Trying to come close to Ommegang Adoration, help!

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Wanda, Sep 28, 2018.

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  1. Wanda

    Wanda Initiate (131) Nov 23, 2006 Tennessee

    Well, the title pretty much says it. I had lots of this beer two years ago and haven't seen it since. I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued/replaced in the seasonal lineup. So, I'm striking out on my own to try and get close to it however, I don't have much experience brewing belgians let alone a belgian noel beer. I got in touch with the brewery and I have a guide as far as spices go and amounts but I'm looking for some input as far as the malt bill goes and yeast.

    Any help will be appreciated. I hope to have this brew done and ready by December 15th.
  2. PortLargo

    PortLargo Zealot (510) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    To clone an Ommegang Belgian beer you must use Ommegang yeast. Its a proprietary yeast that you can only get by harvesting from a commercial bottle (typically Witte or Rare Vos or Hennepin . . . they all use the same yeast). If you are new to harvesting try searching this Forum for tips. I regularly do this and it's not as hard as it seems, currently have a Hennepin clone about to be racked to a keg. Oh yeah, ferm temp is absurdly high . . . I start at 77 and raise it one degree a day for 8 days. Yep, that's finishing at 85. Expect an attenuation in the 80 - 90% range. You probably want a high FG so this may be the most difficult task.

    Not sure of grain bill but almost always the Big Guys use Pilsner and not too much else. Maybe in this case some Special B/Aromatic (that's a guess), perhaps some Caramel. As for spices you want Indian corriander and sour orange peels (with 5 minutes remaining in the boil), ditto the GoP. I've never brewed with mace or cardamom, you're on your own there. Some type of sugar is probably used but unable to offer a real suggestion.

    This will definitely require some extending conditioning but I see no problem having it reach it's peak by mid-Dec 2019.
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  3. epk

    epk Initiate (165) Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    I know I have had this one, but it's been some time and I can't say remember it. Is it along the same lines as other belgian-style winter ales?

    If so, I think a solid Belgian strong dark ale (the style it is classified as here) or quad grist with the added spices would work. Definiately Pils. Persoanlly I'd have a touch of special B and Aromatic in there, as PortLargo noted, as well as D-180 and maybe just some Turbinado sugar.

    Since you are trying to get close, but not exact, i'm sure you can find a suitable yeast. 3787 is pretty versatile, but maybe 1214 would work.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but just reading some reviews, I feel like this beer is more about the maltiness and the winter spices as opposed to any pronounced yeast character (as far as Belgians go, at least).

    Like Port Largo elluded too, you may want a bit longer conditioning, so your deadline is pushing it. It might not need a whole year, but maybe four months or more to come into its prime. Of course, no one can stop you from drinking it sooner and if you can make it last, you can see how it developes over that course of time.
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  4. riptorn

    riptorn Zealot (532) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    I don't know if this holds true for all their brews or if it would make a difference in the final beer but the description on BA for their Gnomegang says they use two yeast, one for fermentation and another for bottle conditioning. If their bottling yeast is constant throughout their lineup you could harvest it from most any Ommegang offering, then you're faced with discovering and locating the strain used during fermentation.....
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  5. Wanda

    Wanda Initiate (131) Nov 23, 2006 Tennessee

    Thanks all...looks like I've miss judged the timing for this one :thinking_face: Just as well, I hate being rushed. Technically it'll still be winter in Feb/March after its conditioned LOL. Thanks for the malt inputs and suggestions. I'll update if its warrented. Thanks again!
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  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I personally do not have any information concerning Adoration but I can relate some general information from a tour I took at Ommegang a few years ago. During the tour the tour guide emphasized that they heavily rely on 5 different spices to achieve the flavor profiles of their beers. The guide showed us the five spices but I can only specifically remember star anise and licorice root of the five; I would guess that coriander was one of the remaining five but I have no guesses for the other two.

    I would think you would need to know the specific spices used for each Ommegang brand and amounts/timing of the spicing additions to make a clone of their beers.

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  7. Wanda

    Wanda Initiate (131) Nov 23, 2006 Tennessee

    The spices I got...well sorta. This is a message I received from the brewery:

    From Phil:
    We put spices in about mid-point of boil.
    Mace & cardamom very small amounts: around 0.3 grams per HL
    Orange peel and coriander: 25 grams per HL
    Paradise seed: 5 grams per HL

    Sorry, you have to do conversions yourself [​IMG]
    Good luck!

    The conversions for a typical 5 gallon homebrew batch work out to about 5 grams of orange peel/corriander, 1 gram of paradise seed, and a whopping .06 grams of mace and cardamom :astonished:

    Me wonders if thats even an amount that would make much difference???
  8. StupidlyBrave

    StupidlyBrave Initiate (74) Jan 2, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I also took the tour there - two years ago, I think. I am skeptical about the ability to harvest an Ommegang yeast. While there, I observed a centrifuge which they said was to remove the yeast. IIRC, they said they add back a different strain for bottle conditioning.
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  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,566) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The 'challenge' there is whether a linear conversion is the appropriate way to go here?

    I can relate that when it comes to hop bitterness additions it is not a linear conversion from homebrewing scale (e.g., 5 gallon batches) to commercial scale (e.g., 10+ barrel batches). If you have the book For the Love of Hops by Stan Hieronymus you can read further on this specific topic.


    P.S. My guess is that mace and cardamon are the two spices that I couldn't remember.
  10. PortLargo

    PortLargo Zealot (510) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    The spices are listed on their website (and on the bottle label), but I am sure those quantities are cock-eyed, maybe a decimal point in the wrong place or mish-mashed units. For example, orange peel is typically 0.5 to 1.5 ounces per 5 gallons, GoP is in the 0.20 ounce range. My guess is Phil works in Customer Service and doesn't know a hectoliter from a hexagon (good luck putting your spices in mid point of boil).

    Regarding yeast, in a podcast one their brewers stated their Belgian brews all have the same yeast. He also stated the minimum ferm temp was 77 with a subsequent rise (the 85 is my number) When I visited the brewery they were harvesting the krausen off the fermenters, literally shoveling big scoops of yeast into large barrels. They stated it went to centrifuge next(which they showed us) and the same yeast was added back for bottle carb'ing. It was the only time I've seen a stainless steel shovel. This may have changed, but my experience in harvesting has been positive. I did ask if they could spare a paltry 200 mls of yeast for an aspiring brewer and was confronted with a very crooked frown.

    So I've been harvesting for many years (usually Rare Vos or Hennepin), if it's not the real deal it's still PDG. In competitions have received high scores for my Rare Vos and Abbey Ale clones, my Hennepin clone has gold'ed. The yeast has a very distinctive lemon-grass aroma which makes the Saison a killer . . . when I pitched it last week you could easily get the aroma from across the room, first gravity sample was spot-on Belgiany. When used in a maltier beer (Rare Vos/Abbey Ale) it compliments the aroma of the malts . . . I get a very pleasant complex aroma which is obviously Belgian and very correct for style. Never had an Adoration but from it's description appears to be an Abbey Ale on steroids.

    For @Wanda , not trying to sell you on harvesting, but it's what makes Ommegang beers special. I don't think it's realistic to have this ready in 2½ months.
    #10 PortLargo, Sep 28, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  11. Wanda

    Wanda Initiate (131) Nov 23, 2006 Tennessee

    Well like I said, I don't have much experience with belgian stuff...thanks for all the insight. I've pretty much abandonded the idea and I'm formulating a new plan. Possibly just a stout with some similar spices. Or something along those lines.
  12. StupidlyBrave

    StupidlyBrave Initiate (74) Jan 2, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Your recollection varies from mine, but I have not tried to harvest/brew with it. Or perhaps my tour guide wasn't as knowledgeable. I found an older thread on another forum which discusses this and some supported my recollection - some yours. However, one poster suggested that a yeast company had done exactly that. So as a possible suggestion for the OP and a possibility to save you some time in the future, I offer this:
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