Monday, August 6, 2012

#61: New England Stock Ale

I was given some WLP008 (Brewer Patriot), which is widely assumed to be the Sam Adams ale yeast. Thus, I figured I'd rock with a Boston Ale-ish brew. Here's what Sammy tells us:

A smooth, refined version of a classic ale.

Samuel Adams® Boston Ale was first brewed to celebrate the opening of our Boston Brewery. Like Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, it originated as an old family recipe rescued by Jim Koch from his father's attic. Samuel Adams Boston Ale, a stock ale, has distinct earthy and spicy notes from the traditional English ale hops supported by sweet caramel malt notes. The ale yeast imparts a variety of fruit and ester notes while longer, cooler fermentation adds smoothness and complexity.

As a stock ale, Boston Ale has its roots in colonial New England. One of the few styles to originate in the United States, stock ales began over a century ago when the beer was carefully aged in barrels in cool rooms called “stock cellars”. Essentially this process creates an ale that’s been lagered so the taste tends to have characteristics of both. This technique imparted a smoothness and body which became the hallmark of this style.

Keeping with the stock ale style, Samuel Adams Boston Ale is fermented at warmer ale temperatures. The beer is then krausened like Boston Lager and dry hopped at cold temperatures like a lager. The English hops used in Boston Ale give it an earthy, spicy character that complements the sweetness from caramel malt. The resulting beer is smoother than most ales and richer than most lagers with a round, robust taste.

Flavor: Bright, citrus aromas and earthy flavors from the traditional English ale hops and a full bodied caramel malt sweetness.
Color: Red to amber, 14 SRM
Original Gravity: 13.2° Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 5.4%ABV – 4.2%ABW
Calories/12 oz.: 188
IBUs: 34
Malt Varieties: Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend and Caramel 60
Hop Varieties: East Kent Goldings, and Fuggles
Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams ale yeast

I'm not sure yet if I'll try to krausen for the first time, or if I'll prime with DME. I'm not real certain how to work krausening to get the carb that I desire, so I'll likely just go the normal route (for me), but I may change my mind in the next few weeks as I do more research.

So, this seems easy-ish to replicate. I played with Crystal 60 and UK Pale Malt to get the correct color. I ended up around 85/15. Then I took the two hops they provided, decided to use reasonable substitutes due to availability, and worked my IBU and flavor characteristics. Finally, I searched for other clone recipes and adjusted a bit based on their findings and recipes. I seem good on OG, color, IBU, calories, etc., so I'm going with the following...

#61: New England Stock Ale 

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 2.40 gal
Boil Size: 3.37 gal 
Boil Time: 60 min 
Equipment: Brew Pot (7.5 gal) 

Amount Item Type % or IBU 
5.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 84.62 % 
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 15.38 % 
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [3.80 %] (60 min) Hops 12.7 IBU 
0.37 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (60 min) Hops 13.8 IBU 
0.68 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops - 
0.15 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (20 min) Hops 3.4 IBU 
0.80 oz Glacier [5.60 %] (5 min) Hops 6.0 IBU 
1 Pkgs East Coast Ale (White Labs #WLP008) Yeast-Ale 

Beer Profile
Measured Original Gravity: 1.057 SG 
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG 
Alcohol by Vol: 5.87 % 
Bitterness: 34.6 IBU 
Calories: 254   cal/pint 
Est Color: 14.8 SRM

Still not getting efficiency that I expect on the new equipment. This will be about 0.5% lower than the anticipated 5.5% (adjusted above).  (NOTE:  I actually finished lower than expected, so I ended up above the 5.5%...  adjustments above)

Started a starter on the yeast (which had expired... sigh... I intended to use it three months ago...), and it rocked the primary fermentation of the starter in about a day. Pitched that sucker at 9pm, and by 9:30 had active airlock bubbling. 

The next afternoon the thing was going crazy. This is among the top two or three in oddest looking fermentations. I have long since learned that odd looking fermentations are par for the course, but this one has a few oddities... Floating just below the krausen are what I assume are yeast islands that look solid... kinda like macaroni or bow-tie pasta. The trub is some of the loosest I've seen (may not use this yeast again if this is indicative... I like the gel-like trubs). 

By the 26 hour mark, it appeared to be done with the active primary fermentation.


  1. Very nice looking recipe. I am currently making a (sort of) Bohemian-style Pilsner inspired by (but not necessarily meant to be a clone) of Sam Adam's Nobel Pils.

  2. Dry hopped with approx .7oz of Glacier today. Things seem to be proceeding toward a Sunday bottling...

  3. Really need to get a wine thief when I use these non-spigoted carboys, but I went on faith that the quick ferment finished. 1.012 at bottling, so I got more out of it than I estimated. Taste is quite good. Take was only 24 12oz bottle and one half-sized bottle for trubby, so I didn't get as much from it as thought. Left a bit behind in the carboy since the trub was pretty loose. Should have prepared ahead and harvested this yeast...

  4. What was the temp you fermented at ? I am getting ready to make this. Thank you for the help

  5. Sorry, should have noted that here. I was around 68 degrees on this one, which is generally where my ales sit unless there is a specific need to be otherwise.

  6. Thank you ... much needed help thought it was to be at 60 ..did you you do the same on the secondairy also ?

  7. I didn't secondary this one. Just two weeks in the primary and then to bottles...