How to Brew a Sam Adams Boston Lager Clone Recipe

How to Brew a Sam Adams Boston Lager Clone Recipe: Crafting America’s Classic at Home

Today, we’re brewing a lager, we’re doing a boston lager; It’s a clone of Sam Adams. Let’s do it.

Ingredients for 10 gallons:

19 lbs2-row American Pale Malt (Briess) (1.8 SGrain195.2 %
1 lbsCaramel 60 (60.0 SRM)Grain24.8 %
2.00 ozTettnang Pellets [3.90 %] – Boil 60.0 miHop316.0 IBUs
2.00 ozHallertauer Pellets [4.30 %] – Boil 20.0Hop410.7 IBUs
2.00 ozHallertauer Pellets [4.30 %] – Boil 10.0Hop56.4 IBUs
1.0 pkgAmerican Lager Yeast (White Labs #WLP840)Yeast6
2.00 ozHallertauer Pellets [4.30 %] – Dry Hop 0Hop70.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: BIAB, Light Body

Total Grain Weight: 20 lbs

NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
SaccharificationAdd 57.06 qt of water and heat to 105.0105.0 F30 min
Mash StepHeat to 122.0 F over 4 min122.0 F30 min
Mash StepHeat to 155.0 F over 4 min155.0 F30 min
Mash StepHeat to 168.0 F over 4 min168.0 F10 min

Transcript: So yeah, today it’s Sam Adams lager. We found a recipe on Homebrew talk that is supposedly like the secret recipe for actually brewing Sam Adams. And Richard, you want to say what’s in it?

The grain bills pretty simple; 19 pounds of two row and a pound of a caramel 60.

So we’re going to be adding hops three times 60m, 20m, and 10m. Mostly Tettnang and the Hallertauer.

For the yeast we’re using American lager yeast WLP 840. This is reportedly the Budweiser strain, but we won’t hold that against it. And then the interesting thing about this is that it is a step mash and it’s a really very convoluted step mash.

So we start off at 105 degrees for 30 minutes, then 122 for another 30 minutes, the 155 for another 30 minutes.

And won’t get up to 168 the last bit for another 10 more minutes.

So we’ve been taking regular measurements as the mash has beed going on. We think we are at 10 39 now, which is the expected preboill gravity. We’re now heating up to 168.

I’m going to hold it there for 10 minutes. And then finally, after it’s extremely long step mash, it’s time to boil something.

The guys are complaining because we didn’t hit our final gravity. We wanted to get 10 48 and shamefully we ended up at 10 47, but this is the end of the brew day. Everything has gone pretty well.

Uh, we chilled the wort down to about 60 Fahrenheit and we need to get it down to about 55F. So it’s in the fridge. When it gets down a little bit lower, that yeast will get added.

Have the yeast starter here, ready to split between the two batches. This is, um, basically the Budweiser yeast. So we’ll stick that in.

It’s been a week now, the beer has fermented down to 1.015. So nearly there we’re expecting to get to about 1.012.

So at this point, that’s when I like to do the dry hop. Um, the reason for doing it like this is, uh, the beer is still just about fermenting. So as I open up the fermenter to put these dry hops in, uh, the hope is that any oxygen that gets introduced will get consumed by the yeast.

So what’s going in is two ounces of Hallertauer hops. You’re going to put one ounce in each of the two, five gallon fermenters.

So the beer had come out at 10 12, which has given a alcohol of 4.6%. I have an adult taster the hair and up possibly under ago one as well. Yeah. That’s you.

And what we’ve got here is two samples. One of these is the clone. One of them. Yeah. One of them is the actual Sam Adams beer. And I think if you take a look at the color, it’s pretty much dead on.

What do you think? Yeah. That’s pretty much the same. Yeah. You think it’s the same? Okay. So question is, is it tastes the same? I know which one is the Sam Adams just by the smell. Yes, but the taste, I mean, it’s different, but it tastes kind of the same, I think. Yeah. It’s similar.

Uh, in my very biased opinion, I actually kinda liked the clone better, I do too. I actually really, I prefer the clone over the reguler beer.

So I would think this one wins, cheers to that. Cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Boston Lager Clone Recipe Differ from the Original Sam Adams Boston Lager?

The Boston Lager Clone recipe presented in the article is quite similar to the original Sam Adams Boston Lager. The grain bill consists of 19 pounds of two-row malt and a pound of caramel 60.

The hops used are mostly Tettnang and Hallertauer, added at three different times during the brewing process (60m, 20m, and 10m).

The yeast used is American lager yeast WLP 840, which is reportedly the Budweiser strain. The recipe also involves a complex step mash process.

The final gravity was slightly off from the target, but the taste was found to be quite similar, if not better, according to the brewers.

Can I Substitute the American Lager Yeast WLP 840 with Another Yeast Strain?

Yes, you can substitute the American Lager Yeast WLP 840, but it’s crucial to understand that yeast plays a significant role in the final flavor profile of the beer.

If you’re looking for a Budweiser clone recipe, using WLP 840 would be more authentic. However, if you’re open to experimentation, you might try other lager yeasts that could bring different characteristics to your Boston Lager clone.

What Are the Key Steps in the Step Mash Process?

The step mash process for this Boston Lager clone is quite intricate. It starts at 105°F for 30 minutes, then moves to 122°F for another 30 minutes, and finally to 155°F for yet another 30 minutes.

The last step is to raise the temperature to 168°F for an additional 10 minutes. This step mash process is essential for the enzymatic activities that contribute to the beer’s final taste and mouthfeel.

How Does This Boston Lager Clone Compare to Other Sam Adams Clones Like the Winter Lager or Octoberfest?

The Boston Lager clone recipe focuses on replicating the original Sam Adams Boston Lager. If you’re interested in brewing a Sam Adams Winter Lager clone or Octoberfest clone, the ingredients and brewing process would differ.

For instance, a Winter Lager recipe might include spices and different hop varieties, while an Octoberfest clone would likely involve a different malt bill and possibly a different yeast strain.

Is It Possible to Adapt This Recipe for Other Sam Adams Variants, Like the Summer Ale or Cold Snap?

Absolutely. The base recipe for the Boston Lager clone provides a solid foundation that can be tweaked to create other Sam Adams variants. For a Summer Ale clone, you might consider adding lemon zest or grains of paradise.

For a Cold Snap clone, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg could be added. However, each variant would require its own set of adjustments, including the malt bill, hop schedule, and possibly the yeast strain.

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