Monday, April 25, 2011

Brew Day of a Bell's Hopslam clone

Well brew day finally came, all the ingredients were ready to go. The Geeks met at 9:00am to start the process. A huge hop bill, although would you expect anything less from a beer named "Hopslam"? Five malts, some local honey (McQueen Honey in Strathroy) and a champagne yeast to help boost the ABV up to 10%.

As we are just starting with the home brewing, we went for a modified extract brew with steeped grains. A friend of ours has had great luck with customizing recipes and steering away from the mass market clones with Diane at Brewhaven. She was able to take our original all grain recipe and convert it for their setup.

After the strike water was up to temperature, we were able to start mashing in the grain bags, pour in the pale malt extract, add some cane sugar and wait...After the mash was complete, we removed the grain bags and cranked up the heat.

With our wort starting to boil, we waited for the protein break to lower the temperature and keep a gentle rolling boil. Then the hop additions began. Many, many, many hops to add (see the recipe above). After about 75 minutes and 5 plus hop additions, it was time to add the honey followed by the finishing hops at flame out.

The last step before our yeast did its job was to cool the soon to be beer to a fermentable temperature. The beer was then passed through a chiller and into the primary fermenting pail, then the yeast pitched. From start to finish this morning was about 3 hours. We need to be enjoying some beer as we brew next time.

At the first week of fermentation, the beer will be filtered, then sent to a secondary fermenter and dry hopped for two additional weeks. Then some forced carbonation and bottling...can't wait until May 7th!

We look forward to letting you know how close we got to Bell's Hopslam with this clone.


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