Homebrewing a Kona Big Wave Golden Ale Clone

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AJinJacksonville

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Link: Homebrewing a Kona Big Wave Golden Ale Clone

I love Hawaii and one of the things that always reminds me of my visit there is drinking anything by Kona Brewing Company. That's why I decided to try and homebrew a clone of their Big Wave Golden Ale!
Agreed.

I bought ingredients last week for an all-grain Lavaman Red Ale...which you can only get on the islands. I buy Big Wave at the store here when it's BOGO...usually lasts a couple of days. I also love their Koko Brown...another one I've only ever seen on the islands...which now looks like it's no longer made?
 

Brooothru

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Link: Homebrewing a Kona Big Wave Golden Ale Clone

I love Hawaii and one of the things that always reminds me of my visit there is drinking anything by Kona Brewing Company. That's why I decided to try and homebrew a clone of their Big Wave Golden Ale!
Likewise; all of the above.

I've been to Hawai'i at least a dozen times, either in the Navy, on business or for pleasure. I happened to be there with my wife and son about twenty years ago on the Big Island, just about the time Kona Brewing Company was getting established and was a local-only craft brewery. My son and I went down to check it out and hoist a few, and ended up talking with the owner/head brewer/big boss who showed us around the facility on a private tour. Really cool. So, anyway, I became an instant fan and have enjoyed their beers frequently ever since. Of course, they now have a brewery in Asheville, NC (but who doesn't?), so some of the exotic cache' has gone even thought the beer is still very enjoyable.

As luck would have it, I just brewed a clone of Big Wave exactly two weeks ago. It's cold conditioning right now at 38F and I can barely wait to tap into it. The numbers and descriptors came out almost identical to the brewery's specs: 4.4% ABV (mine: 4.3%), 21 IBUs (mine: 23.8, est.), "Golden Amber" (mine: 3.5 SRM). They used premium 2-row and 20L, I used Briess MaltGems 2-row, 20L, and just a pinch (8 oz) of carafoam. They use Mosaic and Citra loaded towards the tail end of the boil, I did a .25 oz. :45 minute boil of Mosaic for bittering and .25 oz Citra and Galaxy at :05 minutes, and :20 minutes whirlpool at 170F of .75 oz each of Mosaic, Citra and Galaxy for enhanced tropical aroma and flavor.

The aroma is fantastically tropical, as was the taste right out of the fermenter. The color is a beautiful golden hue, though maybe a bit lighter than the original. Next time I'll use Maris Otter or Golden Promise (~3.0L) instead of the 1.8L MaltGems, plus a bit more 20L crystal, to add more depth to the color. I fermented with Imperial Yeast A09 "Pub" which is supposed to be a British strain, and that's what I'm led to believe Kona Brewing favors. It was my first time using "Pub", pitching 800 ml of starter slurry. That stuff is amazing. I was expecting something like Nottingham, but this was like "Notty" on steroids. Finished in 4 days at 62F and floc'd like a rock with a FG of 1.008. Soft crashed at 48F for five days to drop suspended yeast (but there wasn't any!), transferred under pressure to a keg, goosed the pressure to 12 psi where it now sits in the kegerator under pressure at 38F. I was able to harvest almost 2 liters of trub-free yeast with only a slight ¾" layer of beer on top.

Due to poor planning on my part, I haven't had beer on tap in The Cave for several weeks. This 'bear' is getting grumpy having to drink store-bought swill. I don't know if it can wait another couple of weeks for the Big Wave to fully condition. Stay tuned for a Situation Report.
 
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