Hi fellow heroes!
I have been planning on taking more runs at 3 Floyds Gumballhead cloning because I never really did it properly and my post on cloning Gumballhead is by far my most popular. My blog has a total of 11,745 hits to date and that single post has been responsible for 1,404 of them. Almost 12%.
However, I’m here to tell you that I am not an absolute cloner of beers. I’m much more into capturing the spirit of a beer but putting my own personal twist on it. My latest 3 Gumball-esque endeavors all demonstrate that very well. The 3 Floyds guys wanted a summer wheat beer that didn’t suck with great hop character and that’s my mission too. With that said, I am happy to share my recipes and thoughts.
Here’s the guidance Brewing With Wheat gives:
It appears Gumballhead may have changed over time as 3 Floyds’ site now says it’s 5.6%, 35 IBUs, and only mentions Amarillo hops. Having worked in a professional brewery, I can confirm that beers can change based on ingredient availability, new supply channels, a brewer’s whims, etc.
Fortunately I only want to make nice hop-forward American Wheat beers that capture the spirit of Gumballhead, so I won’t agonize over IBUs or hop selection.
With that said, on 10/7 I brewed Grant’s Golden Gumball. I was trying to nail down the Gumball malt bill but because I couldn’t get any Amarillo at the time, I played around with some other hops I liked and/or found potentially intriguing.
Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Boil Size: 9 gal Post Boil Volume: 5.5 gal Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal Estimated OG: 1.052 SG Estimated Color: 4.2 SRM Estimated IBU: 25.0 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 79.00 % Est Mash Efficiency: 91.1 % Boil Time: 90 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type # %/IBU 7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 71.2 % 2 lbs 8.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 25.4 % 5.3 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 3 3.4 % 28.00 g Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.30 %] - Boil Hop 4 16.5 IBUs 27.00 g German Brewer's Gold [6.20 %] - Boil 10. Hop 5 4.6 IBUs 28.00 g German Brewer's Gold [6.20 %] - Boil 0.0 Hop 8 0.0 IBUs 29.00 g Galaxy [13.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 7 0.0 IBUs 28.00 g German Brewer's Gold [6.20 %] - Boil 5.0 Hop 6 4.0 IBUs 2.0 pkg California Ale V (White Labs #WLP051) [3 Yeast 9 - 28.00 g Citra [14.10 %] - Dry Hop 12.0 Days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs 28.00 g Galaxy [13.70 %] - Dry Hop 12.0 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
German Brewer’s Gold did deliver on some of the spicy black currant notes, but it was fairly mellow and balanced. The additional Galaxy & Citra were nice, but I think I’ll mull over the BJCP guidelines for 6D American Wheat and consider a more aggressive dry hop than 2 oz on future versions. I thought California V WLP 051 did just fine.
My biggest complaint was there was a strange lingering slightly nutty note in the finish, which almost has to have been the Aromatic. Mind you, I love Aromatic and use 4-6 oz of it in many of my recipes, but even the 5.3 oz in this recipe seemed too much. Perhaps it melds a little better if you use the WLP 002 English Ale that Gumball uses. Yeast can play a huge factor in whether or not a grain bill works.
The water additions to 5 gallons of RO in the mash were: 2mL Lactic Acid, 4.5g Gypsum, 7.2g Epsom, 1.4g Canning Salt, 3.2g Calcium Chloride, & 1g Pickling Lime and the mash pH was 5.6. I sparged with 4 gallons of un-altered RO. (I am indeed starting to read up on whether or not I should acidify my RO sparge water by the way.) Mash temp was 149.
Anyway, Grant’s Golden Gumball turned out pretty nicely overall. Apparently fest-goers at Brew’s Best at Lake Las Vegas tore through 5 gallons of it and 2 other kegs of mine. Here’s a pic of it (in the middle):
On a side note, I know a couple of brewers that I’ve turned onto German Brewer’s Gold have had good results. My buddy Clyde took 3rd (behind me :P) in the Nevada State Championship with his Belgian Pale featuring Brewer’s Gold. (Interestingly enough, we brewed those at his house on the same day.) Speaking of the NV Championship, here is the cover sheet for my score sheets:
I’ll put up pics of my bad self acting ridiculous with all 6 NV State Championship medals soon. I put them all on when they were awarded to me at the SNAFU meeting last Friday. I felt like a fat, bearded Mark Spitz. Here’s the link to a pic of him for those that don’t understand.
Anyway, based on thinking even 5.3 oz of Aromatic was a touch overboard I brewed 2 more versions of Spirited Gumball two days ago. The first was also on Cal V WLP 051 but with 3 oz Aromatic and 4 oz Carapils. I hopped it with Nelson & Chinook. I was going to do a Nelson & Chinook beer at Big Dog’s on a Belgo IPA, so I thought it’d be fun to see how that combo turned out in this arena.
I added 2.5mL Lactic Acid, 4.5g Gypsum, 4g Calcium Chloride, 7.2g Epsom, 1g Pickling Lime, 1.4g Canning Salt to the 5 gallon RO mash. Sparged with 4 gal RO un-altered. Mash came in a touch low at 5.2 ish. Mash temp was 149. I ended up dry hopping with 43g Nelson & 47g Chinook for 8 days before kegging.
Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Boil Size: 9 gal Post Boil Volume: 5.5 gal Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal Estimated OG: 1.048 SG Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM Estimated IBU: 29.5 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 % Est Mash Efficiency: 83.0 % Boil Time: 90 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type # %/IBU 7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 70.4 % 2 lbs 8.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 25.2 % 4.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.5 % 3.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 4 1.9 % 2.0 pkg California Ale V (White Labs #WLP051) [3 Yeast 12 - 9.00 g Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 16.0 IBUs 10.00 g Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 3.5 IBUs 10.00 g Chinook [11.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 6 3.1 IBUs 15.00 g Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 4.3 IBUs 10.00 g Chinook [11.40 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 2.6 IBUs 28.00 g Nelson Sauvin [12.60 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs 14.00 g Chinook [11.40 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
That same day I started straying away from pure Gumball-ishness towards something in my wheelhouse. I went with 4 oz of Aromatic but added 4 oz Flaked Oats and 2 oz Victory malt. I also ran it on WLP 028 Edinburgh and hopped it with Citra, Motueka, & Mosaic. This version especially starts to encapsulate how I will take a beer as inspiration and then make it into my own animal.
In this beer I had to tweak additions a little because I was out of Calcium Chloride. In the 5 gallon RO mash I put 3 mL Lactic Acid, 4.5g Gypsum, 7.2g Epsom, 2.3g Canning Salt, & 1.5g Pickling Lime. Mash pH was 5.26. Mash temp was 150. I dry hopped this one with 29g Citra, 28g Motueka, 28g Mosaic for 8 days as well.
Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Boil Size: 9 gal Post Boil Volume: 5.5 gal Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal Estimated OG: 1.050 SG Estimated Color: 4.3 SRM Estimated IBU: 27.6 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 % Est Mash Efficiency: 84.1 % Boil Time: 90 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type # %/IBU 7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 69.2 % 2 lbs 8.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 24.7 % 4.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 3 2.5 % 1.9 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.2 % 4.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.5 % 2.0 pkg Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) [35.4 Yeast 14 - 9.00 g Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 16.0 IBUs 10.00 g Citra [14.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 3.9 IBUs 15.00 g Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 2.8 IBUs 12.00 g Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 1.8 IBUs 12.00 g Mosaic [11.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 3.2 IBUs 10.00 g Citra [14.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs 10.00 g Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs 10.00 g Mosaic [11.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
Based on how those 2 beers turn out, I should have a better feel for what yeast and hops work best. Regardless, I strongly suspect both of those last two brews will be very tasty beers.
Besides all of those shenanigans, I recommend checking out Mad Fermentationist’s latest post on mash pH and the latest Brewing Network Brew Strong’s Water Q&A with Jamil & John Palmer.
Purring Kitten Version 3 off of the kegerator is quite nice, so I should probably go ahead and brew the next batch soon. Breakfast In Antwerp Oatmeal Saison is on the docket to be brewed soon too. I should be kegging up my Ordinary Bitters & Attack Of The Blends IPA in the next few days.
Come to think of it, I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I attended the Modern Times grand opening…but Mad Fermentationist AKA my homeboy Mikey T was a great guy to talk to. Really smart, humble, super friendly, etc. A seeker and sharer of truth and goodness.
Seriously guys, my crew was fairly in the bag (as this was our 4th brewery stop) and he and I were discussing random Brett strains as the bouncer was kicking us out (at the end of the night), but he walked us to the door – not missing a beat. Great guy and the beers were awesome. Shortly after our encounter I noticed my blog was getting hits from a link he provided on his.
Alright, that’s all for tonight. Be well and brew even better my brewing brothers and sisters!