New Belgium 1554 Recipe

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beerhappy

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So I worked out a recipe for 1554. I took the information that was available on their website and try to formulate something sensible.

The grain bill

9.0 lbs American 2-row
2.0 lbs Munich
1.0 lbs Carapils
0.5 lbs Chocolate
0.25 lbs Debittered black malt

Hops

0.5 oz of Nugget at 60mins for about 21 IBUs
0.5 oz of Nugget at flameout

Yeast

Wyeast 2112 California Lager

This yield about 5.8% ABV (my efficiency has been a bit lower lately so I may miss this target by half a percent), SRM 29 and about 29 IBUs (I'm at 4500 ft altitude so my hop utilization is lower so I may get slightly lower IBUs than this). Just looking for any input or any suggested changes. The plan is to buy my ingredients tomorrow and brew Saturday. Thanks!
 

cactusgarrett

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Don't know if you've got ingredients yet, but here's my take. In researching my attempt at something similar to La Folie, (maybe you've already discovered this, but...) New Belgium basically rolls with two base beer recipes: Oscar & Felix. 1554 is made similar to Oscar, but with less roast. You're right on with the yeast - as they use Cali Lager for both (around 60F, give or take a few), i believe.

Here's the NB Reddit AMA:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing/comments/22ilt2/new_belgium_ama_ask_away/

I've got a ton of research notes (not handy ATM), as I was trying to determine whether to go after La Folie or La Terroir.
 

LLBeanJ

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Don't know if you've got ingredients yet, but here's my take. In researching my attempt at something similar to La Folie, (maybe you've already discovered this, but...) New Belgium basically rolls with two base beer recipes: Oscar & Felix. 1554 is made similar to Oscar, but with less roast. You're right on with the yeast - as they use Cali Lager for both (around 60F, give or take a few), i believe.

Here's the NB Reddit AMA:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing/comments/22ilt2/new_belgium_ama_ask_away/

I've got a ton of research notes (not handy ATM), as I was trying to determine whether to go after La Folie or La Terroir.

Isn't Oscar/Felix the base recipe for their sour beers only? That was my understanding. 1554 is a pretty old recipe. It's been around long before Peter Bouchart started them down the road to sour beers, which would suggest to me that it predates Oscar and Felix. It began as an "Enchanted Black Ale" and is now officially described as a lager.

As far as OP's recipe, I think you're on the right track. I'd brew it as you have it and see how it turns out. You may need to brew it several times with minor tweeks before you nail it, but I'm sure every attempt will produce a fine beer.
 

cactusgarrett

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Isn't Oscar/Felix the base recipe for their sour beers only? That was my understanding. 1554 is a pretty old recipe. It's been around long before Peter Bouchart started them down the road to sour beers, which would suggest to me that it predates Oscar and Felix. It began as an "Enchanted Black Ale" and is now officially described as a lager.

Right - sorry. I didn't convey that right; fingers going faster than my brain today. Oscar is similar to 1554's grainbill, just less roast. And yeah, ferment it like a true lager, not how they do their sours (lager yeast but warm).
 
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beerhappy

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Hey thanks guys for the feedback. That NB reddit thread is very interesting. It's too bad they are very tight lipped about the specifics of their recipes but they do provide some other information about their process which is useful nonetheless. About the yeast, I settled on the 2112 because I read somewhere they used a lager strain at warm temperatures and the California lager yeast is suppose to not be nasty when fermented warm. I did see a thread where a NB guy suggested a recipe for a 1554-like beer and he proposed to use the 2124 but I'm skeptical about it being able to produce a palatable beer. I made some small grain bill changes to the above recipe to reduce the alcohol a smidge and I decided to go with an extra quarter pound of chocolate. If I'm gonna miss the mark on the level of roastiness, I'd rather it have more roast character as opposed to under roasted. So the modified grain bill is as follows:

8.5 lbs American 2-row
2.0 lbs Munich
1.0 lbs Carapils
0.75 lbs Chocolate
0.25 lbs Debittered black malt
 

LLBeanJ

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Hey thanks guys for the feedback. That NB reddit thread is very interesting. It's too bad they are very tight lipped about the specifics of their recipes but they do provide some other information about their process which is useful nonetheless. About the yeast, I settled on the 2112 because I read somewhere they used a lager strain at warm temperatures and the California lager yeast is suppose to not be nasty when fermented warm. I did see a thread where a NB guy suggested a recipe for a 1554-like beer and he proposed to use the 2124 but I'm skeptical about it being able to produce a palatable beer. I made some small grain bill changes to the above recipe to reduce the alcohol a smidge and I decided to go with an extra quarter pound of chocolate. If I'm gonna miss the mark on the level of roastiness, I'd rather it have more roast character as opposed to under roasted. So the modified grain bill is as follows:

8.5 lbs American 2-row
2.0 lbs Munich
1.0 lbs Carapils
0.75 lbs Chocolate
0.25 lbs Debittered black malt

Looks like a good start. Be sure to report back on your results. Also, I recently fermented a California Common with 2124 at ale temps and it turned out pretty nice, not overly estery at all.
 
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beerhappy

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Looks like a good start. Be sure to report back on your results. Also, I recently fermented a California Common with 2124 at ale temps and it turned out pretty nice, not overly estery at all.

That's interesting the results you got with a warm 2124. Based off this thread,
I wonder if I shouldn't go with the 2124? The grain bill he proposed isn't what's reported for 1554 on the NB website, but he suggests using the 2124. Now I'm torn...
 
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beerhappy

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She’s in the fermentor. She clocked in at 1.052 so I missed my mark by a few points.
 
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beerhappy

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The beer is now kegged. Tasted a flat sample and it's pretty good. Here's a color sample. This about 2 inches thick of beer. I'll report back after it has had a chance to carb up and cold condition a smidge.
IMG_0417.jpg
 
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beerhappy

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So it’s been kegged for two weeks now. First off let me start by saying that this beer has a pretty strong sulfur nose to it. I don’t know if that’s normal for 2112 or if something went wrong during the fermentation. Due to my temperature controlled chamber being in the garage and with it only being able to cool and with the garage being about 45 degrees, I elected to ferment this beer indoors. Our house is kept between 60 and 68 so I found the coolest part of the house and fermented in there. I can’t imagine that closet getting above 65 but I’m wondering if the beer didn’t exceed that during the active part of the fermentation. The good part is that the sulfur dissipates with a little time in the glass and seems very low to undetectable on the palate. I think I’d retry this beer with this yeast but fermented strictly at 60f in my temp chamber during the summer.

Now on to the recipe itself. I think I’d change two things about the grain bill. First, I think I’d double the Munich malt and exchange some of the 2-row to maintain the alcohol. And second I’d change the roast malts to 0.5 lbs of debittered black malt and 0.25 lbs of chocolate malt.
 

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Resurrecting this thread to see if there has been any 'refinement' of the 1554 recipe, and to get ingredient thoughts on my best take on it after reading this and other threads, as well as the BYO magazine 1554 recipe. My 5 gallon batch version is:

NB 1554 Dark Lager

5.6% / 14.2 °P
All Grain

BrewZilla / RoboBrew 65L (5.5gal)

71% efficiency
Batch Volume: 5.5 gal
Boil Time: 45 min
Mash Water: 7.19 gal
Sparge Water: 0.79 gal
Total Water: 7.98 gal
Boil Volume: 7.14 gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.051 / 12.6 °P

Vitals​

Original Gravity: 1.058 / 14.2 °P
Final Gravity (Fixed): 1.015 / 3.8 °P
IBU (Tinseth): 21
BU/GU: 0.37
Color: 25.5 SRM

Mash​

Temperature — 154 °F90 min
Temperature — 168 °F10 min

Malts (12 lb 5.5 oz)

7 lb 4 oz (58.7%) — Malt Pale Ale — Grain — 3.1 °L
3 lb 12 oz (30.4%) — Malt Munich Light — Grain — 6.6 °L
12 oz (6.1%) — Malt Chocolate Malt — Grain — 258.9 °L
8 oz (4.1%) — Weyermann Carapils/Carafoam — Grain — 2 °L
1.5 oz (0.8%) — Dingemans De-Bittered Black Malt — Grain — 406.6 °L

Hops (0.69 oz)

0.69 oz (21 IBU) — Nugget 14.2% — Boil — 40 min

Miscs​

1 items — Whirlfloc — Boil15 min
0.5 tsp
— Yeast Nutrients (WLN1000) — Boil15 min
0.25 oz
— Licorice Root — Boil10 min

Yeast​

1 pkg — Imperial Yeast L13 Global 77%
2 L starter
6.95 oz DME / 8.47 oz LME
450 billion yeast cells
1.54 million cells / ml / °P

Fermentation​

pitch — 55 °F1 days
Primary — 63 °F9 days
Primary — 67 °F2 days
Primary — 35 °F (4 day ramp) — 7 days
Carbonation: 2.5 CO2-vol
 
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mashpaddled

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Isn't Oscar/Felix the base recipe for their sour beers only? That was my understanding. 1554 is a pretty old recipe. It's been around long before Peter Bouchart started them down the road to sour beers, which would suggest to me that it predates Oscar and Felix. It began as an "Enchanted Black Ale" and is now officially described as a lager.

As far as OP's recipe, I think you're on the right track. I'd brew it as you have it and see how it turns out. You may need to brew it several times with minor tweeks before you nail it, but I'm sure every attempt will produce a fine beer.

NB started brewing sour beer in the late 1990s and 1554 was the starting point for Oscar. They took out some of the roast but otherwise that's pretty much the recipe. The 1554 recipe has been with the brewery since very early in the brewery's history. They romanticize the beer by attaching it to an older Flemish style which I guess is somewhat true--I guess to the extent we would call the no longer brewed Abbey inspired by dubbels.

Much of the reason 1554 was called an ale early on had to do with selling in Texas. Up to the mid-2010s the Texas ABC required any beer above a threshold to be called an ale (I think it was around 5% and 1554 is 6%). So to sell in one of their early big markets they had to call it an ale and just went with it for consistency. Shortly after Jester King sued Texas to strike down that silly regulation and won NB started calling 1554 a black lager but I see they have returned to calling it an ale.
 

Losborne5412

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Resurrecting this thread to see if there has been any 'refinement' of the 1554 recipe, and to get ingredient thoughts on my best take on it after reading this and other threads, as well as the BYO magazine 1554 recipe. My 5 gallon batch version is:

NB 1554 Dark Lager

5.6% / 14.2 °P
All Grain

BrewZilla / RoboBrew 65L (5.5gal)

71% efficiency
Batch Volume: 5.5 gal
Boil Time: 45 min
Mash Water: 7.19 gal
Sparge Water: 0.79 gal
Total Water: 7.98 gal
Boil Volume: 7.14 gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.051 / 12.6 °P

Vitals​

Original Gravity: 1.058 / 14.2 °P
Final Gravity (Fixed): 1.015 / 3.8 °P
IBU (Tinseth): 21
BU/GU: 0.37
Color: 25.5 SRM

Mash​

Temperature — 154 °F90 min
Temperature — 168 °F10 min

Malts (12 lb 5.5 oz)

7 lb 4 oz (58.7%) — Malt Pale Ale — Grain — 3.1 °L
3 lb 12 oz (30.4%) — Malt Munich Light — Grain — 6.6 °L
12 oz (6.1%) — Malt Chocolate Malt — Grain — 258.9 °L
8 oz (4.1%) — Weyermann Carapils/Carafoam — Grain — 2 °L
1.5 oz (0.8%) — Dingemans De-Bittered Black Malt — Grain — 406.6 °L

Hops (0.69 oz)

0.69 oz (21 IBU) — Nugget 14.2% — Boil — 40 min

Miscs​

1 items — Whirlfloc — Boil15 min
0.5 tsp
— Yeast Nutrients (WLN1000) — Boil15 min
0.25 oz
— Licorice Root — Boil10 min

Yeast​

1 pkg — Imperial Yeast L13 Global 77%
2 L starter
6.95 oz DME / 8.47 oz LME
450 billion yeast cells
1.54 million cells / ml / °P

Fermentation​

pitch — 55 °F1 days
Primary — 63 °F9 days
Primary — 67 °F2 days
Primary — 35 °F (4 day ramp) — 7 days
Carbonation: 2.5 CO2-vol
How did this turn out?
 

Losborne5412

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So I worked out a recipe for 1554. I took the information that was available on their website and try to formulate something sensible.

The grain bill

9.0 lbs American 2-row
2.0 lbs Munich
1.0 lbs Carapils
0.5 lbs Chocolate
0.25 lbs Debittered black malt

Hops

0.5 oz of Nugget at 60mins for about 21 IBUs
0.5 oz of Nugget at flameout

Yeast

Wyeast 2112 California Lager

This yield about 5.8% ABV (my efficiency has been a bit lower lately so I may miss this target by half a percent), SRM 29 and about 29 IBUs (I'm at 4500 ft altitude so my hop utilization is lower so I may get slightly lower IBUs than this). Just looking for any input or any suggested changes. The plan is to buy my ingredients tomorrow and brew Saturday. Thanks!
According to new Belgium's website, this looks very very close to what I would imagine the grain bill would be according to the order of the grain listed on the site. How'd it turn out?
 

stealthfixr

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How did this turn out?
Just put it in the keg about 2 weeks ago, and that's lagering in my keezer. Samples at kegging were very tasty, but more roasty and less Munich-y (malty sweet?) than actual 1554. Don't know if that will change with lagering, but I doubt it. Time will tell, but I think that a ver2.0 will be needed to get closer to the actual 1554.
 
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