which has been very nice. I'm finding it much easier to get into a groove while brewing, as I can more or less run on 'auto-pilot'. Also, I'm getting batches knocked out faster due to multitasking better. Start to finish, this was a 3hr 45min brew day, which is awesome!
Anyway, 60min mash, 60min boil, 20min whirlpool for the hops, and then I chilled to 62F. I hit the wort with 90sec of O2 before pitching 160ml of 090 slurry. This batch was done fermenting in roughly four days, and you can see the fermentation temperature profile below.
Dry Hopped: 04-29-13
Mash @ 151*
.3oz Apollo @ 60
.75oz CTZ @ 60
.5oz Amarillo @ 30
.5oz ea: Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial @ 0
WLP090 - Super San Diego Yeast
Dry Hop: .5oz ea: Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo, CTZ
I only sat on the dry hops for a few days, as (once again) we're in quite a hurry with this batch. So into the keg it went with some gelatin before carbing it up.
We're evaluating this a little young, but it's settled in over the past few days in the keg. It turned out pretty incredible. This batch has everything I liked about the last batch, but with a bigger hop note, that's less Cascade-centric. It's still a bit cloudy, as I was sloppy when I racked it into the keg, but it's slowly clearing up. Color looks identical to last time, and it has a fluffy white head that lasts forever. The aroma is similar to how I remember it before, but the Amarillo is coming through more. Lots of citrus and orange notes. There's a little pine, but much less grapefruit than last time. The flavor and body are spot on: Big hops, a little sweet malt, and then a crisp assertive bitterness in the finish. Small side note: The yeast change didn't seem to make any real impact on flavor.
So, is it cloned? It's pretty damn close. The only difference is the hop aroma isn't quite as big as fresh Blind Pig. I found Blind Pig to be nearly as hoppy as PTE, only it's hops were more citrusy, and less piney. I'd be tempted to use the same dry hop, only add 25% more, and see how it turns out.
For a beer to serve at a party though, this turned out absolutely 100% perfect. It has a big beautiful citrusy aroma, with a clean flavor, and a crisp finish. This is a really well crafted IPA recipe, and now the party has come and gone, I can say it was quite the crowd pleaser. Thanks for all the comments on the last clone attempt; we're almost there. And finally, thanks to all our friends that came over to help my sister and I celebrate. Cheers!