Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bell's Two Hearted Ale Clone

As much as I love NEIPA I also really enjoy other more traditional IPAs. For me there will always be a special place for Bell’s Two Hearted ale. It was the first craft beer I had that really blew me away. It tasted so different and foreign from everything I had that I had to try more. When I first moved back to Texas there was a severe lack of options on the beer shelf at the liquor store, however, after some of our laws changed we’ve been experiencing an influx of new options. Yet out of them all there was one large brewery that we still don’t have that I wanted more than the others. That would be Bell’s. Luckily a few months ago the announced their decision to finally expand distribution to Texas, now I will have room in my suitcase when I visit Michigan for beers other than the 15 pack of Two Hearted.

Oddly enough I’ve never attempted a clone of Two Hearted. My guess was because after my first IPA attempts I decided not to brew IPAs until I started kegging and when I started kegging I was fascinated with NEIPAs, so that’s all I brewed. I figured it was finally time to brew one since I had the left over hops from my Celebration ale clone and all of the required base malt. The first step was determining the yeast I needed. I knew Bell’s used a specific house yeast strain, but I had to figure out what would be closest. After some research I gathered that Cal ale V was probably the closest thing to Bell’s house yeast if you can’t culture it from one of their bottles (they bottle condition and I’ve heard their pale ale is your best option if you can go that route). If you do a little research you can also find the clone recipe that John Mallet gave out for Two Hearted, which is helpful since their website doesn’t provide much information. I did find it odd that the clone recipe has a different starting gravity than the website.

As far as the brew day goes it was a little strange. I thought I came in under gravity, but I think I was just measuring my gravity incorrectly. I’ve changed the way I measure my pre-boil gravity as a result. I now either vigorously stir or wait for the wort to come to a boil before I pull some off and chill it. This process gives me a more accurate measurement. However, this time I ended up adding some DME to bring the gravity up, which subsequently brought it over my target, requiring me to add water later in the boil to balance it out. All in all it worked out.

Beer Stats
Batch size: 5 Gallons
Boil time: 75 minutes
Est Original Gravity: 1.066
Measured Original Gravity: 1.066
Measured Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV: 7.1%
SRM: 5.9o
IBU: 47

Grain Bill
10lbs Briess 2-row malt
2.85lbs Pale Ale malt
0.5lbs Cara-40 malt
0.5lbs Acid Malt

Hop Schedule
45 minutes – Centennial – 1.2 ounces
30 minutes – Centennial – 1.2 ounces
5 Days Dry hop – Centennial – 3 ounces

Mash schedule
151F single infusion for 60 minutes

1.5L starter of WLP051

7/29/16 – Brewed by myself. Mashed with SAWS water, pH 5.28 added 5 grams of gypsum and 0.5 grams of CaCl. Sparged with RO water. Chilled to 82F, the best I can do with my ground water in the summer and placed in the chest freezer to bring down to 65F. Oxygenated with pure O2 for 45 sec then pitched yeast when proper temperature was achieved. Fermentation temperature set to 68F

7/28/16 – Temperature increased to 70F

8/5/16 – Dry hops added and temperature set to 60F for pilsner fementation

8/10/16 – Beer placed in chest freezer to cold crash, gravity down to 1.012

8/17/16 – Beer racked to keg and placed CO2 set to 30psi

8/19/16 – CO2 lowered to serving pressure

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