Posting some belated tasting notes for the Heady Topper Clone which was brewed back in May. This beer was a bit of a challenge to brew, with the hop bill, and hopping regimen. I ran into some issues during the brew day, and after which resulted in the beer not being quite what I wanted. With that said, I’m eager to make another attempt at this beer.
When I brewed this there were three clear issues in the brewing process of this beer, I overshot my OG by a significant amount. I could have corrected this in the brew kettle, but in an oversight I did not. I allowed this to ferment too high. Despite my cool basement, and a water bath to chill this beer out, I was not able to keep it under control. When a beer with this much fermentables it’s easy for it to just run away, and ferment hot. I hope to be handle this by moving the sugar addition to the fermenter, and building a fermentation control chamber. Lastly, my final issue was that the yeast gave up the ghost. I hope to have a fresh built up pitch of conan for my next batch.
I’m happy with the resulting beer despite the issues. This is not a clone in any respect, the inclusion of crystal malt, my altered hop bill, and the beer is far too different from the original. It’s far too sweet, not pithy and grapefruity that I get with the real deal. It’s also has non of the peachy aroma that’s prominent from the can. The color is darker, and the body is also noticeably thicker.
On the plus side, the head retention is great. The aroma was really fruity, and hoppy. The beer was a really good DIPA, and I’m disappointed to say, I didn’t drink it nearly fast enough.
Overall for my first take on a double ipa, and such a overly hopped beer, I did ok.
Changes planned for the next time:
o2, I’ve now added this to my brewing setup.
2.5g or smaller batch. I don’t consume high abv beers fast, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve still got some on hand.
Reset my recipe, based on this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/heady-topper-can-you-clone-390082/
Basically, Match the grain and hop bill more closely.
Water chemistry. This is something I’ve been putting off until I have a better grasp of my brewing process, but it’s important to all beer stlyes, but much more so for hoppy beers.
I followed the Homebrewtalk thread and ran that clone with Conan yeast. Smelled amazing. I will post my results when complete!