Heady Topper- Can you clone it?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

sicktght311

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
667
Reaction score
301
Here is the recipe I have been using. I think I nailed it!

Fermentables:

15 lbs Pearl base malt (86%)
0.6 lb Cara malt (Crystal 10) (4%)
1.75 lb Corn sugar (10%)

Water profile
CA: 50 ppm
So4: 300
RA: -40

Mash 60 min ~146 degrees

Boil:

Warrior 1.5 oz 60 min
Simcoe 1 oz 30 min
Columbus 2 oz 15 min
Simcoe 2 oz 10 min
Amarillo 1 oz 5 min

Whirlpool:

Simcoe 2 oz
Amarillo 1 oz

Dry Hop:

Simcoe 3 oz

Brewing this version this coming weekend with Imperial Barbarian. My only concern is the sugar and the low mash temp. This thing has to finish bone dry based on this recipe. What was the final gravity?? Also single dryhop after fermentation is complete?
 

GnenieGone

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
13,403
Reaction score
23,209
Looking to brew this, did anyone brew this and how did it turn out?

Been a long time. I wasn't close but not due to recipe but hop introduction technique. I've changed how hops are introduced so maybe I'll join you in an attempt.

I don't do hopshots (will sub with columbus) I use a hop spider for boil/whirlpool additions though. The dry hopping is divided into 2. First is at day 3 of fermentation. The second is at kegging. I heat up a quart of water to 125F then, with a hop spider (sanitized), I'll steep the 2nd dry hop. Ensure you have plenty of yeast and cold crash before kegging. I now always add potassium sorbate and ascorbic acid for oxygen control. My 2 cents.

Because of my way, I add more hops and more grain also.
 

hopfenstopfen

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
250
Reaction score
1,372
Location
North Carolina
Been a long time. I wasn't close but not due to recipe but hop introduction technique. I've changed how hops are introduced so maybe I'll join you in an attempt.

I don't do hopshots (will sub with columbus) I use a hop spider for boil/whirlpool additions though. The dry hopping is divided into 2. First is at day 3 of fermentation. The second is at kegging. I heat up a quart of water to 125F then, with a hop spider (sanitized), I'll steep the 2nd dry hop. Ensure you have plenty of yeast and cold crash before kegging. I now always add potassium sorbate and ascorbic acid for oxygen control. My 2 cents.

Because of my way, I add more hops and more grain also.

Hey @PianoMan can you offer an HBT thread or other website offering guidance on potassium sorbate & ascorbic acid for oxygen control? I have only seen this mentioned one other time.
 

GnenieGone

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
13,403
Reaction score
23,209
Hey @PianoMan can you offer an HBT thread or other website offering guidance on potassium sorbate & ascorbic acid for oxygen control? I have only seen this mentioned one other time.

Myself, and most anyone else that uses fruit in secondary, uses potassium sorbate to put any remaining yeast asleep so that no more fermentation occurs. Just as critical is a cold crash to drop out the yeast in the first place. I started using with my hard lemonades. However as I began to pursue hazy IPAs with massive secondary, I, and many others, would get post fermentation diacetyl. I started using it in beer along with the technique described.

As far as ascorbic acid, aka "Vitamin C", it's already a well known food preserver. Just Google it, you'll get all the info you need.
 

Drummone

New Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Maybe a fermzilla or similar is the way to go here. I have one and have zero oxygen issues. Dry hopping is definitely oxygen free and you have the option to dump yeast/hop trub. What’s the concensus on the recipe?
 

GnenieGone

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
13,403
Reaction score
23,209
Maybe a fermzilla or similar is the way to go here. I have one and have zero oxygen issues. Dry hopping is definitely oxygen free and you have the option to dump yeast/hop trub. What’s the concensus on the recipe?

I have a FermZilla but the tube would get clogged with massive hop additions. The dumping bottle was not big enough to hold all the trub. It was a pain to clean. And In my case, just never found a easy solution to temp control. Other's may have found solutions. I bought it for that very reason you mentioned! But ultimately went back to my buckets for easier brewing.

This recipe was the OPs 4th attempt so thinking the OP got it working. Good luck and report back!
 

hopfenstopfen

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
250
Reaction score
1,372
Location
North Carolina
Myself, and most anyone else that uses fruit in secondary, uses potassium sorbate to put any remaining yeast asleep so that no more fermentation occurs. Just as critical is a cold crash to drop out the yeast in the first place. I started using with my hard lemonades. However as I began to pursue hazy IPAs with massive secondary, I, and many others, would get post fermentation diacetyl. I started using it in beer along with the technique described.

As far as ascorbic acid, aka "Vitamin C", it's already a well known food preserver. Just Google it, you'll get all the info you need.


Thanks. If I follow you correctly
1) you’re using potassium sorbate (some use campden tabs) to guard against hop creep induced vdk?.
2) you’re using ascorbic acid to scavenge O2 because you use a secondary fv? Not that you wouldn’t use it anyway.

I get creep in my neipas frequently. When are you typically dry hopping? I use mosaic a lot & its reputedly a major offender.
 

GnenieGone

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
13,403
Reaction score
23,209
Thanks. If I follow you correctly
1) you’re using potassium sorbate (some use campden tabs) to guard against hop creep induced vdk?.
2) you’re using ascorbic acid to scavenge O2 because you use a secondary fv? Not that you wouldn’t use it anyway.

I get creep in my neipas frequently. When are you typically dry hopping? I use mosaic a lot & its reputedly a major offender.

I'm not that technical. I use PS to guard against post fermentation diacetyl. Dry Hop-1 is after day 3 fermentation. As mentioned, "Dry-Hop"-2 is hop steeping and directly added to the keg. After doing this, 1000% improvement with my IPAs. Luckily I have hop head friends who helped with critiques. Everyone has they're own set-up, tastes and ways of doing things but this works for my personal goals.
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
3,013
Reaction score
2,082
Alchemist beers are dry hopped once post fermentation at temps close to 45. I believe Heady/Focal are only 1.5#/bbl DH. That being said I haven’t had a good can of either in so long. Latest cans I had were Total grass bombs. Undrinkable for me honestly, which bums me out.
 

stickyfinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
2,274
Reaction score
604
Location
Hudson Valley
Cool, why didn't I think of that. This could really help some of my friends who insist on dry hopping at warm temps and who often have some diacetyl. So, I could advise them to ferment out their beers and then add PS and dry hop. How much PS do you need to add? Do you dissolve it in some water and add it with the dry hops and swirl?

I'm not that technical. I use PS to guard against post fermentation diacetyl. Dry Hop-1 is after day 3 fermentation. As mentioned, "Dry-Hop"-2 is hop steeping and directly added to the keg. After doing this, 1000% improvement with my IPAs. Luckily I have hop head friends who helped with critiques. Everyone has they're own set-up, tastes and ways of doing things but this works for my personal goals.
 

GnenieGone

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
13,403
Reaction score
23,209
Cool, why didn't I think of that. This could really help some of my friends who insist on dry hopping at warm temps and who often have some diacetyl. So, I could advise them to ferment out their beers and then add PS and dry hop. How much PS do you need to add? Do you dissolve it in some water and add it with the dry hops and swirl?

Since I go directly to keg after cold crash, then add the hop steep addition, I don't dissolve them, just add directly. I do about 1tbl for 5gal which is less then the recommended 1tsp/gal. The ascorbic acid I do as recommended, 1tsp/5gal. The whole time, the CO2 is on purging the keg also.
 

Trillium

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Kingston
Brewing this version this coming weekend with Imperial Barbarian. My only concern is the sugar and the low mash temp. This thing has to finish bone dry based on this recipe. What was the final gravity?? Also single dryhop after fermentation is complete?
Im actually going to brew this again this weekend. The recipe i posted is very close. Aiming for 1.072 post boil so it finishes at 8%.

Dry hopping should be 4 oz since since the IPA book says John uses about 0.83 oz per gallon.

Fermentation schedule:
Start at 68 deg F and raise by 1 deg every day for 4 days.
I have a conical so I drop yeast before dry hopping for 4 days.
I then drop the hops and celler for 2 weeks at 39 deg F.
 
Last edited:

GnenieGone

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
13,403
Reaction score
23,209
Welp, out this round. When picking up grains/hops for this brew learned about BSG Blends and choose to try Sequoia. Next time...

Screenshot_20210415-180106.png
 

WhoDatDad78

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
331
Reaction score
127
Myself, and most anyone else that uses fruit in secondary, uses potassium sorbate to put any remaining yeast asleep so that no more fermentation occurs. Just as critical is a cold crash to drop out the yeast in the first place. I started using with my hard lemonades. However as I began to pursue hazy IPAs with massive secondary, I, and many others, would get post fermentation diacetyl. I started using it in beer along with the technique described.

As far as ascorbic acid, aka "Vitamin C", it's already a well known food preserver. Just Google it, you'll get all the info you need.
So, if I'm reading this right, you are adding 1 TBS of potassium sorbate at secondary transfer (into a keg with dry hopped and sanitized water ) with CO2 to inhibit oxygen introduction diacetyl? I brewed a clone of this last Sunday and I'm on day 3 of fermentation, so dry hop time is approaching.
 

WhoDatDad78

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
331
Reaction score
127
Here is my pre carbed Clone OG was 1.072, FG 1.006. pine, pineapple, citrus and a bitter finish. Pretty good, though I've never had the real thing.
20210628_111404.jpg
 

Attachments

  • 16248984629564277696764165999167.jpg
    16248984629564277696764165999167.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 10

WhoDatDad78

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
331
Reaction score
127
After carbing and letting it settle it has a big pine with a soft citrus and maybe stone fruit. Very nice sweetness followed by sharp bitterness. We'll see what the Vermonter has to say.
 

Attachments

  • 16252616880712402088624732918717.jpg
    16252616880712402088624732918717.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 30

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
190
Reaction score
211
h_hb.png


Heady has a bit more carbonation, is darker, and has much better mouthfeel. My interpretation is lacking body and mouthfeel (too thin, I mashed at 145°F) by comparison. In terms of hop character and flavor profile they are fairly close, much closer than I expected. The recipes provided in this thread are good starting points.

Because I don't feel this a dead-on clone, I'm not going to provide an exact recipe. Experiment and have fun.

Fawcett Maris Otter (Pearl was not available)
Dextrose

CO2 hop extract, start of boil
Amarillo, late boil & whirlpool
Columbus, late boil & whirlpool
Simcoe, late boil & whirlpool
Simcoe, dry hop

Yeast: Culture from Heady Topper
 

WhoDatDad78

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
331
Reaction score
127
After carbing and letting it settle it has a big pine with a soft citrus and maybe stone fruit. Very nice sweetness followed by sharp bitterness. We'll see what the Vermonter has to say.
So the neighbor tried my clone. He says it's more bitter in the finish that HT, but the body and initial flavor is spot on, as well as the aroma. He also noted it went directly to his head like HT. So I would probably move some of the bittering hop to flameout.
 

wepeeler

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
1,471
Reaction score
2,755
Location
CT
Alchemist beers are dry hopped once post fermentation at temps close to 45. I believe Heady/Focal are only 1.5#/bbl DH. That being said I haven’t had a good can of either in so long. Latest cans I had were Total grass bombs. Undrinkable for me honestly, which bums me out.
Just drank 4 4 packs in a week after a lovely trip to Stowe. They all tasted great. I've had a few 4 packs which were distributed to CT earlier in the year that I was NOT a fan of. Something clearly off. Maybe the same batch you had.

Any consensus on a recipe? Decent clone? 99 pages and all...
 

Trillium

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
175
Reaction score
26
Location
Kingston
Here is the recipe I have been using. I think I nailed it!

Fermentables:

15 lbs Pearl base malt (86%)
0.6 lb Cara malt (Crystal 10) (4%)
1.75 lb Corn sugar (10%)

Water profile
CA: 50 ppm
So4: 300
RA: -40

Mash 60 min ~146 degrees

Boil:

Warrior 1.5 oz 60 min
Simcoe 1 oz 30 min
Columbus 2 oz 15 min
Simcoe 2 oz 10 min
Amarillo 1 oz 5 min

Whirlpool:

Simcoe 2 oz
Amarillo 1 oz

Dry Hop:

Simcoe 3 oz
I just kegged batch. Definitely not a Heady topper. I finished too low at 1.010. s/b 1.012.
For next batch I would increase 10 min and whirlpool additions. Turned out to be excellent, but not enough hop flavour. I'll stick to .8 oz per gallon dry hop.
 

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
190
Reaction score
211
1645949960723.jpeg


flavor profile is quite similar, but Heady is more hop-saturated. i suspect The Alchemist's recirculation during dry hopping is making some difference. difficult beer to truly "clone"
 

VirginiaHops1

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
626
Location
Vienna, Va
View attachment 760963

flavor profile is quite similar, but Heady is more hop-saturated. i suspect The Alchemist's recirculation during dry hopping is making some difference. difficult beer to truly "clone"
I didn't go backwards to find your recipe but have you tried using cryo? I do think a lot of the pros get better quality hops or have better efficiency(probably often both) but I've found cryo helps a lot getting that hop saturated punch that can sometimes be lacking. I try to use some in all my dry hops for hazys now.
 

VirginiaHops1

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
626
Location
Vienna, Va
It's in message 911 of this thread.

Hopefully, this link will work:

Heady Topper- Can you clone it?

By the way, it's impossible to clone a commercial beer using homebrewer equipment and smaller batch sizes, and different ingredients. Even commercial breweries can't "clone" their own beer, as we all know. I hate the term "clone", and appreciate your use of "replicate". We should all stick to the term "replicated beer" or something similar, and forever do away with the term "clone beer". It's entirely misleading.
I totally agree with you but clone just rolls off the tongue so much better. Let's just keep using that but understand it's beer not sheep in a lab and it's almost impossible to produce a completely identical beer on different systems.
 

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
190
Reaction score
211
I didn't go backwards to find your recipe but have you tried using cryo? I do think a lot of the pros get better quality hops or have better efficiency(probably often both) but I've found cryo helps a lot getting that hop saturated punch that can sometimes be lacking. I try to use some in all my dry hops for hazys now.

it's a good point, i have little doubt Heady uses some amount of concentrated pellet/powder hops, definitely worth trying some combination of LupuLN2/LUPOMAX

i have so far just been using co2 extract to bitter and T-90 in late boil, whirlpool, and dry hop
 

Northern_Brewer

British - apparently some US company stole my name
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
3,740
Reaction score
3,398
Location
UK
it's a good point, i have little doubt Heady uses some amount of concentrated pellet/powder hops

Except for the fact that such products didn't really exist when Heady was invented. That's not to say that the recipe may have changed subsequently, or that such products may be useful at a homebrew level.
 

HopsAreGood

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
759
Reaction score
1,124
Location
New Jersey
Except for the fact that such products didn't really exist when Heady was invented. That's not to say that the recipe may have changed subsequently, or that such products may be useful at a homebrew level.
Was thinking the same exact thing…just didn’t say it. When heady first came out and was blowing peoples minds, cryo and lupomax didn’t really exist. They were just using typical T 90 pellets. Most likely still are.
 

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
190
Reaction score
211
I don’t know what they’re using in Heady, but you can hear John lauding lupulin powder here -

 

Hildawg

New Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
I just kegged batch. Definitely not a Heady topper. I finished too low at 1.010. s/b 1.012.
For next batch I would increase 10 min and whirlpool additions. Turned out to be excellent, but not enough hop flavour. I'll stick to .8 oz per gallon dry hop.
Hey I was just curious if you had any revisions to this recipe? Also what temp and duration do you whirlpool at? Thanks!
 

secretlevel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
300
Location
Chicago, IL
View attachment 760963

flavor profile is quite similar, but Heady is more hop-saturated. i suspect The Alchemist's recirculation during dry hopping is making some difference. difficult beer to truly "clone"

I imagine this beer is evolving to adapt to the modern palate. Most brewers in this style are using around 2lbs/bbl dry hop, many NEIPA brewers are using even more. Between that and hop utilization on the homebrew level, quality of hops, and Alchemists' selection, I would probably use 8oz/5 gal to get to the same level of hoppiness.
 

wepeeler

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
1,471
Reaction score
2,755
Location
CT
I imagine this beer is evolving to adapt to the modern palate. Most brewers in this style are using around 2lbs/bbl dry hop, many NEIPA brewers are using even more. Between that and hop utilization on the homebrew level, quality of hops, and Alchemists' selection, I would probably use 8oz/5 gal to get to the same level of hoppiness.
Heady isn't your typical super juicy fluffy mouthfeel NEIPA. It's known as the Granddaddy to the style, but if you put it in a flight next to Tree House and Trillium's core NEIPAs, it would stick out like a sore thumb. I think it marries West Coast and East Coast IPAs beautifully. It's not super opaque/hazy at all. Tons of sticky hop flavor and dankness. My guess, is more late addition and WP hops vs DH. I'm sure there's plenty of DHing going on, but not on the level of TH/Trillium/OH etc.
 

secretlevel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
300
Location
Chicago, IL
Heady isn't your typical super juicy fluffy mouthfeel NEIPA. It's known as the Granddaddy to the style, but if you put it in a flight next to Tree House and Trillium's core NEIPAs, it would stick out like a sore thumb. I think it marries West Coast and East Coast IPAs beautifully. It's not super opaque/hazy at all. Tons of sticky hop flavor and dankness. My guess, is more late addition and WP hops vs DH. I'm sure there's plenty of DHing going on, but not on the level of TH/Trillium/OH etc.

Haha yep, have definitely had Heady! More whirlpool additions is probably a good way to go, too. I'd opt for 6oz whirlpool and 8oz dry hop, personally. I've made an IPA a while back that came out pretty similar to Heady and it featured 8oz Simcoe in the DH.
 

wepeeler

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
1,471
Reaction score
2,755
Location
CT
Haha yep, have definitely had Heady! More whirlpool additions is probably a good way to go, too. I'd opt for 6oz whirlpool and 8oz dry hop, personally. I've made an IPA a while back that came out pretty similar to Heady and it featured 8oz Simcoe in the DH.
I'd be very interested in trying out your recipe if you care to share. Heady, to me, is one of the most unique flavored (New England) IPAs.
 

secretlevel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
300
Location
Chicago, IL
I'd be very interested in trying out your recipe if you care to share. Heady, to me, is one of the most unique flavored (New England) IPAs.

Agreed and for sure! It wasn't supposed to be a Heady clone, but all of my IPA recipes are def inspired by it :) So you'll see some similarities, but lots of differences.
 

Clyde McCoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
190
Reaction score
211
I imagine this beer is evolving to adapt to the modern palate. Most brewers in this style are using around 2lbs/bbl dry hop, many NEIPA brewers are using even more. Between that and hop utilization on the homebrew level, quality of hops, and Alchemists' selection, I would probably use 8oz/5 gal to get to the same level of hoppiness.

I've tried a few variations, with quantities similar (or greater) to your suggestions (6 oz whirlpool and 8 oz dry hop).

Roughly:

Water: 250+ sulfate
Fermentable: Fawcett Pearl, dextrose, sometimes small % 10-20L crystal
Kettle: CO2 extract (usually ~10 ml)
WP: Amarillo, Apollo, Columbus, Simcoe
DH: Simcoe (+sometimes Apollo)

Yeast: Conan, 68-72F
After fermentation, crash to ~45-50F for a few days then DH

I've gotten pretty close, but I'd still describe Heady as explosive/bright on the palette in a way I haven't recreated. My gauge being side-by-side tastings.

I know everyone says The Alchemist has been eclipsed by Tree House et al. I disagree: I've found nothing that's as hop-saturated and crushable.
 

secretlevel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
325
Reaction score
300
Location
Chicago, IL
I've tried a few variations, with quantities similar (or greater) to your suggestions (6 oz whirlpool and 8 oz dry hop).

Roughly:

Water: 250+ sulfate
Fermentable: Fawcett Pearl, dextrose, sometimes small % 10-20L crystal
Kettle: CO2 extract (usually ~10 ml)
WP: Amarillo, Apollo, Columbus, Simcoe
DH: Simcoe (+sometimes Apollo)

Yeast: Conan, 68-72F
After fermentation, crash to ~45-50F for a few days then DH

I've gotten pretty close, but I'd still describe Heady as explosive/bright on the palette in a way I haven't recreated. My gauge being side-by-side tastings.

I know everyone says The Alchemist has been eclipsed by Tree House et al. I disagree: I've found nothing that's as hop-saturated and crushable.

That's awesome! How'd those iterations come out? It sounds like you decided to scale back in the end?

No arguments about Heady, that's why we're all here! :) It's definitely not a NEIPA by any means.
 

Latest posts

Top