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Old 12-17-2007, 03:28 AM   #1
AiredAle
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Anyone 1) old enough and 2) from New England, and thus remembers Ballentine Ale, and more particularly, Ballentine India Pale Ale? Before it was watered down, and turned into BMC beer?

Does anyone have an idea for a recipe starting point? I recall they used some Bullion hops, but nothing else. Think the original gravity was about 70.

 
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:32 AM   #2
BigEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AiredAle
Anyone 1) old enough and 2) from New England, and thus remembers Ballentine Ale, and more particularly, Ballentine India Pale Ale? Before it was watered down, and turned into BMC beer?

Does anyone have an idea for a recipe starting point? I recall they used some Bullion hops, but nothing else. Think the original gravity was about 70.
1) Yes and 2) Yes. (BTW it's Ballantine, Ballentine is the whisky )

I've been making a beer derived from the old Ballantine IPA for years. It's not a clone but it tries to capture some of those old flavors. I prefer Brewer's Gold hops to the Bullion but they are related and both will work. The recipe below is one of many versions, it was the easiest one to find. The former brewmaster at the old Narragansett Brewery sampled this beer about 15 years ago and gave it a thumbs up so I knew I was on the right track. I get a 1.072/1.073 OG with this beer.

Echoes of Ballantine

10 Gallon / All-Grain

Grist: Mash 60 minutes @ 152F
18 lbs British pale
1 lb British crystal 55L
1 lb Carafoam
3 lbs Flaked maize/corn
1 lb Flaked barley

90 minute hops:
2 oz Cluster (AA% 6.5-7.0)

60 minute hops:
2 oz Brewer's Gold (AA% 6.5-7.0)

30 minute hops:
2 oz Brewer's Gold (AA% 6.5-7.0)

15 minute hops:
1 oz East Kent Golding (AA% 4.0-5.0)

End of boil/Flameout hops:
1 oz East Kent Golding (AA% 4.0-5.0)

Water modified to Burton profile.


Wyeast # 1056 American is the old Ballantine yeast but my favorite for this brew is Wyeast #1028 London Ale.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:27 PM   #3
AiredAle
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BigEd,

Thanks for the recipe, and sorry for the delay in replying. I will give it a try and let you know how it comes out.

 
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:02 AM   #4
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You can still get ballantine ale.

as to IPA, my folks said my grandfather was a big fan and would drink it regularly.

so
I guess...

A) No
B) yes.

Have been curious about it though because my grandfather liked it. Glad to hear about it and see a recipe. Might have to try it. If I can track down the hops these days.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:45 AM   #5
AiredAle
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I grew up with an uncle and dad who drank Ballantine XXX Ale, and that is the beer that paved my way to loving real beers and not BMC pre-piss beers. Yes you can still get it in some places, but not easy to find here in MN.

I also suspect that the XXX recipe changed from time to time over the years from the time when Ballantine was acquired by Falstaff and moved from brewery to brewery until it is now contract brewed by Miller (I think).

I would also like an authentic grain and hop bill for the XXX Ale if anyone has one. I would guess based on memory mostly 6 row, and a good dose of corn, like 70/30 or so, with several hop additions.

 
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:40 AM   #6
BigEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AiredAle
I grew up with an uncle and dad who drank Ballantine XXX Ale, and that is the beer that paved my way to loving real beers and not BMC pre-piss beers. Yes you can still get it in some places, but not easy to find here in MN.

I also suspect that the XXX recipe changed from time to time over the years from the time when Ballantine was acquired by Falstaff and moved from brewery to brewery until it is now contract brewed by Miller (I think).

I would also like an authentic grain and hop bill for the XXX Ale if anyone has one. I would guess based on memory mostly 6 row, and a good dose of corn, like 70/30 or so, with several hop additions.
The Bally XXX is still around but it is now just a shadow of its' former self. I think the Ballantine name is owned by Pabst and contract brewed by Miller. The IPA might have been brewed for a short time at the Fallstaff Ft. Wayne brewery after they closed the Narragansett brewery in 1981 but I think Fallstaff pulled the plug on it then. Here is a good article by beer and malt writer Greg Glasser on the history of the Ballantine ales. http://http://findarticles.com/p/art...51/ai_63841298

 
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:08 PM   #7
AiredAle
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Thanks, an interesting article, though ultimately frustrating since the Ballantine-like ale brewed by Portland Brewing Company for a while. Seems a dead end since Portland was acquired by Pyramid in 2004 and no longer seems to offer that ale.

Here is another website: http://www.falstaffbrewing.com/ballantine_ale.htm
with some interesting insight, but the writer claims the XXX hasn't changed at all, ever. This I dispute based on my own experience. When they were sold to Falstaff in 1972, and they later the brewing moved to Ft Wayne, even I noticed a difference as a callow 21 year old. It has continued to get blander and blander since then.

 
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:43 AM   #8
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At one point Ballantine used to employ a hop reclamation of it's dry hops.
I guarantee smaller breweries will start to do this again within six months.

 
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:09 AM   #9
BigEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AiredAle

Here is another website: http://www.falstaffbrewing.com/ballantine_ale.htm
with some interesting insight, but the writer claims the XXX hasn't changed at all, ever. This I dispute based on my own experience.
I too have misgivings about the veracity of that writer's claims. The beer changed when production was moved from the original Ballantine brewery in Newark, NJ to the Narragansett brewery in Cranston, RI and changed even more after it moved to the Falstaff Ft. Wayne plant. The XXX lost IBUs while in Cranston and lots more in Ft. Wayne. The current edition probably has IBUs in the high 20s, a long way from the mid 40s which the beer had at the beginning of the 1970s. Certainly there were no Cascade hops in the original beer because Cascade hops didn't exist at that time. It's possible they were worked into the recipe from the mid 1970s on but the brew still retained its' trademark flavor from the Brewer's Gold/Bullion hops, fruity/black currant/floral, with none of the citrus quality of Cascade. I also suspect that today's XXX is made with lager rather than ale yeast.

 
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:10 AM   #10
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Hey BigEd
Thanks for the recipe. THat is definitely on the to do list. And as to the original question, Yes and Yes
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