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-   -   Sam Adams Utopias clone??? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/sam-adams-utopias-clone-59083/)

xcrusader 03-16-2008 09:26 AM

Sam Adams Utopias clone???
Does anyone have a recipe for this beer????????? I desperately want to try it!!!

Funkenjaeger 03-16-2008 02:46 PM

I think the recipe is the least of your worries... But for that matter I wonder if anyone has come up with a (good) recipe for it, since so few people have tried it and VERY few homebrewers have experience brewing super-high-gravity beers...
Perhaps you had better do some research at how ridiculously complicated it is to brew a super-high-gravity beer first.
For starters, an article by a guy who brewed a 21%ABV all-grain beer:

There are some scattered discussions about people trying to formulate a recipe if you google it, but I didn't come across any success stories or actual recipes. A quote I came across, presumably from the sam adams site:

"Samuel Adams Utopias was brewed at a very high gravity using a wide variety of malted barley and a touch of maple syrup. It was then fermented and conditioned in a blend of scotch, bourbon, port and cognac casks for up to ten months using a pair of proprietary yeast strains we developed at our Boston Brewery."
So on top of the crazy fermentation, you'd have a task ahead of you with the barrel aging process (or at least faking said process).

Suffice it to say that if you are not a VERY experienced homebrewer, you had probably better give up on the idea, especially since the ingredient costs for a batch of it would be astronomical, making a (likely) failure pretty painful.

HP_Lovecraft 03-16-2008 02:56 PM

I remember Jim Koch talked about using a "stepped" fermentation process.

Simply dumping WLP099 into a 1.200 OG would probobly result in many stuck fermentations, as that is simply not a healthy situation for the yeast.

Basically, you start at a much lower gravity (ie 1.100), and pitch heavy. DUring high kruesen, you begin to add more fermentables over a period of days. This keeps the yeast healthy, and active.


landhoney 03-16-2008 10:59 PM

I tried one, they list the grains used on the website but not the amounts, so I made rough guesses based on other recipes for big barleywines. I did it with wlp099 and followed whitelabs directions for that yeast. Specifically, feeding and aerating everyday for five days straight. The calculated OG was ~1.190-1.195 and finshed ~1.038. So its ~20-21%ABV, not 25% like the real thing. I also tried to get it to bottle carbonate, as of a couple months ago it was not carbed. The real thing is not carbonated, but I imagined I wouldn't like it as much if it were not. Its definitely complex, sweet, and decent but there's bigtime room for improvement. I'm going to try it again, less extract and more sugar and wort. I plan on doing the reiterated mashing to get the 'feeding' wort as opposed to using extract for this. I want to mash much lower all around and start a bit lower on the OG(like 1.170) so it finishes drier but still a very high ABV, but maybe not quite as high. I'll settle for 18-19% ABV and carbed vs. higher not carbed. I have not had Utopia so I'm not sure how 'close' it is to the real thing.

the_bird 03-16-2008 11:03 PM

How much (if any) simple sugars did you use? Don't the Utopias have a fair amount of maple syrup in them?

landhoney 03-16-2008 11:17 PM


Originally Posted by the_bird
How much (if any) simple sugars did you use? Don't the Utopias have a fair amount of maple syrup in them?

Less than 10% sugar and maple syrup combined, I think next go round I'm going to up that a bit. For the various spirit barrels they use to age it in, I just added oak cubes to port, bourbon, and cognac for a few weeks and then added them in. I reallllly didn't think this beer was going to 'work' so I didn't take notes or plan/think things out as well as I should have(know better now). I won't say it tunred out great, but well enough to encourage me to try again and do things better(hoppefully) this time.

Aclay 03-16-2008 11:26 PM

using all grain my friend did a 20+% alchohol Celebration IPA. Check out the process at www.shortsbrewing.com

xcrusader 03-17-2008 02:25 AM


Originally Posted by Funkenjaeger
I think the recipe is the least of your worries... But for that matter I wonder if anyone has come up with a (good) recipe for it, since so few people have tried it and VERY few homebrewers have experience brewing super-high-gravity beers...

Thats why I started the thread... I wondered if anyone had a recipe for it.

scinerd3000 04-29-2008 09:28 PM

according to the website.

You are about to experience the strongest beer ever brewed. With an alcohol content of 25% by volume, we've broken our own record set by Sam Adams Utopias MMII in 2002. Beer enthusiasts have never enjoyed a beer like Sam Adams Utopias. When served at room temperature in a two-ounce serving, Sam Adams Utopias is an ideal after-dinner drink. Pour it into a wine glass or brandy snifter. Note the aroma. Take a sip and enjoy the ideal beer. People have asked what inspired me to brew such a unique beer? Drinkers have long been familiar with light beers. I wanted to show them the opposite end of the beer spectrum. A beer that is strong, rich and dark. Some would say, the ultimate beer. A beer without carbonation, one to be savored slowly. We started by using some of the world's finest ingredients, including all four types of Noble hops, which give the beer its earthy, herbal taste. The hops also add a spicy note. Carmel, Vienna, Moravian and Bavarian smoked malts add a rich amber color. A variety of yeast were used during fermentation, including the same yeast used in champagne. As a result of this unique brewing process, this flavorful, slightly fruity brew has a sweet, malty flavor that resembles the deep, rich grape taste of a vintage Port, fine Cognac or old Sherry. This limited edition ale has been aged in Scotch, Cognac and Port barrels. Your bottle of Sam Adams Utopias has been packaged in a unique, collectible copper-finished brew kettle decanter reminiscent of the brew kettles used by brewmasters for hundreds of years. We have produced only 8,000 bottles of Sam Adams Utopias in 2003 to be enjoyed by a select audience of better beer drinkers.


Jim Koch, Brewer and Founder

Cornfed 04-29-2008 09:47 PM

I am a very inexperienced homebrewer (see my other posts), but I just picked up a copy of Microbrewed Adventures by Charlie Papazian. He has a recipe in there for Sam Adams Triple Bock, and it is very complicated. I can summarize some of the details later, but for instance I think it has you pitching yeast 4 times (a couple times with dry yeast, once with something like White Labs high gravity yeast, and once with champagne yeast, if I'm remembering correctly). He also has you brew a small amount then brew more for the second and/or third pitching of yeast. Also, he talks of big challenges with carbonating this beer due to the high alcohol content, then he has you age it for 6 months to a year with oak chips.

Long story short, it's a non-trivial process. But you might want to check out that recipe for some ideas.

And on a tangential point, that book also has some interesting clone recipes, some of which I believe were given to him by the original brewers. Things like the 1982 version of SNPA, a Magic Hat #9 clone, the original Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, something similar to Dogfish Head's 60 minute IPA, and several others. I've only just started skimming the book, but it looks promising.

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