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Gage Roads ’The Convict’ Australian Strong Ale

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Shanta

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I tried this fantastic drop over the weekend and would like to have a go at doing something very similar, has anyone on here tried it or know of a receipe I can have a go at?
 

A3k

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no help here, but i just got given a long neck of this and am looking forward to trying it.
 

WarmBeer

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I found it to be a little too 2 dimensional. It had both generic "maltiness" and generic "bitterness" in spades, but was difficult to pick out the individual components. Fer'instance, I know Galaxy hops pretty well, having a bit of a love-hate relationship with them, but was hard pressed to have a sniff and go "hey, yeah, there's definitely Galaxy in there".

Maybe it is a reasonable approximation of what an Australian Ale was like around the turn of the century (1900's), but for me it lacked any "wow" factor, and at 7.2% it's def not a quaffer on a hot Melbourne afternoon...
 

slash22000

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I actually liked it quite a lot. It was on special for almost nothing at my local Woolworths bottle shop so I guess most people don't? It's pretty intense at 80 IBU's, would probably give a VB drinker a bloody stroke.

It says on the bottle all the information you'd need to replicate it:

...

Technical Information

ABV: 7.2%

IBU: 80

EBC: 20

Malt: Ale | Amber | Wheat | Vienna | Crystal | Roast

Hops: – Kettle: Topaz | Summer | Stella | Galaxy – Dry: Summer | Stella | Galaxy

You'd just have to guess what the ratios were.

...

Whatever you do you'll end up with beer, so go nuts.
 

bum

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I wonder if it just hasn't held up well, WarmBeer? While it wasn't a beer I bothered to buy again it did actually smell pretty damned nice back around Australia Day. Yeah, hop aroma was somewhat generic new-world but it was pretty forward. I quite liked the malt aroma.

The beer itself was a thin and fizzy nothingness.

[EDIT: typo]
 

WarmBeer

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bum said:
I wonder if it just hasn't held up well, WarmBeer?
I can probably just answer that question with the first letters of the store I purchased it from:

D-- M------

(yeah, yeah, fool me once, shame on you, yadda, yadda)
 

redbeard

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I bought the last 2 on special from Wow Liquor in a country nsw store recently. They wanted to turn over stock, as they were stored in the fridge. Id call it more a sipping style beer, as expected for a strong ale. Bitterness / malt was ok, from memory. Not fantastic but not bad either, especially for country nsw with no dm or 1stchoice etc. The other Gage Roads pale/ipa ive had have also been ok, not in your face, but close to style, aimed at drinkers who want to try something other than ted. Im sure you could use a generic strong dark ale recipe.
 

Shanta

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slash22000 said:
I actually liked it quite a lot. It was on special for almost nothing at my local Woolworths bottle shop so I guess most people don't? It's pretty intense at 80 IBU's, would probably give a VB drinker a bloody stroke.

It says on the bottle all the information you'd need to replicate it:

...

Technical Information

ABV: 7.2%

IBU: 80

EBC: 20

Malt: Ale | Amber | Wheat | Vienna | Crystal | Roast

Hops: – Kettle: Topaz | Summer | Stella | Galaxy – Dry: Summer | Stella | Galaxy

You'd just have to guess what the ratios were.

...

Whatever you do you'll end up with beer, so go nuts.
Any idea on quanties and when hops are to be added to the kettle?
 

slash22000

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Nope. I have as much information as you do.

You know how it's been described by the brewer: *"... the brew is described as having “a distinctive floral, and tropical aroma reminiscent of citrus and passionfruit, with a hint of spicy anise”. And despite the hefty bitterness the malt profile has been ramped up, with six specialty malts, to provide an, apparently, surprisingly sessionable brew."*

You know about the hops:

...

"As a flavor addition Topaz can provide spice (almost clove) character and earthy notes similar in character to old English cultivars, and fruit flavour such as lychee can be detected in later additions and higher gravity brews"

"Summer provides distinctive light apricot and melon fruit notes nicely balanced by a background hop character"

"Stella is a new aroma variety which contributes hoppy and floral notes, with subtle hints of anise and a satisfying fullness of palate"

"Galaxy contributes a striking flavour best described as a combination of passionfruit and peach"

...

Given what we know about the hops and the description of the beer ...

Topaz, Stella and Galaxy are all high alpha and are all candidates for the bittering addition. I'd say it was primarily Topaz for bittering, given Topaz being excluded from the aroma selection. Obviously there's a big Galaxy and Summer presence in the flavour and aroma, with some Stella as well (but not as much).

As for quantities, the hop aroma is described as "distinctive" so I'd use a good solid dry hop but nothing too extreme, this is Gage Roads we're talking about after all. Bittering/flavour etc just have to be logical about it, we know it's 80 IBU's so we have a rough guideline.

As for malt ...

I know it's extremely dark in colour - the specs say EBC 20 but that's bullshit, the glass I had was almost as dark as a porter. We know it's 7.2% ABV and we know that most beers are limited to about 15% specialty malts, so you can figure out how much malt you'd need to hit 7.2% ABV and which combination of the listed spec malts will give you that dark brown colour.
 

eamonnfoley

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I would brew the CYBI Arrogant Bastard clone (90% Pale, 10% Special B from memory), and subsitute for the Aussie hops on the bottle. That will get you close enough. To me it tasted very reminiscent of the AB (and similar gravity, colour, bitterness etc). Nice rich malt (not cloying though), and huge hop flavour with an abrasive edge (in a good way - not a flaw). Chinook (in AB) is a slightly harsh hop, so it compares to the Aussie hops well (which are a little harsh). Gage Roads have proved that they can brew. Always felt for them because they started out with good intentions and were brewing nice beers, but struggled financially and had to sell out, resulting in a cheapened product. But there is still a heartbeat there - this beer proves that.
 

Shanta

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slash22000 said:
Nope. I have as much information as you do.

You know how it's been described by the brewer: *"... the brew is described as having “a distinctive floral, and tropical aroma reminiscent of citrus and passionfruit, with a hint of spicy anise”. And despite the hefty bitterness the malt profile has been ramped up, with six specialty malts, to provide an, apparently, surprisingly sessionable brew."*

You know about the hops:

...

"As a flavor addition Topaz can provide spice (almost clove) character and earthy notes similar in character to old English cultivars, and fruit flavour such as lychee can be detected in later additions and higher gravity brews"

"Summer provides distinctive light apricot and melon fruit notes nicely balanced by a background hop character"

"Stella is a new aroma variety which contributes hoppy and floral notes, with subtle hints of anise and a satisfying fullness of palate"

"Galaxy contributes a striking flavour best described as a combination of passionfruit and peach"

...

Given what we know about the hops and the description of the beer ...

Topaz, Stella and Galaxy are all high alpha and are all candidates for the bittering addition. I'd say it was primarily Topaz for bittering, given Topaz being excluded from the aroma selection. Obviously there's a big Galaxy and Summer presence in the flavour and aroma, with some Stella as well (but not as much).

As for quantities, the hop aroma is described as "distinctive" so I'd use a good solid dry hop but nothing too extreme, this is Gage Roads we're talking about after all. Bittering/flavour etc just have to be logical about it, we know it's 80 IBU's so we have a rough guideline.

As for malt ...

I know it's extremely dark in colour - the specs say EBC 20 but that's bullshit, the glass I had was almost as dark as a porter. We know it's 7.2% ABV and we know that most beers are limited to about 15% specialty malts, so you can figure out how much malt you'd need to hit 7.2% ABV and which combination of the listed spec malts will give you that dark brown colour.

Thanks so much for this! I'm going to look at drafting up a recipe with quanties and timings to post with this thread.
 
U

unclebarrel

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Oh Shanta, please do.
I have been reading this thread every day or two, I LOVE the Convict, but do not have the knowledge of a lot of you guys to analyse it so carefully.
If you come up with something that can even get close to replicating it I will be happy to give it a whirl !



Cant wait.
 

431neb

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I had one of these recently, I thought it very nice. However my judgement may have been impaired as I was coming off an extremely physical day's work.

Perhaps not the best way to recover from an exhausting days work in the sun but enjoyable nonetheless.
 

Shanta

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Hi All,

Well I must be honest here, this is my very first attempt at calculating IBU's. As a fairly new brewer I only have about 6 brews under my belt and am just starting to try my luck at stove top brewing.
In regards to all the above posts, thank you all for your sound advice and help with trying to copy this recipe.
I have found a online IBU Calculator and have tried my luck at mixing the hops around into an order I think would work. I did a bit of research and found out the the hops that are to be dry hopped into this recipe will not add to the IBU so these have not been added to the calculation and I will look at these at a later stage. Just at this moment I'm looking to see if something like what I have calculated would be suitable before I try to work on the rest.

[sharedmedia=gallery:albums:969]

Hop Addition 1 = Topaz
Hop Addition 2 = Stella
Hop Addition 3 = Galaxy
Hop Addition 4 = Summer
Hop Addition 5 = Galaxy

cheers :kooi:
 

Bizier

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Just get Brewmate brother, free and will let you design a full beer, and made by a local champ.
 

Shanta

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Bizier said:
Just get Brewmate brother, free and will let you design a full beer, and made by a local champ.
Cheers that looks like a fantastic tool! Do you happen to know of anything similar to use on a Mac or an App thats just as good?
 

carniebrew

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Can you navigate your way around MS Excel? If so, Ianh's spreadsheet is a fantastic free tool for kit/extract brewing, and my guess is 'coz it's Excel it'll work on the Mac version of Office.
 

zarniwoop

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I just did a google search on trying this beer tonight to see if it had come up on AHB and I can't help wondering if I tried the same beer as everyone else? It was bl**dy awful! Way too bitter for the malt levels and had a strong charcoal after taste. I'll drink most beers, but this was the first beer I have poured down the drain in 20 years. (Last was Kestral Super Lager when I was 15 - only alcohol I ever drank that didn't get better the more you drank).

Did I just get a bad bottle or something?
 

slash22000

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So I went out to Woolies to see if they had any of these still lying around, since there seems to be a bit of a mixed opinion on them. Turns out they were on clearance so I grabbed a couple. Amateur review?

Keeping in mind this beer was a limited release on Australia Day, so they've been shelved for at least a month and a bit, the aroma is still hoppy but not distinctly fruity/floral as described. Given that it's Woolies in Darwin I'm imagining this is as much a result of poor handling as well as the curse of hops disappearing so quickly. It has that sort of "miscellaneous tropical fruit" hop aroma from an inch or so away, but with my nose in the glass is overshadowed by a strong roast, smoke, almost coffee aroma. If you steeped fruity hops in black coffee, I imagine this is how it would smell. All said, the aroma is not very powerful, but it's definitely there.

As for the taste, solid fruity hops initially dominates, briefly preceding that distinctive astringent roasted sensation/flavour you get from dark malts or strong coffee. Hot alcohol presence at 7.2%, enough to burn in the mouth if you want it to sit long enough - I imagine they've tried to get this out the door ASAP to maintain the hop goodness. Combined with 80 IBU's of hops I question Gage Roads insistence this is a "session" beer. I'd agree with Zarniwoop on a distinctly smoked/roasted or "charcoal" aftertaste, but I don't dislike it. Once the charcoal dies down, there's a strong hint of flowers in the aftertaste, grassy even. I'm tasting coffee/charcoal on the back of my throat and flowers/grass on the roof of my mouth. All told I would say the flavour is primarily hop driven but with dark malt pushing its way in at the end.

Thick-ish mouthfeel but not "chewy". Extremely effervescent, which I suspect adds to the illusion of thickness. Considering its 7.2% ABV and big specialty malt bill I suspect some amount of dextrose being used to thin the body a little, but that could just be my imagination / bias.

All told, I don't think this beer is properly balanced between the bitterness of 80 IBU's of hops, dark malts, and high alcohol content all at once, but I don't think it's a bad beer. I've had better, but this beer is leagues ahead of your standard Gage Roads beers and miles ahead of your standard Australian lager. I think, fresh off the line, with its maximum hop aroma/flavour, this would be an excellent beer.

I think if I was to clone this beer, I'd avoid using any dextrose or adjuncts to try and keep the malt nice and sweet to offset all the bittering components. I don't think I'd use whatever the "flowery" hop is, or I'd use less of it, since (at time of writing) it seems to dominate the others. I would definitely carbonate it less, it feels almost like I'm drinking Coke.

As a sidenote, I've consumed almost an entire bottle on an empty stomach writing this and I am not sober.
 

TheTaxidermist

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So guys,

this has been a fascinating topic but I see there's been nothing more since March. This has prompted me to dabble with the figures and come up with a recipe. I've never tasted this, and I have yet to brew this recipe, but in the interests of "Science" as a good friend says, I thought I'd share this with you. If you brew this and you've also drank the real deal, let me know how it turned out and what changes might be needed.

Cheers.

TT

Recipe: "The Convict" Australian Strong Ale, Gage Roads, Aust.
Brewer: The Taxidermist
Asst Brewer: Nomi the Cat
Style: Other Strong Ale or Lager
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30,0)
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 22,34 l
Post Boil Volume: 20,99 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 18,00 l
Bottling Volume: 18,00 l
Estimated OG: 1,077 SG
Estimated Color: 21,0 EBC
Estimated IBU: 81,2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 85,00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 100,0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
3,550 kg Pale Malt, Traditional Ale (Joe White) Grain 1 68,1 %
0,525 kg Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (5,9 EBC) Grain 2 10,1 %
0,500 kg Wheat Malt, Malt Craft (Joe White) Grain 3 9,6 %
0,400 kg Amber Malt (Joe White) (45,3 EBC) Grain 4 7,7 %
0,225 kg Crystal (Joe White) (141,8 EBC) Grain 5 4,3 %
0,010 kg Roasted Malt (Joe White) Grain 6 0,2 %
32,00 g Summer (Summer Saaz) [5,50 %] - Boil 60, Hop 7 24,5 IBUs
16,00 g Topaz [17,00 %] - Boil 45,0 min Hop 8 33,9 IBUs
7,75 g Ella (aka Stella) [15,00 %] - Boil 30,0 Hop 9 8,2 IBUs
11,00 g Galaxy [14,00 %] - Boil 15,0 min Hop 10 5,7 IBUs
1,65 g KoppaFloc (Boil 10,0 mins) Fining 11 -
2,21 g Wyeast Nutrient Blend (Boil 10,0 mins) Other 12 -
13,00 g Ella (aka Stella) [15,00 %] - Boil 1,0 m Hop 13 4,5 IBUs
11,00 g Topaz [17,00 %] - Boil 1,0 min Hop 14 4,3 IBUs
1,0 pkg Cooper Home Brew Yeast (Coopers #-) [23, Yeast 15 -
10,00 g Summer (Summer Saaz) [5,50 %] - Dry Hop Hop 16 0,0 IBUs
7,50 g Ella (aka Stella) [15,00 %] - Dry Hop 1, Hop 17 0,0 IBUs
5,00 g Galaxy [14,00 %] - Dry Hop 1,0 Days Hop 18 0,0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: BIAB, Light Body
Total Grain Weight: 5,210 kg
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 23,02 l of water at 70,2 C 64,4 C 90 min
Mash Out Heat to 75,6 C over 7 min 75,6 C 10 min
Sparge: Remove grains, and prepare to boil wort
Notes: Because this is a big(ish) beer, may need an additional 30 min for Saccharification to maximise conversion, check the pre-boil wort gravity before terminating the mash.

Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

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