Friday, April 8, 2011

Magic Hat #9 Revisited

I've been thinking a little bit more than I should about Magic Hat's #9 lately.  I don't plan on brewing this beer anytime soon, although I wouldn't mind having 5 gallons of this in my house.  I've brewed a clone of Magic Hat #9 before with some success.

Two things have brought me back to thinking of this beer.  The first was an email that I get from Magic Hat (in fact, I signed up on BOTH of my email addresses to get this newsletter/email) that suggested making a drink called Black Magic, a Black and Tan style drink with Magic Hat #9 and "your favorite stout".  I have just brewed a Rye Stout that I call "Roosevelt Franklin" that I should have a post about next week.  I just had one of these beers last night, and it is finally ready.

In case you were wondering, the Magic Hat #9 would go in first.  You don't need the special spoon, you can just bend one, but here's a nice video courtesy of the Brooklyn Brew Shop, who have some pretty interesting sounding recipe kits you can buy:

I also found an old Can You Brew It podcast where they cloned the Magic Hat #9. I based my original recipe on a recipe from the book Clone Brews. My recipe used Marris Otter, and a half pound of Crystal 60L, Cascade and Columbus hop additions exactly opposite of what was suggested by the head brewer of Magic Hat on the podcast.  Still, I thought the beer was very close to the original, and I enjoyed it.  The recipe they came up with on the show was something like:

Magic Hat #9

6 gallons
OG: 1.045
IBU: ~20
SRM: 6

9.92 lbs pale malt (Marris Otter)
0.20 lbs Crystal 80

¼ oz Columbus @ 60 min
½ oz Cascade @ 30 min

White Labs WLP002 Yeast or Wyeast 1098 British Ale 

Mash temp 152*F

Ferment @ 68*F

On the podcast, they used 5 oz of Apricot flavoring in 5 gallons of beer, or the keg.  If you're bottling, you can't just add more to each bottle once the caps are on.  However, you buy the Brewer's Best Apricot extract in 4 oz bottles, and having made 5 gallons of the beer and adding 4 oz of the Apricot extract to the bottling bucket, I can verify that it was not enough.  Brewer's Best suggests 5 oz in 5 gallons, the guys at Can You Brew It also suggested this, so I think that this should be the correct amount.

I should also note that on Magic Hat's web site, they are now using Cascade and Apollo hops in the #9.  At around 20 IBU, this probably won't matter, although Jamil says in another podcast that you can taste the difference between 1 IBU. (I'm rolling my eyes at that.  This is as bad as the stereo-philes in the 80s saying they could tell the difference between a clean record and a CD.  Maybe you can, Jamil, but the average beer drinker, I assure you, can NOT).

In my recipe, I'm upping the malts to 10 lbs Marris Otter and .25 lbs of Crystal 80, because of my efficiency. I'm showing an OG of 1.053 in Promash, so if I hit anything between 1.045 and 1.053, I'll be happy.

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