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Deschutes Red Chair NWPA clone home brew recipe

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Deschutes made a great beer this year, Red Chair NWPA (North West Pale Ale). Besides Ninkasi, this is really the only beer I would buy from the store again. Naturally, I wanted to make a clone recipe. I think this came pretty close for my first attempt, very drinkable beer.

1/30/2011 Update: Based on my experiments I have updated the recipe on this page.

red chair nwpa clone

deschutes clone red chair

Grains (all grain):
6.5 lb 2-row Pale
1.0 lb Crystal 20L
0.5 lb Carastan (30L)
1.0 lb Munich
1.0 lb Pilsner
0.5 lb CaraPils

(@ 75% brewhouse efficiency, 5.25 gallon batch)

Grains (extract):
Steep the following for 30 minutes at 150F
0.5 lb Crystal 20L
0.25 lb Carastan 30L
0.5 lb Munich Light
0.5 lb Pilsner

6.5 lb of Light dry malt extract
or
8 lb of Light liquid malt extract

Hops:
Zeus, 1 ounce, 60 minutes
Cascade, 0.5 ounce, 15 minutes
Cascade, 0.5 ounce, 5 minutes
Cascade, 1 ounce, 1 minute (flame out)
Cascade, 1 ounce, dry hop

Yeast:
Wyeast 1098 British Ale Yeast

Style 14B (American IPA) stats:

The beer does not qualify as a Pale Ale according to BJCP standards. The IBU’s are up around 60, clearly putting it into the league of IPAs. The gravity is just barely outside what qualifies as an American IPA.

OG: 1.056 – 1.075
IBUs: 40 – 70
FG: 1.010 – 1.018
SRM: 6 – 15
ABV: 5.5 – 7.5%

This Recipe:
OG: 1.055
IBUs: 66
FG: 1.015
SRM: 7.7
ABV: 5.6%

Fermented in the primary for 19 days at 64-68F, then bottled.

Notes:
I updated this 1/30/2011 based on my second try. The beer is much better than the first attempt.

I would highly recommend dry hopping with cascade, and maybe swapping out some of the Zues bittering hops for Cascade, keeping IBU’s the same.

The color, maltniness, and body are spot on, good head retention, and a beautiful golden amber color.

Do not use Centennial hops in Red Chair! That threw me off. Also in the last batch I had one pound of Carastan malt which added a roasted toffee flavor bite. Cutting back the Carastan helped a lot. I also switched to Wyeast 1098 British Ale Yeast (same as White Labs WLP007 English Dry). It is my new favorite yeast. I have never seen a more compacted yeast cake. The beer was drinkable in 3 weeks!

Thanks to the folks at homebrewtalk for input and disccusion on this recipe:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/deschutes-red-chair-nwpa-knockoff-recipe-construction-160178/

More information about Red Chair NWPA:
http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/brews/seasonal-ales/red-chair-nwpa/default.aspx

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  1. 30 Responses to “Deschutes Red Chair NWPA clone home brew recipe”

  2. This looks like a great clone, and I might give it a shot. I think i might try to throw in an oz of citra at flame out, and possibly in place of the cascade at 20/15 minutes.

    By jeff on Jul 30, 2010

  3. Sweet, let us know how it turns out!

    By Larry on Aug 1, 2010

  4. So, how did it turn out. I haven’t had a chance to brew this yet. I had to get my holiday beer brewed. This is up next!

    By Brad on Oct 16, 2010

  5. See my comments on the hop schedule, as I wasn’t satisfied with mine. Next time I’ll drop the centennial completely and do something clean and bitter like Magnum. Just shoot for the same IBU’s. Might even dry hop with Cascade if I have extra.

    By Larry on Oct 16, 2010

  6. I would like to come up with a recipe for a Yeungling clone

    Thanks Brian

    By Brian Lindberg on Nov 23, 2010

  7. Let us know how it turns out.

    By Larry on Nov 30, 2010

  8. Larry,

    I brewed this up a few weeks ago and used WLP023. I don’t know what happened but it didn’t turn out very well. It’s not the recipe, but something happened during the brew. The beer has very little malt character to it and has a real sharp bite, almost a spicyness to it. I can’t figure it out. The beer isn’t “bad” in the sense it needs to be thrown out it’s just nothing at all like Red Chair. I might try it again with WLP001. Any ideas on what my symptoms might be caused from?

    thanks,

    Brad

    By Brad on Dec 7, 2010

  9. Is it cloudy or clear? Was it brand new yeast? WLP023 I have used on other batches without issue, however I noticed burnt tastes from it when the beer was green. It might just need to age for a couple more months and bottle condition. You might have also had an infection, but if its drinkable, I’m not so sure what would cause a bite flavor – need more to go on.

    I’ll be trying this again in a few months and I’ll let everybody know. I think I’m going to halve the Carastan and the Munich next time and add a half pound of Crystal 20. Hops will change too. If it works I’ll update the main post.

    By Larry on Dec 12, 2010

  10. Larry,

    After a couple more months of aging in the keg it’s tasting much better. I think it was just too green after dry-hopping. Now it just tastes like a nice hoppy pale ale or IPA. Unfortunately, it’s not very close to Red Chair at all so I’ll try again soon. Hopefully you and I can get this right. What yeast did you end up using with your batch?

    By Brad on Dec 20, 2010

  11. Hi Brad,
    Glad to hear it is tasting better. Green beer sucks huh!

    I will be trying this again next week with the following changes:

    Yeast:
    Wyeast 1098 British Ale Yeast (same as White Labs WLP007 English Dry). Perhaps the very same yeast Deschutes uses?

    Updated grain bill:
    7.0 lb 2-row pal
    1.0 lb Crystal 20L
    0.5 lb Carastan (30L)
    1.0 lb Munich
    1.0 lb Pilsner
    0.5 lb CaraPils

    (this will be much mellower)

    Hops:
    Zeus, 1 ounce, 60 minutes
    Cascade, 0.5 ounce, 15 minutes
    Cascade, 0.5 ounce, 5 minutes
    Cascade, 1 ounce, 1 minute (flame out)

    (this will be cleaner bittering, emphasize cascade hit, keep same IBU)

    I’ll let everybody know what it turns out like.

    By Larry on Dec 21, 2010

  12. Thanks, Larry. I had stated that it mellowed out after a couple months. That was a typo. It actually was much better after just a couple weeks. I had missed my gravity by about 10 points so that’s probably where I lost my maltiness. I’m going to try again for one of my next brews here. I’ve been missing my gravities lately, I’m not sure what’s going on. You’re here in Portland, OR aren’t you? I’m down in Lake Oswego.

    By Brad on Dec 22, 2010

  13. Yesterday I brewed my second try at this, as described above from my 12/21 post. I hit the OG and water volumes spot on! Zeus hops sure smell good. The taste of the sweet wort seems like it is going in the right direction already. I think the Centennial hops tip from Deschutes (via a forum) was misleading. This should turn out to be a darn fine ale regardless.

    Yes, I’m here in Portland!

    By Larry on Dec 28, 2010

  14. Hi Larry,

    Fellow Portlander here. Just got back from Mt Bachelor, and we did a tour of the Deschutes brewery while we were there. The tour guide said their yeast strain originally came from England – I asked where and I’m pretty sure she said Whitbread. If so, then WYeast 1098 looks like the correct one. I’m going to try your second recipe this weekend. Thanks for posting the update!

    By Chris Stafford on Jan 17, 2011

  15. I just bottled my second attempt at Red Chair NWPA. It is MUCH improved. I let it ferment in the primary for 19 days. No secondary, no cold crash. OG 1.050, FG 1.012, ABV 5%, IBU 60, SRM 7.5.

    The 1098 British Ale Yeast settled out nicely and the beer was clear. The yeast cake was not easily kicked up. Though the beer is green, flavor wise I’d say it is practically ready to drink. Perhaps this yeast is early maturing and has high Flocculation? That would be ideal for a commercial brewery. Wyeast 1098 lists medium Flocculation, while White Labs 007 says high Flocculation. Mr.Malty says they are the same??

    I’ll continue to keep this thread active with updates when I begin to sample the beer after bottle conditioning. So far it is a big improvement overall, and I think closer to Red Chair. It probably needs to be dry hopped with Cascade (or perhaps Cascade/Centennial) to really nail it.

    By Larry on Jan 18, 2011

  16. Tried a bottle last night. Tasted great. After only 2 days had some head retention. Dry hopping 2 oz of Cascade would get it real close to Red Chair.

    By Larry on Jan 21, 2011

  17. Keep us updated, I tried Red Chair for the first time a couple weeks ago and went straight to the net to find someone who has cloned it. I will add this to the next brew day!

    I was wondering what your thoughts were to first wort hopping instead of your late hop additions (15 and 5 min cascades). From what I’ve read, it might give you more hop punch while keeping it clean and smooth. I’m going to be doing my first FWH batch this weekend (Denny’s Waldo Lake Amber), I can’t wait to taste it.

    BTW greetings from Salem!

    By John on Jan 24, 2011

  18. This is a pretty hoppy brew so there will be a lot of bitterness either way. I am not sure if a difference would be detectable with FHW, I have tried brewing my lagers both way and can’t really tell.

    By Larry on Jan 30, 2011

  19. Okay guys, I updated the recipe up top to reflect my latest attempt. Big improvement. I would like a few people to try this out and provide input. I’m going to brew up some other styles and take a break from this one, but in six months I could try it again and dial it in even closer.

    By Larry on Jan 30, 2011

  20. Here’s an attempt at a clone I did a while back, time to do another batch. I really liked how this one turned out.

    http://hopville.com/recipe/298642/american-ipa-recipes/red-lounger

    By jeffP on Feb 9, 2011

  21. I went to Deschutes pub last night had some Red Chair. It is different this year, not as good, I’d give it a ‘B’ rating this time around.

    For the record I am pursing a clone of the 2009-2010 Red Chair from now on. The 2011 Red Chair is harsher tasting this time around. Color wise it is darker and more red. I can taste an element of chalk in it, like the Oktoberfest was a couple months ago. The cascade hit at the end is not there.

    I would like to see what other people think if they have a chance to sample it.

    By Larry on Feb 13, 2011

  22. Well, I just cracked open a bottle of the lme version, after a week of conditioning… Used Safale US-05 yeast… Not even close. I’m not sure what happened, but it’s very light in malt flavors, though the hop is pretty close. I just brewed my first all grain batch and I’m thinking I’ll try this out again, but all grain. Seems to me that going with lme is really limiting. I’m going broke buying Red Chair at the store!

    By Mike on Mar 6, 2011

  23. Thanks for sharing Mike. Keep in mind this year’s version from Deschutes is darker and more malty than a couple years ago. The yeast does make an impact on flavor. My advice for the extract batch would be switch to Crystal 40L and Munich dark, and switch the yeast, but keep the hops the same and see what happens. You might try adding a couple tsp of gypsum to harden the water (but I don’t know what your starting point is). Same goes for the all grain batch.

    By Larry on Mar 6, 2011

  24. Larry,

    I tried Red Chair NWPA for the first time today and really like the current version of it. What is the major differences between the version from this year and the version you were basing your clone recipe on? Why use Zeus instead of Centenial? Could the harsher taste from this year’s version be attributed to the Centenials? How has your latest clone turned out? I would really like to make a clone of this year’s version. You said that your grain bill was just about spot on, would you change anything else? What hop schedule would work for a clone of this year?

    Thanks in advance,
    Garry

    By Garry on Apr 5, 2011

  25. This year’s version from Deschutes is pretty different, so ignore everything in this article in the context of the 2011 recipe. I would have to start from scratch with the 2011 recipe and drink a lot more of the 2011 Red Chair as a starting point. I’m already really happy with my version, so I won’t be pursing the 2011 clone myself.

    Late additions of centennial hops give a citrus flavor. It is good for American ales, spring and summer brews usually. Some people do not like it at all. I’ve heard it described as ‘cat piss’. Centennial just doesn’t fit the profile here. I used Zeus because it gives a more herbal balance.

    My advice for the 2011 recipe is to shoot for grains that add a red color, increase the water hardness, and go with cascade plus an herbal bittering hop. Shoot for around 60 IBUs.

    By Larry on Apr 10, 2011

  26. Hey Larry,

    I just brewed your clone this weekend in a 10 gal batch. I used wl005 instead of wyeast1098, but other than that I pretty much followed your most recent recipe.

    Today however, I bought a case just to compare. I cracked one open today just to remind myself of what I will be dealing with here in a month or so. Well, I have to say the hop note I get is definitely Amarillo Hops. I think cascade could be used too, but I will definitely dry hop with Amarillo Hops.

    Cheers and Thanks for the recipe!

    By Brandon on Apr 18, 2011

  27. Thanks for the tip about the Amarillo. Don’t expect this year’s Red Chair to be close. I would expect your 10 gallon batch to be a good quality ale though! I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from this recipe so far.

    By Larry on Apr 28, 2011

  28. Is secondary fermentation not required for this recipe?

    Just put a batch in my primary… I was planning to put the brew in my secondary for a couple days before bottling. Advice is always needed.

    By Eric on Nov 5, 2011

  29. Racking is optional. It depends on the yeast strain, how much time you have, and if you are worried about a lot of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. If the yeast is highly flocculent (which means it naturally compacts on the bottom), then you have less to worry about. If it has low flocculation there will be more yeast in suspension and it would be a good idea to rack.

    When I keg, I usually skip the secondary. The low temperature in the kegerator causes the yeast to drop out of solution. This is essentially a cold crash happening in the keg.

    By Larry on Nov 6, 2011

  30. Hi Larry,
    I’m getting impatient waiting for next year’s Red Chair so I thought I’d brew up a batch and stumbled upon your recipe here. What I wasn’t sure about though is that in the Deschutes Homebrew page, they say that the hops are Centennial and Cascade yet you say definitively not to use Centennial.

    Also, I’m a relatively inexperienced homebrewer, how do you go about dry hopping without racking to secondary?

    By Matthew on Dec 7, 2011

  31. Hi Matthew,
    I found it difficult to get the hop balance right given Centennial has such a strong citrus profile that tends to dominate. I’d use it sparingly. Keep in mind, you are targeting a specific vintage of Red Chair, since they changed the recipe quite a bit. This recipe is the older vintage, closer to the original, but still not perfect.

    As for dry hopping without racking, you can make a hop tea. Steep the hops in some boiling water, let it cool down, then pour that into your bottling bucket and stir it up gently to avoid splashing at the same time you add priming sugar.

    Prost!
    Larry

    By Larry on Dec 10, 2011

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