Sunday, June 8, 2014

Angel Boots - A Zombie Dust Inspired Beer

From time to time, a friend will ask me if I can create a certain type of beer, although I've never been asked to clone a particular beer. This was my first foray into such a task.

You can find tons of clone recipes online by using a search engine, entering the name of the beer followed by "clone recipe".

Zombie Dust is an "American Pale Ale" made by 3Floyds in Munster, Indiana.  Even though this is a 6.2%, 50 IBU beer, according to their website, (Ratebeer has this listed at 60 IBU and 6.4% ABV) for all intents and purposes, it could easily be mistaken for an IPA from anywhere else. Hi there. Welcome to northwest Indiana. The beer is tender on the bitterness and big on the nose - lots of dry hops in here.  When it first came out, it was known to be made with Citra hops, a very popular hop for IPAs these days, but many people have said that the beer is finished with Amarillo as well.

I started off with this recipe to base my clone on.  The Melanoidin malt shows up here.  I remember when searching for Alpha King recipes that this was also used.  I've used the malt in one beer, thinking it would make the beer red, but it was still more bronze/gold than red, even though I used a full pound in that beer.

I had plenty of crystal malts lying around, and so I ended up substituting these for the crystal malts used in this recipe.

Angel Boots
5.5 gallon batch
OG: 1.062
FG: 1.014
SRM: 7.8
IBU: 68

12 lbs 2-Row malt
1 lb Munich malt
0.5 lb CaraPils malt
0.5 lb Baird's Carastan malt
0.5 lb Belgian Aromatic malt

0.7 oz Citra First Wort Hop
1.0 oz Citra @15 min.
1.0 oz Citra @10 min.
1.3 oz Citra @5 min.
1.0 oz Citra @0 min.
2.0 oz Citra Dry Hop
4.0 oz Amarillo Dry Hop

White Labs London Yeast WLP013

Mashed in the grain at 154*F for 90 minutes.  Nailed the 6.25 gallons I wanted.  Got somewhere between 5.0 and 5.5 gallons after the boil.  Made 45 bottles after transfers. I also drained about a quarter of the wort through my counterflow chiller before I dropped the 0 minute hop addition into the kettle. I made a 2 liter starter with the yeast, decanted, and pitched at 62-64*F for about 11 days.  Then I transferred the beer into a conical onto the dry hops, so I could harvest the yeast from the primary fermenter.

I bottled this, and after 11 days, the carbonation was really good.  Should actually wait 3 weeks.  Here is what it looks like:

Taste is not as hoppy as an IPA, but the overall bitterness and flavor is great, and it's well-rounded.  The English yeast adds a nice sweetness. Once again, the dry hop aroma is good, but I have never been impressed by the aroma coming off my beers compared to other beers I've drank that are dry-hopped.  Not sure if that's because of the old hop bags I'm using, the temperature (64*F for 10 days) or what. I used 6 oz of hops, and that's more than I've ever used.  Any suggestions or stories that are similar to mine would be great to hear about in the comments.  

I found this picture of Zombie Dust for color comparison: