Archive for the ‘Home Brew’ Category

Everyone who brews at some stage tries to “clone” one of their favorite beers. They scour online for recipes. They look for anything that will help them replicate their favorite beers.

Roxy Rolles from Magic Hat was one of those beers for me. A delicious hoppy amber ale that was part of their Autumnal seasonal before being replaced by Hex.

A while back, as chance would have it, those happy hopheads over at The Brewing Network took on the challenge (you can click HERE for a link directly to that particular podcast).

So, armed with the info from that show, and my own minor tweaks in hopping level, as well as my adjustment from their all-grain batch, to my extract/steeping grain batch, I set about it.

First of all, the guys at the Brewing Network did a 6 gallon batch, with a 60 minute boil. My recipe was to yield 5 gallons (also with a 60 minute boil)

Here is the all grain recipe (again, this recipe is The Brewing Networks, not mine)

Magic Hat Roxy Rolles Clone – The Jamil Show “Can you brew it” recipe


  • 11.7 lbs Maris Crisp Two Row
  • 1.39 lbs Crystal 80
  • .84 lbs Caramunich
  • Hops

  • .65 oz Northern Brewer – 8.5% AA @60
  • .85 oz Simcoe – 11.9% AA @30
  • .85 oz Simcoe – 11.9% AA @flamout
  • This yielded an original gravity of 1.060, with 70% efficiency and 41.7 IBU’s

    And now my recipe (Steeping grains and extract version)

    Hockey and Beers Roxy Rolles Extract Clone Recipe

    Specialty Grains

  • 1 lb Muntons Crystal Malt – 64 L
  • 1 lb Weyermans Caramunich – 110-130
  • Malt Extract

  • 3 lb Muntons Light LME
  • 3 lb Briess Crisp Amber DME
  • Hops

  • .5 oz Northern Brewer 10.6% AA @ 60 min
  • .75 oz Simcoe 12.7% AA @ 30 min
  • .75 oz Simcoe 12.7% AA @ Flameout
  • .5 oz Simcoe 12.7% AA Dry Hopped for 7 days before kegging
  • Using the following formula: IBU = Oz hops x Alpha Acid x Percentage utilization from Boil / 7.25 I calculated 41.9 IBUs for my recipe (21.8 IBUs for Northern Brewer, 20.1 IBUs for the 30 minute Simcoe addition)

    I fermented with the Danstar Nottingham Yeast. It’s my go to English Ale yeast. Some people like the Safale S-04, others like the Windsor. Some will prefer liquid strains. Whatever English Ale yeast you prefer should give good results.

    My original gravity was 1.052 and it finished at 1.012

    I calculated the ABV in the normal way (OG-SG) x 131
    1.052 – 1.012 x 131 = 5.24% abv.
    The original from Magic Hat clocks in at 5.1% abv, so I was happy with my result.

    Overall this turned out to be a great challenge for me. I don’t mean challenge as in the level of difficulty, but challenge in that I had an actual commercial comparable to see how close my process was.

    Taste wise, I thought it was pretty damn good, and as for appearance, well you can judge for yourself.


    One thing that I have really come to appreciate as I began my beer odyssey years ago is just how friendly other brewers are. I’ve corresponded with some of the larger craft breweries, and the small brewpubs, and I’ve always been treated as a friend, from complete strangers.

    I got an e-mail with very specific help from the people over at Rogue Ales when I was trying to make a homebrew version of their Dead Guy Ale. They didn’t have to respond to me, but they did. This is an excerpt of the advice they gave me

    I talked with John just now and he’s got this advice for you!
    Grain bill: 67.5% 2row, 22.7% Munich 10L, 9.8% Crystal 15
    For the hops: at start of boil: Perle
    In the whirlpool: Sterling
    The beer will be 16P with and IBU of 40.
    I trust that all makes sense to you…

    Thank you for writing and good luck! Let us know how it turns out, OK?

    I wonder what sort of response one could get if they shot off a letter to one of the soda manufacturers saying “Hey, I really like your sugar water, how do I make it”. I would put the over/under on a cease and desist letter at about 3 minutes.

    Which brings be back to my homebrew recipe tonight. I was out in San Francisco back in August 2010 for a work conference. Prior to getting out there, I had looked up some brewpubs in the area so I could try some local brews. One such place was Thirsty Bear Brewing Company. Myself and a colleague went here for lunch.

    I had the Sampler (as you should your first time in any brewpub). Immediately I knew I had to have more of the Golden Vanilla Ale. The only beers I’d had (or brewed) with vanilla prior to that was in heavier beers, Vanilla stout and the like.

    But here was this lightly hopped, golden colored ale with just a ton of vanilla flavor and aroma. I would never have put that much vanilla in something so light, but it was so good. I mean, really really good.

    (you will have to forgive me, I only thought about snapping a photo when I was almost finished. The other beer is the Kozlov stout. I’m a fan of the Washington Capitals, and for the couple of years prior, they had a player called Victor Kozlov, so I had to order that too)

    Unfortunately the brewer was not on premises at the time, but the barman could not have been more helpful. He gave me as much info as he could, but said he wasn’t 100% sure on it.

    So, back home a few days later with my heart and head set on reproducing this new concoction. I was just going to make a trial batch, 3 gallons would be enough, since that way if I cocked it up too bad, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    Now on to the beer…

  • 7.5 lb Breiss 2 row
  • 0. 5 lb Belgian Caramel Pils
  • Hops

  • 3/4 oz Northern Brewer (UK) 10.6% AA @ 60 mins
  • 1/4 oz Northern Brewer (UK) 10.6% AA @ 15 mins
  • Yeast

  • Nottingham Dry Ale Yeast
  • Brewday October 10, 2010
    Strike temperature for liquor was 163 degrees
    Initial mash at 153.8 for 60 minutes
    Sparge water temperature was 180 degrees
    Collected 4.2 total gallons for boil.
    65 minute boil, with hop additions listed as above
    Shut off the heat, ran immersion chiller until temperature reached 67 degrees.
    Pitched yeast and sealed fermenter.

    Secondary Fermentation October 26, 2010
    Added 3/4 Madagascar vanilla bean, split, cut and scraped to the secondary, Racked beer onto bean.

    I transferred this to my keg on December 5th, and carbonated as normal. While this isn’t nearly as impressive as the Golden Vanilla I had at the Thirsty Bear, but I was happy with the results.

    And here is the finished beer…Goldihops

    So, to finish this little ramble, craft beer is a growing industry in a tough economy. It’s growing because the people who make the beer, share their love and passion for the beer with people like me, who love to drink the beer, and try to make their own variations of the beer. People react to this sort of community atmosphere, and it has taken beer on a wonderful renaissance, particularly in America.

    If you enjoy the multitude of craft beers readily available on a regular basis, next time you have a chance, thank a brewer. They deserve it.