Ninja vs Unicorn Clone

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campbellmike

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I brewed my version of Pipeworks Ninja vs Unicorn. I bought some a few months ago when I was in Chicago and was very impressed. It's a great summertime or anytime double IPA. This is for a five gallon batch.

Batch Size: 5 gallons
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.071
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.012
Estimated Color: 6.98 SRM
Bitterness: 93 IBU
Mash Temp: 147 F (90 min)
60 min boil
Yeast: US-05

8.25 lb 2 Row Pale
3.75 lb White Wheat
0.65 lb Munich Light (L10)
0.40 lb Special Roast
0.50 lb Corn Sugar Add to boil

0.75 oz Chinnok First Wort
0.75 oz Centennial 40 min
0.75 oz Cascade 10 min
0.75 oz Simcoe 10 min
1.00 oz Falconer's Flight 2 min
1.00 oz Cascade 2 min
1.00 oz Falconer's Flight Flameout
1.00 oz Citra Flameout
1.00 oz Falconer's Flight Dry Hop
2.00 oz Citra Dry Hop

I just added the dry hops but the flavor is wonderful. I'm looking forward to getting in a keg. It's very, very close to the real deal.
 
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campbellmike

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It's great and I'm getting rave reviews from my friends although they have not tried NVU. The aroma is great, very tropical and there's a very smooth, grapefruit/pithy bitterness. I'm going to brew again and dial the bittering hops down 10% or so but leave the rest as is. The color's spot on, decent head and very refreshing dry finish. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out and if you make any changes.

OG was 1.069 and FG ended up at 1.008.
 

DrWill

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You should pick up a few bottles of NvU and do a triangle test. Worst case scenario you drink a bunch of good beers.
 
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campbellmike

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NVU is not available where I live. Sadly, I brought home one 4 pack and they've been gone for several weeks.
 

DrWill

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NVU is not available where I live. Sadly, I brought home one 4 pack and they've been gone for several weeks.
That's the saddest thing I've ever read. :(

Although, my local always has cans. Hit me up and I'm sure we can work something out.
 

IronBall

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That's a great looking beer! I totally forgot that I had NVU a couple years ago and I really liked it. I'm gonna be up there in a couple weeks and I think I'm going to seek it out so I can taste it again. Thanks for the inspiration!

I'm curious your recipe has a large % of wheat, how did you come up with that idea? How does it compare to a more standard grain bill of mostly 2 row and a little crystal or Munich?

Cheers!
 
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campbellmike

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Pipeworks website lists the malts, hops and that they use a dextrose (corn sugar) adjunct. I searched for a NvU knock off recipe and found one that was close to the one I used. The beer is pretty light in color, has little malt in the flavor and it's cloudy for a commercial beer so the high % of wheat kind of made sense. I usually use crystal in my IPAs which adds more of a caramel flavor but this beer is more refreshing.

I don't think this is really a wheat IPA but here's a quote from Beer & Wine Journal. "Wheat IPAs combine the hoppy goodness of an American IPA with the crisp, bread-like, “zing” from an American-style wheat beer into one very tasty beer."
 

IronBall

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That makes sense, I've used wheat in my IPA's with success in the past but it's only been about a pound/5 gallons so I'm intrigued. It looks like you have a winner there! Keep up the good work
 

chrisbrew

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I'm brewing this now. Scaled it to 2.5gal for my Zymatic and made some small changes to the malt and hops but for the most part kept ratios as is. Will report back, can't wait to compare to the real thing!
 

chrisbrew

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Really? I picked up a can of this and it was gross sweet.
That stinks, it does have a nice malt backbone but is super hoppy. My guess is the can you had was an older batch and the hops had faded. I've never had a bad NVU but I have the luxury of being able to grab fresh cans of it at the liquor store down the block.
 
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campbellmike

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I'm brewing this now. Scaled it to 2.5gal for my Zymatic and made some small changes to the malt and hops but for the most part kept ratios as is. Will report back, can't wait to compare to the real thing!
Good luck on your batch. Looking forward to your results.
 
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campbellmike

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Thanks to DrWill I was able to do a head to head with my beer and NvU. Mine is clearer but the color is very close. The aroma and taste of mine leans towards citrus (grapefruit and orange) where the NvU has the citrus plus mango and more malt. Mine is drier but is a very similar beer. I think increasing the mash temperature might get something closer to NvU but not sure about the grain and hops. Based on the cloudiness of NvU it might have more wheat. I'm also thinking of adding some Simcoe or possibly more Citra to the dry hop. I'm going to do another head to head soon and will post some pictures. Any advice from you recipe builders out there?
 

DrWill

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Glad it worked out, Mike! We haven't had a chance to do the side-by-side yet but I'm looking forward to it. Definitely have been enjoying the rest of the beers!

(FYI, DrWill here...new account)
 

WiscoBrewer

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I'm drinking this right now...You're recipe looks like it would be very close! From what you describe I think you need more dry hops, like .75-1oz/gal (this will haze it up and add to the aroma) also on the website they list Zythos vs Citra. It doesn't take much Citra to over power those other hops especially late boil and DH. I'd also up the FO and consider a WP.
 
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campbellmike

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I don't know for sure. I didn't have a recipe from Pipeworks but this beer was hazy years ago long before the current craze so it made sense to me. I do know it's a solid recipe whether it's a real clone or not. Cheers.
 

chrisbrew

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They used to list all the grains used for each beer and white wheat was in the NvU recipe. It may have changed since they took that info off their site around 2018 but if I had to put money on it I'd say it's still in the current recipe.

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