New Belgium Fat Tire Clone Brewing Session

I got my liter starter going around 8am or so, got 10.5 lbs of grain ground with the world’s worst and slowest grain crusher.  This thing is so bad if I go slow it makes powder it I go to fast it doesn’t crush, you have to find the optimum handle rotation to get the grain crushed right.  After what seemed like the longest 40 minutes of crushing grain, the brewing was going to have to wait, family day. Flattire_brewing1

Fast forward 12 hours, 9pm, time to start the brew day; I was bound and determined to get a brewing session in, had to!  For you all grain brewers, you know it takes any where from 5-6 hours to brew, so I knew I was in for a late night.

First and for most you want a yeast starter for any beer you are making, this was a low gravity beer, so a liter starter is more then enough.  For this recipe you’ll want to use a Belgian Ale yeast (White labs 550 or Wyeast 1214), you’ll need a couple of hours to get the yeast going.

Grain Bill: (5 gal)

  • 9 lbs. Domestic 2-Row barley
  • 8 oz. Special B,
  • 8 oz. Caramel 120°L,
  • 8 oz. Munich 10°L

Mash:

You’ll want to mash these grains at 152° for 60 minutes.  I used a total of 3.28 gal (1.25 qt / lb) of 172° water to get my mash temp to about 152.5-153° (depending on where my thermometer was).

Sparge:

After the mash was done, I sparged the grain bed for about 75 minutes with 170° water.  Couple things to note if you are new to all grain berwing, keep you water level about 2″ above the grains while sparging.  Before sparging, you want to get the wort to run clear before you start.  Once the wort is running, clear dump it back top of the grain bed.

Brewing at night

Brewing at night

Boil:

For this boil we are going to use 2 hops.

  • 1 oz Northern Brewer (60 min)
  • 1 oz US Saaz (2 min)

Pretty simply boil, just watch out for boil-overs, they suck!

Fermentation:

Specific Gravity: 1.042 – 1.046

5-7 days Primary

14 days Secondary

Bottle or Keg

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13 Responses to “New Belgium Fat Tire Clone Brewing Session”

  1. nate Says:

    That’s a sweet pic of the beer brewing at night.
    I had my first boil over ever a few weeks ago. It wasn’t too bad, but i hate the stickyness. Is that a stainless steel or aluminum pot you have there? I’m looking for a new one…might just go the old keg route.

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    The previous 2 sessions I had boil overs (first times in over 10 years), because I had bought a new burner. No boil over this time, as I’ve figured out how to use the burner correctly! I’ve been using a aluminum pot, aside from the spontaneous twitching I have after each beer I haven’t noticed anything different about my beer. I would prefer a stainless because of the durability, I feel like every time I move my pot it is going to dent.

  3. nate Says:

    haha, twitching huh? Stainless steal is just so expensive. I don’t have a grain crusher. Have to leave that up to my supply store.

  4. Simply Beer Says:

    I grain crusher I have, I bought for 30 dollars. I got what I paid for. i can only fit about 1.5 lbs of grain in the hopper and it is really a pain. If I know I’m going to be brewing the recipe within a couple weeks, then I’ll have the store crush them, but with an erratic schedule its hard to know when I’ll be brewing. What are you brewing now?

  5. nate Says:

    I’ve got a Roggenbier and a belgian inspired porter both in secondary fermentation in the basement right now. Going to bottle this Sat. The Roggenbier was tricky…6lbs of rye mixed with the wheat made for a sloooowwwww sparge, but it tastes good.

    I am going to try for a big old ale along the lines of thomas hardys, harvest ale, old stock, etc. To date my biggest abv is a bit over 11, so should be interesting.

    I’ve thought about trying to organize a ‘beer bloggers’ collaboration brew…didn’t know how it would work though.

  6. Simply Beer Says:

    I have a Roggenbier on tap, it could have used a bit more Rye only 2.2lbs in 9lb recipe. But it tastes so good, I’m surprised more breweries are not making this style of beer!

  7. Scott-TheBrewClub Says:

    That is a cool picture indeed! Was this the brew that was ‘only’ double hopped? ;-) Seems like an awful lot of work….

    Is there any way to predict how a batch will ultimately turn out before its done? Have you ever ‘known’ that a batch would come out great before you got to taste it?

    I don’t know much about this, so my apologies if that’s a dumb question!

  8. Simply Beer Says:

    no dumb questions here. A lot of times you can taste the sweet liquid, beer before it is fermented and get an idea. You better off trying it after the primary fermentation. that will give you the flavors minus carbonation.

    Yeah this is the “Double Hopped” beer. I added hops 2 times to the boil. It is not frost brewed though…. :-)

  9. Michael Reinhardt Says:

    I bet this is much better than Fat Tire. I think it’s okay so far as it goes. However, i get the impression that your home brew will have more character. Some day, in the distant future, when we all get together, some home brews will be in order.

  10. Graham Anderson Says:

    Fat Tire has some toasted biscuit malt in it. It’s also a lot lighter than the recipe you listed above. And it doesn’t have the burnt sugar flavors of crystal 120 and Special B. Maybe try 1lb Belgian Biscuit malt, .5 lb crystal 40, .125 lb crystal 60, and bump the Munich up to 1lb. And, even though everyone seems to recommend an Abbey ale yeast, I don’t taste any strong phenolics in Fat Tire — I would stick with Cal Ale yeast for a first pass.

  11. Max Says:

    what kind of yeast did you use?

  12. Simply Beer Says:

    Wyeast Belgian Ale yeast 1214. I guess that would be important! :-)

  13. Graham Anderson Says:

    So, what’s the verdict? Did it taste like Fat Tire?


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