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Offline dukedevil0

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Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« on: March 02, 2010, 02:48:12 PM »
I honestly have ZERO homebrewing experience, but want to get into it soon. Obviously, this beer wouldn't be ideal for a first brewing attempt, but it is my favorite beer that I one day hope to replicate.  Just trying to get some ideas, thoughts going...

Info from the Surly website:

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout/American Double Stout
MALT: Pale Ale, Golden Promise , Crystal, Dark Crystal, Oats, Black, Chocolate, Roast
SUGAR: Belgian Dark Candi Sugar
HOPS: Columbus, Amarillo, Simcoe
YEAST: English Ale

OG: 29° Plato
ABV: 9.8 % v/v
COLOR: 55 ºL
IBU: 85

Any ideas?  Starting points?  Tips?  Flames?   :P

Offline d00d

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 04:05:15 PM »
I wouldn't start with a russian imperial stout as your first beer.  Do a few small beers to start out with, get your process down, then dive into the RIS.  Sanitation will be your biggest concern because an RIS takes years to mature fully. Infections and oxidation over time ruin a beer. It also helps if you have a stockpile of other beers so you won't be tempted to drink all that yummy goodness in two weeks.

Offline Homerbag

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2010, 04:10:46 PM »
I wouldn't start with a russian imperial stout as your first beer.  Do a few small beers to start out with, get your process down, then dive into the RIS.  Sanitation will be your biggest concern because an RIS takes years to mature fully. Infections and oxidation over time ruin a beer. It also helps if you have a stockpile of other beers so you won't be tempted to drink all that yummy goodness in two weeks.

Pretty much everything he said.

You are going to have to get good at doing protein rests, sanitation, and temperature control. This is going to be a big and expensive beer to brew. You are not going to want to screw it up because of something you over looked.

You might want to try to e-mail Surly and see if they may help you out. They have very close ties to the home brew community and may give you a hand in formulating the recipe.

Offline smellysell

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 12:59:11 AM »
I wouldn't start with a russian imperial stout as your first beer.  Do a few small beers to start out with, get your process down, then dive into the RIS.  Sanitation will be your biggest concern because an RIS takes years to mature fully. Infections and oxidation over time ruin a beer. It also helps if you have a stockpile of other beers so you won't be tempted to drink all that yummy goodness in two weeks.

Pretty much everything he said.

You are going to have to get good at doing protein rests, sanitation, and temperature control. This is going to be a big and expensive beer to brew. You are not going to want to screw it up because of something you over looked.

You might want to try to e-mail Surly and see if they may help you out. They have very close ties to the home brew community and may give you a hand in formulating the recipe.

You might try sending masterchief a PM too.

Totally agree not to start with a big beer like that for all the reasons already stated though.


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Offline dukedevil0

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 09:32:30 AM »
Thanks for the initial replies.  I actually already sent masterchief a PM, but no response as of yet.  :sadbanana: I'm thinking he might more willing to help if I at least had some barebones structure of a recipe or if I was asking small details.  Regardless, I'm sure he's busy brewing away!

And don't get me wrong - I have no intention of this being my first homebrew beer, it's more of a goal that I'd eventually like to achieve.  I just want to get the discussion going so that once I do reach that level, I'm not starting from ground zero - plus this gives me some motivation to get going on those baby steps. 

However, I was hoping to get you seasoned homebrewers' opinions on a malt bill quantities, hop quantities, boiling temps and addition times, etc.

Offline masterchief

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 09:49:33 AM »
got yer email and I'm honestly not sure how to go about helping without saying too much-
hop it like a IPA,do the math for mash efficiency in your setup and hit the starting gravity ,you'll be pretty close as a starting point.
Unless you fuck it up :excited:

Offline nase

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 02:28:20 PM »
got yer email and I'm honestly not sure how to go about helping without saying too much-
hop it like a IPA,do the math for mash efficiency in your setup and hit the starting gravity ,you'll be pretty close as a starting point.
Unless you #### it up :excited:

I've always wondered . . . what if a homebrewer tried to clone Firestone Walker Union Jack, Pliny the Elder, Darkness . . . some of the best beers in their respective styles and used those recipes to start a brewery?  Would that brewery be outcast?
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Offline Homerbag

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 02:37:41 PM »
got yer email and I'm honestly not sure how to go about helping without saying too much-
hop it like a IPA,do the math for mash efficiency in your setup and hit the starting gravity ,you'll be pretty close as a starting point.
Unless you #### it up :excited:

I've always wondered . . . what if a homebrewer tried to clone Firestone Walker Union Jack, Pliny the Elder, Darkness . . . some of the best beers in their respective styles and used those recipes to start a brewery?  Would that brewery be outcast?

It would be different enough. This is a discussion that we have had at the homebrew shop. You could give different people the same recipe and same ingredients and the outcome would be different.

For as simple the process of brewing is, it is entirely complex. This is why credit has to be give to the big breweries. Every batch of their beer tastes the same, it may not taste good, but it tastes the same. That has to be the most difficult thing for a brewery to do. Even the better craft breweries can not pull this off.

Offline dukedevil0

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 03:57:50 PM »
Thanks for the initial replies.  I actually already sent masterchief a PM, but no response as of yet.  :sadbanana: I'm thinking he might more willing to help if I at least had some barebones structure of a recipe or if I was asking small details.  Regardless, I'm sure he's busy brewing away!

And don't get me wrong - I have no intention of this being my first homebrew beer, it's more of a goal that I'd eventually like to achieve.  I just want to get the discussion going so that once I do reach that level, I'm not starting from ground zero - plus this gives me some motivation to get going on those baby steps. 

However, I was hoping to get you seasoned homebrewers' opinions on a malt bill quantities, hop quantities, boiling temps and addition times, etc.

nobody wants to take a stab at it?  :sadbanana:

Offline kpruim01

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 04:06:51 PM »
Thanks for the initial replies.  I actually already sent masterchief a PM, but no response as of yet.  :sadbanana: I'm thinking he might more willing to help if I at least had some barebones structure of a recipe or if I was asking small details.  Regardless, I'm sure he's busy brewing away!

And don't get me wrong - I have no intention of this being my first homebrew beer, it's more of a goal that I'd eventually like to achieve.  I just want to get the discussion going so that once I do reach that level, I'm not starting from ground zero - plus this gives me some motivation to get going on those baby steps. 

However, I was hoping to get you seasoned homebrewers' opinions on a malt bill quantities, hop quantities, boiling temps and addition times, etc.

nobody wants to take a stab at it?  :sadbanana:
Talk to Homebrew42 over on BA.  I think thats what his name is at least.  He has the Pac Man avatar.  Every time I had a question he would chime in with a great amount of info and he seemed to be respected by everyone in the homebrew forum over there.  Let me know if you need some financial backing and help with this one.  I love homebrewing just don't have room for all that stuff with the little baby crawling around here.

Offline dukedevil0

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2010, 05:25:44 PM »
Thanks for the initial replies.  I actually already sent masterchief a PM, but no response as of yet.  :sadbanana: I'm thinking he might more willing to help if I at least had some barebones structure of a recipe or if I was asking small details.  Regardless, I'm sure he's busy brewing away!

And don't get me wrong - I have no intention of this being my first homebrew beer, it's more of a goal that I'd eventually like to achieve.  I just want to get the discussion going so that once I do reach that level, I'm not starting from ground zero - plus this gives me some motivation to get going on those baby steps. 

However, I was hoping to get you seasoned homebrewers' opinions on a malt bill quantities, hop quantities, boiling temps and addition times, etc.

nobody wants to take a stab at it?  :sadbanana:
Talk to Homebrew42 over on BA.  I think thats what his name is at least.  He has the Pac Man avatar.  Every time I had a question he would chime in with a great amount of info and he seemed to be respected by everyone in the homebrew forum over there.  Let me know if you need some financial backing and help with this one.  I love homebrewing just don't have room for all that stuff with the little baby crawling around here.

I just posted a similar thread over on BA so hopefully someone that's drank the original Darkness can chime in on there or here.

I didn't know you had a kid  :o   :lol:

do you have some homebrew stuff or just done it before with friends or something?

Offline kpruim01

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 06:57:58 PM »
Yeah I have a little boy named Landon(my LD mancrush has been revealed.  I've got all the basic stuff like fermenter, carboy, bottling bucket, sanitizer, etc..  I just did extract too so I never got real big into it.  Made a few decent beers though.

Offline dukedevil0

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 08:12:18 PM »
Yeah I have a little boy named Landon(my LD mancrush has been revealed.  I've got all the basic stuff like fermenter, carboy, bottling bucket, sanitizer, etc..  I just did extract too so I never got real big into it.  Made a few decent beers though.

:excited:  my dog's name is Jozy  :lol:

i'm in the process of reading Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing and once I get some equipment I'll start cranking out some brews...might be awhile before I step up into Darkness territory

Offline Oxymoron

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 09:11:28 PM »
Just threw this together...   :shrug:

13.00 lbs Pale
4.00 lbs Golden Promise
2.00 Crystal 80
1.75 Flaked Oats
0.75 Chocolate
0.30 Black Patent
0.30 Roasted Barley
2.00 Dark Candy Sugar

The trick here is the hops.  But depending on your system/efficiency this could be all over the board

2.00 Columbus 90
1.00 Amarillo 15
1.00 Simcoe 15
2.00 Amarillo 0
1.00 Simcoe 0

And one HELLOFA yeast starter.

I have only had this once so take it from there.  If you like it a bit more hoppy you could bump that up &/or dry hop it as well.  It wouldn't surprise me if Choc malt wasn't a lot more than what I listed as well.

Offline dukedevil0

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2010, 10:14:04 AM »
Just threw this together...   :shrug:

13.00 lbs Pale
4.00 lbs Golden Promise
2.00 Crystal 80
1.75 Flaked Oats
0.75 Chocolate
0.30 Black Patent
0.30 Roasted Barley
2.00 Dark Candy Sugar

The trick here is the hops.  But depending on your system/efficiency this could be all over the board

2.00 Columbus 90
1.00 Amarillo 15
1.00 Simcoe 15
2.00 Amarillo 0
1.00 Simcoe 0

And one HELLOFA yeast starter.

I have only had this once so take it from there.  If you like it a bit more hoppy you could bump that up &/or dry hop it as well.  It wouldn't surprise me if Choc malt wasn't a lot more than what I listed as well.

nice!  glad to see a guess at a recipe

Offline d00d

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2010, 11:52:14 PM »
Man, go to beertools.com and create an account.  They have a recipe builder.  It's pretty cool.


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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2010, 09:45:47 AM »
duke, after just doing my first all-grain, i would recommend something lighter. No sense putting all that pressure on your first brew. I chose the arrogant bastard clone because its just a basic ale recipe and not a whole lot to it. I would say go with a pale ale or an IPA or something of that sort for your first brew. No sense in making life hard for yourself. Besides if it came out terrible it may deter you from wanting to brew again.

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2010, 10:22:25 AM »
duke, after just doing my first all-grain, i would recommend something lighter. No sense putting all that pressure on your first brew. I chose the arrogant bastard clone because its just a basic ale recipe and not a whole lot to it. I would say go with a pale ale or an IPA or something of that sort for your first brew. No sense in making life hard for yourself. Besides if it came out terrible it may deter you from wanting to brew again.

dudes, i'm not going to brew this for a long time - i'll start by doing a gumballhead type beer, IPA, and move on from there

i just wanted to get the discussion started so when i get to that level, i'm not searching for help

Offline xjncoguyx

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2010, 10:29:40 AM »
Gotcha. good luck on your first brew btw. I have a feeling this hobby is going to take over me  :lol:

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2010, 06:56:32 PM »
How bout you just stop loving Darkness so much?  I seriously didn't see the appeal to that one. *shrugs shoulders*

Offline decoman

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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2010, 07:03:35 PM »
How bout you just stop loving Darkness so much?  I seriously didn't see the appeal to that one. *shrugs shoulders*
hmm, I like it better than DL...
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Re: Help me with a Surly Darkness clone recipe
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2014, 10:03:44 PM »
Just threw this together...   :shrug:

13.00 lbs Pale
4.00 lbs Golden Promise
2.00 Crystal 80
1.75 Flaked Oats
0.75 Chocolate
0.30 Black Patent
0.30 Roasted Barley
2.00 Dark Candy Sugar

The trick here is the hops.  But depending on your system/efficiency this could be all over the board

2.00 Columbus 90
1.00 Amarillo 15
1.00 Simcoe 15
2.00 Amarillo 0
1.00 Simcoe 0

And one HELLOFA yeast starter.

I have only had this once so take it from there.  If you like it a bit more hoppy you could bump that up &/or dry hop it as well.  It wouldn't surprise me if Choc malt wasn't a lot more than what I listed as well.

Not sure why I'm looking back at this, but I am.  First thing I see that I'm guessing isn't right is the Chinook hops.  I just doubt that's Todd's bittering hop in the brew.