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#1 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:06 PM

Just got back from WI and liked Spotted Cow enough that it might get me brewing again for the first time in 5 years. I don't honestly think I'll ever get back to hobby level brewing, but I'm thinking I could make this as sort of a regular kitchen chore.

So, she's anyone have a clone recipe for this beer? It's called a farmhouse ale, but it had only the barest hint of funk. I think it's more like a yeasty cream ale, but label says 1516 compliant.

Any ideas?

#2 neddles

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:33 PM

Does 1516 compliant mean no corn?

 

I'll be honest, I don't get any funk whatsoever in that beer and I think their use of the term Farmhouse Ale is not a reference to traditional Belgian style farmhouse ales. Plus, if Mr. Pemberton hasn't noticed any Belgian characters then they probably aren't there.

 

If I were to attempt a clone I'd start with an American ale yeast like 1450.


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#3 HVB

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:17 PM

This may be a start. https://www.northern...ckledHeifer.pdf
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#4 ER Pemberton

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:24 PM

LOL. I'm laughing at neddles because he knows that he would be able to hear me vomiting from his zip code if I were drinking Spotted Cow and it had any Belgian character. Here, I pulled this off of the NG site...
 

Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers.

Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow.


So the flaked barley could produce some amount of haze and just ignoring all fining, whirfloc, etc. could allow the beer to stay quite cloudy. I'll be honest, when I visit our neighbors to the north (which I love to do, btw), I don't buy Spotted Cow. I have had it, yes. But I would rather have some of their other offerings. Neddles, do you think the key lies in the yeast? They mention "fruitiness"... could they be referring to a kolsch yeast like 2565? That would also make for a cloudy beer and also a fruity beer. I would also have to guess about the hops. Maybe bittering and then more at 10 or 5 or something. The hops are probably something along the lines of an "American noble" like Liberty, Santiam, Mt. Hood, Crystal, etc. I'm spitballing. I don't know where the 1516 compliant comes from and I also don't know what they mean about giving a nod to their farmers. I always assumed that meant corn.

#5 Deerslyr

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 08:18 PM

When I was moving my keg around to mess with my co-2 tank, I noticed the keg getting decidedly lighter.  While the plan is to still brew a Hefe this weekend, I'll follow it up real quickly.  Was considering my NFP Cream Ale #2 recipe, but it's awfully damn close to the Speckled Heifer recipe that I might as well give that a shot.  

 

So... Count me in to test out the recipe.  And given my fondness for having some Spotted Cow on hand at all times, I should know pretty quickly if it is a reasonable approximation.

 

And you know my love of US-05, which is called for in the recipe.


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#6 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 10:31 PM

I don't think you can have any corn and be Reinheitsgebot compliant, unless NG is using a really broad (read deceitful) interpretation of the rules.  Every - and I do mean every - clone recipe I can find is using flaked corn.

 

I like the idea of American nobles for mild bittering - I'd really doubt there's any catty Cluster like the NB recipe says.

 

The yeast is the real question.  I don't think it's neutral US05 because while there's not really a funk there is a "twang" that 05 won't produce.  Lots of clone recipes have kolsch yeast, and maybe that's the way to go. I don't know.



#7 neddles

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 04:56 AM

Neddles, do you think the key lies in the yeast? They mention "fruitiness"... could they be referring to a kolsch yeast like 2565? That would also make for a cloudy beer and also a fruity beer.

That is certainly possible. Kolsch and kolsch yeast character are two things I have zero familiarity with. 

 

 

I don't think you can have any corn and be Reinheitsgebot compliant, unless NG is using a really broad (read deceitful) interpretation of the rules.  Every - and I do mean every - clone recipe I can find is using flaked corn.

 

I like the idea of American nobles for mild bittering - I'd really doubt there's any catty Cluster like the NB recipe says.

 

The yeast is the real question.  I don't think it's neutral US05 because while there's not really a funk there is a "twang" that 05 won't produce.  Lots of clone recipes have kolsch yeast, and maybe that's the way to go. I don't know.

 

I doubt they are using corn if they say it is compliant with the purity law. Also if you pour a clear one where all the yeast has settled it seems to have a hint more color than what you might expect from just +/-1.045 worth of 2-row and flaked barley. Maybe there is a touch of something else in there? I don't know, maybe not.

 

What Ken said on the hops. Maybe a 1/2oz per 6 gallons of something like Liberty or Sterling at 15 or 10? Not much.

 

If you are familiar with kolsch yeast and think thats a possibility then I'd go with that. The floccing characteristics are certainly consistent with 2565.


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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 05:56 AM

Another thought: US-05 can produce a fruity character when fermented cool (like low 60s) but the fruit character is peachy-apricot... not what you get in SC. A kolsch yeast like 2565 can be slightly fruity and slightly "winey" but you can subdue that fruitiness by fermenting cooler (I think the low end of 2565 is 55°) or emphasize the fruitiness by fermenting warmer. Also, where does it say that SC is 1516-compliant? On the label or something? When I was on the New Glarus site there was no mention of it. Finally, whenever I do something like this, I always assume that with all of the variables involved, I'm going to try to make a beer that's in the spirit of the original and I'm going to try to get close. That's all you can really do and I think that we have a lot of good info here that should get you close.

It could be as easy as this. Don't let the IBUs fool you... this calculator seems to show them higher than usual. I also agree there is more color so add some crystal if you wish and ferment with 2565 around 60°.

image.png

#9 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:09 AM

... Also, where does it say that SC is 1516-compliant? On the label or something? ...
 

It's on the neck band.



#10 ER Pemberton

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:15 AM

It's on the neck band.

Okay, so skip the corn if it means that the recipe you try is closer to the real thing. Let us know if you brew it and how it came out.

Speaking of New Glarus, my work schedule is all messed up this week and my weekend is busy too. I had a starter of 2308 spinning this week and it's active RIGHT NOW so I'm brewing my version of Two Women as I type this. Swaen Pilsner malt, Avangard Dark Munich, a smidge of CaraMunich, Magnum to bitter, an ounce of Hallertau Mittelfruh for 20 minutes and 2308 Munich Lager to ferment.

#11 neddles

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:26 AM

I just picked up a sixer for research. (and because tonight's guests will drink the other 4 bottles). I typically only have this beer a handful of times each year and it's been a while so I thought I'd get some. 

 

This is what it used to say on the bottle and their website has not been updated to reflect the new label. 

 

 

Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers.

Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow.

 

The new label notably mentions purity law compliance and no longer mentions flaked barley. In fact it says the following...

 

 

Spotted Cow adheres to the Reinheitsgebot purity law using only four hand- selected all natural ingredients - yeast, hops, water and malted barley.

So I would guess flaked barley is out in it's current iteration.

 

Also from their website FAQ.

 

 

Q: DOES NEW GLARUS BREWING CO. USE HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IN SPOTTED COW?
A: We have, and always will, strive to make pure and honest beers for our friends in Wisconsin. Spotted Cow is brewed to the standards of the German Purity Law – that is with only malted barley, malted wheat, hops, yeast and water. All our beers are Non-GMO and Vegan Safe. We do NOT use high fructose corn syrup. That is used in soda pop not beer.

 

 

Q: WHAT IS THE SEDIMENT IN MY BOTTLE OF SPOTTED COW?
A: Spotted Cow is one of our unfiltered brews, which simply means that the brewer's yeast is still in it. Brewer's yeast is full of wonderful vitamins and minerals, and adds the final layer of character that is intended for this brew. It is full of Vitamin B and potassium, and also contributes to a smooth mouth feel and great bready notes! The brewer's yeast will sometimes settle at the bottom of bottles that have stood upright and stationary for a time while waiting to get to you (either during transportation or while waiting for you at your local establishment), and it is always a good idea to reincorporate the brewer's yeast for the vitamins and flavor layers that it adds. To do so, carefully set the bottle on it's side on a flat surface and gently roll the bottle back and forth with the palm of your hand. This should reincorporate all those wonderful flavors!

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#12 ER Pemberton

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:33 AM

Good stuff. As I was putting together the recipe above, wheat had crossed my mind. So maybe flaked wheat instead of flaked barley. Is flaked wheat malted? I forget.

#13 neddles

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:34 AM

Good stuff. As I was putting together the recipe above, wheat had crossed my mind. So maybe flaked wheat instead of flaked barley. Is flaked wheat malted? I forget.

Nope.


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#14 ER Pemberton

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:40 AM

Nope.

Okay so just plain wheat malt (which could be the nod to the local farmers) or maybe even torrified wheat? Is torrified wheat malted? I forget. :D After you sample the SC you just bought, edit my recipe based on what you taste. It's been awhile since I tried it but I feel like I could get close if I really tried.

#15 neddles

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:50 AM

The "nod to the farmers" is no longer on the bottle. Torrified is not malted either.

 

Yeah, I'll give it a taste and see what I think.


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#16 Deerslyr

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:39 AM

Even though it may no longer have the "nod to farmers" it does look like NG has been using Wisconsin grown barley.

 

https://host.madison...475fb047db.html


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#17 ER Pemberton

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:58 AM

I really like the challenge of trying to clone something but I don't know that I want to try to clone this one. I could drive over the border, hit Woodman's in Kenosha and buy a bunch of NG including a sixer of SC so that I have it to test against. I think I would do something like Rahr 2-row (or maybe even Rahr Pale Ale malt which could be where the extra color comes from), wheat and maybe just a smidge of something flaked even if it's not true to the recipe and then the Mt. Hood hops that I outlined earlier along with the 2565 yeast. Seems like it would be close.

#18 neddles

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:05 AM

I really like the challenge of trying to clone something but I don't know that I want to try to clone this one. I could drive over the border, hit Woodman's in Kenosha and buy a bunch of NG including a sixer of SC so that I have it to test against. I think I would do something like Rahr 2-row (or maybe even Rahr Pale Ale malt which could be where the extra color comes from), wheat and maybe just a smidge of something flaked even if it's not true to the recipe and then the Mt. Hood hops that I outlined earlier along with the 2565 yeast. Seems like it would be close.

Yeah that might get you close. I wondered too if some of the color was a mix of pale and pale ale, or maybe a small percentage of a very light colored and flavored crystal like C10 or Carahell. I don't recall anything Munich or Vienna-like in the flavor.


Edited by neddles, 27 July 2017 - 11:06 AM.

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#19 BrewerGeorge

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:07 AM

I'm gonna freaking do this, Guys!  It'll take me a while to dig everything out and get it back together, but it's happening!



#20 neddles

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 11:10 AM

I'm gonna freaking do this, Guys!  It'll take me a while to dig everything out and get it back together, but it's happening!

Hell yes. Did you bring some of the real thing home with you?


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