Back in February brewdog gave the beer geeks of the world a late Christmas present by sharing their recipes for all 200 plus Brewdog beers with the world for free . Home brewers rejoiced while others look on and wondered why give away your trade secrets . Other craft breweries Have given away recipes before but not on this scale so why do it?
James Watt and Martin dickie started homebrewing to try and replicate the hoppy American ales they longed for. While there was a few twists and turns on the road to creating brewdog homebrewing played a bit part in the creation of brewdog. From its humble beginnings in a drafty unit on a Scottish industrial estate brewdog it is now the biggest independent brewer in Europe and it has done this not only with its amazing beers but with the help of the beer lovers who have helped crowd fund brewdog every step of the way. Releasing recipes is in a way a big thank you to those supporter’s who are also homebrewers it’s also a brilliant way to help spread the word of Brewdog to homebrewers around the world.
For decades we have been told that only the giant corporate breweries could provide us with quality beer. We had forgotten at one time (granted this is a long time ago) beer was brewed in every village town and city. Brewed locally by local everyday people.
There was no big mystery to how are beer was made somewhere along the line we forgot this skill and lost touch with the process. In the last few decades home brewing your own beer not out of necessity but as a hobby has gained massive momentum and that desire to brew has also help fule the resurgence in independent and local breweries and has in part help lay the foundations for the craft beer movement.
The U.S lead the way for the craft beer movement some 30 odd year’s ago small independent breweries like Anchor and Sierra Nevada struck out and offered people an alternative to the mass produced Lagers that had dominated the American market since prohibition ended . These pioneering breweries inspired a wave of homebrewers across America and Europe and are the origins of some of the biggest and best independent breweries we have today.
Sam Calagione the founder of Dogfish head one of biggest independent breweries in the U.S started off brewing in his tiny New York apartment. Dogfish head are responsible for creating some of the most unique beers of the last two decades. Constantly pushing the boundaries with strange and rare ingredients, even recreating some ancient brews.
Mikkel Borg Bjergsø founder of Mikkeller was asked to supply some beer for his Brothers bottle shop. From his 50 litre home brewing system “Beer geek breakfast” was born. The coffee oatmeal stout was declared best stout in the world on ratebeer.com in 2006 this catapulted the Mikkeller brand and they still continue to push the limits of brewing today.
Likewise Brewdog can trace some of its DNA in homebrewing and with this in mind Brewdog are reaching back to there roots and releasing all there recipes to date. The home brew geeks of the world where basically overjoyed, every single brewdog beer at there fingertips but with 200 plus beers where to start?
For me it had to be Punk IPA their signature beer. The recipe has been altered from the original and in ture brewdog style they have added more hops.
For my attempt at this now iconic beer I went for my trusted friend the BIAB(brew in a bag) method. While you are sacrificing efficiency it really is the simplest way to make an all grain brew.
The main reason going BIAB is because of the weather, it was cold and wet weather and spending 5 hours or more standing over my full 3 kettle system was just not appealing. The simplified one pot wonder that is BIAB allows you more freedom to get out of weather.
I’ve picked up a few tricks to counter act the lack of efficiency, crush your grains slightly finer and a longer mash time 90 minutes instead of the usual 60.
The grain bill for this beer is pure simple, Pale Malt and that’s it! could not be easier. On the other hand there is alot of hops, with that in mind I’ve opted to ues pellet hops I usually prefer the more natural leaf hops but the pellets will help save on space in the boil kettle.
The Brew went well I hit my numbers with little trouble the original gravity came in at 1.058 I little over what was called for.
With primary fermentation done it was time to dry hop. Again I used pellet hops having not used them before i did some homework and added more to help compensate for the lack of oils left after production.
The biggest annoyance for me with home brewing is bottle conditioning. Something I hope to fix in the near future by kegging my beer. For IPAs bottle conditioning is not ideal you want it fresh, tasting Punk IPA fresh on draft is a different animal to its bottled or even caned version.
So how did my DIY version turn out! Well if brewdogs punk ipa is a 10 my first attempt is a 3 at best. Before bottling I knew the dry hopping was not where it should be but after a few weeks conditioning it as totally dropped off the charts in truth I’ve ended up with a Pale ale.
In my attempt to clone this beer I’ve learnt quite a bit and I’ll definitely be trying it again. As for the brewdog recipes themselves they are not 100% complete but its hard to complain when you are getting such a great insight into one of the best breweries in the world. A more skilled brewer than myself well get better value out of the recipes but in the mean time I’ll definitely be trying Punk IPA along with a few more of my brewdog favourites.