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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Firestone Sucaba (Abacus) Clone
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default 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
IBU: 43
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%?

Efficiency 70%

Grain Bill
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

Mash
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:

brew notes
style
Barrel Aged Barley Wine
abv
13%
ibu
42
color
36
fermentation
Undisclosed
malts
Munton's Pale, Crisp Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Dark & Light Crystal, Chocolate
hops
Bittering—Bravo; Late Kettle—East Kent Golding

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Old 12-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
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how did this one turn out? Im looking to do a clone of this too

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Old 12-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUEnder View Post
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: Maybe Super High Gravity yeast?

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%?
getting over 10% abv is a challenge. you can't just treat this as a normal beer and pitch as usual. search for "high gravity brewing". in a nutshell, you're going to need to aerate like hell (pure 02 is pretty much required), pitch a huge quantity of yeast, and likely need to step-feed with sugar to get to 13% - possibly needing another yeast like super high gravity or champagne/wine yeast (FW might not need sugar, but Matt Brynildson doesn't need to adhere to the normal laws of physics and chemistry... he's Matt Brynildson).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AUEnder View Post
Secondary Fermentation: 1 Year on 5 oz. toasted oak chips? (I've never oaked)
a year on 5 oz is too long. a month, maybe two, on 1 or 2 oz, max. beer is barrel-aged in used barrels. the original beverage in there (bourbon, wine, etc) has already extracted most of the oak. you need a lot less new fresh oak (like cubes) to get the same effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AUEnder View Post
0.65 oz Bravo at 60 min.
0.5 oz. Kent Goldings at 25 min.
0.5 oz. Kent Goldings at 10 min.
25 & 10 additions likely should be later. i'd do 15 & 5. adjust 60 min accordingly.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:19 PM   #4
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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.

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUEnder View Post
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%?
you can't take those numbers as gospel. SHG yeast is rated to 25% abv, so there is no reason why it can't get you to 13% if you treat it right. 1.122 down to 1.022 gets you to 13.5% abv. not sure why the Brew Builder says you can't make it... maybe you have too much unfermentables in your recipe, leading to a high FG?

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.
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend, wet-hopped harvest ale x 2, second runnings dark ale with vanilla
Fermenting: (nothing active)
Aging: imperial chocolate stout, sour cherry mead, oud bruin & a few other sours, acerglyn, a BDSA
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcell View Post
getting over 10% abv is a challenge. you can't just treat this as a normal beer and pitch as usual. search for "high gravity brewing". in a nutshell, you're going to need to aerate like hell (pure 02 is pretty much required), pitch a huge quantity of yeast, and likely need to step-feed with sugar to get to 13% - possibly needing another yeast like super high gravity or champagne/wine yeast (FW might not need sugar, but Matt Brynildson doesn't need to adhere to the normal laws of physics and chemistry... he's Matt Brynildson).


a year on 5 oz is too long. a month, maybe two, on 1 or 2 oz, max. beer is barrel-aged in used barrels. the original beverage in there (bourbon, wine, etc) has already extracted most of the oak. you need a lot less new fresh oak (like cubes) to get the same effect.


25 & 10 additions likely should be later. i'd do 15 & 5. adjust 60 min accordingly.
I have a few things to add to and to clarify this. First, if you are using oak chips then there is no need to go more than 2 weeks or so. If you want the best type of flavor or what would best mimic a barrel you will need to use staves, or at the very least, cubes. You could also use spirals but my understanding of those is a greater increase of surface area so less time to age and probably won't produce the same vanilla flavor that you are probably aiming for.

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.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:11 AM   #7
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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%.

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Old 06-03-2014, 12:18 AM   #8
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Any update on how this turned out?

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Old 06-03-2014, 01:24 AM   #9
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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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