Well with the new DIY brewery finished what to make first? Which beer was I going to make to put my new setup through its paces? I decided on a Hobgoblin clone, an ale I like and drink quite alot of. For the uninitiated its a dark ruby red ale with a great bitter taste and a hoppy after taste that has a little kick, its very drinkable. I looked around the net and found a few different recipes and decided to use one that is on a number of sites in one guise or another. I changed a few things but the basic recipe is similar to a number on the net. Could i replicate the famous “mischievous character”?
4.8kg (89%) Marris Otter
0.25kg (4.6%) Crystal 100
0.2kg (3.7%) Carapils
0.15kg (2.8%) Chocolate malt
45g Styrian goldings 45g Fuggles
Wyeast 1275 Thames valley ale
The method used was a single infusion mash. I started the mash with 14 litres of strike water at 77°c. The water was heated up to around 85°c and put into the mash tun, the lid was put on and left for 10 mins. The temperature levelled of at around 78 so the grain was added. The target mash temp of 69°c was met and the mash was left for 90 mins. After 90 mins I checked the temp and the mash had lost a couple of degrees. I I then fly- sparged the grain with 19 litres of water at 77° and around 26 litres made it into the boiler. During the sparge the first wort hop addition is added to the boiler, 15g of goldings and 15g of fuggles.
The brew day was going really smoothly and I was happy when the wort was heating up, my new set up was working great. The hot break came and went and I turned one of the heater elements off and after 30 mins added the second hop addition 15g goldings and 15g fuggles. After 60 mins the remaining element was turned off and the last hop addition was added of, you guessed it 15g of goldings and 15g of fuggles. This last addition stays in the boiler for an hour, which goes against everything I have done before. The usual brew lore is to cool the wort as quickly as possible to pitching temp and pitch the yeast, not with this bad boy. The wort is left for an hour then chilled and drained into the fermenter, I did not feel comfortable with doing that at all. That’s when the only hiccup of the day and chink in my new set up became evident. The hop filter blocked up after about 5 seconds and I had to use a sterilised spoon to move the hops from around the filter all this after the wort had already been stood for an hour. I started to lose my usual brew day confidence and laid back attitude.
The yeast was added to the fermenter and the ale fermented vigorously and I had to add a blowoff tube. I used this yeast as it can be used for many different English ales, and it has been washed and reused (with a starter) a number of times since this brew was made.
After two weeks in the fermenter the ale was batch primed with 120g of DME and then kegged/bottled.
After what seemed an eternity the beer was ready drink. I compared it side by side with a bottle of Hobgoblin. The carbonation was just right and both beers looked identical in the glass. The malty aroma from the clone lacked a toffee note of the original but was very similar, the hoppy smell of the goldings/fuggles was detectable but was very subtle in both beers. The clone tasted bitter and had a rounded after taste whereas the real hobgoblin was bitter with a punchy bitter hoppy after taste. I put this down to the first wort hop addition as this can make the hop taste more rounded. Conclusion – this clone is very close to the original with only subtle differences, it is a very nice ale and one I will make again. I definitely had a mischievous character after a few pints of this ale.