After quaffing large quantities of Russian River R2H56 at the brewery I set out to make a homebrew clone. Vinnie Cilurzo was a huge help and is incredibly generous with information!
This is an awesome APA, bright yellow/gold in color with firm hop bitterness, white head and lacing and massive signature Simcoe aroma - Citrus, grapefruit, pine, resin and cat piss.
After 5 revisions, I've finally settled on what I believe is the closest clone I'm going to get. In side by side tastings
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 5.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 40.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs 4.3 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (1.5 SRM) Grain 1 60.5 %
3 lbs 14.4 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (2.5 SRM) Grain 2 32.4 %
13.6 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.1 %
0.55 oz Simcoe [12.20 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 4 23.5 IBUs
0.55 oz Simcoe [12.20 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 5 16.9 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6 -
1.0 oz Simcoe [12.20 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 7 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35. Yeast 8 -
2.00 oz Simcoe [12.20 %] - Dry Hop 10.0 Days Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
60 min at 154F
10 days at 68F. I've hit FG in as little as 4 days, but seem to average 6. I like to do a gravity check at 7 days and again at 10 and assuming I'm at 1.010 on both I keg.
I dry hop in the keg and have tried dry hop additions between 1.25oz - 3oz. For my personal tastes 1.75 - 2oz is the sweet spot and seemed closest to the draft R2H56 when it was hitting it's stride. For scaling the batch size up or down, note that the dry hop ratio is 0.3 - 0.5oz per gallon.
If dry hopping in primary/secondary, I'd dry hop for no longer than 7-10 days. I personally would bump the amount of dry hops by 15% and cut it down to 5 days dry hopping to try and avoid the vegetal flavor you can get when doing longer dry hop at warmer temps.
The above recipe is designed to exactly hit the numbers Russian River delivers and what I use in my batches.
This should finish at 2.5 Plato (1.010) so I tend to use a 1.25L (if using a fresh vial) starter to overpitch just slightly as I find if I pitch the appropriate # of cells or underpitch I tend to under attenuate and only get to about 1.012. I try and pitch approximately 240-250B cells, with required being 230B (figures taken from Yeastcalc). You can also mash slight lower if you are having problems reaching FG.
When scaling volumes base malts are split 70% Pils 30% MO. Crystal 20 should makeup 8% of less of total grain bill.
I keg to 2.3 - 2.5 vol and let the beer condition for 14 days at 40F before pouring my first pint.
Here's a pint I was enjoying today (1/19/13) from my sixth batch kegged on 12/23/12. It's coming up on four weeks and the keg is at least half gone