Sunday, July 23, 2006

Morbidly Obese Tire

I like Fat Tire. It's one of my favorite American brews. But I have a problem. I live east of the Mississippi where Fat Tire is practically non-existent. So, being a home brewer, I figured it was up to me to make my own. Here's the recipe I used.

Morbidly Obese Tire

0.5 lb. Victory Malt
0.5 lb. Briess Caramel 60

6 lb. Northern Brewer Munich Malt Syrup
1 lb. Munton's Plain Extra Light DME

1 oz. Liberty Hops (60 min) 3.6% Alpha
0.5 oz. Hallertau hops (15 min) 4.2% Alpha
0.5 oz. Hallertau hops (5 min) 4.2% Alpha

1 tsp Irish moss
1 tsp gypsum

Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II (125 mL)
  1. Steep grains at 150F for 15 min in ~3 gal
  2. Heat and remove grains when temp. reaches 170F. Heat to boil
  3. Remove from heat and add malt extract. Heat to boiling
  4. Add hops according to schedule above.
  5. With 15 min. remaining, add 1 tsp. Irish moss, 1 tsp. gypsum
  6. Remove from heat, remove hops. Steep for 15 min.
  7. Transfer 1 quart of wort to sterile container, seal and place in fridge.
  8. Cool remaining wort to about 75F, transfer to primary (about 2.25 gal), dilute to 4.75 gal with tap water (OG:1.066) and pitch yeast.
I decided to try something new this time and I saved a quart of wort to add for a second fermentation. But still, after doing this, I ended up with a gravity of 1.066. Doing some rough calculations and figuring on about 0.15 gal loss for each transfer, it looks like when I add the remaining wort for a second fermentation, I'm looking at a rough OG of about 1.070. And if I get good attenuation (~75%), I'm looking at an expected alcohol percentage somewhere between 6-7%. I wasn't shooting for a decently strong alcohol beer, but what the hell? Hence the name, Morbidly Obese Tire.

The good news is that when I racked for the second fermentation, the trub smelled slightly biscuity like Fat Tire, so we'll see what happens.

Update: The rough numbers I was working with didn't sit too well with me. It didn't make sense that adding a small amount of extra wort was almost doubling the quantity of sugar. So I found my mistake in my spreadsheet and fixed the problem. The edits are in red above.


  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Cool idea.

    Just make sure your yeast can handle that high of alcohol or you might end up with something sugary.

    You can always send in reinforcements, though.

    Save me a bottle. I'll be coming through in a about 6 weeks.

  • At 4:10 PM, Blogger Chris B. said…

    Don't they brew Fat Tire in Colorado? Way out west of the Mississippi?

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger chris said…

    Don't they brew Fat Tire in Colorado? Way out west of the Mississippi?

    Yeah, part of the reason it's not available over here in the east.

  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger visualchemist said…

    i live about 15 min from this shop. they know there shit. they have a small brewery also. i thought you might like to have this recipe.
    in colorado we call it flat tire.
    15108 E. Hampden Ave., Aurora, CO 80014
    (303) 680-8898 - (800) 730-9336 - Fax: (303) 680-9054 - E-Mail:

    Ingredients and procedures for brewing 5 gallons of Fat Tire Clone
    (Extract Method)

    1) Add 1 1/2 gallons of water to the brewing pot. Pour the crushed grains into a grain bag and tie the bag closed. Place the bag into the water and allow the grains to steep over medium heat (the water should be steamy, not boiling). After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, remove and discard the grain bag.

    Grains used in this recipe:

    .5 lb. Torrefied Wheat
    .5 lb. Carapils
    .5 lb. Crystal 90
    1 lb. Crystal 20
    2) Pour the following malt extract(s) into the pot while stirring constantly. Return the pot to the heat and bring the contents of the pot, now called wort, to a boil.

    Malt extract(s) used in this recipe:

    6 lb. Light Malt Syrup
    1 lb. Amber DME
    3) The wort will boil for a total of 60 minutes during which time the following hops and other ingredients will be added to the boil.

    At the start of the boil add the following BITTERING HOPS to boil for the entire 60 minutes:

    1/2 oz. Galena
    30 minutes from the end of the boil add the following FLAVOR HOPS:

    1/2 0z. Liberty
    5 minutes from the end of the boil add the following AROMA HOPS:

    1 oz. Cascade
    4) At the end of the 60 minute boil, remove the pot from the heat then remove and discard the hop bags. Allow the wort to cool to about 90ºF. (Note: Use a wort chiller to hasten this very important step. Also, be sure that anything that will come into contact with the chilled wort is properly sanitized.)

    5) While the wort is cooling, add 3 gallons of cold water to the primary fermenter. Add the chilled wort and enough additional cold water to bring the total volume up to 5 gallons. At this point, take a sample of the wort for the specific gravity reading, refer to your hydrometer instructions for taking this reading.

    6) The proper temperature at which to pitch (add to the wort) the yeast is in the 65ºF-75ºF range. If necessary, place the fermenter into a cold (or warm) water bath to bring the temperature into this range . When the temperature is correct, pitch the yeast. (Note: If a dry yeast is used, rehydrate it prior to pitching by sprinkling it on top of 1/2 cup of water that has been boiled and cooled to 85ºF. Allow the yeast to rehydrate, unstirred, for no more than 15-20 minutes before pitching.) NOTE: The yeast required for this recipe is 1098 British Ale.

    7) Install an airlock or blowoff hose to the fermenter and move the fermenter to a dark spot for primary fermentation.

    8) Allow the beer to ferment for one week in the primary fermenter, then rack (transfer) the beer into a secondary fermenter for an additional week to clear. At the end of the second week, record the specific gravity reading. A steady specific gravity reading of different samples over two or more days indicates that fermentation is complete.

    9) When fermentation is complete, proceed with bottling. In a bottling bucket, add 3/4 cup of corn sugar or 11/4 cups of dry malt that has been boiled in 2 cups of water. Gently rack the finished beer into the bottling bucket with the priming sugar solution. Using a bottle filling tip, fill the bottles to 1/2" - 1" from the top. Cap the bottles and allow them to condition at room temperature for two weeks.


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