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Old 07-06-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
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Default Pyramid Apricot... An Elusive Clone?

Searching far and wide has not revealed much in my hunt for a Pyramid Apricot clone. I found a couple recipes that were extract-based and didn't much resemble each other. And in glancing at them, both seem far too heavily hopped to "do the trick".

So I drew inspiration from Ed's Bee Cave Kolsch, and also from Biermuncher's Krisper Kolsch. I know I want to use my White Labs Kolsch yeast for this one, even though it's not true to the Pyramid Apricot recipe. I've had Pyramid's Curveball Kolsch and I think the two are very compatible tastes.

So below is what I've come up with so far for a theoretical Pyramid Apricot clone:


Hopefully Pyramid Apricot

Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Time: 90 min

6 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 63.16 %
3 lbs Wheat - White Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM) Grain 31.58 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5.26 %

1.00 oz GR Hersbrucker '07 [3.20 %] (90 min) Hops 14.3 IBU
0.50 oz GR Hersbrucker '07 [3.20 %] (15 min) Hops 1.9 IBU

1 Pkgs German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029) [Starter 16 oz] Yeast-Ale

1.00 items Apricot (Canned, Oregon brand) (Secondary 14.0 days) Misc

Est Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.75 %
Bitterness: 16.2 IBU
Est Color: 5.3 SRM

90 min Mash In Add 2.97 gal of water at 169.4 F = 154.0 F
My potential concerns:
1) Is 2-to-1 too heavy on the wheat? It's heavier in wheat than either of the Kolsches I based it on, because I want it to shine through as a nice crisp wheaty beer.

2) Is 16 IBUs too little? That is to say, will this wind up being so sickly sweet and underhopped that only girls will like it? (Is that a bad thing? )

3) I went with Hersbrucker because I have gobs of it on hand. Is it worth it to look around for better-suited hops? OTOH, Hersbrucker is nice and low in AAs and that seems to be "right" for doing an Apricot Wheat.

4) Think it's going to wind up "weird" since I'm using the Oregon puree and not extract? I think I heard once that Pyramid uses flavor extract in their Apricot, and that there's no real fruit there at all...........

Comments welcome, please critique! Thank you!
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Old 07-06-2008, 09:14 PM   #2
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I always thought that Pyramid Apricot was on the sweet side anyway, so I think you are good there.

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Old 07-07-2008, 02:51 PM   #3
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I'd go ahead and use the puree, but be ready to pick up some apricot extract if the flavor doesn't quite get there.

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Old 07-07-2008, 05:47 PM   #4
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I should've mentioned, this is the "big can" of Oregon. 42 oz or whatever it is... the one that all the HBSes carry, not the in-the-grocery-store stuff.

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Old 07-23-2008, 07:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriso View Post
[COLOR="Sienna"]Hopefully Pyramid Apricot

Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Time: 90 min

6 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 63.16 %
3 lbs Wheat - White Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM) Grain 31.58 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5.26 %

1.00 oz GR Hersbrucker '07 [3.20 %] (90 min) Hops 14.3 IBU
0.50 oz GR Hersbrucker '07 [3.20 %] (15 min) Hops 1.9 IBU

1 Pkgs German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029) [Starter 16 oz] Yeast-Ale

1.00 items Apricot (Canned, Oregon brand) (Secondary 14.0 days) Misc

Just an update, I brewed this on Sunday. I changed the recipe a little, just based on what I had handy, and what was sitting around, etc.

4 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US
4 lbs Wheat - White Malt
8.0 oz Honey Malt
4 oz Caramel 40L

OG of about 1.042 or so.

(Edit: Oh yeah! I used 1/4 lb of rice hulls, too, and the sparge went like a million dollar wonder. Not a stuckness anywhere in sight.)

I used about 1/3 oz Hersbrucker as a First Wort hop, and the remaining 2/3 of an oz as my 60" bittering addition. I left out the late addition. I pitched a roughly 1200ml starter of the Kolsch yeast, that had *just* started to drop its kraeusen. (As in, it was actively bubbling when I started the brew, and was settling out as I collected my wort.) I had activity within 8 hours.

It's in primary right now still, I'm using the bucket-in-a-tub-of-ice-water cooling method to hopefully hold my temps around 65-67*F. It's a bit hard to maintain since I'm gone all day long, which is when the window A/C units usually cause the greatest temperature fluctuations due to their being so underpowered for my house. Hopefully the temps are better than most of my batches, though! Any improvement is still improvement!

I bought a bottle of Apricot Extract, and I still plan on using the puree. My plan is to add the Apricot directly on top of the yeast cake (I harvested a bunch of Kolsch already, I don't need a second batch of harvested yeast quite yet, I'm out of room) and let it ferment out for about another week. Then I plan to rack to a bottling bucket, and add the apricot extract slowly, to taste. I want to give it the subtle real-fruit taste, as well as just a touch of the sweet fake apricot taste too.

Then, I'll rack right back out of the bottling bucket, into a keg.

Comments thus far?
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:14 PM   #6
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Yeah I wanna know how it turns out. I might do this one next summer.

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Old 08-17-2008, 03:13 AM   #7
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How has this turned out? I really like this and haven't seen much in regards to clones.

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Old 08-17-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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Don't know yet, it's sitting in primary. Today's job is to clean some kegs, and rack this puppy.

The base beer tasted good though, I had about 1/2 gal extra that I shoved into a growler and put into the fridge for 2 weeks to get the yeast to drop out. Very nice base wheat beer, not too hoppy, almost tasted like apricots without having added the fruit yet!

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Old 08-30-2008, 12:05 AM   #9
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Result: Clone still elusive.

It's a really good beer, don't get me wrong. Tart, wheat-y, color is spot-on for the clone, in fact head/head retention/head color are even right for the clone. I think the base beer is solid. But the real apricot puree is too tart, too fruity...in that fermented-out fruit way.

I have a bottle of Apricot extract that I'm gonna add eventually (not tonight) to see if it helps nail down the taste. But for now, I'm enjoying the rest of this pint:

A: Hazy golden tawny color. Rocky white head, grrrreat lacing on the glass.
A: Little bit of yeasty/wheaty/bready aroma, with a tinge of fruitiness to it.
F: A bit dry and astringent immediately upon swallowing, but then immediately after, mellows to a malty, fruity body. Tastes a bit yeasty still, I've only drawn 3 pints thus far, and it'll probably improve in another week (Carb still a bit low)
M: Pretty good, but it has a weird "mouth coating" sensation - I'm guessing from the Apricot. It's not bad, just a little more tart/fermented-fruit-y than I expected. Extract might help this.
O: Not a bad start, but not perfect yet. But HIGHLY drinkable!

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Old 08-30-2008, 12:19 AM   #10
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The flavor in Pyramid Apricot tastes 100% extract to me. I would try just using that. I've seen some clones on beertools for it that use Nugget hops, which is possible since the hops in it don't taste spicy/noble at all, more on the herby/vegetal side of things.

It tastes almost like a wheaty pils with apricot flavoring added actually, to me at least. Perhaps you could try that direction. Until then, happy brewing!

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