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Dr. Dink

1554 Black Ale Clone (BIAB)

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Made my 1st AG tonight. After a lot of research, I finally brewed up my 1554 Clone using the Brew In A Bag Method. I thoroughly enjoyed the process:

BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com
Recipe: 1554 Clone
Brewer: Dr. Dink
Style: Belgian Specialty Ale
TYPE: All Grain (BIAB)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 2.13 gal
Boil Size: 2.44 gal
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG
Estimated Color: 26.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 19.2 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 67.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
2 lbs 13.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 59.3 %
8.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 10.5 %
8.0 oz Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 10.5 %
8.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 10.5 %
5.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 6.5 %
1.9 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 2.5 %
0.10 oz Magnum [14.50%] (60 min) Hops 10.9 IBU
0.10 oz Magnum [14.50%] (30 min) Hops 8.4 IBU
1.50 gm Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs SafLager West European Lager (Yeast-Lager)


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.74 lb
----------------------------
Mash In Add 6.00 qt of water at 170.4 F
Step Temp 158.0 F, Step Time 60 min

Here is the guided tour:

First, Pour A Glass Of You Tasty Homebrew: Granny's Dutch Apple Ale (and when your wife takes your glass of brew because it has aged nicely, make sure you have another one at the ready).

1554016.jpg

Bring Mash Water To 170 Degrees:
1554006.jpg

Try Not To Blow The Top Off Your Floating Thermometer (Make Sure You Have a Spare):

1554011.jpg

Dough In @ 155-160 Degrees For 60 Minutes:

1554012.jpg

Take The Kids On A 20 Minute Jeep Ride To Kill Time:

1554.jpg

Heat Sparge Water To 170 Degrees:

1554010.jpg

Remove Grains & Strain:

1554009.jpg

Tea Bag (Steep) Grains In Sparge Water For 10 Minutes:

1554003.jpg

Mix Mash Water With Sparge Water, Check Gravity (mine was 1.035 or 67% efficiency), Bring To Boil, and add 60 minute Hops:

1554005.jpg

Dump Spent Grains:

1554015.jpg

Add 30 Minute Hops:

1554004.jpg

Add Irish Moss During The Last 10 Minutes Of The Boil:

1554013.jpg

Remove From Heat, Cool In An Ice Water Bath To Below 90 Degrees:

1554008.jpg

Transfer To Fermentor:

1554002.jpg

Whisk Vigorously And Take OG (Mine was 1.043, 10 points low, but well within style):

1554001.jpg

Add Yeast, Wait Ten Minutes:

1554014.jpg

And Whisk Until Your Arm Falls Off:

1554007.jpg

Place In A 65-68 Degree Environment And Follow the 2-2-2.

I'll post an update once she starts churning!

Text recipe file attached. Enjoy! [file name=1554_Clone.txt size=1751]http://community.mrbeer.com/media/kunena/attachments/legacy/files/1554_Clone.txt[/file]

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Very nice! Great pictorial! Did you taste the wort ...not that it's going to give you any idea of the outcome but I always find it interesting.

Also interesting that your starting gravity was lower than expected (within bounds) ...mine was too. My overall efficiency (after making sure that my liquids were up to bottom of the Q on Quart) were surprisingly poor.

I very much like that mash in a bag method. I think that is a technique that will get more and more popular.

Mine churned like nuts ...to the point of some slight spill overs ..not much but a few cleanups with a cloth were required. The most krausen of all my brews so far.

Looks great ..can't wait to hear a report!

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I tasted it a little, but it was still pretty gritty with sediment so I didn't get a fair enough tasting. I think I can improve my efficiency by using a better crush and adding a quart more water, but I'll live with 67% for my first AG. I pretty much did a full wort boil and I'm thinking a second sparge cycle might help.

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Very nice Dr. D. The BIAB method really gets rid of valid excuses for staying away from AG ... doesn't it?

I especially like the extra details you put in there. "Wife takes your glass" ... "Take the kids on 20 minute jeep ride".

I have read that for BIAB, your efficiency will be low. Doesn't DRock say his efficiency is in the 60s as well? It sure sounds like you did well here.

How did you decide on 6qt for the "mash in"?

Did you find it difficult at all to keep your mash at the right temp?

How much water did you use for the sparge?

Did you have to leave any liquid behind in the pot after transferring to the Mr. Beer keg?


Thanks for posting. I am really looking forward to hearing how it tastes.

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Fermentor temp is holding at a perfect 63 degrees and she's churning away with a beautiful, thick layer of krausen.

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How did you decide on 6qt for the "mash in"? It's calculated in Beersmith. It's about 1.25 quarts for every pound of grain in a medium bodied mash. Once you dial in your equipment, this number gets more exact.

Did you find it difficult at all to keep your mash at the right temp? Not at all. As long as you get your mash in temp right, you shouldn't lose too much heat over the hour. Again, this depends on your equipment. You can easily test your equipment by heating up some water and monitoring how much the temp drops over an hour, just remember that adding grains will drop your temp immediately 10-15 degrees at mash in.

How much water did you use for the sparge? I use 1.5 gallons. This was an educated guess that paid off. I only had to add 5 cups of water to top of the fermentor after the boil. I feel this is the step that could help improve my efficiency. I will probably sparge for 10 minutes, drain, stir the bag, and sparge again for another 10 minutes.

Did you have to leave any liquid behind in the pot after transferring to the Mr. Beer keg? Nothing left in the pot but the sediment from the cold break. I like full wort boils and only needing to add about a quart of water to top off the fermentor is exactly what I was hoping for. Just remember that full wort boils require a quicker cool down since you are not going to be cooling it down much with cold water added to the fermentor.

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Nice work, Dink!
If efficiency was a pissing contest, I'd be laughed out of the Bathroom...

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D Rock wrote:

Nice work, Dink!
If efficiency was a pissing contest, I'd be laughed out of the Bathroom...

I hear ya there. I think I'm going to hang out with BNB on brew day and see what he is doing to get his above 70%.

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Wow that knocks another excuse out of the window for going all grain. That looks super easy. I just need the time now. Thanks for the great pictures.

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Bottled this up tonight. FG was 1.011 for an ABV of 4.2%. Sample was awesome. Clearly similar to the profile of a 1554. I carbed with 54 grams of pure cane and I'm hoping the carb is within style. I can tell this is going to be a house brew.

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This recipe sold me on an ultimate kit, many thanks!! I love the 1554.
It wont be my first recipe, I got to learn what im doing first.
A few questions from a new brewer, Where did you get the giant bag?
Also, is that a 3 gallon pot your using? also, where are you getting the ingredients for this? (if you can mention it)
Thanks for posting this! 1554 is my Favorite.

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grajin wrote:

Where did you get the giant bag? At my local homebrew shop. It's 15x23, but I think I'll get a 24x24.
Also, is that a 3 gallon pot your using? I use a 12qt pot for the Mash and a 15qt pot for the boil.
also, where are you getting the ingredients for this? Brewers Connection in Tempe(my LHBS).
Thanks for posting this! 1554 is my Favorite. You're Welcome!

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I just bottled my partial mash up today too. The sample tasted very close to me, but I'll reserve judgment until it has been conditioned and I can taste side-by-side.

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Dr. Dink wrote:

Bottled this up tonight. FG was 1.011 for an ABV of 4.2%. Sample was awesome. Clearly similar to the profile of a 1554.

Isn't it time for a cheater yet? Been waiting to hear how your clone turned out! :)

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I'm putting them in the fridge tonight. Might be forced to pop one open once they are chilled.

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OK, threw these in the conditioning fridge for maybe 3 hours and decided to pop open the trub bottle. Wow the deep mahogany color was spot on and pours a creamy, thick mocha color head that dissipated moderately fast as designed. I think I nailed the carb spot on. The nose picks up a a strong chocalately smell with hints of roasted coffee a slight sweetness like a raisin. Now for a taste...oh my this is a great brew. Perfect balance of sweet, malty, and mild hops. Medium mouthfill that goes down smooth. The chocolate flavor is clearly dominant and the sweetness hits the front of the tongue and dissipates to a slight hoppiness as it travels across the palate. Surprisingly it stills has the characteristics of a lager, though it was fermented at ale temps, very similar to a Schwarzbier, with less carb. Alot cleaner than I expected, considering it was the trub bottle and definitely did not have the grittiness I usually taste in darker brews.

I give this recipe my vote of approval. BREW IT UP!. I will do a side by side tasting with 1554 as soon as this brew makes it through the conditioning phase (if I can hold out that long).

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Too cool! Congrats on the brew and thanks for the write-up! I was amazed at the clean flavour even though it was at Ale temps too. Although I did think it smelled like Worcestershire sauce while fermenting.

Congrats!

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Sounds great. My attempt is still carbing. Might have to pop one open early. Might be a good New Year's Eve taste. Just have to be careful to make sure I do not drink more than one (or two or three) so that I can let it condition some.

You say you nailed the carb right on. You might have said, but I did not see when I just did a quick scan. How did you carb it (how much / what kind of sugar / etc...)

Anyway, congrats on the great brew.

:stout:

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esheppy wrote:

Sounds great. My attempt is still carbing. Might have to pop one open early. Might be a good New Year's Eve taste. Just have to be careful to make sure I do not drink more than one (or two or three) so that I can let it condition some.

You say you nailed the carb right on. You might have said, but I did not see when I just did a quick scan. How did you carb it (how much / what kind of sugar / etc...)

Anyway, congrats on the great brew.

:stout:

54 grams of pure cane.

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I've drank a few of these and was a little concerned that I didn't quite hit the hop profile of a 1554. I knew I nailed the recipe style, but I wasn't 100% I cloned a 1554. Tonight was the night for the taste test so let's start with a pour pic:

15541.jpg

My clone is on the left in the Firestone glass, the 1554 is on the right in the Karl Strauss glass. I poured straight down the center and as you can see, the 1554 has a huge head with a much better head retention, but in all fairness these 2 brews are carbed with different priming agents. I let them settle a bit:

15542.jpg

As you can see, the 1554 has a slight dark red tint, while mine pours a deep dark black, with virtually no red tint. My guess is that the black patent really darkened it up. BNB suggested maybe Carafa II might be a good substitute for the black patent. I bet that it would also help with the color. Mine isn't as clear either, so I wonder if filtering my beer would have helped let some light in and show off more red color.

On both brews, the nose hits with a slight hoppy presence, not overpowering but definitely aromatic and nearly identical. I would say the hop presence was a little more prevalent in the 1554, but almost impossible to tell the difference.

Now for a swig of both. Even though the 1554 had a much creamier head, their is zero difference in carbonation. Rolls across the palate smoothly like a schwarzbier, with a slight bubble presence on the back of the tongue. I nailed the carb!

So how about taste. On first swallow, it's really hard to tell the difference. Upon further examination, I notice the 1554 does have a hair more bitterness than the clone, but again it's almost unnoticeable.

About halfway through both glasses, I actually found myself preferring mine over the 1554. It just seemed cleaner and less heavy. It's almost like my is a diet version of 1554 with all the flavor and mouthfeel. It's definitely a sessionable brew.

I'm not turning my back on extract brewing just yet, but I'm hooked on AG brewing and will spend a lot more time building my own AG recipes. This is clearly the best beer I have ever brewed. The fact that it is an ale made from a dry lager yeast and still matched the characteristics of the original recipe blew me away. Not to toot my own horn, but I would easily pay for this brew in a pub.

I'm declaring this brew successfully cloned, but I am going to brew it up again and see if I can't get the color a little closer to the original. I also want to see how this recipe handles forced carbonation, and/or beer gas, but that'll have to wait until the keg fairy visits my house.

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Great post!! Been waiting for your writeup!

Isn't AG cool!? The 1554 is pretty heavy, I could but wouldn't want to drink more than one of theirs and felt the same way - I liked mine better (except the body, that needs improvement).

It sounds like you came pretty darned close - darned good for your first creation! Much closer than I came. I'm going to have to go back and re-read your recipe!

Congrats!!

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Also, read this today:

"Young beer can produce a large foamy head that quickly dies away."

Don't know if that's what you're dealing with but it's a thought.

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Enjoyed this series. Gives me something to shoot for once my feet are a little more wet. The big bag method is certainly easier than the straining I did on my first grain attempt earlier this week. Need to make another trip to the LHBS...

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Go Vikes!!!!

I feel inspired.  I read this while finishing my third 1554 for the night.

I will be attempting this in 5 brews. 

Note to self follow the yellow brick road.

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