Friday, February 7, 2014

Blind Hog IPA & Tasting Session

A beer before the rain

Aroma:  Strongly Simcoe, incorporating a resin like pine note.  Sweetness that I can't pinpoint but I'm sure its hops related.  I get a hint of a rye malt likeness that is very pleasing. I *think* I can smell the Apollo hops, a hint of garlic, just at the threshold of pleasant. 

Appearance:  Golden yellow, small amounts of hop haze but mostly clear.  A perfect 3/4 inch of brite white head adorns the top of the IPA glass.  Nice lacing during the tasting  A thin, yet resilient head stayed on top of the beer until it was refilled.

Flavor:  An IPA lovers IPA.  Piny and resinous.  Just enough sweetness to balance the hop flavors.  Cleanly bittered.  Could be on the stronger side for bittering, but that idea disappears quickly after a couple sips.  I get an arsenal of hops on this one.  Perfect blend of dank, pine and citrus hops.  No diacetyl, no astringency, very cleanly brewed fermentation wise.

Mouthfeel:  Sharp and crisp.  You can tell this beer is very well attenuated.  I'm going back to a IPA drinkers IPA.  Very effervescent and refreshing.  Perfect amount of body per style.

Overall Impression:  This is a great all day drinking beer if you can last that long with the higher ABV.  Almost sessionable if you take away the 6%+ ABV.  I love these beers, with the 4 taps at my house, I always need a beer like this on draft.  This is quickly becoming a house staple recipe.  

Brewing Timeline/Notes:  This was brewed January 13, 2013 and quickly fermented at 63 degrees (starting) No secondary.  This is the second Blind Pig-ish clone brewed using this base recipe.  Recipe is posted below.


Over the last couple years I've become comfortable playing certain types of with hops, The interplay between varietals is beautifully executed when paired correctly.  However, taking the time to learn more of these tricks could take years of potentially questionable finished product.  To speed up the process, I've been looking into (well thought out) clone recipes.  The work that goes into creating a perfect clone is impressive.  Something that is well beyond my current capabilities as a brewer.  I've always looked at brewing beers that focused on recipe formulation, if brewed and fermented well it will almost always create a good beer.  Creating a new beer the final direction isn't set in stone, it might take multiple attempts to nail down.  When creating a clone, you are essentially working backwards creating the recipe, but you understand what it will become.  Having only brewed one true clone, "Janet's Brown" this is idea unfamiliar to me. 

Starting off with a good, well complied recipe is key.  Finding any recipe off the internet or forum is scary.  Potentially placing your time and money on the line for a bad beer.  I focused in on Bertus Brewery, a very detailed homebrewing blog out of Arizona.  (Please check out his thoughts on recipe formulation.) Never having any of his beers, I wanted to look at his attention to detail concerning the recipe.  The breakdown of grains, hops and yeast is critical for a clone.

The goal is creating a Blind Pig Clone, but looking at the hop interplay in the Blind Pig recipe might have more value in the going forward.  We all know the best aspect of any Russian River beer is the hops.  You can break down gravities, IBU's, color or malt balance and it always comes back to the hop interplay first and foremost.  Vinni's ability to mix hop varieties is cutting edge.  Having his recipe displayed in a clone brew might be the best way to fast track some hop brewing knowledge for future recipes, but if this is just about perfect.  Why change a good thing?

Blind Hog #2
American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 13 Jan 2014
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.75 gal Brewer: Lewy
Boil Size: 6.60 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 5.98 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, One Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 40.0
Taste Notes:  See above.
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
13 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 87.8 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 3.4 %
6.4 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.7 %
6.4 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 4 2.7 %
8.0 oz Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 5 3.4 %
0.75 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 31.6 IBUs
0.30 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 15.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 10.6 IBUs
1.15 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 9 -
0.50 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg San Diego Super Yeast (White Labs #WLP090) Yeast 14 -
1.00 oz Amarillo [9.20 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.065 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.8 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.3 %
Bitterness: 57.6 IBUs Calories: 200.7 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 6.8 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs 12.8 oz
Sparge Water: 3.85 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 17.88 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 3.85 gal water at 168.0 F
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 10.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, One Stage Storage Temperature: 39.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation:  Started at 63 with a big pitch of WLP090.  Slowly rising to 71 over 10 days
Created with BeerSmith


  1. Ive done clones in the past, but got away from it for like 4 years until recently I started getting more interested again.. You're line of thinking is interesting with regards to fast tracking brewing knowledge when talking about how certain hops play together in recipes. I think youre on to something, why spend too much time on trial and error when alot of that work has been done for us already.

    1. Ed,

      I brewed an old pale ale recipe 8 times before it was correct. If I could get the hop profile right with a clone and then change/edit/switch the grain bill I think I would be further along in the goal of creating a new beer.

      Thanks for the comment


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!