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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > The OFFICIAL 11-11-11 Old Ale Thread - The HBT Anniversary Series
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
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Default The OFFICIAL 11-11-11 Old Ale Thread - The HBT Anniversary Series

This is it. The thread you've been waiting for. The OFFICIAL 11-11-11 thread! This year we'll be brewing an Old Ale and I think it's going to be the best anniversary series beer yet. Brewpastor originally suggested the idea of a "bugged" beer for 11-11-11 <--- just look at all those little legs. From there, we started thinking about styles that could be bugged for those who like that sort of thing, or done bugless for those who aren't into funky beer. Old Ale was a natural choice. Especially since this Fall, Wyeast are again releasing their Old Ale Blend, a combination of an attenuative English ale strain and a Brettanomyces strain. Perfect.

From there, we began attempting to come up with a recipe. A combination of pale, amber and brown malts was suggested to create a pseudo-historical base malt. Historical base malts would have been darker and less uniform so the amber and brown malts should help replicate that somewhat. A kettle caramelization step was also suggested to not only recreate a traditional long boil, but also because it creates wonderful flavors. The layered, complex caramel and toffee flavors created using this method would be perfect in an Old Ale so it was incorporated into the recipe. After throwing amounts and ideas around in this thread, jmo88 posted the final recipe here.

It should be noted that one of the coolest parts of these anniversary series beers is that each person has a slightly different take on the beer. So if you brew it, please feel free to add your own special touch to the recipe. Whether that is using a different yeast, boiling down a different amount for the kettle caramelization, oaking to your own taste, soaking the oak cubes in your favorite liquor before adding the the beer, etc., it's all welcome. When we do the exchange next year, we'll all be able to experience the subtle differences in each brewer's version.

That reminds me, some of you may be new or might not have heard about the anniversary series beers here. Let me take a minute to explain the concept and go over what it is all about. We are fortunate to be living and brewing in a time where the years combine with the dates to make neat, repeating numbers. 8/8/8, 9/9/9, 10/10/10 and now 11/11/11. To commemorate these dates, for the last several years members of HBT have been brewing a single recipe about a year prior to that date. Then, when the date approaches, we exchange our x/x/x beers along with other homebrews with 3 other members. We then have 3 other versions of the x/x/x beer in addition to our to enjoy on the x/x/x day (or thereabouts). It's a very cool experience that I heartily recommend to all members of the board.

Now, back the to the 11/11/11. I'm really excited about this recipe. When made, I imagine a beer pouring a deep polished walnut color (hence the name - Gun Stock Ale). Sweet, chewy malt with toasty and nutty overtones will form the canvas. Rich caramel and toffee will round out the flavor while deeper notes of leather, tobacco, oak, sherry and a slight horsey character from the Brett add to the complexity. A slight tartness and hints of pie cherry come through to fill out the top notes. I really think this will be the best x/x/x yet.

So, hopefully I've convinced you to brew this beer. I'm very excited about it and really think it is going to be awesome. It's a long wait to 11/11/11, but I think it will be worth it!


AG Recipe
Partial Mash Recipe

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Old 10-13-2010, 10:54 PM   #2
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I'm stoked!

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Old 10-13-2010, 11:52 PM   #3
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Well I've got 4 beers planned already....but I suppose I could squeeze a 5th in there

One of them is already a bretted beer....gonna try my hand at an Orval clone

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Old 10-14-2010, 03:22 AM   #4
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I AM IN!!! I was on the fence, but the more I thought about it, the more excited I got about an historic beer. I love Old Ales and love the series concept. There have been some great, memorable, award-winning beers that have come out of this series. I also like that we settled on a reasonable alcohol content. The 10-10-10 was on the extreme side, and from what I read, many of us (myself including) couldn't get a dry enough tasting beer because of the grain levels required for the OG.

I have 3 questions/thoughts:

1. To bug or not to bug - For those that aren't going with a brett beer, can this forum decide on a recommended non-brett option? My vote would be Wyeast 1187 Ringwood ale. That should highlight the malt and add some subtle complexity to match the desired affect. If agreed, we should put it on the recipe thread, since I believe having only a brett yeast listed may turn people off of this recipe - and we want EVERYONE to brew it, bugged or no.


2. Caramelization - I am not clear on what technique to employ for caramelization. I am not an expert on it, but I think there are 5 options:

- Caramel malts - sub caramel malts for a portion of the base malts to create caramel flavor. Be creative and mix the malts, adding portions of light (e.g. C20 or Honey Malt) to dark (e.g. C120 or Special B). My personal opinion is limit it to 1lb or less (especially with the darker malts).

- Prolonged boil - reverse engineer your brew to hit 1078 OG on a long and vigorous boil; 2 hrs min, 3 hrs max. This will promote kettle caramelization over that time.

- "Pseudo-decoction" - take 2-3 gallons of the wort (before you add Treacle), and boil in a separate pot with a goal of creating a syrup that you add back to the boil. Syrup can be thick to thin.

- ROCKS! - if you can, heat rocks separately on the grill well above boiling temp and plunge (carefully) into the boil for instant caramelization of the wort around the rocks.

- All of the above! - take any combination of the above to create a unique caramel profile for the beer. Note - combining too many can over caramelize the beer, losing the desired balance. Discretion would be a key if someone took this route, but the combo could be very interesting!

3. Parti-gyle OR starter beer - Anyone put thought to either of these? I think it would be cool to provide the option of either a small beer or starter beer (for yeast growth). A ~3-4% Bitter, Mild, or Southern English Brown (hell yeah!) would be perfect, methinks... I haven't put that much thought into it, but I would jump on a good recipe.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:26 AM   #5
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KingBrian...

are you aware that the decent subset of the GRABASS folks are planning to do a big group brew of several batches and variations of the 11/11/11 in a few weeks?

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Old 10-14-2010, 04:20 AM   #6
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I feel that I am now at the point in my brewing, and also my involvement with HBT, where I would like to participate. I have brewed an old ale before and I have recipe's rollin around my head right now, but since I am an anniv brew newb...I will hold my contributions back.

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Old 10-14-2010, 04:41 AM   #7
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I don't really know what to say here. I went to HB club tonight so I am a bit druck, but barc won't stop asking me about this damn recipe so I guess I'm brewing it. I am going to attempt a partygyle since I have wanted to do one for some time but have never decided to do a big enough beer. Until now. Not sure whether to use the brett or not yet, but I'm brewing. These GRABASS guys are a bunch of A-holes, but we always seem to have an absolute ****ing blast. Even if I have to drive alllllll the way out to IdahoDal's place to brew. See you ****ers there. You too KingBrianI. I'll even give you a ride. I practically live in Durham. Again, I am druck. (disclaimer)

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Old 10-14-2010, 05:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leghorn View Post

1. To bug or not to bug - For those that aren't going with a brett beer, can this forum decide on a recommended non-brett option? My vote would be Wyeast 1187 Ringwood ale. That should highlight the malt and add some subtle complexity to match the desired affect. If agreed, we should put it on the recipe thread, since I believe having only a brett yeast listed may turn people off of this recipe - and we want EVERYONE to brew it, bugged or no.

As long as it is an English strain, it'll be an old ale. You may wish to mash lower whichever strain you choose (the 158F mash was chosen with the brett in mind) or go with wlp007.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leghorn View Post
2. Caramelization - I am not clear on what technique to employ for caramelization. I am not an expert on it, but I think there are 5 option:

- "Pseudo-decoction" - take 2-3 gallons of the wort (before you add Treacle), and boil in a separate pot with a goal of creating a syrup that you add back to the boil. Syrup can be thick to thin.
This is what we all talked about doing with the first 2 gallons of the runnings. Boil it down to 1-2 quarts then add it to to the boil. You will need to runoff more then usual to make up for it or add some top off to reach your typical full boil volume.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeordye11 View Post
These GRABASS guys are a bunch of A-holes, but we always seem to have an absolute ****ing blast. Even if I have to drive alllllll the way out to IdahoDal's place to brew. See you ****ers there. You too KingBrianI. I'll even give you a ride. I practically live in Durham. Again, I am druck. (disclaimer)
Hey, Ryan... did you just threaten to kidnap KingBrian?
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:32 AM   #10
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I watched some of the previous threads -- 9/9/9, 10/10/10; but I'm ready to participate in this one!!!

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