Firestone Walker Brewing Company was founded in 1996 by Adam Firestone (aka the Bear) & David Walker (aka the Lion), and began as a small brewery with roots in wine country on California’s Central Coast.
Part of their claim to fame comes from the fact that some of their beers, such as their signature dba (double barrel ale), are partially fermented in oak using a Burton Union system (they call their system the 'Firestone Union'). They are one of only two brewers in the world to still use a commercial-sized Burton Union system.
Cleaning the Firestone Union. Image (c) firestonebeer.com
Double Jack however (Firestone Walker's first Imperial IPA), is fermented entirely in their stainless steel vessels.
It features a big malty middle to cloak the high alcohol (9.5% ABV) and mouth puckering (albeit smooth) hop bitterness. This is a beer to be consumed in moderation as it does not taste like a nearly 10% ABV beer.
A dangerously drinkable Double IPA. Double Jack opens up with bright grapefruit and tangerine American hop aromas. Beautifully crafted undertones of stone fruit are revealed upon first sip, followed by the essence of blue basil and pine. A sturdy pale and crystal malt backbone brings balance to high hop intensity. Complex and aggressively hopped, and flawlessly balanced.
Double Jack started out as a special release in 2011 but has been available almost full time ever since. Taking inspiration from their Union Jack IPA, Double Jack keeps the grain bill breakdown the same but increases the amounts for a higher alcohol beer. Hops were also increased (and modified slightly) to create a beer that showcases the extreme side of American hops, making a beer that is explosively flavourful and yet integrated and immensely drinkable.
It is fermented using English Fullers yeast available in liquid form as either Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale or White Labs WLP002 English Ale. Many commercial breweries brew their American style IPAs using English yeast as the slightly fruity/estery profile compliments the citrus, pine, and fruity aromas of American hops. It's a combination that works well.
Double Jack has won numerous awards since its release, including:
2013 Gold Medal - European Beer Star
2012 Gold Medal - European Beer Star
2012 Consumers Choice Gold - European Beer Star blind tasting
2012 Bronze Medal - Great American Beer Festival (Imperial IPA)
2011 Gold Medal - European Beer Star
2011 Silver Medal - Great American Beer Festival (Imperial IPA)
2011 Silver Medal - Alpha King Challenge
2011 Silver Medal - San Diego International Beer Festival
2011 1st Place - Double IPA Fest - (The Bistro, Hayward, CA)
2011 1st Place - Denver International Beer Competition
Like Pliny the Younger, the quadruple dry hopping takes time and you have to be very careful not to oxidize the beer. To minimize contact with air, always purge the headspace with CO2 every time after you open up the vessel. Do the same whenever racking by purging the target vessel with CO2 first.
Like all hop forward beers, consume this beer fresh. Firestone Walker recommends it be consumed within 120 days of bottling/kegging. The sooner the better of course. Within a month or so would be ideal, similar to what Stone recommends with their 'Enjoy By' double IPA (batch #171).
I first brewed this on September 25, 2014 (batch #178). Brew up a batch and let me know how you like it!
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Firestone Walker Double Jack
Size: 12.0 gal (post-boil @ 68F)
Efficiency: 93% (lower due to the high gravity)
Calories: 283 kcal per 12.0 fl oz
Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine/chloramine (as required).
Water treated with brewing salts to: Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=16, Cl=51, S04=278
1.25 qt/lb mash thickness.
Mash at 145F for 90 mins, then raise to 155F and hold for an additional 30 mins.
Raise to 168F mashout and hold for 10 mins.
60-90 min fly sparge with ~6 pH water. Collect 14.6 gallons (@68F) in the boil kettle.
Boil for 90 minutes. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately.
Cool wort to 65-66F and aerate extremely well. Pure oxygen from a tank can help. Aerate again ~12 hours after pitching.
Ferment at 65-66F for ~7 days. Do not ferment too cold initially as we want some of yeast derived fruity esters here that this English yeast is known for (it compliments the hops).
Raise to 70F, add dry hop #1 and hold ~7 days, then rack to brite tank (secondary) or directly to keg (if you keg). This yeast will have already dropped leaving a brilliantly clear beer without need of any clarifiers.
Add dry hop #2 and hold 3-4 days. Gently swirl 2-3 times/day.
Add dry hop #3 and hold 3-4 days. No need to remove previous dry hops first. Gently swirl 2-3 times/day.
Add dry hop #4 and hold 3-4 days. No need to remove previous dry hops first. Gently swirl 2-3 times/day.
Remove all dry hops. Package as you would normally. I keg and carbonate on the low side (around 2 to 2.2 volumes of C02) to minimize carbonic bite and let the hop/malt flavours come through.
When multiple dry hopping is called for such as in this recipe, I use a stainless steel dry hopper for kegs with a removable top that makes it easy to add new hops. Tie a piece of unflavoured/unwaxed dental floss to the dry hopper lid to make it easy to remove. The floss is thin enough that it doesn't impede the seal between the keg and keg lid.
Once fermentation has completed, in order to prevent oxidation and maximize the hop flavours and aromas, it's very important to minimize oxygen contact with the beer. This means that when racking to a new vessel, always purge the vessel first with CO2. As well, whenever opening a fermenter or keg lid to add dry hops, always make sure to fill the head space with a squirt of CO2. You're going to be opening/closing the fermenter(s) and keg(s) multiple times so minimizing oxidation is critical.
Joined: 12 Dec 2010 Posts: 4832 Location: Ottawa, Canada
Drinking: Amber Ale, English IPA, Pub Ale, Belgian Wit, Cream Ale, Electric Pale Ale, Dry Irish Stout, Irish Red Ale
Working on: Kolsch, Electric Pale Ale (session version)
Link Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:17 pm Post subject:
Yes. Chris at BertusBrewery has some fantastic information/recipes. It's a subtle tweak but for all intensive purposes pretty much the same. Firestone Walker gives a ton of information on their website as to exactly what grain and hops are used and they've even published their mash schedule (!), so it's pretty straight forward to figure out. I respect Chris's input/recipes a lot.
Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde
Link Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 11:49 pm Post subject:
Just added my last hop addition. Smells great and looking forward to it. One observation that I noticed is that I filled the kegs a bit too much as each hop addition using keg dry hop containers like Kal mentioned, feel free to modify this for links, are really floating. Working quite well though.
Working on: Electric lager, American Amber Ale, Dirty Blonde
Link Posted: Sat May 16, 2015 1:40 am Post subject:
Having my first pint of this. Fantastic flavor and hop hit, but nicely blended. Not too much though. It's been about a week on gas so needs some more time. My issue is that it is cloudy. I added gelatin but we will see
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