Cooking up a 3 Floyds Gumballhead Clone

12/20/2013 EDIT: If you’d like to see some of my more recent Gumball-esque efforts try here and here too.

I don’t often shoot for exactly cloning a beer, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about Gumballhead and BeerAdvocate rates it a 96. Plus I’ve never tried it!

In this case, I may end up looking to bend it a little to fit into the BJCP 6D American Wheat category (3 Floyds supposedly uses a UK yeast strain) and “clean American ale yeast” is the first thing mentioned in the style guidelines.

It’s also possible that I may brew 2 versions: the clone (as best I can make it) & the version to try to win my bad self an award in 6D.

In the course of my Homebrewtalk searching for a reasonable clone I found most recipes to be over 50% wheat: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3. While perusing those, someone mentioned there was good recipe guidance in Brewing With Wheat by Stan Hieronymous, a book I happen to own. Here’s what I found:

The page you can only read some of states that the grain bill is 25% wheat with English ale yeast. My other Homebrewtalk surfing on 3 Floyds’ house yeast strain led me to Wyeast 1968 London ESB. Then I checked with Mr. Malty and found that the White Labs equivalent is WLP002 English ale and the commercial origin is Fuller’s.

The problem with this knowledge being that I may end up brewing an American wheat beer with gorgeous American Amarillo & Simcoe hops and then not quite manage to squeeze into category 6D because of my English yeast. Maybe I’d enter it in American Wheat AND Specialty Ale to see where it would fly. I’d love to try a Belgian version as well. Brett too, of course. You know me.

The other problem being that I cannot come ANYWHERE close to holding this beer at 32 degrees for 3 weeks. I’ll either have to phone a friend or roll the dice at room temp/swamp coolered. I imagine all that lagering makes it come out quite a bit cleaner and clearer than I’ll be able to pull off. I can probably clear it with fining agents. But at my room temps of 70-75, a clone it shall not entirely be.

Regardless, here’s what I’ve got going on BeerSmith so far:

My Aromatic malt percentage is based on keeping the SRM (color) within the style guidelines. Brewing With Wheat says the beer comes out lighter than their hef too, so the lighter the better.

12/11/13 EDIT: I’ve recently tried Gumball-esque beers with more like 3 or 4 oz of Aromatic. You can find those recipes and discussion here.

There may still be some tweaks here and there. There’s a good Jamil Show on No Recipe Cloning, but no tasting with only recipes cloning is a little different ballgame.

With all that said, I thought it might be interesting to show how I end up throwing together clones and recipes similar to commercial beers I enjoy.

Sleep tight world!

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5 thoughts on “Cooking up a 3 Floyds Gumballhead Clone

  1. Pingback: My First Homebrewing Award! | BJCP Hero

  2. Pingback: 1st Attempt at Gumballhead Clone and Other Beerdonkulousness | BJCP Hero

    • The first one was a little weird. French Ale 072 certainly wasn’t the best idea. I did a blend of WLP002/007 in my 2nd attempt, but that was a demo brew at the homebrew store with rogue fruity hopping, so who knows. I should bottle that up soon, so I’ll likely update on it before too long.

  3. Pingback: Capturing The Spirit Of 3 Floyds Gumballhead | BJCP Hero

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