Hobgoblin clone

An attempt at cloning Wychwood's Hobgoblin Ale, based on Orfy's recipe (another copy here), but adjusted for what I had on hand.


Batch size: 2 gallons Target gravity: 1.055

Grain bill:

  • 3 lb 13 oz Gambrinus ESB
  • 3.5 oz Crystal 60
  • 1 oz Roasted Barley


  • 0.2 oz Goldings (4.5%) FWH
  • 0.2 oz Willamette (4.5%) FWH
  • 0.2 oz Goldings (4.5%) @ 30
  • 0.2 oz Willamette (4.5%) @ 30
  • 0.1 oz Goldings (4.5%) @ flameout
  • 0.1 oz Willamette (4.5%) @ flameout

Yeast: Nottingham


January 21, 2010: Ground grain. 1 lb grain, before grinding, approx. 1 pint in volume, which is just about what the grain mill hopper holds. And now you know...the rest of the story.

Brew Day

January 22, 2010: A slightly different brew day. I measured out 3 gallons of water in the morning and let it sit on the stove all day; I got my wife to turn it on about 5:30pm. I figured I'd be home in time to throw it on the grain, put the kids to bed and mash out.

Well, the water got considerably hotter than I expected when I got home -- 180 F/82 C. I added some cold tap water, then added it to the grain. After that, it still took a surprising amount of cold water to bring down the temperature from 170 F/77 C (in the mash! ack!) to about 154 F/68 C. The mash at that temperature lasted, oh, about 45 minutes or so.

The yield was 2.875 gallons/10.9 litres, or 0.5 gallons/1.9 litres more than expected; that'd be the extra water. Gravity was 1.042, which was right in line with what I expected.

After boiling I cooled the wort to 75 F/24 C and pitched the yeast. Final gravity into the fermenter was 1.050, which was a little bit off but, again, that's the extra water. The total volume was about 2.5 gallons/9.5 litres...which left 0.5 gallons extra. I should have thrown that in another jug, but I was just too damn tired.

Chilling the wort in the sink took a long time -- about 45 minutes or so. Part of that is the extra volume, compared to a 1 gallon batch; part of that is using the bigger pot, which leaves less room in the sink for cold water. Overall, I think I might as well do a 5 gallon batch if I'm going to do it at night; it takes just as long and I get a crapton more beer.

The colour of the wort was a nice dark brown; this'd be a good colour for a brown ale, I think. Not sure how close it'll be to Hobgoblin, but this is my first semi-serious attempt at a clone...I'm happy just to be here, you know?


Kreusen was already up just 10 hours later. Good old Notty!


February 21, 2010: I've bottled it in two batches: one with 20g of dextrose (my usual amount), the second with 10g of dextrose; each were one gallon batches. FG was 1.021 -- wow, that high mash temperature really affected things. I got 6 Grolsch bottles of the half-primed batch and 6 of the fully-primed; one additional bottle was a mix of the two...call it 16g equivalent.


March 2, 2010: Some beer is very good when it is young. This beer is not. Still very green, and not very full-flavoured at all. This was from the fully-primed side; nice snap when the bottle opened, but close to flat when poured. I do hope this turns out better...

April 2010: Nope, not really. This still tastes thin and just not very interesting. I think this beer will be used for making chile.