Switchback Brewery, Burlington, VT Clone Recipe?

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dbennett78

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Does anyone have a clone recipe for the Switchback brewery beer that is located in Burlington, VT? I was just there a few weeks ago and love that beer. Thanks for the help!
 

McKBrew

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It looks like they have three different beers at least. Which one are you trying to clone?

Best bet is to contact the brewery. Many breweries will help homebrewers with a clone recipe. They might not give you everything, but they typically will point you in the right direction.
 
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dbennett78

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Just looking for their main beer. I think its just called switchback ale.
 
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dbennett78

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Bump. Still hoping someone who knows reads this.
 

MgMt_Home_Brew

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Well their located right in burlington:
160 Flynn Ave
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 651-4114

Try to give them a call and see if they are whilling to share. If they don't want to give out the recipe see if they give any tours or what the location is like because if they are open to the public maybe you could visit and try to start talking to the right person.
 

Hokie

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I just had some Switchback while on a business trip in Burlington a few week ago...good stuff. I'd be quite interested in the possibility of a clone if someone has any insight.
 

VTBrewer

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Just came back from the brew festival. Every booth I asked for was extremely helpful on which yeast to use, hop schedule, grain bill, etc. Switchback very politely refused all questions.
 

Andreas

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I would go to VT Homebrew in Winooski and ask Anne what she thinks. I think that it is pretty much an amber ale, and a lot of its appeal is that it is "unfiltered," which all homebrews are anyhow. I agree that it is a nice beer, but it is also pretty straightforward (as opposed to something like a lambic), so it shouldn't be too hard to brew something close to it.
-Andy
 

VTBrewer

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Check out McNeil's...have a nice 85 IBU IPA that doesn't got the west coast route of high AA, but sticks with more amounts of 9-10% centenial bittering hops. Expensive to brew, but I thought was tasty. Think it was called warlord.

As far as cloning it, I think they use an in house yeast...as that was what they were most tight lipped about. I'll ask Anne though, she's def a great source here in burlington area.
 

vtcraft

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vt homebrew supply has a simple american amber that similar to the Switchback ale, slightly more hops. I've brewed once turned out pretty good
grains
Carahell 8oz
Carmel Wheat 8oz
Cara-red 8 oz

Amber malt 6lb

Hops
Mt.Hood 4.5% .5 oz @60
Mt. Rainier/ 4.7% 1oz @30
Mt. Hood .5oz @2-5

Yeast
Dry- us-05
liquid- American, Ringwood,
Liquid
 
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I did the switchback tour a couple of weeks ago, and was able to pick the brewers brain, I love this beer and would love to be able to brew something similar. Hopefully someone with more experience than I have can help out in building an extract clone, I would appreciate it, and I'm sure the OP would also appreciate it.

Boil: 90 minute all grain boil.
Malt: pale malt grains and flaked wheat. It's not a wheat beer, just has wheat in it.
Hops: Simcoe first, then followed by Willamette and Vanguard (at the whirlpool stage), I assume that means at flameout, and let sit until it settles?
Yeast: It's a house strain, and he wouldn't budge on giving me a clue, the current fermenter was on it ~300th cycle of yeast.
Water is just town water filtered through charcoal.

The unique thing about this beer is that it's naturally fermented, it ferments in the secondary at 28.5psi. I don't have the equipment to do this, but a neat detail.
 

malweth

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Sorry to necro this, but I'm having one right now. I'm certain my VT loving family would like me to clone this one!

Their bottles say:

We ENCOURAGE you to MIX THE YEAST back into the beer to experience it as ORIGINALLY bottled.
if they're serving it mit hefe, that says to me the yeast is either a Belgian or hefeweizen strain. There is a bit of a spicy flavor that probably comes from the yeast - and is a big part of why I like the beer. It's like an EPA with (very mild) phenols from this yeast group. I'd brew this very cool (62°F maybe) to keep these on the low end.

I can't help with hops, but an APA or ESB grain bill would probably fit. I'd put in some pils to help dry it out.
 

tdexterc

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Necro post! Yes toga, I built up a respectable starter using yeast harvested from the bottle. It's a really unique variety with a bit of fruity flavor but still a clean profile, and in order to truly clone it, I don't know of any commercial yeast which would come close enough.

BYO mag (based out of southern Vt, so they've got proximity credits) released a clone recipe today which is damn close to what I just came up with this weekend when I attempted a clone. I'll post my recipe after sampling, but the difference between mine and theirs were subtle with the one major exception of my use of their house yeast as opposed to WLP001, but here's what their recipe said word for word:

3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) Briess light, unhopped, liquid malt extract
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) light dried malt extract
1 lb. (0.45 kg) 2-row pale malt
10 oz. (0.28 kg) light carastan malt (14 °L)
1 lb. (0.45 kg) carastan malt (34 °L)
2 oz. (57 g) black malt (530 °L)
9.6 AAU Simcoe® hop pellets (60 min.) (0.75 oz./21 g at 12.8% alpha acids)
1.7 AAU Sterling hop pellets (5 min.) (0.25 oz./7 g at 6.7% alpha acids)
1.1 AAU Vanguard hop pellets (5 min.) (0.25 oz./7 g at 4.5% alpha acids)
1.1 AAU U.S. Saaz hop pellets (5 min.) (0.25 oz./7 g at 4.3% alpha acids)
½ tsp. Irish moss (30 min.)
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (15 min.)
White Labs WLP001 (American Ale), Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or Safale US-05 (American Ale) yeast
Priming sugar (if bottling)

Step by Step
Steep the crushed grain in 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of water at 154 ºF (68 ºC) for 30 minutes. Remove grains from the wort and rinse with 2 quarts (1.8 L) of hot water. Add the malt extract and boil 60 minutes. Add the hops, Irish moss and yeast nutrient as per the schedule. When done, add the wort to 2 gallons (7.6 L) of cold water in a sanitized fermenter and top off with cold water up to 5 gallons (19 L). Cool the wort to 75 ºF (24 ºC). Pitch your yeast and aerate the wort heavily. Allow the beer to cool to 68 ºF (20 ºC). Hold at that temperature until fermentation is complete. When complete, transfer to a carboy, avoiding splashing, and allow the beer to condition 1 week. Then bottle or keg.

All-grain option:
This is a single step infusion mash using an additional 7 lbs. (3.2 kg) 2-row pale malt to replace the malt extracts. Mix all of the crushed grains with 3.5 gallons (17 L) of 166 °F (78 °C) water to stabilize at 154 ºF (68 ºC) for 60 minutes. Sparge with 175 ºF (79 ºC) water. Collect approximately 6 gallons (23 L) of wort runoff to boil for 60 minutes. Reduce the 60-minute Simcoe® hop addition to 0.5 oz. (14 g) (6.4 AAU) to allow for the higher utilization factor of a full wort boil. The remainder of this recipe and procedures are the same as the extract with grains recipe.
 

toganet

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Thank you tdexterc for the 100% complete answer to my question! I can't wait to try this recipe -- now I just need an excuse to head east to get a sample of the yeast :)
 

mtarrant

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I was excited to see this as well, but like many I've been to the brewery and they tell you that it is Maris Otter and Flaked Wheat and not much else (and there are 55lb sacks of flaked wheat all over the place). There is no FW in this recipe, and the Sierra Yeast will dry out even a 154 mashed beer and make those hops too prominent.

The Switchback yeast leaves a fruity English malt forward character (with a heavy mouthfeel) so I'm not sure (the article doesn't mention) if they actually got info from the brewer. I know the hop varieties are correct but boy that is a ton of Carastan, and Switchback is not a sweet beer.
 

CarbonTom

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I was excited to see this as well, but like many I've been to the brewery and they tell you that it is Maris Otter and Flaked Wheat and not much else (and there are 55lb sacks of flaked wheat all over the place). There is no FW in this recipe, and the Sierra Yeast will dry out even a 154 mashed beer and make those hops too prominent.

The Switchback yeast leaves a fruity English malt forward character (with a heavy mouthfeel) so I'm not sure (the article doesn't mention) if they actually got info from the brewer. I know the hop varieties are correct but boy that is a ton of Carastan, and Switchback is not a sweet beer.
Would you replace the 2 row with MO?
 

HarboBrew

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My current recipe for a 5.5 gallon batch BIAB:-

7# Maris Otter
2# Munich
1# Flaked Wheat
1# Crystal 40
3oz Black Malt

60 min mash @ 153

-60min ½oz Simcoe
-20min ⅓oz Willamette
-5min ½oz Saaz
½oz Vanguard
-0min. ½oz Saaz
½oz Vanguard

Switchback house yeast strain harvested from two bottles.
 
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