Blind Pig Clone

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dschiller

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The following is similar to a couple of other Blind Pig clone recipes you could find online, but I'm adding the water chemistry instructions which I believe are important. This is very close to Russian River's fine brew! Cheers!!

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.40 gal
Boil Size: 7.15 gal
Boil Time: 60 min


AmtNameType%/IBU
11 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)Grain88.9 %
8.0 ozCara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)Grain4.0 %
6.0 ozCaramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)Grain3.0 %
4.0 ozAcid Malt (3.0 SRM)Grain2.0 %
4.0 ozWheat - White Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM)Grain2.0 %
0.65 ozColumbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.80 %] - Boil 60.0 minHop33.6 IBUs
0.30 ozApollo [19.00 %] - Boil 60.0 minHop18.7 IBUs
0.50 ozAmarillo [7.70 %] - Boil 30.0 minHop9.7 IBUs
0.50 ozAmarillo [7.70 %] - Whirlpool 0.0 minHop0.0 IBUs
0.50 ozCascade [5.80 %] - Whirlpool 0.0 minHop0.0 IBUs
0.50 ozCentennial [8.10 %] - Whirlpool 0.0 minHop0.0 IBUs
0.50 ozSimcoe [13.20 %] - Whirlpool 0.0Hop0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkgCalifornia Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml]Yeast-
0.50 ozAmarillo [7.70 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 DaysHop0.0 IBUs
0.50 ozCascade [5.80 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 DaysHop0.0 IBUs
0.50 ozCentennial [8.10 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 DaysHop0.0 IBUs
0.50 ozColumbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.80 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 DaysHop0.0 IBUs

Original Gravity: 1.057 SG
Final Gravity: 1.007 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.5 % (slightly higher than target 6.3%)
Bitterness: 61.0 IBUs
Est Color: 4.4 SRM

NOTES:
Yeast Note: 1.2 liter StirStarter (decanted)
Add late to boil: 0.5 tablet Whirlfloc, 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
Bubbled O2 in wort for 45 seconds prior to pitching yeast

WATER CHEMISTRY:
Used 100% RO water for both mash and sparge
Target water profile is Russian River Brewing profile obtained from another post. SG of CaCl2 solution is 1.086. See additions below.
1618615690538.png


Mash 1.5 qt/lb, target 151-152F for 60 minutes
pH of mash after 30 minutes was 5.1, but this might have been an erroneous measurement; the previous time I brewed this I got pretty close to 5.3.

Whirlpool for 25 minutes starting at 170F. I did this simply by stirring every 5 minutes and keeping the lid on the brew kettle (I don't have a fancy recirculating pump). Whirlpool ended at about 160F after 25 minutes.

Started fermentation at 65F. Increased gradually to 68F over a few days. Dry hop started after 7 days (also dumped the trub out of my conical fermenter at this time). 3 days later increased the fermentation temperature gradually to 73F and kept it at that temperature for a couple of days to get rid of any DMS (perhaps an unnecessary step for IPAs). Cold crashed at 36F for a few days after day 14.

Added gelatin to keg. Force carbonated at 30 psi for 1 day and then 12 psi for 3 days.

This beer rocks!
 

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couchsending

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There’s a recent podcast with Vinnie where he talks about the malt bill for both Pliny and Blind Pig. I don’t believe either has any crystal malt anymore. I’d have to go back and listen but I swear he said BP is now 2row/30% Simpson’s Best Pale and then Munich to adjust color. Prolly some carapils as well.

Pretty sure the water profile for Pliny is actually slightly more CaCl heavy. Equal parts in the mash and 3:2 CaCl to CaSo4 in the kettle. Targeting 150ppm CA I believe. I’d assume BP is somewhat similar but maybe slightly lower Ca target as the FG is rather low on both beers.
 

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There’s a recent podcast with Vinnie where he talks about the malt bill for both Pliny and Blind Pig. I don’t believe either has any crystal malt anymore. I’d have to go back and listen but I swear he said BP is now 2row/30% Simpson’s Best Pale and then Munich to adjust color. Prolly some carapils as well.

Pretty sure the water profile for Pliny is actually slightly more CaCl heavy. Equal parts in the mash and 3:2 CaCl to CaSo4 in the kettle. Targeting 150ppm CA I believe. I’d assume BP is somewhat similar but maybe slightly lower Ca target as the FG is rather low on both beers.
Do you remember where you saw the podcast? I'd really like to watch it. Also, it's interesting to see that Vinnie C. is modifying such an iconic flagship beer to meet the changing tastes and trends, though I guess that's inevitable.

It's amazing how crystal malts have fallen out of favor, so far and so quickly. Ten years ago it seems like every recipe was at least 20%-30% crystal 'something'. I don't think I've used much of anything darker than 20L in the last year or so, except for some 40L in a classic recipe (Bell's 2H). There's some 60L, 80L and even some 120L remnants that have been taking up space in my grain storage bins for awhile. I'm wondering if they'll ever get used. I still sneak in some CaraHell in Pils and Helles, but APAs and IPAs haven't gotten anything but 10L and 20L, and then only in small cameo appearances.

I did get a custom-ordered grain bill from Atlantic Homebrew last week for a Jai Alai IPA that has a smattering of 60L for a little color and to lend a little orange hue for authenticity. I'd considered using an ounce or two of roasted malt but need the hint of sweetness so crystal was the go to. For the near term at least, until tastes and trends come full circle, I can see my future brews centering on more base malts like the slightly higher kilned Pale Ale malts as well as Munich and Vienna with lesser amounts of 10L, 20L, CaraHell, CaraRed and additional CaraPils for color and dextrin.
 

couchsending

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Do you remember where you saw the podcast? I'd really like to watch it. Also, it's interesting to see that Vinnie C. is modifying such an iconic flagship beer to meet the changing tastes and trends, though I guess that's inevitable.
I don’t think it’s about meeting trends but more of a deeper understanding about the science behind the beers. Their beer does travel, albeit somewhat sparingly. The removal of the Simpsons C60 (which he always used for color) was more about eliminating the negative side affects that those crystal malts have on the oxidation of the beer and making a better hoppy beer 2 and 3 months after it’s bottled. I recently had the best bottle of Pliny I’ve had in years and it was almost 2 months old.

Vinnie was on two Podcasts in Jan/Feb with John Holl.

Episode 300 of Steal This Beer
An episode in Feb of Drink Beer Think Beer

pretty sure it was one of those. Although both are great listens. Vinnie is the man could listen to him talk for hours.

I’ve Just recently actually started to add a bit of slightly higher L crystal malts back to a few beers. I’ve always stopped at either Carahell or CaraBlonde but recently have been playing with small percentages of 15-20L crystals to try to boost the sweetness a touch on lower ABV hoppy beers. Trying to replicate the sweetness of that alcohol would bring to something stronger. Interested to see if it works.

On a side note I believe Shaun Hill used to add a tiny portion of Cara Aroma to Edward for color. Like maybe .5%. Not sure if he still does or not.
 

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I don’t think it’s about meeting trends but more of a deeper understanding about the science behind the beers. Their beer does travel, albeit somewhat sparingly. The removal of the Simpsons C60 (which he always used for color) was more about eliminating the negative side affects that those crystal malts have on the oxidation of the beer and making a better hoppy beer 2 and 3 months after it’s bottled. I recently had the best bottle of Pliny I’ve had in years and it was almost 2 months old.

Vinnie was on two Podcasts in Jan/Feb with John Holl.

Episode 300 of Steal This Beer
An episode in Feb of Drink Beer Think Beer

pretty sure it was one of those. Although both are great listens. Vinnie is the man could listen to him talk for hours.

I’ve Just recently actually started to add a bit of slightly higher L crystal malts back to a few beers. I’ve always stopped at either Carahell or CaraBlonde but recently have been playing with small percentages of 15-20L crystals to try to boost the sweetness a touch on lower ABV hoppy beers. Trying to replicate the sweetness of that alcohol would bring to something stronger. Interested to see if it works.

On a side note I believe Shaun Hill used to add a tiny portion of Cara Aroma to Edward for color. Like maybe .5%. Not sure if he still does or not.
Thanks for the direction to the link of the podcast(s). I'll chase them down.

Good call on CaraAroma. I'm not familiar with CaraBlonde but it sounds as if it might be worth looking into. CaraRed is a bit darker than I'd normally use, and limit it pretty much to Irish Red ales or maybe an Amber Ale. Let me know if you find a breakthrough on balancing light crystal malts' sweetness with low ABV beers. Summer is coming and I need to crack that same nut for my lawnmower brews.

The past few years I tried using fruitier hops to bring some sweetness with mixed though not unpleasant results. Out of frustration I decided to try some fruited sours this year as my summer refresher, but would like to find a solution to the light beer sweetness balance conundrum. The closest I've come so far was last year's Coor's Light knockoff which actually came out pretty darn good.
 
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dschiller

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In the main Pliny thread, there are a couple of posts that also suggest eliminating the Crystal malt. I chose to modify a recipe I found for Blind Pig by reducing the amount of Crystal and changing from 40L to 10L. With regard to water chemistry, 150 ppm Ca seems like a lot. In Bru'n Water Martin Brungard states that Ca shouldn't be more than 100 ppm. I was shooting for 76 and landed on 66 ppm. The Russian River Brewing Company water profile I found gives a SO4/Cl ratio of approx 2.5, which is very dry. However, I have also seen a couple of websites suggest bumping up the Ca to 110 ppm and the sulfate to 275 ppm. It would be great if someone would do a side by side comparison with both water profiles. At a minimum, I recommend trying my recipe as is and then provide feedback on how it should be changed to get a closer match.
 

couchsending

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Most professional breweries target at least 100ppm for a lot of beer styles and many go over 100 frequently. A lot depends on how much starting alkalinity you have and also when you add the Ca. If you’re only adding the Ca to the mash and sparge you’re potentially leaving 50% of it behind in the mash. I’m 100% positive Pliny is higher in CaCl than CaSo4 (or at least was). For Pliny I’d target 1g per gallon of CaCl and .85g/gallon of CaSo4. For BP I might lower that to maybe .7g/gallon CaCl and .55g/gallon CaSo4 with a target of around 100ppm Ca and always adding the Ca salts designated for mash water to the Kettle. With FG below 1.010 beers that high in CaSo4 will tend to come off as to dry, thin, and abrasive.
 
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dschiller

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OK, next time I brew this I'll try the Ca=110 ppm and Sulfate=275 ppm targets. Thanks for the tip about adding the Ca salts designated for mash water (but not the sparge water) to the kettle instead. I'll do that next time. Do you mean both the CaCl2 and the CaSO4? I used liquid CaCl2. So my liquid solution was equivalent to about 0.3 g/gallon of anhydrous CaCl2. Having .7 g/gallon CaCl and .55 g/gallon CaSO4 would get your 100 ppm Ca but the sulfate would only be about 150 ppm (if you increase the epsom salt to .65 g/gallon). One way to get to Ca=110 ppm and Sulfate=275 ppm would be to add CaSO4 at 1.35 g/gallon (2.5x higher than you are recommending), liquid CaCl2 at 3.00 g/gallon (or anhydrous at 0.3 g/gallon), and epsom salt at .7 g/gallon. Do you think the 275 ppm sulfate target is way too high?
 

couchsending

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Yes I think 275 is way too high especially for a beer that finishes at below 2 plato.

If this beer finished at 4 plato and was the same ABV, maybe not.
 
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