Boulevard Brewing Company - Nutcracker

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Jonnio

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Has anyone ever tried to mimic this recipe? I used to live in KC and I looked forward to the Christmas season more for this beer to come out than I did for the presents.

If I could make and keg this it might be heaven all year round.
 

Chriso

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I think it would be very hard to get the "right" blend of spices they used. I will ask and see if I can pry some info though.
 

maltMonkey

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That is definitely a good, interesting beer.

I just took the Boulevard tour last weekend. Had a knowledgeable homebrewer for a tour guide, and I asked a lot of questions, unfortunately none were about the Nutcracker specifically.

I did find out that they use the same yeast for all their ales, so you might be able to cultivate the same yeast strain from a bottle of their unfiltered wheat. I was thinking about trying that myself, although I wouldn't be surprised if it were a pretty generic strain. They do bottle condition all their beers with a different strain than they ferment with, so I don't know if the unfiltered wheat would be tainted with another yeast strain or not.....They also do single step infusions for (almost) all of their mashes.

Their website doesn't list any spices they might use, but does list the grain and hop bill.

Good luck, and if you come up with something close be sure to post it!
 

Chriso

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I wonder what they use for their "only" ale yeast - My guess would be something from Fermentis, maybe even us-05 .... unless it's a custom strain, of course.

This is very rough, and just based off of their website info. Try tweaking this:

Nut Cracker Ale
Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Brewer: Boulevard

8.75 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
1.00 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)
0.50 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)
0.50 oz Magnum [13.50 %] (60 min)
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (20 min)
0.50 oz Chinook (Fresh leaf) [13.00 %] (5 min)
2.0 oz (by weight) Molasses (80.0 SRM) Boil 5 Minutes

0.10 oz UNKNOWN SPICES (Boil 5.0 min)

Est Original Gravity: 1.064 SG (Website sez 16deg Plato, which is "roughly" 1.064)
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.17 % (Website sez 6.1% by vol)
Bitterness: 31.3 IBU (Website sez 31 IBU)

What do ya think? Am I close? I know the color swatch looks just like the couple of bottles I had last month.
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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chriso said:
What do ya think? Am I close? I know the color swatch looks just like the couple of bottles I had last month.
Looks pretty dang good on paper. I may have to try and come up with a bottle and see if my wife can pick out any spices in it. She has very good taste buds.
 

Chriso

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Hey Jonnio, did you ever wind up cloning this one? Just curious.. I was sipping on a Double-Wide IPA and it got me thinkin' back about this one. :D
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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I was about to order ingredients to have it for this Christmas. I haven't gotten around to it yet though. I was going to take your recipe and tweak a little based on their latest website...they may have left some info out, but there was no mention of spices, so I was going to leave that out, tweak the molasses a little and go from there.

I just got home from KC with a case of wheat, so I am thinking about culturing the yeast out of those bottles....little nervous though since most my reading says that is risky at best and disastrous at worst.
 

ayoung1

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I've been wanting to try this one as well.

Boulevard Brewing Nutcracker Ale

8.5 lbs 2-row
1 lb crystal 50
1 lb caramunich 60
10 oz carapils 75
6 oz wheat malt
1.25 lbs brown sugar

.5 oz Magnum pellet @ 13% (60 min)
.25 oz Cascade pellet @ 5.75% (30 min)
.25 oz Cascade pellet @ 5.75 (0 min)
.5 oz Chinook pellet @ 13% (0 min)

.5 tsp yeast nutrient and .5 tsp irsh moss @ 15 min

White Labs WLP002 English Ale or Wyeast 1028 London Ale
 

Chriso

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Well what do ya know, my version wasn't too far off! The Special B, Munich, and Aromatic all balance out, seeing how they used less extreme variants, a mid crystal, the caramunich, and the carapils.... And the molasses and brown sugar are similar...

I'm happy! I didn't know I had come so dangerously close!

Now I want to brew a small batch of each recipe, and compare the end products :p
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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That's AWESOME! I just got two cases of the real deal, so I am going to save a 12 pack and try to brew my own. I know it doesn't get rave reviews, but I look forward to Christmas time for this beer every year.

Chriso - You did do really well, I was going to brew your recipe, but never got around to it. I was still thinking along the lines of spiced winter ale, not winter warmer though, so I was stuck on what spices to use...until I had this years batch to refresh my memory that no spices are needed.
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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Chriso, I ordered the ingredients for the BYO recipe, so if you do decide to do a batch with your recipe I will gladly send you a couple bottles to compare them.
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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Well I went ahead and brewed this a few days ago, managed to get everything but the magnum hops, I had to sub them - it is happily bubbling away with S-04 yeast. Everything went really well, but being true to form I had to screw something up and forgot the zero minute hops until I had already started cooling, so they are a combo dry hop aroma hop. I might have to add a small hop tea at kegging time, but we will see. It's not a hop heavy brew, so I am not too worried.

I will report back with a side by side comparison here in a few weeks. I am saving back some of the real deal until my version is done.
 

Chriso

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Awesome. I've not brewed my batch of this. I might do it over my break from work - Or I might hang my head in shame, and put this on deck for early next Fall, so I can sip it during the holiday season.

I am kicking myself. I haven't brewed in 2 months. I have a beer in primary that has been there since 11/4 - On the yeast cake - and I also have my 999 Barleywine from 10/4/08, also still in primary - ON the yeast cake. :mad: I really need to get some kegs cleaned and some beers racked. GRRRRR.

Once I get my brewery re-assembled in the basement, I am going to make sure to never let the pipeline go this empty again. You would not BELIEVE how much $$$ I've spent on commercial brews in the past 2 months since the pipeline is gone. :(
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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I can only imagine. As I grow more and more fond of hoppy beers I start to realize I am quickly bringing myself into a homebrew only situation :)
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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Well, its a little young, but I have sampled enough to do the comparison shot. Overall a very close clone. The original has a little more of a nutty flavor, so I am wondering if the magnum sub I did lost that or if it just needs a little more time.

Here is a side by side shot.

 

leghorn

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I had always thought Carapils with 2 lovibond, how does one get a 75 lovibond version? I can't find that version at Northern Brewer.
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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I just used regular carapils as that's all I could find too.
 

Chriso

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I'm reading the BYO Recipe Issue right now, figured I would add the stats for BYO's clone version that are missing from this thread:

OG 1.063
FG 1.015
IBU - 32
SRM - about 23
ABV = 6.1%
 
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Jonnio

Jonnio

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I'm reading the BYO Recipe Issue right now, figured I would add the stats for BYO's clone version that are missing from this thread:

OG 1.063
FG 1.015
IBU - 32
SRM - about 23
ABV = 6.1%
Chriso - Last time I was in KC I had a talk with the Boulevard folks about Nutcracker and found where the clone is lacking. The original gets a heavy dose of fresh cascade hops in secondary -- in fact, they schedule brewing the beer around when their hops will make it in so that they can have it ready in secondary when they arive.
 

Chriso

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Ooh, nice info to have, thanks very much!!! I'm hoping to do this in the first few batches once I return to All-Grain, after one or two more test extract batches to get my outdoor rhythm going as I transition from my enclosed front porch. Maybe in time for Christmas!
 

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