AG#52 – Big Dawg Imperial Amber Ale


Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 26.90 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.40 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.072 SG
Estimated Color: 26.4 EBC
Estimated IBU: 80.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 58.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 69.7 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


6.000 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 83.4 %
0.450 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (78.8 EBC), 6.3 %
0.200 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (3.9 EBC), 2.8 %
0.150 kg Biscuit Malt (45.3 EBC), 2.1 %
0.050 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (236.4 EBC), 0.7 %
0.045 kg Chocolate Malt (886.5 EBC), 0.6 %
30 g Magnum [10.70 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 44.6 IBUs
0.300 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) [Boil for 20 min], 4.2 %
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
40 g Amarillo [9.90 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 10.0 IBUs
30 g Cascade [7.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 5.9 IBUs
1.00 Items WLN3200-Servomyces (Boil 10.0 mins)
50 g Amarillo [9.90 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
50 g Cascade [7.80 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 10.0, 6.6 IBUs
50 g Citra [14.40 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
50 g Citra [14.40 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 10.0 mins, 13.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001)
50 g Amarillo [9.90 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs
Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 7.195 kg
Mash In Add 19.31 l of water at 74.6 C 68.0 C 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 15.00l) of 77.0 C water

07/12/2015 – Used my new large hop bags for the massive flameout additions.They worked a treat. Amazing hoppy aromas, so great to be back brewing hoppy American beers. OG is spot on. Taste from the trial jar was massively bitter!

09/12/2015 – I have the fermenter on a sheet of cardboard so it’s not even that cold, yet the kreusen has dropped into the beer. Still plenty of action going on, but it is rather worrying. I’m more used to US-05, which ferments steadily and quickly, but WLp001 seems to go in phases. Hopefully the yeast will pick up. I don’t know how this has happened – a beer of this strength does not ferment in two and a half days. The smell from the fermenter is amazing, but I completely overshot my IBUs, which I only discovered when I punched in the last minute changes to the hop bill into BeerSmith. With the 10 flameout stand at 100C, and the other changes, I’m looking at an extra 15 IBU in the beer. Though granted, I didn’t specify a 10 minute steep in the original incarnation of the recipe. Last year I used 150g at flameout instead of 200g, and it turned out fine. I sanitised a spoon and gave the beer a gently rouse, to see if I can get a bit more life into the fermentation. I’ll have to monitor this closely over the next couple of days.

24/12/2015 – Racked to secondary and dry hopped with 50g Amarillo. This beer has veered away deom the “Cascade” focused beer it used to be. I just favoured something more fruity and tropical this time.

28/12/2015 – Removed the bag of hops. I briefly considered adding another dose of dry hops, but I think this is bitter enough already and I don’t want to add any more hop resin which would accentuate that bitterness. Amazing fruity aroma.

29/12/2015 – Primed with 105g corn sugar (16 litres at 2.5 vol). Got 14 x 500ml bottles and 19 x 330ml bottles from the batch. Plenty of fine hop material at the bottom of the fermenter when I racked to the bottling bucket.

07/01/2016 – There seems to be a lot of trub in the bottom of the bottles, whick is odd because Not only did I rack to secondary, but I also waited a day before bottling after I removed the dry hop bag.

23/01/2016 – First taste and it’s a bit young and yeasty. Plenty of hop aroma and flavour, but the most encouraging thing is that the bitterness is not excessive given the huge hop additions.

05/02/2016 – Oh yesss… This is the first 500ml bottle I’ve opened. The aroma is all peach and mango. Bitterness is really well balanced, not over cooked as I feared. Could this be the less attenuative liquid yeast strain? Beautiful hoppy and resiny flavour. Dark caramel and toasty malt. Head formation is awesome, retention is perfectly respectable. Bit grassy perhaps, but that should condition out further as it ages.

06/02/2016 – It’s a good sign when someone is drinking a beer you’ve brewed and you can smell the hops from the other side of the room! The hop flavour in this is so powerful yet the bitterness is perfectly balanced.

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