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Heady Topper Clone?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by geneseohawk, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. BigAB

    BigAB Aficionado (150) Iowa Aug 4, 2008

    Midwest has it - sure there's shipping, but if ya gotta have it...
  2. BigAB

    BigAB Aficionado (150) Iowa Aug 4, 2008

  3. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (400) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    yeah, muntons is now widely available through hb supply chains and iirc, they've got a pearl pale ale malt.
  4. I am even going to try other recipes with pearl malt.
  5. Try something simple like Pearl and Fuggles and 1968! Delicious.
  6. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (400) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    okay, so just currently drinking a boot full of extra from 1st attempt at this clone, leftovers from kegging. Did the exact grain bill as I laid out, fermenting with Nottingham instead of chico. Here was what I actually did for hopping:
    1.5oz Simcoe -30min
    1oz Cascade - KO
    1oz Apollo - KO
    1oz Simcoe - KO
    1oz Centennial - 30min into whirlpool
    1oz Simcoe - 30min into whirlpool
    1oz Apollo - 30min into whirlpool
    1oz Chinook - DH
    1oz Citra - DH
    1oz Simcoe - DH

    Pondering Keg hopping but holy shit it's pretty got the hop intensity of Heady...not sure if I need the keg hops. Maybe 1oz Simcoe, 1oz Centennial. OG was 1075, FG was 1013.
    NiceFly likes this.
  7. koopa

    koopa Champion (835) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    BTW a homebrewtalk member mentioned recently that the Alchemist Cannery had a sign on the wall stating Heady Topper was made with 6 different hops. My best guess so far is:

    ??????? (maybe Amarillo, maybe Cascade, maybe something else....I still think Summit is a possibility but I know I'm in the minority on that idea)
  8. :)
    How long is your whirlpool?

    Let me be the first to say - those 30 minute simcoe hops don't do anything... oh wait a minute. ;)
    jlpred55 likes this.
  9. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (400) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    Ended up with like 45mins total and 5 min spin down. yes...30-min additions are a waste...
    Just like the original...it's scarily drinkable to my palate and fellow hop-head friends. Had friends over and we did some serious damage to the keg (thank god for pregnant wives who are willing to play dd for the night). Hopefully brewing a 2nd batch later this week. Have some ideas of how I will change the hop schedule for the second round, but suffice to say I it will be only tweaks to the hop choices & amounts. It's 5 o'clock and drooling for one now...:)
  10. I'm fully with you on the Summit. Next to Pliny Heady is decidedly oniony-- in the best way of course!

    Also, I don't know if a beer can be this tasty and NOT have Amarillo :)

    Ima say nix the Nugget for a pinch of Amarillo.

    My interpetation of the hop break-out based on tasting notes (from most dominant relative presence to most subtle):

    Simcoe, Columbus, Summit, Centennial, Chinook, Amarillo.

    Now adjust for process and hop potency... and 1,000,000 other factors...
  11. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (895) Georgia Feb 12, 2012 Staff Member Verified

    It's got to have Amarillo in it.... Not sure about the summit... Cascade seems to be the better choice.
  12. I'm pretty sensitive to the onion-ness of summit, and I don't get that flavor at all in HT, which I've been drinking since 2007. If it's in there, it's not really present.
  13. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (595) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    CTZ often gives a lighter onion note; that's my guess.

    I have heard 7 hops in past years; my pick for #7 would be Nugget. However, the recipe has no doubt been tweaked considerably over the last 5 years so anything we heard in the early years might be invalid now.

    The next thing I want to play with is a double whirlpool addition, one at flameout and one at ~150F. There is a hop chemistry podcast on the Beersmith website that makes a pretty good case for this.
  14. The onion and garlic note in hops comes from sulfur compounds, that some varieties have more than others, growing conditions, and how late the hops are harvested once mature (later=more).

    Summit is expoecially known for onion and garlic notes if used late in the kettle, used early as a bittering hop the sulfur compounds are driven off in the longer boil exposure.
  15. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (400) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    follow-up to my 1st attempt since I finally got around to a blind side-by-side tasting with friends who brought some Heady Topper down from Northern VT. The group was filled with all HT fanatics.

    I did do the tastings blind-folded since there was a clear difference in the fact that my beer was relatively bright & clear while HT shows it's classic hazy & murkiness in the glass. Tasters noted more hop aroma from HT but also a blaring sweetness. For my clone they noted more phenolics but much more crisp. Out of 4 tasters, 2 chose mine, 2 chose HT as preference. Hop flavors were nearly identical. Not bad I'd say for a 1st attempt, definitely no where near spot on but definitely on the same ball field. The two who chose mine said the sweetness of HT was something they've never really noted or thought of as a flaw, but was pretty apparent in the side-by-side. Those that chose HT said the smoothness of HT and phenols in mine are what put them on that side.

    Looking forward to tasting the 2nd attempt...
    abraxel likes this.
  16. abraxel

    abraxel Savant (395) Michigan Aug 28, 2009

    Sounds awesome; I'm definitely gonna give this a shot at some point.
  17. I have come across some information regarding this beer:

    CO2 hop extract is used as the only bittering agent in the beer to avoid grassy tastes.
    All hops are added at 5 minutes or less. Nothing longer than 5 minutes.
    There is no Citra in the beer. They use a NZ hop variety.
    Private yeast strain, called Conan, is responsible for "a lot of the aroma and character"
  18. koopa

    koopa Champion (835) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    Can you elaborate a bit on the source of your info?

    As far as your claims go ....

    Aware of the hop extract.

    Makes sense that all other hops are late additions considering the massive nose heady has, but since I don't have/use hop extract I do my hop additions ranging from 20 minutes - flame out to get the ibu's to where they need to be.

    Any idea which NZ hop? If this is true, I'd be surprised if a NZ hop was in recipe back when Heady was relatively new to the scene. This is the claim I'm most interested in for sure.

    John Kimmich has indeed been quoted making this claim about Conan.
  19. NiceFly

    NiceFly Savant (395) Tajikistan Dec 22, 2011

    I am pretty sure Telejunkie can straighten you guys out.
    That is all I am going to say.
  20. I have been in touch with John himself. Lab tested IBUs are 75-80, not 120 or whatever the website says. NZ hop use was "quite possible" according to source. If it is, the brewery has been known to use Moteuka and Riwaka. (sp?) You can get 80 IBU with all your hops at 5 minutes or less and one bittering charge at 60, or perhaps 90 minutes.

    I have made about 2 trillion cells of Conan yeast. It is unique and does impart a distinct peachy flavor on the brew.
    skivtjerry likes this.
  21. koopa

    koopa Champion (835) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    Thanks for the feedback! My thoughts were that the 119 ibu quote on the alchemist blog was the "calculated ibu" rating and that 75-80 would be the actual (lab tested). What beers have they "been known to use Moteuka and Riwaka" in? Not entirely doubting the claim, just more curious as I've never "known" that and have been going to the Alchemist Brew Pub since 2008. Then again I never asked about NZ hops! Of course you can get 80 ibu's at 5 minutes or less with 1 bittering charge at 60-90, but as John told you its better not to use real hops at that time frame if you want to produce Heady Topper. So the alternative to a bittering charge + late additions would be using way too much hops to prove cost effective at 5 minutes or making late additions from 20 minutes - 5 minutes like I did.
  22. From what I've read they have done a couple of collabs with other breweries and they used NZ hops in them. I asked if they used NZ hops in heady topper and got the response I posted.

    In light of not having extract, I am just thinking adding 1.5 to 2 ounces of hops at 90 minutes vs. adding 9.5 ounces at 20 & 10 would be closer to the original but that is just based on aromatics, because a 30 minute whirlpool addition will come out somewhere around the same as a 15 minute boil and you wind up with similar IBU figures. For every 10 degrees under boiling I think I read you lose 1/2 the utilization. I normally whirlpool around 190-200.

    I am of the belief that anything north of 10 minutes loses quite a bit of its aroma. Boiling also produces a different hop taste compared to steeped hops.

    My biggest issue here is figuring out how he is calculating the bitterness, and if he has a formula for the whirlpool hops. If it is true what some have studied and said, and you can extract a fair amount of bitterness from the whirlpool, it might not be necessary to have so many 20 and 10 minute additions and still get the same results with even more aroma.

    Do you calculate for whirlpool bitterness additions? If so, what's your method?
  23. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (595) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    I googled for a formula but didn't find anything my brain can handle at 5:30 am. I have a couple of textbooks at work that I hope to look at today. My guesstimation is that an addition you let sit at just below boiling for 20 minutes after flameout ('hop stand') will give about the same IBU as a 5-10 minute boil, depending on how much you stir, etc. Pros will usually have higher utilization due to surface to volume ratio, just like in the boil. Also, their whirlpools are in constant motion; we often just let the kettle sit, or stir occasionally.

    One pertinent fact is that alpha acid isomerization decreases dramatically below 170F and is nearly (but not entirely!) nonexistant below 140F. However, you can still extract oils and other components at these reduced temperatures. For my last couple of IPA's I have done half of my whirlpool addition at flameout, chilled to 165-170F with my immersion chiller, added the remainder and let sit for 20-30 minutes. This gives a lot of flavor and aroma with little additional bitterness. Flavor/aroma is more refined than dry hopping but still very much in your face. I'm still playing with this and have not tried many varieties but I think it might be one key to that 'hop juice' flavor we want here.
  24. koopa

    koopa Champion (835) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    This is more along the lines of what I do. I haven't really got into whirlpooling yet myself though. Instead I just do a 5 minute hop addition and then after flame out I recirculate my wort through my plate chiller and back into my boil kettle until the wort in the kettle is down to about the 120-130F range. I then add my "flame out" hops at that temperature range and do about a 10 minute hop stand. So I'm not getting any ibu's from that addition because of the cooler temperature I do it at. Still tweaking this process though.
  25. DNuggs

    DNuggs Savant (280) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006 Verified

    I've only tried replicating this once and the result was an awesome beer though it wasn't Heady. I think next time I try it, I'm going to drop to 190 for a 10 minute whirlpool and then pump through my newly acquired hop rocket :) into the chiller and then fermentor
  26. You really need the Conan yeast to come close.

    I made a hoppy wheat with simcoe and amarillo, fermented with Conan. Awesome beer, with a definite peach note from the yeast.
  27. Bay01

    Bay01 Savant (455) Illinois Nov 19, 2008

    Anybody know if Conan has a close commercial relative? Is it a derivative of something more readily available? If NZ hops are indeed used it wouldn't be one of the new varieties such as Jade or Riwaka - Nelson maybe?
  28. I just did a great clone, yet without realizing it.....

    Pearl Malt
    Hop Shot is being discussed and purchased for the fermentor but not sure.
  29. I am not aware of anything close commercially. The attenuation is crazy and the aroma is quite peachy.
  30. kjyost

    kjyost Champion (775) Manitoba (Canada) May 4, 2008 Verified

    What is the goal of this? I am pretty sure it doesn't add IBUs unless boiled...
  31. That is pretty close to what I've come to using. I have tried some at 200, some at 190, and just recently I did some at 150. Your hop juice line is pretty accurate description of the final result. The technique seems to do a good job of melding the hop flavor into the wort. I prefer 190 for 30 minutes.
  32. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    Its CO extracted hop oils & resins, so it has aroma and flavor of standard additions, so could be used as "wet-dry hop" I guess, however, its thick as hell and gooey, and would probably need to be dissolved in some warm water, potentially defeating the purpose.

    A better alternative would be straight up hop oil extract (Steam Distilled or vaccum distilled under CO2), although I don't know if they're available to non-commercial buyers.
  33. Resin. Sticky hop extract all over the tonque. yummy.
  34. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    Have you actually tasted hop shot? It tastes like shit.
    NiceFly likes this.
  35. no. maybe I will go without on this brew then. too good to ruin at this point. Used 5 oz of hops in a 5gallon batch just for dry hopping.
  36. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    Good idea. Hopshot is great in the kettle for getting bitterness and minimizing any vegetal/plant matter flavors from over use of hops during bittering (e.g. no plant material).

    If you want to go nuts, you can always pull your dry hops and then do a second, third or fourth dry hopping. You can get some nice layered flavor and aroma this way.
  37. interesting read today.
    dude from Crooked Stave suggests they use hop extracts.
    also the suggestion that the hops are NOT added at traditional bittering times, and that most of it is end boil or dry hopping (flavour vs bitter)
  38. He does not FWH, uses hop extract for bittering, and makes all the other hop additions at 5 minutes or less. He uses 6 hops. He whirlpools and dry hops and uses a unique peachy yeast strain that has +80% attenuation. These are the facts as given by the head brewer John.

    What we don't know is what the hop schedule is from 5 minutes in.
  39. Heady Recipe(5 gallon batch)although ABV is a bit off. I am ending up with 7.1% due to my high mash efficiency and low FG.

    10lbs Pearl Malt
    1lb of Dextrose into Primary fermenter after krauzen began to fall
    60 min additions
    1oz simcoe
    1oz chinook
    15min additions
    1oz cascade
    1oz amarillo
    1oz simcoe
    5min additions
    1oz cascade
    1oz amarillo
    flame out(random hops my bro in law had .33oz of each)
    dry hop
    2oz cascade
    2oz amarillo
    1oz simcoe

    1.064 OG and FG of 1.010