Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Adambier - HoTD Adam Clone

Adambier is a historical style from Dortmund that there is not that much known about. The Home Brew Wiki describes it as "A strong (about 10% ABV), dark, sour beer, which was top-fermented and then aged in wood for long periods; it was always aged for at least a year, and often many years longer." To me it doesn't sound like anything that is made in Germany today (I would only expect a beer like that from a Belgian or American brewer).

Hair of the Dog Brewing does a delicious beer called Adam that is loosely based on Adambier. Their version is closer to a hoppy-peat-smoked-wee-heavy, but it is delicious so I can't fault them. Sean Paxton has a HoTD Adam clone recipe posted over on Homebrew Chef that came directly from the brewer. I love the beer so I figured I would give the recipe a shot (with a few minor substitutions to utilize the ingredients I had in bulk).

This was my first batch using peat smoked malt. It is the same sort of malt that is used in the production of Scotch whisky. Peat is essentially chunks of marsh (given another million years and some pressure and it would be transformed into coal). This smoked malt is much more pungent (creosote is a common descriptor) than malts smoked like German rauchmalt (which uses beechwood) or alder/cherry/hickory wood smoked malt (which is probably why you don't see peat smoked sausages). I backed down on the peated malt called for in the recipe a little because I'm a wimp, and not a huge fan of that character in beer (still .5 lbs in 3.5 gallons is more than most people recommend).

The recipe also calls for an extended concentrated boil, I did 3.5 hours (the longest I have done besides my lambic). Concentrating the boil below the target batch volume encourages Maillard reactions (which add both malt complexity and color). I topped off the beer with boiled/chilled water before pitching the yeast to reduce the osmotic pressure exerted on them. I ended up a bit over gravity anyway, but the Wyeast Scottish ale yeast does a great job in high gravity beers.

I bottled 2.5 gallons of this batch a couple days ago, but I probably won't be drinking more than a bottle or two of it until after the hot summer weather passes. A big, bitter, smokey beer just isn't what I want to drink when it is hot out (the extra time will only improve a beer like this anyway). I ice distilled about 1/2 gallon of it to mimic Hair of the Dog's Dave (a 29% ABV double ice concentrated version of Adam). More on that experiment to come soon.

I will be brewing a beer that is closer to the historic Adambier in the next couple weeks, a rauchmalt spiked doppelsticke that we will barrel age once the wee heavy is bottled in a month or so. Looking forward to how the two beers compare, similar ideas with very different ingredients.


Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)
Batch Size (Gal): 3.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 14.94
Anticipated OG: 1.099
Anticipated SRM: 27.8
Anticipated IBU: 65.8
Brewhouse Efficiency: 63 %
Wort Boil Time: 210 Minutes

13.00 lbs. Maris Otter
0.63 lbs. Crystal 55L
0.50 lbs. Peated Malt
0.44 lbs. Munich Malt
0.25 lbs. Chocolate Malt
0.13 lbs. Black Patent Malt

1.00 oz. Galena @ 90 min.
1.13 oz. Super Styrians @ 40 min.
0.75 oz. Tettnanger Tettnang @ 10 min.

0.50 Whirlfloc @ 11 Min.(boil)
0.25 Tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 11 Min.(boil)

WYeast 1728 Scottish Ale

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
60 min @ 153

Brewed 4/11/09 with Audrey at the start

Added ~1 tsp of chalk to the mash to up the pH a bit.

Collected 6.25 gallons of 1.052 wort.

Chilled to 70, strained, shook to aerate (because there was already so much yeast from the ISA yeast cake I don't think growth will be an issue so I didn’t use pure O2).

I must have gotten a bad pre-boil gravity reading because even after topping off with a 1/2 gallon of water I ended up over gravity by .014. I decided to leave it as is instead of topping it off so it can still fit in my 3 gallon secondary after primary fermentation. Boiling down below the batch volume encourages more melanoidin production.

Put into the freezer set at 50 to help cool it down more, turned up to 55 8 hours later.

Rocking fermentation by 12 hours

4/15/09 After 4 days fermentation seems to be slowing so I upped the freezer temp to 62.

4/18/09 Fermentation seems to really be slowing, upped temp to 65.

4/21/09 Upped temp to 68 to finish out, gravity down to 1.031 (71% AA, 10.1% ABV). Still may drop another few points.

4/25/09 Weird thing floating on top of the primary, krausen 95% gone. Racked to secondary, topped off with ~1 qrt of boiled/cooled water. Left at 68 degrees just in case there is any more fermentation to come (CO2 release continued for a week or so).

5/12/09 Tastes good, not much peat. Took about 1/2 gallon and put in Tupperware in the freezer to recreate Dave.

5/23/09 Bottled with 1.5 oz of turbinado (white sugar was hiding) aiming for right around 2 volumes of CO2. Gravity down to 1.023 (77% AA, 10% ABV), right where I wanted it. Made sure to pick up a bit of yeast from the bottom and added a splash of WLP011 to aid in carbonation.

7/26/09 Still no carbonation, but even flat the flavor is very nice. With a few more months of age and some bubbles this will be a knockout.

10/19/09 First Tasting, still no carbonation, but otherwise very tasty.

4/13/11 Has aged very well, although it never carbonated. Prunes, light smoke, chocolate, bread, good balance.


Andrei said...

Do you have tasting notes for this one? The tasting link actually points to Liquor Spiked Barleywine.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Thanks for catching that, fixed now.

Who's this Randy Guy Anyways said...

DUDE! 3.5 hour boil...that's crazy.
I've been looking to do an Adam clone, thanks for this :)

Who's this Randy Guy Anyways said...

Brewing this tomorrow. Check my brew blog (
for the outcome. Thanks for the recipe!

iDrawdy said...

Hey Mile I was reading this recipe in hopes of finding some tips for bottle conditioning a strong beer. I have some red star champagne yeast I plan to use with honey to carbonate a 11% rye whiskey oak aged rye barleywine. Any tips to ensure success? I brewed this batch back in October 2012 so it's been bulk aging for about 6 months now

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Not sure why this batch never carbonated. I just did a stronger, and then barrel-aged trippelbock that carbonated fine when I repitched a small starter of the primary yeast (WLP833 Bock Lager) at bottling. At a minimum rehydrate the yeast and then cool it to the beer temperature before pittching to ensure it is ready to go. Get the bottle into the mid/high 70s F to give the yeast the best shot you can.

I'm generally against priming with sugars other than refined/pure varieties (e.g., table sugar and corn sugar). As an agricultural product, honey has variable water content and fermentability, just one more thing to worry about. It can certainly work, but I don't think it has much advantage to adding the characterful sugar earlier, and then priming with something neutral.

Best of luck!

Unknown said...

Did you get around to brewing your more traditional adambier? I'm going to brew one and was wondering what you would recommend for the souring.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I did - recipe! It was originally planned for a second use bourbon barrel, but when the barrel went sour I bottled it as is.

Seems like it might be well with some subtle acidity. Maybe divert a gallon of unhopped wort to sour with Lactobacillus. I'd back down on the bitterness too.

Anonymous said...

If you look in the Barleywine: History, Brewing, Recipes book there is an excellent Hair of the Dog Adam recipe.