Conway CloneConway Clone

conway

My last brew session was a Conway’s Irish Ale clone of the Great Lakes Brewery beer. I chose this one at my wife’s behest and the thought that my dad would enjoy this one as well.

The clone is not precise for a few reasons, the first being that I don’t have a whole lot of money to throw around right now and I had a backlog of ingredients on hand. As I pursued a clone recipe for Conway I learned that Great Lakes uses Harrington 2-row as the base for most of its brews. This is good to know, as I have a desire to try a few clones: for instance, my Christmas ale this year used a Nosferatu clone as the base–again, however, I didn’t know about the Harrington 2-row. I learned about the base characteristics of Great Lakes brews from a nice post on The Beerists blog site.

In looking around, the only places I’ve seen that carry Harrington are Midwest Supplies and Northern Brewer.

Additionally, Great Lakes uses quite a bit of Cascade.

Regardless, here is the clone that I used:

  • 11 lb Maris Otter
  • .75 lb Crystal 80
  • .10 lb Crystal 40
  • 1 oz Northern Brewer (30 min)
  • 1 oz Hallertauer (10 min)
  • .75 oz Fuggle (5 min)
  • WLP002 British Ale yeast

We’ll see how this compares, although I expect significant differences. In the future, I aim to try this again with a more precise version that uses Harrington 2-row, Cascade, and Wyeast London Ale 1028.

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Conway CloneConway Clone

gravity

Is in the keg. Took the final gravity reading at 1.015, a bit higher than what I expected, especially given the large, highly-active starter that I pitched. But, it has a nice color and taste, even though flat. Now I just wait for carbonation.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Xmas Ale CloneGreat Lakes Xmas Ale Clone

I got my recipe from Brewer’s Friend, and it was a recipe posted by Cameron. He also has a YouTube video showing how he went about it.

Well it was that time of year again for the Christmas Ale to come rolling out, and I had my fill of it over the holidays. I’ve never tried brewing a clone of the beer, so this year I thought that I would. I got to it a bit later than I would have liked, but the five gallons I got will carry me through the snowy months as I brew Stout and then, in March, and Oktoberfest.

 Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
 12 lbs Pale Malt Grain 1 78.0 % 0.94 gal
 1 lbs 3.2 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (53.4 SRM) Grain  2  7.8 % 0.09 gal
 12.8 oz Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 3 5.2 % 0.06 gal
 5.1 oz Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.1 % 0.03 gal
 1.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 5 0.4% 0.00 gal
 1.0 oz Liberty [4.30 %] – Boil 60.0 min  Hop 6 11.6 IBUs  —
 1.0 oz Liberty [4.30 %] – Boil 15.0 min  Hop 7  5.7 IBUs  —
 1.0 oz Ginger Root (Boil 12.0 mins)  Herb 8  —  —
 1.0 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 11.0 min Hop 9  5. IBUs  —
 4.0 oz Cinnamon Stick (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 10  —  —
 1 lb Honey [Primary] Honey 11 6.5% 0.08 gal

I had to make some modifications based on the ingredients I had on hand, but this is the recipe I ended up with:

My mash volume was 6.52 gallons with a pH of 5.3 and my sparge volume was 3.73 gallons with a pH of 5.2. My pre-boil volume was 8 gallons (I overshot the 7.4 recommended), but boiled it 75 minutes instead of 60 minutes. I mashed at between 154 degrees and 156 degrees for 60 minutes, the sparge took around the same amount of time at 168 degrees. (I donated my spent grains to a neighbor who has chickens.) My measured pre-boil gravity was 1.056, and my measured original gravity was 1.070. I brew using a Grainfather, so the mash was continually re-circulating. I pitched a California Ale yeast (WLP001), for which I created a starter. The yeast was old (September 2021 expiration), so I hedged my bet and also pitched Safale US-05 into the fermenter. The wort went into the fermenter at 68 degrees, I oxygenated it via O2 and a stone prior to pitching the yeast. The beer finished fermenting three days ago, January 3, 2022, and started fermenting within 24 hours. It was a long fermentation as I brewed the beer on December 23, 2021. I’ll move it into a corny keg tomorrow and take final gravity readings at that time.

Commodore Perry CloneCommodore Perry Clone

Great Lakes Brewing Co. – Commodore Perry IPA

Just brewed on Saturday. First time in a long time.  Details unnecessary, but back on the hoss. I’ve committed myself to brewing a Commodore Perry clone repeatedly until I get it right.  An homage to a great beer.

Noting meticulously my errors and successes. So this is round one.  In the future, I’ll brew 2.5 gallon increments! =)

Here’s the recipe I went with.  Variations in the future will be noted.

Recipie

IngredientQuantity
Rahr Malt (2 Row) (1.9 SRM)15 lbs.
Caramel/Crystal Malt – 30L (30 SRM)1 lbs.
Honey Malt – (25 SRM)1 lbs.
Simcoe 13.0%1 oz. 60 min.
Cascade 5.50%1 oz. 30 min.
Willamette 5.50%.5 oz. 30 min.
Cascade 5.50%.5 oz. 20 min.
Willamette 5.50%.5 oz. 20 min.
Cascade 5.50%.5 oz. 10 min.
Willamette 5.50%.5 oz. 10 min.
London Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028)2L starter
Cascade 5.50%.5 oz. Dry Hop.
Willamette 5.50%.5 oz. Dry Hop.

Hit my targets right on the money. It was beautiful. Too beautiful. I’m waiting for the other shoe right now, in fact.

Struck at 171 degrees and got a mash temp of 156.4.
Let it sit for un hora.
Then my seven-year-old son popped in to start helping me and broke yet another hydrometer.
But together we pushed on to triumph.
He helped through all the runs and vorlaufs:

  • 1st Run @ 149 degrees, 3 gallons, 23 brix, 1.094 SG (no hydrometer)
  • 2nd Run @ 143.5 degrees, 2 gallons, 23 brix, 1.094 SG (no hydrometer)
  • 3rd Run @ who cares degrees, 2 gallons, 9 brix, 1.034 SG (no hydrometer)
  • Wort in 8 gallon pot at 7.0 gallons, 17.5 brix, 1.068 SG (no hydrometer)

Boiled for 70 mins, various hop additions, son helping with hop socks and sniffing and considering the differences between hop varietals. While also stirring the 7 gallons of boiling wort and causing me no end to terrible scenarios in my mind, esp while touching the ball valve on the boil pot.

Got a post boil volume of around 6 gallons at 1.079 OG, pitched the yeasties, and …

The fermentation is sluggish. Smells bad. May have effed up the starter. Sour Commodore anyone? I could be pessimistic, too. Stuck my nose in the fermenter and had my eyebrows burned off.  Loving life. If this one is bad, I’ll do another.