Homebrewed Thornbridge Kipling Clone (Braumeister Version) – Tasting

So here it is…the tasting of the Kipling clone (https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/11/12/homebrewed-thornbridge-kipling-clone-braumeister-version/)

Well.  I’m happy with it, but not uber-happy with it.  It’s a little more hazy in appearance than I’d like, and a good bit darker than the original, but it does have a very nice head to it, though, being all lacy, lasting and attractive-looking.

The aroma is sexy and inviting: over-ripe mandarin oranges, tropical fruit juice and malt, some subdued lemony citrus.  Quite lovely, really.  I will be using Nelson Sauvin again, mos’ def’.

Upon tasting, a light citrus hoppiness floods in accompanied by a reasonable malt body and a nice level of alcohol. Bitter but not over bitter. Very tasty…

All that and an aftertaste of piney citrus and that signature mandarin orange flavor…

From the corny keg, the beer was excellent; in bottles it seems to be lacking a bit in body, I reckon that the us05 was a bit too attenuative…so in future I can either mash a touch higher or I can use an alternative yeast.  Or, I may fool around a bit with Vienna and Munich malts, I just feel that the beer could be so much more satisfying in the body department…I’d dearly love to have a house staple malt bill that I can use to showcase different hop varieties and combinations.

One thing I will be doing is chopping down on the Torrified wheat.  This beer suffers terribly with chill haze, and I think the wheat is the culprit.  I’ll also be looking to lengthen out the protein rest a bit and always remembering the Irish moss ten minutes before the end of the boil…


Homebrewed Thornbridge Kipling Clone (Braumeister Version)

If you read my previous post, you’ll no doubt be aware of the high esteem that I hold Thornbridge beers in.  One of my favourites is Kipling.  Check out my review (https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/11/11/thornbridge-kipling/) for the full lowdown.

As imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I thought I”d have a scout about and see if I could turn up or design a recipe for Kipling.

Fortunately Jim’s Beer Kit forum had a thread on brewing a Kipling clone (http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=38455), with input from a chap going under the handle of tfxm.

Tfxm, or Mr. Tfxm as we’ll call him from now on, had something to do with Thornbridge brewery so was well placed to unearth Kipling’s mysteries.

As I’m still getting to grips with my Braumeister I thought I’d again adopt the “suck it and see” approach, as I still haven’t configured my Beer Engine software properly (http://www.practicalbrewing.co.uk/main/calculators/beerengine/ – Thanks, Graham!)

Mr Tfxm gave the rough ratio of ingredients, so I took those and entered them in Beer Engine and came up with the following:


I used 26L of water and my standard mashing regime of:

Dough-in at 38C

5 minutes protein rest at 53C

70 minutes Maltose rest at 66C

5 minutes Alpha Amylase rest at 73C

5 minutes Mash-out rest at 78C

Then, in a cunning masterstroke, I waited for the cheery peeps that told me that we were all done with mashing, lifted the malt pipe and let it drain while I had supper with my family – while I also put 5L of filtered water in a pan on the stove in the kitchen.

Whilst my family finished their supper, argued about whether they were having baths, etc. I sparged the grains with that 5L of water (now at 79C) and left it to drain.  Then I bathed the kids, read stories and all that other good stuff.

By the time everyone was merrily tucked up and mostly asleep, I came back downstairs and set the Braumeister to boil.

The boil was on and rolling by 8.30pm so in went the first hop charge whilst I sanitised the fermenter, cleaned the malt pipe and opened up a bottle of real Kipling.

I can’t tell you how easy brewing is with the Braumeister, and made even easier when you use pellet hops.  Clean-up was a breeze – in fact after the whirlpool and cool, clean-up, racking to fermenter and pitching of the US-05 yeast I was finished by 10:30pm and sat down with another beer.

By more luck than judgement I hit a volume of around 21.5L at 1050, which should see me with a finished ABV of about 5.2%.  Which is only a little over how Beer Engine predicted it would be.

As I type my Kipling clone is still merrily bubbling through the airlock.  It’s smelling good, really good.  I’m sorely tempted to pick up some leaf Nelson Sauvin so I can keg hop and completely blow my mind.

Keg/Dry-Hopping is not in the recipe, but I do love hops, oh yes I do.

Keep an eye out for the tasting notes…

UPDATE:  Tasting notes here: https://yeastismybitch.com/2014/01/08/homebrewed-thornbridge-kipling-clone-braumeister-version-tasting/

Thornbridge: Kipling

20131109_203257…the first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” (Rudyard Kipling)

Dear old Rudyard obviously never went to France then…  I’ve been a couple of times, smelt it extensively, and I still can’t fathom the french people out.  To be honest, France smelt much like England does – only with a faint whiff of cheese and a tang of public urination.

Interesting fact: did you know that Kipling’s mother was hard of hearing and a bit dim?  Neither did I…  She mistook the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for a Doctor.  A simple enquiry of “Has he got a name?” sounded too much like “Are you bearing the pain?” and her reply of “It’s Ruddy ‘Ard!”  established one of the most intriguing names in literature.

In a similar vein, did you know that Roald Dahl’s mother was unable to pronounce the letter “n”?

(Laugh, damn you…this sort of stuff doesn’t write itself, you know…)

But back to the original quotation…and to paraphrase it: in order to understand Thornbridge Kipling you first have to smell it

And what a glorious smell it is too:  Nelson Sauvin all the way (Kipling is a single hop beer, of that variety) and Nelson Sauvin brings forth huge bunches of elderflowers, white wine and fresh bales of hay; a gentle malty aroma providing a cotton-sheet light background to hang all of this delicate aroma upon.

Colour-wise, it’s almost a pale champagne – further contributing to an overall theme of floaty lightness.  Even the head looks like cow parsley on a summer’s day…

The taste is intense: white-wine, grapes, kiwi fruit and an overall feeling of summeriness.  The hop’s influence is borne up by the cheerful effervescence; making for a delicate, complex and beautifully crafted flavour that trails into a long-lasting clean bitterness…

All-in-all beautifully balanced, clean-tasting and oh-so-very drinkable…

If you’re thinking of serving posh drinks this coming summer I dare you to serve cooled Kipling in half-decent glasses to your guests, instead of poncey Champagne.  They’ll hoover that Kipling up I can assure you…and then they’ll ask for pint glasses, so that they can enjoy it properly.


(Look at that range…I’ll bet everyone of them is excellent.  I know Jaipur is.  I will be reviewing that soon.  Expect more effusiveness)