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Old 03-04-2011, 12:40 AM   #1
Rolling_Thunder
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Default Shed Mountain Ale Clone

Working from Jester369's recipe, which to me was MUCH too bitter and later confirmed by the brewmaster at the Shed, I cooked up a few batches trying to drive the brew closer to the taste of what I think the original is.

Jester's recipe has an IBU of 76 (if memory serves me). According to the Shed brewmaster it should be 35. This was the most noticeable objection I had to Jester's recipe and one I think important because this is one of the unique attributes of the original Shed Mountain Ale itself; it's soooo smooth drinking you hardly notice the Hops at all.

So having said all that and examined many other recipes that have characteristics I believe the original Shed Mountain Ale has (to my taste anyway) I've come up with something that is extremely good and not just to me but many others that have tried it and are now constantly pestering me for more. None of these folks have tasted the Shed Mountain Ale so they have no idea of what I'm trying to create, they just enjoy what this is as is.

So without further adieu this is my recipe:

2 oz. Briess Black Patent Malt
3 oz. Muntons Chocolate Malt
8 oz. of 2 row barley
1 lb Carastan
8 oz. Caramel Wheat
1-3.3 lb Munton's Dark Liquid Malt Extract (LME)
1-3.3 lb Munton’s Amber Liquid Malt Extract (LME)
2 lbs Muntons Wheat Dried Malt Extract (DME)

1 oz. Cascade Hops (US) - 1oz. Pellets
1 oz. Saaz Hops (Czech) - 1oz. Whole
1 oz. Tettnang Hops - 1oz. Pellets
1 Malto Dextrin - (8 oz. package)
7 oz KreamyX - Priming Sugar
2.5 oz. Vanilla Extract
1 Safeale US-05 (American) - Dry Yeast

Steep grains @ 155 degrees (get water to temp then turn off heat) for 45 minutes dunking in & out of water like tea bag
Bring to boil & add both (Amber & Dark) 3.3 lb. cans of LME & 2 lbs of DME and boil for 60 minutes

Toss ¾ oz of Cascade hops in boil for 60 minutes
Toss ½ oz of Saaz 20 minutes to flame out
Add 6 oz of Malto Dextrin 15 minutes to flame out
Toss ½ oz of Tettnang hops 5 minutes to flame out

Fill primary fermenter with 15 lbs of ice & 2.5 oz of Vanilla Extract
Add wort to primary fermenter straining through screened funnel then fill with filtered water to 5 gallon mark on bucket to top off.
Cooled wort needs to be between 60 & 72 degrees.
Toss Yeast when wort is to temp.
Slap lid & air lock on it and wait 2 weeks!

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:57 AM   #2
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Just made this tonight. LHBS was out of Carastan so substituted Crystal 40l. I did the ibu calculations and they were a bit low so tossed a full oz. of Cascade in there. It looked and smelled great. Nailed the OG at 1.072 and am really looking forward to the vanilla. Favorite of mine is Philadelphia Brewing's Kilty Pleasure which has to have Vanilla extract and this recipe seems pretty close to that. Thanks for the recipe and one quick question, style says I should be using ~ 5 oz. Kreamy X for carb. How much did you use for 5 gal.? Thanks again ..Cheers.

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Old 03-07-2011, 09:25 AM   #3
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Ya full oz. of Cascade will work well I think also. Good call.

I screwed up, it should be a full 7 oz bag of Kreamy X and it will do a 6 gallon batch nicely if you end up with a little over 5 gals.

Outside of the original Shed Mntn Ale this is the easiest drinking dark beer I've ever had. I'm sure you're gonna be very happy with the end result...

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Old 03-07-2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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Are you steeping in 2.5 gallons of water or are you doing a full boil? I live in Missouri and have never heard of Shed Mntn. Would love to try the original before making a batch. What other beers could you compare it too?

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Old 03-08-2011, 09:47 AM   #5
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ya I steep in 2.5 gallons for 45 mins @ 155 degrees.

There are only 2 ways you can try the original; the first being that you have to go to Stowe Vermont where they're located and buy it at the "Shed" and the second option being that you know someone that can buy it there for you and ship it to you. Unfortunately Vermont law doesn't permit the Shed to ship their product. It's a cash & carry deal.

Having said that, what does it compare to you ask? Nothing I've ever had. Me and almost every other non dark beer drinker I know avoid dark beers due to their inherent tendency to be extremely bitter. In fact I had the original Shed Mountain Ale in my hand for a half hour before I got desperate when I learned there wasn't another beer at the party so I took a swig. I was instantly impressed and in love. It was the best beer I've ever had. The flavors I got from it were/are: Chocolate, Caramel, Coffee, Cream & Vanilla. As you can see it would be very difficult to describe that in a style or single flavor. This recipe comes close to the original but is still lacking the magic the original has (probably has to do with the difference between this being an extract brew and the original being an all grain brew). When I convince other non dark beer drinkers to try this beer they're also very surprised at how good it is then they sit and rethink their boycot of dark beers and wonder what they might be missing.

I try to describe it this way.....some people like Starbucks Coffee, very bitter coffee. Others prefer a very rich, smooth, non bitter coffee and that's where my taste lies. This beer is the rich, smooth, non bitter type...

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Old 03-10-2011, 11:41 PM   #6
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Subscribing to this thread. Going to make an attempt at this recipe when I am ready to brew again

I'm going to get the grains from my LHBS and according to their website, it doesn't look like they carry Carastan. What is the best substitution? I have another noob question, on the same website, they have American 2Row. Is that the same as the one you have in the recipe?

Oh and another question, where are you getting your ice from? It seems like the consensus is to stay away from using ice, unless you make your own

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Old 03-11-2011, 09:32 AM   #7
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Crystal 20 is a good substitute for Carastan.

American 2 row will work fine.

I get my ice from my local supermarket. I've heard many others also scream in horror when I tell them I do this but I have yet to have any ill effects. It simply works fantastic. Think about it, boiling for 15 minutes kills all pathogens that are found in water out in the woods. You're using ice from a filtered city water supply which is FAR more clean than what is in the wild. Any unwanted bacteria that MIGHT exist from the ice factory is likely to be a weak bug favorable to a very cold environment so when you hit it with boiling wort it's gonna die instantly. Until I have a batch get ruined I can't see any credibility to the argument against using it.

Happy brewing!

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Old 03-11-2011, 08:04 PM   #8
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Sounds good brah. I can't believe I didn't look at the ice thing that way. I just finished a pathogenic microbiology class hahaha.

How do you think your recipe will turn out if you added some lactose?

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Old 03-12-2011, 12:22 PM   #9
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lol... there's much I learned in school that went in one ear & right out the other!

Actually I think using lactose would make it better. I'm lactose intolerant so I can't use it, but if it doesn't bother you I think you'll be happier with the end result.

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Old 04-04-2011, 12:05 AM   #10
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This baby just went into bottles and I gotta say it is the best tasting warm flat beer I've had in a long time. Only got her down to 1.023 so 6.4% is still a nice number and there are no alcohol notes. Caramel, chocolate, vanilla, good stuff. Thanks for the recipe and now the wait begins.

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