Turbodog Clone

>> Saturday, June 12, 2010

A friend of mine at work is from the New Orleans area and raved about Abita Brewing Company's Turbodog Brown Ale. I tried some of their brews at the 2008 GABF but to be honest it was at the end of the session when things were a bit hazy and I can't really remember exactly which ones I tried.

Abita describes it as:
Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops and a combination of pale, crystal and chocolate malts. This combination gives Turbodog its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate toffee-like flavor. Turbodog began as a specialty ale but has gained a huge loyal following and has become one of our flagship brews.

This ale pairs well with most meats and is great served with hamburgers or sausages. It is a good match with smoked fish and can even stand up to wild game dishes. Turbodog is also great for marinating and braising meats and cooking such things as cabbage and greens. Colby, Gloucester, Cheddar and Blue cheeses go nicely with Turbodog. It’s perfect with spicy Louisiana jambalaya or Spanish paella. Some even like it paired with chocolate!
I cracked open BYO's 150 Classic Clone Recipes and since I haven't brewed a brown ale for a long time I figured it'd be a great time to try this brew. The recipe as I'm brewing it is as follows:

9.75 lbs Munton's Pale 2 row
1.25 lbs Briess Crystal 80 (BYO's calls for Crystal 100 but my LHBS doesn't carry it so I went with 80)
.5 lbs Briess Chocolate Malt
.6 oz Chinook hops (90 minutes)
1.25 oz Williamette hops (5 mins)
1.5 oz Williamette hops (0 mins)
White Labs WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast

Mash with 17.25 quarts of water at 152 F for 45 minutes then raise the temp to 172 F for five minutes, then sparge at 172 F.

Follow the above hop schedule letting the wort rest for 15 minutes before chilling after the last hop addition.

Ferment at 65 F for 5-6 days. Cool to 45 F for 7 days then keg/bottle.

Rating: B+


Berliner Weisse

I got to try a Berliner Weisse inspired brew at the 2008 GABF. The tartness reminded me of a lambic which is another style that I really enjoy and plan on brewing sometime in the next year (I have a couple bags of homegrown hops "aging" in the garage). I brewed the following recipe back in late April. I bottled it about a month ago but I suspect it will need to age at least three months to get the amount of sourness I'm looking for.

3 lbs pilsner malt
2.5 pounds pale wheat malt
.5 oz Kent Goldings for 15 min
White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch yeast
White Labs WLP677 Lactobacillus Bacteria

I mashed at 149 F for 90 minutes then collected approx 3 gallons of wort. I added water for about 5.3 gallons boil volume and performed a 15 minute boil. I pitched the lacto after chilling to about 80 F then pitched the yeast a day later. I'll post a follow-up in July or August after this has had some time to age and hopefully get nice and sour.

Update 8/2/2010: I tried some of this on 7/4/2010 and again on 8/1/2010. It's still not quite as tart as I'd like, but it was noticeably more tart on 8/1/2010 than 7/4/2010. I like this but it's different than the Berliner Weisse inspired brew that I had at the 2008 GABF. It definitely has some funk going on, but in a good way. In one sense, it has some similarities to some of the Belgian styles. I think this will improve with age and I'd make it again but will probably do a little tweaking. As of 8/1/2010, I'd rate this a C+/B-