Help with Firestone Sucaba (Abacus) Clone
I'm taking a shot at formulating a recipe for Sucaba. I'm not very experienced in doing this from scratch, so I'd appreciate any thoughts you all might have. Info from Firestone Walker's website is below the recipe. Thank you for any input!
This is for a 2.5 gallon batch:
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast British Ale 1098
Yeast Starter: Yes
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: Maybe Super High Gravity yeast?
Batch Size (Gallons): 2.5
Original Gravity: 1.112
Final Gravity: 1.022
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 37 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 Days at 65 degrees
Secondary Fermentation: 1 Year on 5 oz. toasted oak chips? (I've never oaked)
Estimated ABV: 11.79 according to Brewmaster’s Warehouse Brew Builder. Without super high gravity yeast it says 10.87. How do I get it to 13%?
5 lbs. Briess Pale Ale Malt
3.5 lbs. Crisp Maris Otter
1.5 lbs. Caramel Munich
6 oz. Briess 2 Row Caramel 120
6 oz. Briess 2 Row Caramel 20
4 oz. Crisp Chocolate Malt
Single Infusion mash for 60 minutes at 152 degrees.
Boil & Hops
90 Minute boil.
0.65 oz Bravo at 60 min.
0.5 oz. Kent Goldings at 25 min.
0.5 oz. Kent Goldings at 10 min.
Here’s what I found on Firestone Walker’s website:
style Barrel Aged Barley Wine
malts Munton's Pale, Crisp Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Dark & Light Crystal, Chocolate
hops Bittering—Bravo; Late Kettle—East Kent Golding
how did this one turn out? Im looking to do a clone of this too
I have not had to use super high gravity yeast to accomplish high abv's. I've never attempted to break 13%, but I have made it over 12% with no issues, using only standard California ale yeast. My recipes were designed to come out around 12%, but I'm sure it could have made 13 or 14.
You will need a strong yeast starter. It might not be a bad idea to start by making a regular batch of pale ale using the British ale yeast, then pitching onto the yeast cake.
And a year is definitely too long for oak chips.
the brew builder, while a decent tool for approximation, isn't the best recipe calculator out there IMO. try putting your recipe in another tool (brewtoad, beersmith, promash, brewtarget, etc) and see what they say.
Chips have no depth and take no time for beer to work through. They will probably nearly dissolve if you leave them in long enough. Cubes and staves are thicker and allow you to extract wood tannins and flavors at a slower rate so you have more control and so you can get the longterm vanilla - bourbon - and general depth of flavors that you probably want.
1-2 oz. with staves is not very much. You need to account for the slow process of the alcohol seeping in and out of the wood. I am not sure what you are aiming for or if you are bent on using chips, but keep the following in mind.
Chips 1-3 weeks or so.
Cubes 6 weeks to as long as you want.
Staves - minimum 20 weeks to really get a good amount of flavor.
Spirals - taste frequently, tons of surface area.
The type of wood and the number of previous uses is really important to keep track of too. Generally, the more times the oak has been used the longer it will take to get flavor, assuming it still has some to share.
BUT DON'T waste a year aging on CHIPS. You will get NO DEPTH.
As far as getting over 10%, you can do that with most american yeast. Getting over 12% is the next hurdle, but as mentioned, aeration and a large, large started will really help. I currently have a beer at 10.5% that I did a 2 liter starter plus an extra packet of Belgian Ardennes and it fermented perfectly. I didn't have O2 at the time and simply poured through a metal sieve twice, but I did use a ton of yeast and add a lot of yeast nutrient. Just be careful and attentive when you are doing this and it is easiest to build up a large starter somewhat before hand.
FWIW, I did a similar BW that's in secondary. I did an OG 1.115 and FG of 1.025 and used 3 vials of WLP007 with a 4.8L starter in my 11 gallon batch and it worked out beautifully. I oxygenated with pure oxygen and a diffusion stone and the thing fermented like it was going out of style. The ABV was 11.8%.
Any update on how this turned out?
Fantastic! However, I want it to age until Thanksgiving before I call it "done". I'm thinking I may lower my mash temp next time from 156 to 154 to dry it out just slightly from where it's at today, oak it slightly longer, and lower my C120 from 2.4% to around 1.75% or so.
Good first run and willing to tweak a bit. Definitely great comments from friends.
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