Monday, February 4, 2013

Split batch: Redemption and Sanctification Clone Recipes

1-BrewPictures  056For me, homebrewing = experimentation. I have yet to ever brew the same beer twice. While I’ve repeated certain aspects of some recipes, I always tweak something the next time I brew it. It helps me learn.

Another way that I learn is by comparing and contrasting. I’ve been to many beer tastings, but the ones that have taught me the most are the ones in which I can do side-by-side tasting  rather than one after the other. I can smell one, then smell the other; taste one, then taste the other. The sensory experiences are so close to one another that it helps my brain distinguish between minute differences that I otherwise wouldn’t pick up on.

This was an inspiration for why I chose to build a system that brews 12 gallon batches. It allows me to spend the same amount of time brewing one base beer, and then do different things on the cold side of the equation. I can compare yeasts, fermentation temperatures, hops, dry-hopping schedules, and so on. The learning experience has been so much more than it would have been doing single batches, and it barely costs me any more time or money to pull it off.

Two beers that I’ve always enjoyed from Russian River Brewing Company are Redemption and Sanctification. Redemption is a Belgian Single, also referred to as “Enkel.” Traditionally, Trappist breweries would make this lighter version of their regular beers for consumption by the monks at the monastery. Redemption is similar to a Belgian Blonde, but is lower in gravity.

Sanctification is a non-barrel aged sour golden that is advertised as being primary fermented with 100% Brettanomyces, although Vinnie has stated that they also add Lactobacillus and Pediococcus from a house mixed culture.

After doing a little digging around, I found that these two beers were extremely similar in the malt profile, with the distinguishing differences being that Redemption is lighter on the non-2 row malts (3% each, compared to 5% each), and Sanctification is 4-6 (depending on the source) points higher in original gravity than Redemption. The Russian River Brewing Company website shows the original gravities at 1.048 and 1.052. In emails and interviews, Vinnie has quoted them at 1.052 and 1.058.

For my split batch, I went with the Sanctification malt bill and chose the higher of the two target gravities because I was most interested in getting the Sanctification beer down. A Belgian single can be whipped up anytime, but a sour beer requires a little hell of a lot more time before it is ready for consumption. A  portion of the hop schedule was moved to a 0 minute addition, which lowered the projected IBUs somewhat.
WLP545 Belgian Strong Ale yeast was used for Redemption because my local homebrew shop was out WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast and there wasn’t time to order online. For Sanctification, ECY20 Bug County was used rather that the complex culture mix that Vinnie gave in his recipe.

1-24 hours 03 (sanct left_redemp right)Brew date: 03/24/2012
Batch size: 11.5 US Gal
Estimated/Actual OG: 1.058/1.056
Estimated IBU: 20.0
Estimated SRM: 4.2
Estimated ABV: 6.0% (Redemption)/7.0% (Sanctification)
Estimated total efficiency: 72%

Started with R.O., then additions to match Beersmith’s “Antwerp” profile.


85.0% (21.60 lb) – American 2-row (Great Western) – 2.0 SRM
5% (1.27 lb) – Vienna malt – 3.5 SRM
5% (1.27 lb) – Acid malt – 3.0 SRM
5% (1.27 lb) – White wheat malt (Great Western) 2.4 SRM


80 min – 1.48 oz Styrian Goldings (5.40% AA)
15 min – 1.48 oz Styrian Goldings (5.40% AA)
0 min – 0.5 oz Styrian Goldings (5.40% AA)


15 min – 1 tsp Wyeast yeast nutrient
15 min – 0.5 tsp Supermoss
10 drops Fermcap


50 minutes @152°F
10 minutes @168°F


90 minutes


WLP545 Belgian Strong Ale (Redemption)
ECY20 Bug County (Sanctification)

1-2012-04-29 15.36.38Results/Notes:

Due to what must have been poor programming on my part, the fly sparge process turned on 38 minutes into the mash while I wasn’t paying attention (a pitfall of automation). The manual ball valve to the boil kettle was closed. The mash tun read 16 gallons (probably 5 gallons above the grain bed) before it was noticed and stopped. The mash temp was brought back up to 152°F for about 10 minutes before ramp out.

The sparge went fast (15 minutes), which likely added to the poor mash efficiency.
Pre-boil gravity was 1.043. Target was 1.047. The boil was slowly rolling due to some burner issues I had been having. At 90 minutes, the gravity was at 1.046. The boil was extended by 40 minutes. Gravity read 1.056 at knockout.

The batch was split into two carboys. A 1.5L starter of WLP545 Belgian Strong Ale was pitched into one carboy, and ECY20 Bug County was pitched into the other. Fermentation was at 68°F.
The Belgian Single was given a 1-week primary and 2 week secondary before racking half to a keg and bottling the other half. The Sanctification was given a 2 week primary and then racked to secondary for what might be forever, or a year, whichever comes first.