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Recipe – Hobgoblin Clone

22/04/2014

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I rarely try to clone commercial beers although often I draw inspiration from them. This recipe though is an attempt to make a version of Wychwood brewerys Hobgoblin, an unusual beer in the sense that my girlfriend – who doesn’t usually enjoy beer – drinks Hobgoblin when it’s on tap. It’s a nice malty ale that has a slight bitterness and a pleasant toffee thing going on. This is my second version, the first one had a bit too much bitterness and it also was one of those batches that eventually over-carbonated in the bottle which has happened a couple of times with low-atenuating English yeasts. It seems that bottling with the priming sugar “wakes up” the yeast and it ends up eating both the priming sugar and some of the previously untouched sugars in the beer resulting in too much CO2. Now that I have a kegging setup I decided to have another go at brewing this nice English ale.

The recipe is based on a malt bill of Maris Otter, Dark Crystal and Chocolate malts, all from Thomas Fawcett & Sons. For hops I used some Fuggles and Kent Goldings. The original beer has Styrian Goldings and Fuggles but since the two are almost identical (Styrian Goldings are Fuggles grown in Slovenia) I can get away with using a bit of Kent Goldings in the bittering addition and Fuggles in the (very slight) aroma addition. This beer is not about the hops so when brewing it any hop of the Goldings family would do in my opinion. The key is to get the balance of malt sweetness and bitterness right which leads us to the third factor, yeast. I wanted the beer to have a bit of malt body left so a lower attenuating English yeast was called for. Usually this means taking the risk of ordering a pack of liquid yeast but luckily my online shop has started to carry the Mangrove Jack line of yeasts. All the “Craft” mumbo aside, I’m really hopeful as the line has two English strains that they claim give an estery English character. There have been English dry yeast strains available before but of the neutral kind so if these turn out to be good it would mean cutting down the risk of ordering liquid yeast from abroad, something I’m always a bit apprehensive to do especially in the summer. For this beer I chose the “UK Dark Ale M03” strain with medium attenuation and dark fruit flavours which sounds good for a hobgoblin clone. This beer is already on tap and after it settles down a bit we’ll do a tasting comparing it with the bottled version of the real thing.

Recipe

—————-
Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 3,55 / 7,82
Anticipated OG: 1.049
Anticipated SRM: 37,9
Anticipated IBU: 16,8
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—————–
88,0%  3,1 kg / 6,83 lbs  – Maris Otter pale ale, Thomas Fawcett
8,0%    300g / 0,66 lbs  – Dark Crystal malt, Thomas Fawcett
4,0%    150g  / 0,33 lbs   – Chocolate malt, Thomas Fawcett

Hops
——–
15,0g / 0,52 oz. Kent Goldings @ 60 min for 11,1 IBU
5,0g / 0,17 oz. Fuggles @ 60 min for 2,8 IBU
10,0g / 0,35 oz. Fuggles @ 15 min for 3,0 IBU

Extras
———-
½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
1 Quarter Teaspoon Calcium Chloride in mash

Yeast
———
Mangrove Jacks UK Dark Ale Yeast M03 rehydrated

Mash
———————–
22 Litre BIAB @ 67 Celsius for 75 mins (5,8Gal/152F)

 

7/4 Uneventful mash and boil, hit my numbers, chilled the wort and racked to a better bottle. Rehydrated the yeast and shook for two minutes. Ambient temperatures are rising, room temperature at 21 centigrade.

8/4 Fermentation really vigorous, temperature 3 centigrade above ambient and the blow of tube is not bubbling but rather full on blowing co2. Time to get that fermentation fridge…

13/4 Racked to a keg with gelatin and 30 grams of table sugar boiled in a bit of water. Left to naturally carbonate.

20/4 Lifted to kegerator, poured a pint of yeasty beer out. Left to settle.

Tasting here – a drinkable beer but not a good clone of the real thing.

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