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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through May 30, 2008 * Ballantine XXX Ale update < Previous Next >

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George Millet
New Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 24
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 192.28.2.45
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here’s an update on the Ballantine XXX ale archeological expedition. I was able to track down a gentleman named Alan Kornhauser who was mentioned in the Glaser Ballantine article as having recreated an XXX replica when he was brewmaster at the Portland Brewery. Ironically, he now works for Pabst as brewmaster in charge of Asia, and Pabst owns the Ballantine name now. He was gracious enough to answer two series of questions from me, and to review my first recipe, posted earlier here on hbd.org. Here is what he had to say, edited slightly by me to create a summary of his information:

“I grew up in Rhode Island (drank Ballantine for several years from Newark before that brewery closed) and was hoping to latch on to a position at Narragansett (I knew some of the people there) but ended up working for Huber, Anchor, and was brewmaster for Heileman, Miller/Leinenkugel (Milwaukee), Portland, Schell's and Pabst Asia.

Between actual knowledge of the product, my perception and all my years of product formulation, here are my hypotheses:

O.G. 11.5-12.0 plato
A.E. 2.3-2.5 plato (I assume A.E. means final gravity)
Adjunct ratio 20-30% (corn grits)
Malt would almost have to have been 100% 6 row (Eastern seaboard brewery)
No color malt

B.U. would have been much lower than your figures, 20-25 IBU at most, perhaps lower (I had used 40 IBU based on other information). As for hop additions, I (Mr. Kornhauser) used a fair amount of hops at kettle K.O. (for additional aroma) and from which you will not get a lot of isomerization and used enough in the first two additions to get the required B.U.'s
This was a very easy drinking beer. Ballantine used a real ale yeast (as did Narragansett). My guess is that fermentation temperature would have been in the low 60's F followed by 2 weeks in ruh at 32F.

The outstanding feature of this product was the hop aroma which came from hop oil distilled at the brewery. I gleaned this from the head of brewing operations at rival Rheingold.

The regular Ballantine was a light refreshing, easy drinking beer with a very strong hop aroma. The hops used were Brewers Gold. There is only one grower left in the U.S. planting Brewers Gold (for one of the two remaining large Canadian brewers...actually one is Belgian and the other American at this point). These are the hops I used at Portland Brewing.

We did distill our own oil at first but later found a place in the U.K. that extracts the oil with liquid CO2 at 5000 psi, and this method, without heat, produced much purer, better flavored and aromatic oil. We mixed pellets with water and heated it with an open flame...our excellent engineering staff built a beautiful stainless steel condenser. The oil floated on the top of the distillate and had to be pipetted off. I don't know what Ballantine used for a still.”

That’s it for the XXX, he had this to say about the Ballantine IPA.

“The beer that was 40-50 IBU was the Ballantine IPA which did not seem to have hop oil and was aged one year in wood. This was a very bitter beer with a noticeable oak character and a slightly vinous/solventy note, quite bitter but with not a lot of hop aroma. This beer was reddish in color and so did contain some color malts.”

So, based on that, here is my recipe for attempt number 2. Calculations based on 6.5 gallons at knock out, to collect 5.5 chilled into fermenter.

OG = 48, FG 10 -12

8.0 lbs. Six row malt
2.5 lbs. Corn grits

Hops bill
60 minutes – 25 grams Perle leaf 8% AA = 19 IBU
30 minutes – 15 grams Brewers Gold 7.4% AA = 8.5 IBU
0 minutes – 57 grams Brewers Gold 7.4% AA = 6.7 IBU (this seems high to me, but that’s what my spreadsheet gave me). I would guess that this will taste like a 25 – 30 IBU beer.

Single infusion mash temperature 151 F, 60 minute mash. 75 minute boil. I use the Perle because I need some leaf hops for efficient wort straining through my hop screen, no other reason.

As far as the crucial question about how Ballantine distilled their own hop oil, we are no closer to an answer, except that Mr. Kornhauser confirmed that Brewers Gold were used. I still think they steam distilled them, and am going to try that soon. I have had a discussion on this subject with Tom E. off line, regarding his efforts to extract hop oils using water ethanol mixtures, and he is working on optimizing that approach, I will try stream distillation as soon as I can get my hands on the lab glassware I need to do so. More to follow.

By the way, the first attempt at this beer, although not that close is a very drinkable beer, and I wish all my failures were as successful.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1663
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"2.5 lbs. Corn grits

Single infusion mash temperature 151 F, 60 minute mash."


Shouldn't you be doing a cereal mash with corn grits?

http://www.beer-brewing.com/apex/beer_adjuncts/cereal_adjuncts.htm

(Message edited by t2driver on May 14, 2008)
 

Mike G.
Intermediate Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 277
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 64.68.169.121
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 06:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I concur with graham. I would think the ballantine brewery featured a cereal cooker.

George, that's some good info. Thanks for tracking that down! Closer all the time.
 

George Millet
New Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 25
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 192.28.2.45
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 07:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, I should, just didn't catch that at the time. Thanks folks.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8871
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 07:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great information and excellent detective work in tracking down Alan Kornhauser, George. As Mike says, you (and we) are getting closer all the time.
 

Marv
Junior Member
Username: Beltbrew

Post Number: 74
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.140.196.235
Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 08:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I plan to try a clone of the IPA saturday, but based on this information I plan to make a few changes:

O.G.=1056 - IPA range
Debittered black malt to SRM 11 - Reddish
No hops at flame out - "not a lot of hop aroma"

I am too young to have had the real thing and my Dad is too old to remember how close I get.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8874
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 01:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marv, I'm both old enough to remember and young enough to appreciate it. I'd gladly measure your efforts against what I recall from about 35 years ago.

By the way, Alan Kornhauser's information supports my contention that Ballantine XXX was the prototypical APA. Although Brewers Gold has a rather different flavor and aroma profile than American Cascade, the emphasis on late hopping was clearly the inspiration for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 98
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 63.166.216.16
Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marv,

If it's Ballantine IPA you're after, I would not stray too far from Brewer Bob's recipe.

Bob's recipe laid the foundations for my own BXXX efforts, which started a few years ago. The things I learned from this recipe are that Ballantine products must be made of 6-row and corn. Also, it showed me that Cluster hops are not deserving of the bad rap they get in homebrewing circles. They are a classic American hop, and none of my clone attempts has gone without them. The Bullion hops are also quite close to Brewer's Gold. My most recent recipe was posted here last month. I would say the 180 minute boil may be reduced, and the carapils could be replaced with an equal amount of light, American crystal. This will give just a touch of color, and help with head retention (its primary purpose). It was also through Brewer Bob (and others) that I learned of Sierra Nevada and Anchor, and their ties with Ballantine's yeast, which may have actually been mutated Nottingham.

I do have work underway with the hop oils. I don't claim that Ballantine ever used ethanol-based extraction. I simply find it to be the most practical method for a homebrewer.

Cheers,
Tom
 

Ted Grudzinski
Member
Username: Tgrudzin

Post Number: 242
Registered: 08-2003
Posted From: 68.75.49.75
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 04:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey, let them bash Cluster hops. It's been keeping the price low in the past. Keep the secret. Ahh, the days when pellets for Cluster for $4+ a pound....
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 100
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 63.166.216.16
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 12:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good point, Ted. Sorry for letting the "cat" out of the bag.
 

George Millet
Junior Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 26
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.161.198.190
Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brewed Bally XXX II today, 75 minute boil, 150 mash temp, ingredients and timing as stated above. The wort seems pretty light colored, so I'm interested in seeing the fermented beer' color. It threw a huge amount of cold break, about twice what a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone I made immediately afterward did.

I chickened out and used flaked maize instead of corn grits as was suggested by Alan Kornhauser. Didn't want to take the extra time to do a cereal mash since I was doing two all grain beers in one day.

Does anyone know if corn proteins are more prone to precipitating on cooling than barley proteins? Could this explain the extra cold break?
 

Dave Witt
Senior Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 1112
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 71.194.189.126
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 01:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is relatively small amount of protein in corn. That is why they use it to cut the total protein in a mash using all 6-row. The break material is probably from the 6-row.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 708
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.84.198.40
Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's not absolutely necessary to do a cereal mash with corn grits. I've simply cooked up the grits like a porridge in hot water and then added it to the mash. The mash enzymes virtually make the corn disappear. I fail to see the insistence some brewers place on a cereal mash.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8879
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 12:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think PaulK is right. On Thursday I brewed a CAP that used 4 lbs. of flaked maize in 10 gallons. For some reason I am unable to find 6-row malt here in Canada, so I used 2-row. I can't say that I noticed any more than the normal amount of break material.
 

George Millet
Junior Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 27
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.161.198.190
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 04:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Duh, of course it's the six row.

As far as why cereal mashes are recommended, based on the reading I did prior to this brew, it's a commercial brewing practice. The mash is conducted to lyse the starch as it's released from the corn to prevent gelling if the cereal mash cools before it's added to the main mash. The gelled cereal mash was a bugger to pump or handle.

We don't need to do it if we add the corn mash to the main mash while it's still hot. Theoretical knowledge not experience on my part, I hasten to add.