Beau’s Lug-Tread Lagered Ale clone

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I had a chance to taste this fantastic Kölsch-style ale last fall when I was in western New York and instantly knew that someday I would attempt to clone it for my own consumption. Now with more than a dozen successful AG batches under my belt (including a nice Kölsch) I think it’s time to take a swing at it. I feel pretty confident in my fermentation control and chosen profile; primary for 14 days in the low-50’s then ramp up to 66 for a few days D-rest, slowly ramp down over a few days to 40 for 10 days of lagering/cleanup, then cold crash and bottle.


After some googling the usual sites for clone recipes I resorted to Beau’s own website where I found a page with tasting notes, a list of malts and hops, vital statistics and even the type of yeast used. I’ve summarized the content in the excerpt shown below, and translated the OG/FG from degrees plato to specific gravity, and the serving temp range from C to F.


Lug-Tread
Lagered Ale • 5.2% • Year Round

Beau’s year-round flagship beer is Lug-Tread, a certified organic lagered ale. A hybrid style, Lug-Tread is top-fermented (like an ale) and then cold-aged (like a lager), giving it light ale notes complemented by a lager-like crispness. Golden-hued and finely balanced, this tasty golden ale has won more than 20 awards for brewing excellence since 2006.

History & Style
Lug-Tread is our tribute to the classic Kölsch beers of Cologne, Germany. It is versatile and well suited to any season or occasion, with satisfying, chewy malts to warm in the colder months, and a refreshing, crisp finish to quench a summer’s thirst. The tracks left in the mud from a small tractor’s Lug Tread tell the tale of honest hard work and close family ties.
Tasting Notes
Lug-Tread pours a brilliantly clear straw gold, with rocky white foam. A Graham cracker malt character mingles with notes of freshly cut hay and a subtle touch of apple. Sweet, grainy malt is followed by balanced hop bitterness, and the finish is clean and dry.

INGREDIENTS
Spring Water,Organic Barley & Wheat Malts, Organic Hops, Brewer’s Yeast.

MALTS
Pilsner, Wheat, Carafoam, Acidulated (all organic)
HOPS
Perle, Hersbrucker (all organic)
YEAST German Ale Yeast
ABV 5.2%
IBUS 21
OG 1.048
FG 1.009
SERVING TEMP 39-44°F

I spent a little time last night working up a recipe in Brewer’s Friend shown below and would appreciate insights and suggestions from anyone experienced with this beer, specifically a hopping schedule and thoughts about achieving the “graham cracker malt character”.



Title: Lug Tread Kölsch

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Kölsch
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 6 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 7 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.041
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.011
ABV (standard): 4.88%
IBU (tinseth): 22.39
SRM (morey): 3.31


FERMENTABLES:
8.5 lb - German - Pilsner (76.2%)
2 lb - Flaked Wheat (17.9%)
0.4 lb - German - CaraFoam (3.6%)
0.25 lb - German - Acidulated Malt (2.2%)

HOPS:
1 oz - Perle, Type: Pellet, AA: 5.9, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 20.22
1.25 oz - Hersbrucker, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 2.8, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 2.17

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Temperature, Temp: 150 F, Time: 90 min, Amount: 0 gal, Mash in
2) Temperature, Temp: 165 F, Time: 10 min, Amount: 0 qt, Mash out

YEAST:
Wyeast - German Ale 1007
Starter: Yes
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (avg): 75%
Flocculation: Low
Optimum Temp: 55 - 68 F
Fermentation Temp: 52 F
Pitch Rate: 1.5 (M cells / ml / deg P)

NOTES:
Ferment low-50's, D-rest @66 for 2-3 days, then lager @40 for 10 days, cold crash @34 three days before packaging.
 

ProblemChild

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Lug Tread is a really nice beer. I went on one of my regular trips to Beau's this past weekend. Top notch stuff there.

I know they use German malts for the quality of the product. Just a guess, but it seems they are not using the fully modified malts and use a protein rest. The persistent head may be a function of the carafoam, but my guess is the mash process has a little extra attention.
 

pepindavid

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Looks like a solid recipe, but i'm not sure about yeast selection and fermentation schedule. Their site says they use a "German ale yeast", but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the Wyeast 1007 (it could be real Kölsch yeast, like WLP029 or Wyeast 2565, or any other "german ale" yeast). That would change the fermentation temp. WLP029, for example, should be closer to 58-60 than low 50s. Low 50s tend to be for real lager yeast, no?

You may take a chance and ask the brewery the exact yeast they are using?
 

Genghis

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I have a calendar at home from a couple years back with a 5 gallon recipe for Lug Tread... purportedly from the brewery. I'll take a look when I get home and post what I find here.
 

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Looks like a solid recipe, but i'm not sure about yeast selection and fermentation schedule. Their site says they use a "German ale yeast", but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the Wyeast 1007 (it could be real Kölsch yeast, like WLP029 or Wyeast 2565, or any other "german ale" yeast). That would change the fermentation temp. WLP029, for example, should be closer to 58-60 than low 50s. Low 50s tend to be for real lager yeast, no?

You may take a chance and ask the brewery the exact yeast they are using?
I know for a fact that they use WLP029

When doing the brewery tour I saw the whiteboard with all the yeast and Lug tread was WLP029

I have a picture of the board, (but the guys asked me not to put it on the web)

However, here is just the part with the lug thread information (WLP029, 6th generation) was in the fermentor at that time



WLP029 is used in a lot of their recipes, they use it as a house yeast I think.
upload image to webside
 
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Great feedback, if it is wlp029 then I'll have to order some. I've been brewing successfully with 2565 for a while and having lots of luck with a long primary at 52-54. Any more details on the mash schedule? I'm using Bestmalz Heidelberg pilsner, not too familiar yet with it other than way over shooting OG on my first batch. Preboil grav was already a point higher than targeted OG!! Prior to that I'd been using Avangard and Dingemans.
 

pepindavid

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I know for a fact that they use WLP029

OK, so I'm pretty sure low 50s is too low for WLP029.

I just fermented a Kölsch (Jamil's recipe) at 60F, using WLP029. I ramped it up for a D-rest (to be on the safe side), and plan on doing approx 2 weeks of lagering before kegging. I took a simple when fermentation was done, and it was pretty good. But you could definitely taste the fruity esters, compared to a lager.
 

Rotule

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I don't remember which brand Malt they uses, however, this would not do so much of a difference.

I would try to target mash temperature to aim the target F.G. I think the lug thread mouthfeel is pretty balanced, not too sugary and not too dry. I'd aim for 64 C mash temp.

I always wondered from what ingredient the chocolate flavour comes from in this beer. (It has chocolate taste to my palate that I really like in a Pale beer)

Note that the acidulated malt might not be needed depending on your water, this is stricly to adjust the Mash PH and keep the "organic" feature.

Let us know how close you are when your brew is ready! :)
 

trav77

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I'm pretty sure they were (at least at one point) using Weyermann malt but that memory is from a while back so hopefully it's correct! Let us know how it turns out. I agree it's a great beer and a good example of that continental malt character that I find so many N. American interpretations lack.
 
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I would try to target mash temperature to aim the target F.G. I think the lug thread mouthfeel is pretty balanced, not too sugary and not too dry. I'd aim for 64 C mash temp.
64 C thats 147F; the calculator is still predicting an FG of 1.011 even with WLP029 and I don't know what to do to get that down to the stated 1.009. Replace some of the malt with invert sugar maybe?

I always wondered from what ingredient the chocolate flavour comes from in this beer. (It has chocolate taste to my palate that I really like in a Pale beer)
I think I picked up on that too, could it be some Belgian aromatic or Munich? Those two malts seem to me to have a bit of a warming aroma. I thought it might have been nutmeg or a light milk/white chocolate aroma. Must be the graham cracker malt flavor. If I can't reproduce the flavor with the ingredients listed I might throw some graham crackers in the mash next time around. I ain't above it. Whatever it was, something about it really appealed to me in the cold, rainy fall weather.
 

Rotule

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64 C thats 147F; the calculator is still predicting an FG of 1.011 even with WLP029 and I don't know what to do to get that down to the stated 1.009. Replace some of the malt with invert sugar maybe?
You are right, I used the beersmith "light Body" setting, I think you could lower (or remove) the CaraFoam and Flaked wheat and bump the 2-row to compensate if you find it not dry enough. but I'm personally not a Fan of CaraFoam.

Let me know if you Pick that Chocolate flavor in your clone, I might give your recipe a go (with some tweaks) soon, It's a beer I really enjoy and never tought to give it a try.

I have a similar recipe coldcrashing right now but I used Galaxy Hops and Used K97 dry yeast (because I wanted to give it a shot) I did not use CaraFoam and beersmith estimated 1.009 but I got 1.010 in reality.
 
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Let me know if you Pick that Chocolate flavor in your clone, I might give your recipe a go (with some tweaks) soon, It's a beer I really enjoy and never tought to give it a try.
If you're really familiar with this beer and you have some thoughts on tweaks, please share. I'll be brewing this on saturday, please help me get the recipe dialed in.
 

Genghis

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Here's what I have in the calendar:

4.2 kg Weyermann Organic Pilsner
0.3 kg Weyermann Organic Wheat
0.3 kg Weyermann Organic Carafoam

Mash in with 13 L of liquor at a temperature to achieve 67 C conversion. Mash at 67 C for 50 minutes. Vorlauf 1-2 L for 10 minutes. Commence run off and sparge at 77 C. Bring adequate volume of wort to boil for 90 minutes to achieve target OG of 12 Plato.

8.3g of Perle @ 90.
5.3g of Perle @ 50.
20g Hersbrucker @ 10.

Ferment with WLP 029. Rack off sediment and cold condition for 3-4 weeks. Carbonate to 2.5 vols.
 
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Here's what I have in the calendar:

4.2 kg Weyermann Organic Pilsner
0.3 kg Weyermann Organic Wheat
0.3 kg Weyermann Organic Carafoam

Mash in with 13 L of liquor at a temperature to achieve 67 C conversion. Mash at 67 C for 50 minutes. Vorlauf 1-2 L for 10 minutes. Commence run off and sparge at 77 C. Bring adequate volume of wort to boil for 90 minutes to achieve target OG of 12 Plato.

8.3g of Perle @ 90.
5.3g of Perle @ 50.
20g Hersbrucker @ 10.

Ferment with WLP 029. Rack off sediment and cold condition for 3-4 weeks. Carbonate to 2.5 vols.
THANKS!!
 

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My wife and I love this beer. Just last evening I mused about trying to brew one just like this. One google search and this thread pops up. Appreciate all the notes here. Going to give this a try this weekend.

Cheers!
 

curly1973

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Hi all, I was just wonder how this recipe turned out - hopefully the OP can provide some tasting notes? Thanks!
 
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Hi all, I was just wonder how this recipe turned out - hopefully the OP can provide some tasting notes? Thanks!
It turned out okay but I wouldn't call it a successful clone. As my skills have improved I have learned how to make water adjustments, I've also tightened up my mashing technique and precision so now I'm thinking about trying this again.

Since starting this thread I've turned out a few really good batches of Kölsch using Wyeast 2565 but I am convinced the authentic Beau's flavor requires WLP029 because the 2565 is a bit too fruity and has a noticeable 'corn chip' flavor that is characteristic of that strain. I've not tried WLP029 yet since my LHBS doesn't carry white labs but I'm going to order it.

My first plan of action is to use Weyermann pils malt with a bit of melanoidin to simulate a decoction, since melanoidin malt to me has a pronounced chocolate/graham cracker aroma. If that doesn't nail it I'll try again using Weyermann floor-malted Boho pils, mashing with a protein rest and a decoction. For the wheat portion of the grist I'm going to use Weyermann dark wheat for its biscuit-toffee-caramel flavors. This might make the melanoidin or a decoction unnecessary.

As far as hopping goes, I'll stick with Perle and Hersbrucker.
 
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