Monday, 25 February 2013

Brewing a Rising Tide Daymark clone (No. 2 in the Maine Beer Clone series)

When I wrote my post on brewing the Oxbow Freestyle #5 clone, I mentioned that I'd like to start a series of beer clones from different breweries around Maine. As I mentioned in that post, Maine has a great number of excellent breweries that are making very tasty and border-pushing beers. I thought of several breweries that I'd like to contact about providing information for a clone; one of the first that came to mind was Rising Tide Brewing Co., located in Portland.

Owned by husband-and-wife team Nathan and Heather Sanborn, Rising Tide opened their doors in October of 2010. While Heather is in charge of the business side of the brewery, Nathan - a long-time homebrewer before going pro - is the brewmaster. Their first beer was Ishmael, a Dusseldorf Altbier. Over the next couple of years, they added other beer styles to their line-up, including an American IPA, a Black IPA, and a dark Wheat beer. They have also begun producing some seasonal beers, such as Tempest, a Brown Porter with local coffee beans and cold-steeped coffee. All of their beers are available in 22 oz bombers, and/or on tap at many beer bars and restaurants around Maine. They've also recently started distributing beers to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

I've had all of Rising Tide's regular-release beers, and I've also had their Tempest on tap. They were all really good beers, but my favorite by-far has been their Daymark, an American Pale Ale made with a portion of rye malt; Rising Tide refers to the beer as a Rye Pale Ale. It's a fantastic beer regardless of what you want to call it, with a nice character coming from the rye malt, and a big hop presence both in the aroma and the flavor. Very drinkable at 5.5% ABV, and the bitterness is perfect for a pale ale - present and firm, but not overwhelming. I assume this is a very popular beer for Rising Tide, as it was available at a lot of beer bars and restaurants when I was on a recent trip to Portland.

Shortly after brewing the Freestyle #5 clone, I contacted Nathan by email and asked if he'd be willing to help with a homebrew version of Daymark. He got back to me within a week or so, with the following:

"Sure, I'd be happy to give you a little guidance on the Daymark. What I normally tell people is: 2-row, about 10-15% rye, and a touch of wheat. Centennial and Columbus to 45 ibus, mostly at the end of the boil. More in the whirlpool. Target 1050 starting gravity and mash cool. Ferment with a clean ale yeast and dry hop aggressively.

The most important aspect of the grain bill is the rye, and the character of the rye that you pick up will influence the amount you need to use. Our rye comes from a couple different farms here in Maine and Mass and varies slightly from batch to batch. You'll want to experiment with somewhere between 10 and 15% of the grist as rye."

It's always nice to actually see the recipe for a beer you've tried many times and enjoyed... it's a good way of confirming/negating an opinion you may have already formed about the ingredients or technique. Obviously the Centennial hops provide the citrus character in the beer, while the Columbus, known for giving a pungent, spicy aroma and flavor, would go well with what the rye malt brings to the table. After almost 60 batches of homebrew, I haven't actually worked with rye malt, so I won't give an opinion about whether or not rye malt actually makes a beer spicy (a hot topic on many homebrew forums!).

With Nathan's info, it wasn't too difficult to put together a homebrew recipe for Daymark. I went with ~12.5% rye malt; I know that it came from Canada Malting Co., but that's all. Plus, I have no experience with rye, so I figured middle-of-the-road for Nathan's recommendation should be fine. The rest of the grist I made up with Canadian 2-row, and about 5% Wheat malt. I also added 1/2 lb of rice hulls, since Rye malt is supposed to be a bit tricky to work with, stuck-sparge wise (12.5% isn't a lot, but better safe than sorry). Daymark has always struck me as a fairly dry beer, so I'm going to aim for a mash temp of about 150 F.

Now, the hopping schedule: since the IBUs and perceived-bitterness for this beer aren't ridiculously high, I went with a very small addition of Columbus at 60 minutes. I then added healthy amounts of both Columbus and Centennial in equal portions at both 10 minutes and at flameout, where I let the hops steep for a further 10 minutes as the "whirlpool" step. As a result, the perceived bitterness of this beer will likely be higher than the calculated number of 42 IBUs. Of course, there will also be a fairly-large dry-hop addition of both Columbus and Centennial, as per Nathan's instructions. A total of 3 oz of dry-hops does seem a bit much for an APA, but Nathan DOES say to dry-hop "aggressively", so there it is!

In terms of the rest of the recipe, I'm using US-05 Safale for the yeast, and I'm going to add a small amount of gypsum to the mash, just to bring up the calcium levels slightly. I plan on fermenting the beer at about 68 F (a usual target temperature for clean, American ales) for 2-3 weeks, before throwing in the dry-hop addition. When this beer is complete I'd love to find the freshest Daymark I can get my hands on to compare... as usual in New Brunswick, definitely easier said than done!

Thanks again to Nathan Sanborn for the info!

Recipe targets: (5.5 gallons, 80% efficiency) OG 1.050, FG 1.013, IBU 42, SRM 4, ABV ~5% 

3.64kg (82%) Canadian 2-row
568 g (13%) Rye malt
227 g (5%) Wheat malt
227 g Rice hulls

Columbus - 8 g (10% AA) @ 60 min
Columbus - 42 g (11% AA) @ 10 min
Centennial - 42 g (6.1% AA) @ 10 min
Columbus - 28 g (14.5% AA) @ 0 min (with 10-min whirlpool)
Centennial - 28 g (9.9% AA) @ 0 min (with 10-min whirlpool)
Columbus - 42 g dry-hop for 7 days
Centennial - 42 g dry-hop for 7 days

Misc.: 1/2 tab Irish moss @ 5 min

Yeast: US-05 Safale dry yeast, rehydrated

Water: Fredericton city water, carbon-filtered; 5 g gypsum added to the mash

- Brewed Feb. 21st, 2013, with Geoff. 50-minute mash with 12.8 L of strike water, mashed in just a touch under the target of 150 F. Mashed out for 10 minutes with 7 L of boiling water, resulting temp 165 F. Sparged with ~4 gallons of 168 F water for final volume of ~6.75 gallons in the kettle.

- SG 1.039 (target 1.041). 60-minute boil. After letting final hop additions steep for 10 minutes, chilled to 62 F in about 25 minutes with immersion chiller. Poured into Better Bottle, end volume low at about 4.5-4.75 gallons due to hop sludge in kettle. OG 1.050. Pitched rehydrated yeast at 62 F, aerated by shaking for several minutes before and after pitching.

22/2/13 - Real activity in the airlock wasn't visible until late evening... the temperature was still pretty low in the morning at about 64 F, so I increased the temp in the room. By the end of the day, the temp had got up to 68 F and the airlock was bubbling steadily every second.

23/2/13 - Bubbling at least once per second in the AM, temp up to 70 F. Starting to slow slightly in the evening. By the next day, airlock activity slowed to every 3 seconds, temp holding at 70 F.

2/3/13 - Gravity reached terminal target, 1.013.

5/3/13 - Added dry hops directly to primary fermenter (no secondary currently available).

10/3/13 - Put fermenter in fermentation chamber with temp set to 50 F, to help the dry hops settle out.

13/3/13 - Bottled with 101 g table sugar, aiming for 2.5 vol CO2 for 4.25 gallons, with max temp of 70 F reached. Also added ~1/4 pack of Nottingham yeast, rehydrated.

14/5/13 - Posted the tasting notes here. Close, but I'd like it to be closer... can't say it's cloned, yet.

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