Yesterday BrewDog released DIY DOG, a free book containing recipes for every beer they’ve ever produced, and the first thing we did was look at the entry for the original Punk IPA.
We think it’s pretty cool that BrewDog have released all this information, not only because it’ll be handy for us as home brewers, but also because it enables us to prod about and indulge our nosiness.
In Brew Britannia we set out how Martin Dickie began his career at Thornbridge before founding BrewDog with James Watt. While it’s obvious that both breweries’ flagship beers, Jaipur and Punk IPA respectively, shared certain key characteristics, we’ve always wondered just how close the family resemblance might be. Or, to put that another way, was the UK craft beer [def. 2] boom of the last decade or so built around two iterations of what is essentially the same beer?
Mitch Steele’s excellent home brewing manual IPA published in 2012 (our review here; buy it, it’s great) contains instructions for brewing a clone of Jaipur. We know from a conversation we had with brewers at Thornbridge in 2013 that it’s slightly off the mark in that, for one thing, it suggests using Vienna malt which (if we understood correctly) was actually only part of the Jaipur grist for a short while. (Maybe in the period when it Wasn’t the Beer It Used to Be?)
So, with that adjustment, and assuming Mr Steele’s recipe to be otherwise roughly right, here’s how it stacks up against the specifications BrewDog have provided for their original version of Punk:
|c.2009 Jaipur (adjusted)||2007 Punk IPA|
|TARGET FINAL GRAVITY||1.010||1.010|
|Malt||Maris Otter pale ale 3.5% EBC||‘Extra Pale’|
|First hop addition||7.3% Chinook
|Second addition||7.3% Chinook
|Third addition||21.9% Chinook
|Boil time||75 mins||‘we recommend a 60 minute boil for most ales’|
|Yeast||‘neutral ale’||Wyeast 1056 (American Ale)|
Those really do look like pretty similar recipes to our untrained eyes.
Having said that, there are obvious differences, and also a few important bits of information missing – for example, we don’t know the alpha acid levels of the BrewDog hops.
So, Experts, it’s over to you: how far would you expect e.g. the final addition Motueka in Punk to go in distinguishing one beer from the other? Is that, or any other difference, sufficient for you to feel Punk was a really distinct product c.2007?
In the meantime, that leaves us about where we started, except now we wish we could walk into The Rake at about the time we started blogging and order a pint of each to compare.