100 Bottles of Beer – A Tale of Three Bastards

A Home Brewer’s Personal Journey through His Craft – Part 23

Well, here we are, back again and it’s about damn time.

At the end of our last installment I commented you probably thought there was only one bastard and I was going to talk about three. It occurred to me some time later that there are actually already three bastards. Of course, I am referring to the most irreverent of brews, Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, and Double Bastard.

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I don’t really know what style of beer these are but I tend to think of them as a dark IPA or a strong ESB and the Double may as well be a Barley Wine. The Stone web site states them to be 7.2% ABV with the Double at 10.5%. The site states the IBUs and even the hop varieties used as “Classified”. These are all three wonderfully over the top beers. My personal favorite is the Oaked Bastard. As the label states:

“YOU ARE NOT WORTHY! You probably won’t like it. It’s quite doubtful you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth.”

So, with that as a challenge and armed with a clone recipe found from I do not remember where on the internet and a sense of Full Frontal Arrogance, I decided to try and make this stuff.

Arrogant Bastard Ale

8.5 lbs Amber DME

1.5 lbs 120L Crystal Malt

1 oz Chinook whole cone hops – 90 min.

½ oz Chinook whole cone hops – 30 min.

½ oz Chinook whole cone hops – 15 min steep.

1 tsp Irish Moss – 30 min.

UCCS 1028 Olde English Ale

Priming: ¾ cup corn sugar & ¼ cup DME

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Although I believe I have previously mentioned the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Brew Lab yeasts, this was actually the first time I ever used them. They are actually cultured from the Wyeast strains and bear the same number designation.

Heat three gallons cold water to 152F, add the milled malt in a grain bag, remove from heat, cover and let mash for 45 minutes. Remove the grain bag and let drain back into kettle. I probably should have sparged the bag but, for some reason, did not think of it at the time.

Add the DME and bring to a boil, adding the hops and Irish Moss at times indicated for a total 90 minute boil with the final addition at the end of boil. Remove the hop bags and sparge with hot water to bring up to 5 ½ gallons in the kettle. Now at this point I was interrupted for about 4 hrs (I thought I would be done by now) so I just left the kettle covered and it stayed quite hot. It looked like a kettle full of chocolate syrup. Cool the wort, pour into carboy and pitch the yeast.

Four days in the primary and 27 days in the secondary and it was ready to bottle. It was a very clear dark amber red mahogany color, kind of like maple syrup. It smelled sweet and malty. The taste had a nice underlying malt sweetness and a hop bite that will kick you wimpy little butt! Damn! This was gonna be good.

After a bit over three weeks of bottle conditioning it was ready to try and…OH MY GAWD! It was wonderful! It was a beautiful mahogany red/dark amber color with very minimal chill haze. And the taste, a rich malt sweetness with a very assertive hop bitterness, was simply wonderful. It was maybe a bit over-carbonated but the head was thick and rich and creamy and stayed to the bottom of the glass.

Upon a later comparison to the real thing, it came very close. I believe the original to be a little sweeter and maltier, but I can arrogantly say, “I liked my home brew better.”

A couple of interesting side notes to this brew.

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I have mentioned Bristol Brewing several times previously. At the time I was about to brew this I had my initial job interview at Bristol. I was talking with Mike Bristol (lead singer and driver of the Winnebago) about home brewing and stated, “If I like a beer I will try and make a clone of it.” I mentioned my next brew was going to be the Arrogant Bastard. Mike found that very interesting as they were about to begin distributing beer for Stone in the Colorado Springs area. It must have been an omen, for here I am, over seven years later, still pouring Bristol’s fine brews for the patrons of the tasting room. Update: Now over 12 years later I am no longer there. Just no longer fit in with the new model. Bristol no longer distributes Stone as that part of the business was turned over to a large national distributor. Bristol does still self-distribute locally.

aba_overview_0I also had opportunity that same year to talk to a Stone Brewing Representative at the GABF I mentioned I had made a very close clone of the Arrogant Bastard. He arrogantly said, “It can’t be done by a home brewer.”  I said, “You are probably right,” smiled and walked away.

Now, I did promise a tale of three bastards, and I am not referring to the three Stone products. It occurred to me a while later that I could make variations on the original recipe. I decided to make a lighter version and a darker version, simply by changing the DME. The lighter version I chose to name:

Bitter Bastard Ale

8.5 lbs Extra Light DME

1.5 lbs 120L Crystal Malt

1 oz Chinook whole cone hops – 90 min.

½ oz Chinook whole cone hops – 30 min.

½ oz Chinook whole cone hops – 15 min steep.

1 tsp Irish Moss – 30 min.

UCCS 1028 Olde English Ale

Priming: ¾ cup corn sugar & ¼ cup DME

As you can see, the only change is using extra light DME instead of amber. The brew method was identical with the exception of I did not have the 4 hour interruption this time and I did remember to sparge the grain bag with 1 gallon 152F water.

This brew spent 5 days in the primary and 16 days in the secondary before bottling.

The Bitter Bastard was slightly hoppier and a little less malty than the Arrogant Bastard. The color was still the mahogany red although just a bit lighter, another definite winner.

The darker version I called:

Dirty Bastard Stout

8.5 lbs Dark DME

1.5 lbs 120L Crystal Malt

1 oz Chinook whole cone hops – 90 min.

½ oz Chinook whole cone hops – 30 min.

½ oz Chinook whole cone hops – 15 min steep.

1 tsp Irish Moss – 30 min.

UCCS 1028 Olde English Ale

Priming: ¾ cup corn sugar & ¼ cup DME

This time I changed the DME to dark and all the rest stayed the same.

And again, OH MY GAWD! This was awesome, very malty and sweet, tastes like brown sugar with an assertive hop bitterness. It was sweeter and less hoppy than the Arrogant Bastard and significantly darker yet retaining that hint of red. This was my favorite of the three.

I took no gravity readings on these brews but I am sure they were in the 7-8% ABV range.

That is three more down and we still have 19 bottles of beer on the wall, Next time around we are going to push the limits of what beer can be and take a little trip to Utopia.

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Keep on Brewin’

To be continued…

 

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