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Critique My New Belgium 2 Below Clone Recipe

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No_Nrg

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New Belgium's 2 Below was always a favorite winter brew of mine but they don't make it any more. I'm setting out to clone it using the info from their website. I'm trying to figure out if a dry hop was included and if the grain ratios are a good start.

New Belgiums Website:
32IBU, Ale Yeast, 6.6% ABV
Hops: Nugget, Sterling and Liberty
Malts: Pale, Munich, Caramel, C-80, Carapils, Victory

HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: 2 Below Clone

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Strong Bitter
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 6.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.049
Efficiency: 65% (brew house)


STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.064
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 6.6%
IBU (tinseth): 31.67
SRM (morey): 12.5

FERMENTABLES:
10 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (74.1%)
1 lb - American - Munich - Dark 20L (7.4%)
8 oz - American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) (3.7%)
1 lb - American - Victory (7.4%)
1 lb - American - Caramel / Crystal 40L (7.4%)

HOPS:
18 g - Nugget, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.2, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 29.6
28 g - Liberty, Type: Pellet, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 1 min, IBU: 0.65
28 g - Sterling, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.7, Use: Boil for 1 min, IBU: 1.42

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Temperature, Temp: 152 F, Time: 60 min

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
1 each - whirlfloc, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil

YEAST:
GigaYeast - NorCal Ale #1
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (avg): 78%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Temp: 64 - 77 F
Fermentation Temp: 66 F
 

IslandLizard

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Interesting!

I'd definitely move the 2 late hops to the whirlpool at reduced temps (170-150F for 20-30').
Probably add a dryhop, but taste a sample first and see where it is after a week.

I've never tasted the original. Clueless about the malt composition.
Did they use C80 and you're using C40? A whole pound sounds a bit much.

Why not use a British yeast, like WLP002/WY1968 (ESB)? Not enough attenuation?
 

Dog House Brew

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I wish they still made it. I think the flavor was more dark crystal. I always thought it tasted a bit sweet. Not sure what yeast they used, 002 maybe? Hope you can nail it. I sure miss that beer. Since it is out of production, shoot them an email. You never know what you might get.
 

mashpaddled

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They put 2 Below in last year's winter mix pack. Not sure if it will be in this year's but worth looking for.

NB uses both liberty and sterling at the end of the boil and for dry hopping on this beer.

Plan on lagering the beer to get it clear and crisp but you may find even with a healthy lagering period it lacks the crispness of the commercial production. I'm not entirely convinced an ale yeast is right for this beer but it's been a long time since I've had one. 2 Below came out during the time NB labeled all their stronger lagers as ales to comply with Texas regulations that, at the time, required all beer over a specific ABV to be labeled ales.
 
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No_Nrg

No_Nrg

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Interesting!

I'd definitely move the 2 late hops to the whirlpool at reduced temps (170-150F for 20-30').
Probably add a dryhop, but taste a sample first and see where it is after a week.

I've never tasted the original. Clueless about the malt composition.
Did they use C80 and you're using C40? A whole pound sounds a bit much.

Why not use a British yeast, like WLP002/WY1968 (ESB)? Not enough attenuation?
ESB tends to have up to 20% of grist being crystal so I thought I'd start around 7.5% and go up and down from there. I jumped down to 40L since I'm using Munich 20L (which is a shot in the dark, original recipe may use 10L). This is a pilot batch so still variables to work out. More than open to suggestions ;)
 
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No_Nrg

No_Nrg

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I've got my New Belgium 2 Below Clone in the keg, tastes quite good (though I can't compare to the original as they don't make it anymore). Not sure if it's a spot on recipe, but it's a drinkable interpretation. I'm happy with it overall, just feel it needs a bit more hop character and wish it attenuated a bit more. Ended with a 1.015 FG at 6.56% abv.

I tweaked the recipe a bit from original post:
HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: 2 Below Clone

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Strong Bitter
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 6.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.046
Efficiency: 65% (brew house)


STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.060
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 6.14%
IBU (tinseth): 32.42
SRM (morey): 10.68

FERMENTABLES:
10 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (78.8%)
1 lb - American - Munich - Light 10L (7.9%)
8 oz - American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) (3.9%)
11 oz - American - Victory (5.4%)
8 oz - American - Caramel / Crystal 80L (3.9%)

HOPS:
15 g - Nugget, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.6, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 30.45
28 g - Liberty, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.3, Use: Boil for 1 min, IBU: 0.72
28 g - Sterling, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.4, Use: Boil for 1 min, IBU: 1.24
28 g - Liberty, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.3, Use: Dry Hop for 4 days
28 g - Sterling, Type: Pellet, AA: 7.4, Use: Dry Hop for 4 days

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Temperature, Temp: 152 F, Time: 60 min
2) Infusion, Temp: 159 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 7.26 gal, strike

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
1 each - whirlfloc, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil

YEAST:
GigaYeast - British Ale Yeast #1
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (avg): 77%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 64 - 77 F
Fermentation Temp: 66 F
 
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