Old Peculier

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manticle

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If you want a nice old/strong bitter, by all means play around but if you want as close to the commercial as you can, accept no subs.
Hall mitt is lovely but nothing like target. For me it's lemon/lemon zest and a hint of floral.
 

technobabble66

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Thanks. No hall mitt then. I'll stick to the challenger and fuggles that I already have. Adjust next time.
Bah, it's going to a case swap anyway! [emoji185][emoji1]

Thanks speisy. Sounds good to me!
 

manticle

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Arrived yesterday so upright on top of the fridge to settle, drunk at room temp from a pint glass.

Firstly I do not think maris would be out of place, contrary to MHB earlier. When I first started AG brewing I used JW malts. After a bit I switched to country of origin (mainly) so uk for uk, belgian for belgian, german for german, etc.

I found the same recipes that had previously worked had an added depth with specific malts and the big one initially was a porter using maris instead of jw ale. This reminds me of that character. I do agree with MHB that maris use is probably widely overstated, that it may not be in this beer and that is does have a distinct character, particularly discernible in pales. However I do not agree that that character would be out of place here. Regardless; whatever you do, use a uk pale base- gp, maris, optic, etc. Do not sub us or au or german or belgian - the base is distinct enough that none of those will work as you intend.

Roast barley or chocolate malt are likely in very, very small amounts - mostly colour but enough to add an edge that cuts back from being sweet. From the red hue, I'd lean towards RB. Carb is low and body is full.

I get minimal hop character - nothing spicy, nothing really citrus either. Fuggles, challenger and/or target would all be fine.

I'd add no treacle - I think full bodied mash and age add complexity to a very simple, well balanced beer.

Finally 1187 or 1469 would do this justice in my opinion.
Hope that helps. Simple ingredients, good yeast, full bodied mash and age are my summarised tips.

Bear in mind; this is all from one single bottle from one single bottle shop*. BB date october this year.

*And one single palate.
 

technobabble66

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Awesomeness.
Thanks a truckload, mants!!
Most appreciated having someone who knows much more about matching ingredients to resulting flavours review the likely components of TOP. ... And someone who has a truckload more experience with UK beers & yeasts!

Well it sounds like the recipe proposed earlier is roughly similar to what you outline. I've tweaked it slightly since posting, and I'll sub out the Target for this batch & go either 005 or a resurrected 1469.
So I'll post the updated version ASAP when I start brewing it.
Cheers!
 

technobabble66

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FWIW, i finally cracked my bottle of TOP i had sitting in the fridge for the last week.
I guess the short version is i'd repeat what manticle has outlined above.
My nose/tastebuds were a bit on the blink - seemed to struggle detecting hops from an APA or much from a pinot gris, so not really a great scenario to review the elements of something i want to clone.

Basically, i found a light caramel element to be prominent. Not sweet, and balanced by a smooth, mild bitterness.
Virtually no roast or toast element.
No noticeable spice or citrus/fruit element, though the way the caramel comes out may be influenced by a subtle citrus or fruitiness.
TBH, the caramel element seems reminiscent of the influence of EKG on crystal malt - though maybe i've been incorrect assuming that's what produced this flavour in previous beers.
Solid mouthfeel, without being too heavy or light. I wonder if the original version was heavier both in mouthfeel as well as abv. Carb level is on the low side, as expected.

So all up, the hops have very subtle if any presence. The malt elements have a certain "simple purity" in flavour, which make me suspect manticle might be correct with keeping it all very simple - base + crystal + bit of RB/choc.

My big question is now which Crystal to use?? - I have Simpsons Light, Medium, Dark and Heritage Crystal Malt.
I'd intended to use the Heritage, however i've not used it before.
The "light" caramel flavour i got out of the TOP makes me wonder if i should use the Light Crystal instead of the Heritage or Med. Anyone got thoughts on this??



PS, i compared this to my previous TOP clone (various things went wrong with it, but i thought, what the hell). The colour seemed almost the same, at ~50 EBC.
 

manticle

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Heritage is a lot like blending light, medium and dark together if that helps at all.
 

Chridech

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Have been following this thread with interest. Very partial to Old Peculier. The label description states pale malt, crystal, roasted barley and Fuggles as has been established. The ingredient list below also states wheat. Can't taste it myself, unless there is a tiny bit in there for head retention (but there is not much head anyway). Is this just the ingredient list that Theakston slot in on all their labels?

image.jpeg
 

technobabble66

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Hey Chridech,
Yeah, i'm really not sure about their labelling.
I'd assume they're not fibbing - i.e.: their spiel is "kinda" accurate, probably on the main ingredients. Whereas the "Contains" bit is probably for legal liability - e.g.: so the gluten intolerant know not to touch it.
So i'd guess there *may* be some wheat in the recipe, as opposed to something like "made in the vicinity of". But who knows?!

However, i have to admit i can't taste it at all. So for my next attempt at TOP, i'll be leaving it out. Keeping it as simple as possible, then tweak later.
 

Chridech

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Fourstar said:
taken from the Real Ale Almanac...

pale, crystal, cereal, sugar, fuggles and other Bittering hop dry hopped 29 IBU.

i'd suspect the sugars take up majority of the dark colour. e.g. treacle or burnt caramel. As for cereal its probably unmalted grain e.g. torrified wheat. Yeast id be looking at 1469 or something pushing esters (1968). Not Belgian.

maybe something like.

1.058 OG

70% Maris Otter
10% Torrified wheat
7% Dark Crystal
5% Light Crystal
8% Burnt caramel or treacle

Challenger 20IBU @ 60min
Fuggles 9IBU @ 15min
Fuggles Dry Hop 7 days, (1.5g to the L)
Many learned AHB brewer has advised against using treacle/golden syrup/candi sugar but Fourstar's suggestion from the Real Ale Almanac looks intriguing. Will hopefully find time to brew a TOP clone shortly.
 

technobabble66

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Half way through this, TOP clone #3b
Colour is not as red as i wanted, more a brown, so hopefully something magical occurs to correct this, otherwise i'll need to tweak this further.

Recipe i went with is:

Dirty Ol' Bastard, TOP clone #3b - Old Ale

Vol = 24L (est. for 80% efficiency)
OG = 1.060
FG = 1.017
IBU = 35
EBC = 47
Alc% = 6.0

5.41kg (90.2%) TFFMMO
0.36 kg (6%) Simpson's Med Crystal
0.18kg (3%) Simspon's Roasted Barley
0.05kg (0.8%) Wey Acidulated

20g each of Fuggles & Challenger @ FWH
15g each of Fuggles & Challenger @ 20mins (cube-hopped)

2.8g CaCl2, 1.4g CaSO4, 1.0 MgSO4 into Mash
2.2g CaCl2, 1.1g CaSO4, 0.8g MgSO4, 0.3g Citric acid into Sparge
1g CaCl2, 0.5g CaSO4, 0.5g MgSO4 into Boil
(for Melbourne water)

Yeast nutrient & Irish Moss in at 10mins

55/65/72/78 for 5/70/30/2
Mash = 20L
Sparge= 16L

Yeast = 1469 - courtesy of Mardoo, Thanks v much!!!

Drew off 4.2L of first running and boiled down to ~0.5-1L to caramelise. Currently looking like thick, dark LME

The plan is basically just to do this simple recipe, see how it compares to the original, then tweak it to get closer.
Already, given the initial colour, i'd wonder if the Crystal should be Light rather than Med; but we'll see how it turns out.
 

technobabble66

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Eeeeediiiiiot !!!
Just realised i intended to use Heritage crystal, but grabbed the Med crystal instead while operating on automatic.
God. Damn. It.
 

Keatsy

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Realise this is an old thread but how did the brew go? Im keen to try and make a TOP clone
 

duncbrewer

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I have it on my list. The only clone I did of it was From Dave Lines book brewing beers like those you buy. Think the recipe was mostly extract with some steeped dark grains definitely remember the dark treacle, can't even remember if there was a boil. Sadly the book is with a friend in the UK ( for the last 5 years along with my Graham Wheelers).
But it was the best beer I made in those days ( last century).
Have gone all grain now and would like a crack at it, will have to do some digging as well.
 

duncbrewer

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@dkilleen
Thanks for that, I'll try the all grain, shame they don't suggest which type of crystal malt or whether light or dark choclate malt.
I suspect erring towards the darker for both really.
Will have to track down some challenger hops. Will update once brewed.
Just the weather for a pint of this by a warm log fire, windy cold and wet outside.
 
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