Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through April 27, 2008 * Ballantine's XXX Ale - progress report < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

George Millet
New Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.161.191.224
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 03:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's green. It's flat., It's warm. The color is a little dark, but not much. But the taste, the taste is dragging me down Memory Lane. Blackcurrant big time. I'm so pleased with this first attempt at Ballantine XXX.

I guess you can tell I'm a bit excited with this glass of beer I'm quality testing. Tonight I racked it to a corny keg after 3 weeks in primary; the finishing gravity is 1.010. This is no surprise since the mash was a little cooler than I wanted.

But it is still soooo tasty, and reminiscent of what I was aiming for, so I thank you all for your advice and help. I'll check in again in a month or so when it comes out to be enjoyed.

Woo hooo, all I need to do now is learn how to steam distill hops for the hop oil.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 698
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.84.198.40
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>....all I need to do now is learn how to steam distill hops for the hop oil.

Steam distilling and CO2 extracted hops oils are more modern methods. Chances are Ballantine did a solvent extraction which is the old school method.
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 190
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 12.165.82.136
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fire up the still!
 

George Millet
New Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 17
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 192.28.2.45
Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 07:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PaulK,

I suspect Ballantine used steam distillation, not extraction, to get hop oils. See the Glaser article for example (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3469/is_13_51/ai_63841298), so if I ever get organized enough that's what I will do. Steam distillation is a pretty old and simple process, so likely this is what Ballantine did, or had done for them.
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 30
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.150.224.202
Posted on Friday, April 11, 2008 - 12:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great to hear you're liking the beer, George!

As for the hop oils, what about vacuum distillation? That's been around for a long time, and it would provide for keeping the oils at a low temperature (i.e., vacuum lowers the boiling point). Steam distillation works at 100C, so it could do some damage. Only thing about vacuum distillation is it could be tricky and expensive to get an appropriate setup.

Cheers,
Tom
 

Mike G.
Intermediate Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 262
Registered: 04-2005
Posted From: 64.68.174.94
Posted on Friday, April 11, 2008 - 02:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sounds good, George.

Thanks for the update. I need to brew my own attempt sometime soon. Let's see, brew a (old) pete's wicked clone or a ballantine tribute using the brewer's gold hops....decisions, decisions.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 699
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.84.198.40
Posted on Friday, April 11, 2008 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know there was some back and forth on the recipe, so what was the final recipe you went with?
 

George Millet
New Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 18
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 74.243.232.154
Posted on Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 01:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Last question first - I posted the recipe in the thread that is in the March archives. That is the exact one I went with, after a lot of good advice and ideas from you folks. I will look for it after I post this one.

As far as distillation, there are indeed more than one option. Vacuum distillation is one possibility, and will definitely lower the boiling point of the essential oils. Steam distillation also works and has been used for some time. Finally, I did a little internet research and came up with a patent from 1975 for vacuum steam distillation, get this, for hop oils. Each of these methods will generate a different mixture of hydrocarbon, ester and sulfur containing essential oils. The kicker is figuring out which method Ballantine used. So far I have zero insight into this piece of the puzzle. I doubt it was vacuum steam, suspect it was steam but just don't know. Any ideas, dear readers?
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 32
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.150.224.202
Posted on Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George,

I believe you said you're an organic chemist. Why would you think vacuum distillation is not the one? Do you have access to equipment where you could try it?
I tried a "simple" microscale distillation with a few pellets, and ended up with a hydrosol. While the hydrosol was surely hop-scented, most of the essential oils were apparently still inside the source flask. There was no separate layer of oil in the distillate.

Cheers,
Tom
 

George Millet
New Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 19
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 74.243.232.187
Posted on Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 02:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom,

No concrete reasons why, but if you Google hop oil, you will find steam distilled hop oil for sale. Steam distillation has been used a lot for separating essential oils from herbs and plants over the years. Technically it may be easier to set up steam distillation in a brewery with access to steam, but not vacuum, and the equipment doesn't have to withstand vacuum pressures.

Finally, I recall reading in Hough and Briggs Vol II that steam distillation conocentrates the oxygen and sulfur containing oils, and leaves some of the hydrocarbon oils behind. My recollection of the pre-1972 Ballantine's XXX is of a distinctly "skunky" aroma, which would presumably come from the sulfur containing oils. So, like I said, no strong evidence, as usual, only some hints and guesses.

It would be interesting to try both steam and vacuum distillation and see which gives a more authentic nose to the ale. Anyone got a couple pounds of Brewers Gold they want to donate for the sake of scientific research?

I suspect if I intrigue some of my lab guys enough we could set up both a steam and a vacuum distillation apparatus in a 1/2 liter scale. Yes, I am/was an organic chemist, now I do quality, environment, health and safety for a polymer manufacturer.
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 33
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.150.224.202
Posted on Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 05:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George,

It would be great if you could talk your "lab guys" into doing a microscale distillation each way. I was thinking more on the lines of 1/2 oz BG each for both the steam and vacuum processes. You could simply get the small amount of distillate and try each one by pipetting into 12 oz glasses of beer.

Can you bribe the lab guys with free beer????

Cheers,
Tom
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8735
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Saturday, April 12, 2008 - 07:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Even with participation at about half the level it was a few years ago, I'm often impressed at the extent to which the collective here at Brews & Views can work together to provide useful information. I suspect by the time this subject has run its course we will have produced very reasonable facsimiles of these historic beers (both Ballantine XXX and IPA). A commercial brewery would be hard pressed to do as well.

Which leads me to wonder why someone isn't commercially producing a Ballantine clone. Is it because Pabst still owns the rights to XXX and brews a sort of shadow of what it was 40 years ago? There is still a lot of interest in Ballantine ales, and they are the historical prototypes for what have become major craft beer styles (APA and American IPA).

I also think these threads contain the makings of a very good article for one of the homebrew magazines. I eagerly await hearing more about hop oil distillation.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 701
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.84.198.40
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 02:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've seen references that indicate that solvent extracted hop oils were more stable than those extracted by other methods. Having had some very old samples of Ballantine beers that still had very prominent hop aroma and flavor reinforces my speculation that a solvent extract was the method they used. No proof to back that up but just my thoughts.
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 34
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.150.224.202
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 11:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,

I agree that this is a good forum, and that's why I joined. There are many brewing forums out there (maybe too many). The fact that hbd has the Recipator was also a factor. I use the recipator for all my brewing.

Cheers,
Tom
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 35
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.150.224.202
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 11:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PaulK,

I should have mentioned that I've also tried solvent extraction using ethanol. I ended up with a dark green mess, bc the solvent was apparently potent enough to extract all the chlorophyll from the biomass. That turned me off to the idea of solvents. Also, in the docs that discuss Ballantine's methods, they cite "distilled" hop oils. If solvents were used, they would (should) have said "extract" in those texts. I also figured that solvent extraction would give the same results as dry-hopping, since ethanol is essentially the solvent, and we know that dry-hopping is not quite right for BXXX.

I'm glad you brought it up though, cause now I'm rethinking it. If dry-hopping is not good enough, maybe it's bc the very low alcohol content of beer is simply not enough to extract all the necessary components from the biomass. Contrarily, the pure ethanol in my earlier experiment was so potent, it extracted too much (e.g., chlorophyll). So maybe there is some middle range of solvent, say 50% ethanol to DI water, that will do the trick. I back this idea up with the fact that even the professional grade CO2 hop oil distillates require some tertiary solvents to make the oils miscible in the beer. I think I have some experimenting to do!

Cheers,
Tom
 

Tom E
Junior Member
Username: Tennessee_tom

Post Number: 36
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 70.150.224.202
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Which leads me to wonder why someone isn't commercially producing a Ballantine clone."

Remember that Brewmaster Alan Kornhauser did do that when he was with the Portland Brewing Company. He called it "Kornhauser's Oast" or "Portland Pale Ale" I believe that operation is now MacTarnahan's, and I didn't see any reference to the stuff we want.

"There is still a lot of interest in Ballantine ales, and they are the historical prototypes for what have become major craft beer styles (APA and American IPA)."

I agree with the "IPA" prototype, and we can thank Brewer Bob, et. al, for posting that recipe. However, I still say that BXXX was a Classic American Cream Ale, and not and APA. Just look at it in all of its glory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZcttl30Hl0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fL0LLTI8IQ

As far as interest goes, that other post regarding the classic Schlitz redo is encouraging. Things like this go in cycles, and maybe the next decade could bring a major industry trend that brings us back to basics. Maybe Pabst company will have a resurgence as well, and they could bring that old bottle back to its original glory:
http://newarkbusiness.org/photos/brewers/displayimage.php?album=random&cat=8&pos =-66

Cheers,
Tom
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 702
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.84.198.40
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom - I'll be your first customer when you get that hop oil dialed in just right.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8737
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 03:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, the obvious solvent for your hop oil extraction experiment is 80 proof (40 percent ABV) vodka.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 3157
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 74.7.7.66
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try water with the hops before the alcohol. The chlorophyll components should mostly go with the water leaving the oils to go with the alcohol.
 

Craig Henry
Advanced Member
Username: Sail

Post Number: 551
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 136.181.195.8
Posted on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 12:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did we ever get a final recipe posted on this one George?
 

George Millet
New Member
Username: Airedale

Post Number: 20
Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 192.28.65.211
Posted on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 02:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Craig,

The final recipe is in the posts from last month. I just went to find them and couldn't. So here's the recipe from my records.

Grain bill:
9.0 lb Rahr 2 row pale malt
0.5 lb 80L Caramel
2.75 lb flaked maize
0.5 lb rice hulls, since the grain mill gap was tight.

Hop bill:
60 minutes - 30 grams (1 oz) Perle leaf (8.0% AA) simply because I need some leaf hops to make my hop stopper work well. And Perle seems like a clean neutral bittering hop)
30 minutes - 23 grams (3/4 oz) Brewers Gold pellets (7.4% AA)
Knockout 58 grams (2 oz) Brewers Gold

Calculates out to 40 IBU

Mash temp 152 F for 120 minutes (intended 90 min, had to go out and run errands that were 30 minutes too long) temp at end of mash was 148 F. I batch sparged the mash, and, collected a total of 8.5 gallons at 1.045 by refractometer

75 minute boil, ended with 7 gallons and a bit at 1.054 by refractometer and hydrometer.

Chilled to 63 F, and pitched with 11 grams rehydrated Safale US05 dry yeast. Fermentation temperature kept about 62-64 F.

Racked to corny keg and carbed to 2 volumes CO2 after three weeks in primary. Kept in 52 F kegorator since then (another two weeks so far.

Next time I brew it I will drop the IBUs to 30, mostly from the 60 minute boil hop addition. And try to keep the mash temp at 152.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8770
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 02:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There was debate about the base malt. Ballantine would very likely have used six-row, although I don't believe the difference between modern six-row and two-row is very pronounced. Additionally, there were those who favored the use of no crystal malt and a long (180 minute) boil topped off with water to produce the desired color. I tend to lean toward the half-pound of crystal and a shorter boil, like the recipe above.

Nor do I believe the argument about style has been settled conclusively. Opinions are divided between classic American cream ale and American pale ale. My opinion is that Ballantine XXX is a prototypical APA, with bittering in the mid-30 IBU range and brewed prior to the era when American "C" hops were widely grown.
 

Craig Henry
Advanced Member
Username: Sail

Post Number: 552
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 136.181.195.8
Posted on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 02:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the info!