British Brewer

Recreating the perfect British Pint

18 April

Recipe Update: Old Speckled Hen (10/10)

Old Speckled HenWe really are on a run here.  I have had numerous comments and emails on this blog and Hopville asking for feedback on my Old Speckled Hen clone.  Well I am happy to report we nailed it.  There is really nothing I would change.  It has become a very popular ale in my house and I really wish I had brewed the whole 5 gallons and not limited myself to a 2.5 gallon test batch.

First lets get a reminder of what we were shooting for, from the Almanac:

Nose: Superb Goldings hop aroma
Palate: Full hops and fruit in mouth, long dry finish with hops and delicate fruit notes
Comments: Rich coloured and fruit flavoured strong ale with generous hop support.

I did a side by side taste test with the wife and the malty flavours really come through all mixed up with the fruit and a tinge of bitterness. We drank the ales with a salty baguette with mustard and ham. The commercial version left a lingering aftertaste in the mouth which the clone did not and the mouthfeel of the clone was a little lighter than than the real-thing. My wife actually preferred the clone because there was no aftertaste. We used canned Speckled Hen Draught and I think the BeerGas insert in the can gave the brew a thicker mouthfeel than the bottled.  This clone would make a solid keg ale, especially with BeerGas. Next time 🙂

Here are the photo’s. We went into this exercise with SRM as a variable we did not have any definitive guidance outside of “Amber”.  As the photo’s demonstrate the colour appears to be a match, as is the brightness.

Old Speckled Hen (original canned version)

Speckled Hen Original (Canned Version)

Speckled Hen Clone

Speckled Hen Clone

The recipe we crafted was shooting for an OG of 1050 (mandated by the ales history) and a final ABV of 5.2%. The recipe was perfect and came in at 1050. The Wyeast Thames Valley was very active. The stated max attenuation was 77% which would have given us a final ABV of the 5.2% we were shooting for but the yeast was a little overactive and had an observed attenuation of 82% making a final ABV of 5.6%. It did not detract from the flavour in any way.

So this brew is being promoted to the recipes page along with the Theakston OP.  With my Left Over Ale coming out of the primary tasting good and the soon to be brewed Nut Brown Ale wrapping up the series I am confident we will have at least one more winner out of this group.