I need help making a Sierra Nevada Narwhal Clone

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
I had a chance to try the Sierra Nevada RIS the other day and think it was pretty outstanding, but it is hard to find around here. So I am looking to clone it. Google gave me no useful information, but the Sierra Nevada website tells what kind of grains they use and some other basic info.

TWO-ROW PALE, CARAMEL & CHOCOLATE, HONEY, CARAFA & ROASTED BARLEY

IBUs= 60
OG= ~ 1.1
FG= 1.026
10.2% ABV
Bittering hops = aroma and challenger
aroma hops = challenger

The caramal malt should be pretty dark. Maybe 120?

Maybe this would work:

18 lb pounds american 2 row
1 lb roasted barley
1 lb crystal 120L
1 lb carafa II
1 lb ounces chocolate malt
.5 lb honey malt

1 ounce magnum (55 min) 32 IBU
1 ounce challenger (55 min) 21 IBU
1 ounce challenger (10 min) 7 IBU

wyeast 1056

mash @ 150 for 1 hour

Any thoughts on this?
 

Vigo_Carpathian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
604
Reaction score
147
Location
San Mateo
Drinking one of these right now. Very tasty. The label says it has dark roasted coffee as well.
 

No_Party

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Messages
170
Reaction score
0
Location
Nashvegas
Per Sierra Nevada's website:
Ingredients

Yeast | Ale yeast
Bittering Hops | Magnum, Challenger
Finishing Hops | Challenger
Malts | Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa, Roasted Barley

That means you need to use Chocolate Malt and Honey Malt, not chocolate and honey.

Also, 1.5 lbs of Roasted Barley seems excessive. A little goes a long way with that, and with Honey Malt.
 

ahurd110

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
98
Reaction score
5
Location
Marietta
Correct, you should be using chocolate and honey malt, not chocolate and honey.

1.5 is a touch high for the roasted barley. I remember this stout being rich but smooth in flavor, not as aggressive as some stouts with bigger roasted barley charges. I would maybe drop the roast to 1 lb, up the choc malt to 1 lb.

I would also mash closer to 150 to ensure you get full attenuation. The beer will likely finish too high at 155.

Let us know how it goes, Narwhal is a badass beer!

Oh, and BTW, No Party--your Sho'nuff avatar is freakin sweet.
 
OP
C
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Per Sierra Nevada's website:
Ingredients

Yeast | Ale yeast
Bittering Hops | Magnum, Challenger
Finishing Hops | Challenger
Malts | Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa, Roasted Barley

That means you need to use Chocolate Malt and Honey Malt, not chocolate and honey.

Also, 1.5 lbs of Roasted Barley seems excessive. A little goes a long way with that, and with Honey Malt.
Yep, that was a typo on my part. I fixed that and adjusted the recipe based on the recommendations you guys gave. I might drop the honey malt down to five ounces too. I'm hoping to brew this sometime next week. I will let you guys know how it goes.
 

Jonathanquist

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Messages
103
Reaction score
3
Location
Bremerton
any clue as to the yeast? Do you think it is the chico yeast or did they use an english or irish ale yeast?
 

Dirty25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
273
Reaction score
27
Location
Mackenbach
I really didn't dig this beer for some reason. My take would be since the coffee flavor was really smooth and from my experimenting with coffee the coffee went in cold. If you expose the coffee to heat it tends to be to bitter for my palet. "dry hoping" with coffee tends to give a good smooth coffee flavor.
 
OP
C
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
I sent an email to the brewery and got a confirmation that the yeast is the SN house strain. They said they would get back to me on the lovibond rating for the crystal malt.

Anyways, I have already bottled this beer and it should be ready in a week. I ended up using 6 ounces of honey malt instead of a half pound. I probably wont be able to try it side by side with the SN version because it is hard here to find herein Georgia.

I didn't quite get the efficiency I was expecting (my fault) and ended up around 1.090. I am not sure exactly what the final gravity is because my buddy bottled it and he is not exactly a "by the numbers" sort of guy. It spent about three and a half weeks in the primary fermenter.
 

Brewsit

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
338
Reaction score
97
Location
Fort Collins
I'm all over this like white on rice. I'm drinking one right now, and would love to put this on tap. Very interested to see how it comes out, and what you would tweak.
 
OP
C
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
I got word back from sierra nevada and they said the crystal malt they used in this beer is crystal 60. I used crystal 120 and I think it came out fairly similar but could still use some tweaking. It still tastes great though. Next time I try this, I will sub out the crystal 120 for crystal 60 and maybe change the hop schedule a bit. Its hard to say exactly what needs to change because its been so long since I had the Narwhal.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I only used .75 lbs chocolate malt this time. I thought it would be easier to start low then move high. I think the 1 pound that the recipe originally calls for might have been better. I also would drop the crystal 60 down because this really is a bit too sweet.

New malt bill should look like this:

18 lb pounds american 2 row
.75 lb roasted barley
.5 lb crystal 60L
1 lb carafa II
1 lb chocolate malt
.5 lb honey malt

Also, the head on this beer is awesome.
 

Brewsday

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
185
Reaction score
20
Location
Near Portland
So, I'm going to brew a Narwhal clone next Wednesday. I ordered grains according to this hopville recipe but am shooting for 11 gallons yield so "upped" it to what I've listed below (with 5 gallon equivalent in ( )'s after. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts and input...
http://hopville.com/recipe/1667969

36.2 lb pounds american 2 row (16.6#)
1.4 lb roasted barley (10 oz.)
4 lb crystal 60L (I have C75 1.8#)
1.4 lb carafa II (10 oz.)
2.2 lb chocolate malt (1#)
2 lb honey malt (~14 oz.)

So I was headed much higher on crystal and honey malts...but you said yours is too sweet...help!
 
OP
C
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
So, I'm going to brew a Narwhal clone next Wednesday. I ordered grains according to this hopville recipe but am shooting for 11 gallons yield so "upped" it to what I've listed below (with 5 gallon equivalent in ( )'s after. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts and input...
http://hopville.com/recipe/1667969

36.2 lb pounds american 2 row (16.6#)
1.4 lb roasted barley (10 oz.)
4 lb crystal 60L (I have C75 1.8#)
1.4 lb carafa II (10 oz.)
2.2 lb chocolate malt (1#)
2 lb honey malt (~14 oz.)

So I was headed much higher on crystal and honey malts...but you said yours is too sweet...help!
I don't think that they sweetness was overpowering, but only that it didn't seem quite balanced to me. Keep in mind that I haven't had the actual beer in a while, and I had already been drinking of my brew when I posted that. Thinking back, I think the sweetness is fine but it just needed to be balanced out by more chocolate malt. Maybe try using 2.5 lbs of chocolate malt and drop the honey down to a pound (for 11 gallons), keeping the rest the same. I bet that would be good.
 

rinhaak

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
150
Reaction score
1
Location
Boston
Sounds awesome! I might give this a whirl next month. I'm thinking about aging mine on whiskey-soaked oak chips for a few months...:mug:
 

daksin

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
4,613
Reaction score
368
Location
San Diego
Just reading Sierra's ingredients list, I would probably change up the grainbill. The way they've written it, it looks like they're listing them in order of amounts: Mostly 2-row, chocolate and caramel malts in equal proportion, a little honey malt, and then a small amount of carafa and roasted barley.
 

hammy48

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2012
Messages
73
Reaction score
2
Any news on these brews? I'm going to be brewing a clone of this in the next few weeks and was hoping to find a little more info on the grain bill.
 

Brewsday

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
185
Reaction score
20
Location
Near Portland
I've only drank 2 or 3 bottles of the batch so far but I think it tastes great. As mentioned by a previous poster, it's been too long since I had the real thing. I hear it's headed to this end of the country in a couple months. I'll be ready. I intended this to be my holiday beer all along. I put it all up in those aesthetically pleasing 16.9 ounce bottles. More reports later...
 

mcgimpkins

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
201
Reaction score
56
Bumping this year old thread, I see according to SN's website Narwhal uses Magnum and Challenger with a total of 60 IBUs. Brewsday or Cognitive-Dissonance, can either of you tell us what was the hop schedule you used?
 

bodobeers

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
1
Location
New York
Yah i stumbled on this week before i plan to make my next batch of beer, which I was thinking would be my first imperial stout / RIS. Screw that, I'm going to try to make a Narwhal clone instead! Probably won't get the full gravity of the real beer but want to give it my best shot. Doing a 5 gallon BIAB would like to see the hop amounts and timing, and overall boiling duration people are using? Also toying with the malt/hop amounts and so far have following. is it bad ratio?

malts:
14 lb two-row pale
1.5lb caramel/crystal 60
1.5lb chocolate
0.5lb honey
0.5lb carafa
0.5lb roasted barley

bittering hops:
magnum, 2oz, 60 mins / 80mins??
challenger, 1oz, 30 mins


finishing hops:
challenger, 1oz 0 mins / 5 mins??
 

haygood

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
16
Reaction score
2
Location
Vicksburg, MS
What's the SITREP on this recipe? Need to do a stout in a few weeks and would really like to give this one a shot.
 

stealthfixr

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 19, 2012
Messages
230
Reaction score
97
Location
Tucson
Nothing like reawakening a 9 year old thread.

Just poured this incredible beer (SN Narwhal) and I need to brew this for the holiday season 2022. Please tell me there is a semi-standardized recipe of this wonderful creation! Has anyone nailed the grain bill? Best choice yeast?

There are plenty of Imperial Stouts out there, but this one makes me want to get a 10gal foeder just to age this properly. It is special for sure.
 

lawngnomehitman

Active Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
11
Seemed like the yeast would be chico, if it's the Sierra strain, right? I'm interested to watch what comes of your question, might try it myself.
 

Sonofastu

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
14
I am also interested! I have my first brew in the fermenter right now. Tomorrow will be 7 days. It was the MoreBeer cali-stout clone which to me is basically “narwhal lite” hahaha. I will say as a complete noob who knows nothing…I checked on my fermenter minutes before I cracked a barrel aged narwhal, and was pleased to be greeted with a similar smell (from a distance) between my fermentation chamber and the Narwhal I poured minutes after. Words cannot describe how excited I am to try my first beer hahaha. I would absolutely love a narwhal clone recipe. Definitely in my top 3 stouts
 

Coastalbrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
991
Reaction score
753
@stealthfixr I saw this thread a little earlier today, might be worth checking out...
 

Sonofastu

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
14
@stealthfixr I saw this thread a little earlier today, might be worth checking out...
Thanks!
 
Top