This beer wasn't originally on the schedule. Double Jack was supposed to be the next beer I brewed, but that changed after a trip to San Diego in mid-June. Stone had just released their 10th Anniversary Ruination, and I tracked down a few bottles while I was in town. This special release of Ruination has exactly twice the hops(5lbs/bbl) and more alcohol(10.8%) than the standard Ruination. After my first sip, I knew I needed to try to clone this beer. It's definitely one of the best Imperial IPAs I've ever had.

So quite literally the same night I tried the beer for the first time, I put together a clone recipe. The first things we know about the beer are that it's 10.8% ABV, and Stone uses 2-Row and C15 for the malts. The hops are CTZ, Centennial, and Citra. They use 5lbs/bbl of hops total, with one pound each of Centennial and Citra in the dry hop. That's just about everything we need to put together a recipe. I degassed a sample of the beer and measured the FG at 1.014, which puts the OG at 1.096 or so. Ruination is around a 95%/5% split of 2-row/C15, so that was pretty easy. For the hops, I planned every addition at 1lb/bbl, which is 3.2oz. So CTZ for bittering, Centennial at 30 and 0, and finally Centennial and Citra dry hopped.

This is obviously a gigantic IPA. 1.096 is really getting up there in terms of gravity, especially for an all-malt beer that needs to attenuate very low. This beer to me was actually a bigger challenge than brewing PTY, since there is no sugar in the recipe to dry things out, and bump the efficiency. The recipe is very Stone-like, in that the malt and hop bills are very simple. Stone is rumored to use WLP007 as their house yeast, so that was the easy choice. Yeast health on a beer like this is absolutely paramount. A massive pitch of healthy yeast, pitched and fermented at the proper temperature is critical for this beer to turn out correctly. Considering the only specialty malt is C15, I might as well get the same malt from the same maltster they do. When I took their tour I saw that they use Great Western Crystal 15, so I bought some online.

I've now got my electric brewing system quasi functioning, so Greg and I both have systems to brew on. My last batch was on his system, but today, considering it's 113* outside, I'm brewing indoors. Everything went fairly smooth during the brew day. My friend Adrian came over to check out the brew process and lend a hand. We did a 75 minute mash, and a 90 minute boil. After the boil there was a 15 minute whirlpool before we started to chill the wort. For some reason, the wort chiller clogged half way through the whirlpool. Thankfully switching the hoses around to reverse the flow fixed the issue, and we only lost a few drops of wort in the process. The OG was 3 points low at 1.093, which isn't a big deal. I can't imagine I'll notice a difference. I chilled the batch to 65*, pitched a decanted 5QT starter of WLP007, and set the ferment fridge at 65* as well. This batch took off like a rocket, and was mostly fermented out in under three days.

Brewed: 07/01/12
Dry Hopped: 07/11/12
ABV: 10%
IBU: Probably around 95-100 actual
6 gallons

21.5 lbs 2-row
14oz Crystal 15
Mash @ 148*
3.2oz CTZ @ 90
3.2oz Centennial @ 30
3.2oz Centennial @ 0
Fermented with WLP007 (5QT starter) fermented at 65F

Dry Hop 1: 1.6oz ea Centennial and Citra for 5 days
Dry Hop 2: 1.6oz ea Centennial and Citra added 5 days after the first addition for 7 days

This beer under attenuated, which is a bit of a bummer. I missed the OG by three points, and the FG by three points as well. That leaves the beer around 0.8% lower ABV than expected. The body of the beer isn't too full, which tells me the attenuation issue wasn't mash-related. The aroma and flavor tell the story: it's just a little too sweet.

Drinking this beer on it's own, it's extremely reminiscent of the real thing, but there's a slight candy/caramel like sweetness in the aroma and flavor. When I tasted the beers side-by-side it became ever apparent; my batch simply under-attenuated because the yeast gave out. With that said, it's still a fantastic beer, but it has too much of an American Barleywine character to be an excellent Imperial IPA.

I wouldn't hesitate to say the recipe is dead on, as this beer would be cloned if it weren't for the extra sweetness. So there's two things I'm taking away from this beer:
  • A. I'll probably use this hop-scheme again, but in a standard strength IPA. I like the aggressiveness CTZ has as a bittering hop, and the dry hop character from Centennial and Citra is incredible. 
  • B. It's time to invest in an oxygen regulator and aeration wand, especially for big beers like this. I can't help but think that blasting this beer with oxygen would have gotten the job done. 
So we'll chalk this one up as semi-cloned. My beer was pretty damn close. Close enough where you could say it tasted just like Stone's 10th anniversary Ruination, just a little sweeter. I'd also call it semi-cloned because I still feel the recipe is dead-on. I just missed the mark on fermentation.

UPDATE: Turns out stone uses 4% C15 in this beer rather than 5.5% like I thought. It won't make a huge difference, but for anyone planning to brew this, use 14oz C15 rather than 20oz. I'll update the recipe up top to reflect this to avoid confusion.


  1. Hey Scott. Thanks for doing these clone recipes - you're a great reference. I do have a question about how you keep hops out of the chiller. What is your process to (attempt) to reduce clogs?

    1. Thanks, I'm glad people are finding them useful. I used to bag my hops like many people do, but recently I just started throwing them straight in the kettle.

      I make no effort to keep them out of the chiller. This beer was honestly the first time I've had an issue with it clogging. There was a TON of break and trub in the kettle from this batch, so that could have been the culprit as well.

      My counter-flow returns back to the kettle and creates a whirlpool, so I can leave most of the trub and hops behind when I transfer to the fermenter.

  2. Awesome looking beer! When your fermenting, are you measuring the beer's temperature or ambient? I'm assuming beer, but I was wondering if a higher temp might help attenuate further. I haven't used 007 so maybe you would get other off flavors from those yeasties. Maybe 68* or raising the temp toward the end.

    This is definitely on my list of to-brews! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I followed my standard fermentation schedule for WLP007, 64* for days 1-2, raise it to 66* on day 3, 68* on day 4, and assuming all activity has ceased, 70* after day 7.

      The yeast just quit on me. If you brew it, get a monster starter going, mash super low, and oxygenate the hell out of it. You're asking for 85% attenuation from an English yeast in an all malt 1.096 beer. It's a really tall order. If I brewed it again, I'd probably add a little corn sugar to help hit the FG. I know Stone doesn't include it, but it might help

  3. I know that none of it made it out to your neck of the woods, but Stone's Enjoy by 9/21/12 is even better than Ruination 10th anniversary. I know you're not opposed to cloning beers you haven't had yet (Pliny the Younger), so if you're looking to add another ipa to your clone project I would definitely recommend enjoy by.

    1. I'd love to, but holy crap, the number of hops needed for that beer!

      Hop Extract
      Nelson Sauvin
      Australian Galaxy

      Whew!! I'd guess it's a fairly simple hop malt bill, that finishes dry as a bone with some character malt to give some perceived body. I just hope they ship some of that beer our way.

  4. Yea... 11 hops is a little overkill in my opinion. I may condense the earlier hops into generic extract and a one or two of the listed varieties and then focus heavily on late additions of citra cascade galaxy and nelson (Nelson flavor/aroma was off the charts) and give it a go. Probably wont be identical but still would be pretty tasty. For your sake and the sake of all those who would actually appreciate it, I hope they put this beer in their regular line up! A pipe dream I know but it would definitely be one of their top sellers.

    Stoked to see how your double jack clone turns out, it was one of the first DIPAs I ever had and it blew my mind, still one of my favorite beers in the world.

    1. Ok, I think I'm going to brew something similar. I'm going to scale it down to IPA strength (7.5%).

      I'll keep the malt bill simple, maybe a little munich and 12oz of C20. For the hops:

      2oz Centennial Mash Hopped
      .5oz Apollo @ 90
      1oz ea Simcoe, Amarillo, and Northern Brewer @ 15
      1oz ea Citra, Centennial, and Cascade @ 0
      Whirlpool for 15 minutes

      Dry Hop:
      2.5oz ea Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin

      All in all, pretty similar recipe. Stone and I both use the same house yeast, WLP007. I substituted/combined a few of the hops. It's going to be awhile before I try this though, probably closer to 2013, so don't get your hops up for results any time soon.

    2. Oh, and Double Jack is getting brewed next week. I'm brewing a pumpkin ale this weekend, so it's ready for halloween, and then Double Jack is next.

  5. Very nice blog!

    I'm planning to brew this beer, but I have one question. When I enter the this recipe in my brewing software the OG/BG/FG and ABV matches perfectly. But the IBU is way over 200. Either I'm making a trivial mistake somewhere, or you have a much lower alpha acid % in you CTZ. I'm translating this to metric measurements so there are room for errors on my part. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Nope, you're right on track. Calculated IBUs and actual IBUs start to really differ right around 70IBU. It's very, very difficult to infuse more than 90 or so IBU into a beer. 100IBU is often cited as the theoretical maximum, where as the formulas will continue well past 100. So ya, calculated IBU of 200 is about correct for this beer.

    2. I followed the recipe and produced an incredible nice beer. Since I never have tried the original beer I cannot say if it's a clone or not. But it's one of the best I have ever made. And by far the most expensive. :-)

      Thank you for this nice blog!

    3. That's awesome. Glad it turned out great!

  6. Just bottled my version tonight. You are spot on with the reciepe. The only thing is I missed the og but fg was spot on so it is a touch sweeter than the original but the finish and hop flavor is spot on. Thanks for the recipe! I am going to do it again for sure!

    1. I'm glad it turned out well for you! This was definitely my favorite new beer last year (Ruthless Rye was a close second). I might have to squeeze this recipe in again. Enjoy the tasty beers!

  7. Just brewed this one yesterday. Man, not sure what I did wrong. I was way off on my OG. BeerSmith calculated 1.101 but I only got 1.082. I wasn't that far off on my pre-boil gravity though. BeerSmith estimate was 1.078 and mine was 1.072. How can I jack up a boil? Any suggestions as to what I did wrong?

    Other than that, fermentation is taking off. I'm sure it will taste fine, but not Ruination 10th fine :(

    1. Boil stronger, or boil longer. That would be my advice. It'll be a good beer, and surprisingly, you probably won't notice much difference other than a little less alcohol kick.

  8. Hey Scott, knowing that Stone usually does a bitterng addition and a whirlpool addition of hops, what made you decide to add a 30 min addition? I was wondering since I am about to clone this on the 5th.

    1. I needed to throw another 1lb/bbl (3oz) of hops in somewhere. 30min seemed as good of place as any =)

      Feel free to play around with that addition.

  9. scott

    am thinking of brewing this soon - perhaps in 2 weeks, if not it will the session after. would you consider using 5% dextrose to help attenuation since you had a bit of an issue getting it dry enough? I was actually thinking of going with 5% dextrose, 4% C-15L, 21% MO and the rest 2row, hop schedule exactly as you have it.

    1. Ya, I wouldn't hesitate to use some dextrose. Trust me, anything you can do to dry this beast out will be a good thing.

    2. brewed 12gal of this up on saturday - used the grist I mentioned above, except no MO since I was too lazy to dig my bin of MO out (I don't use it as much, so it sits in the back of my under-stairs closet) hit 1.093, which is where i intended to, forgetting you said to target 1.096 - oh well, no biggie.

      it is pounding away at 64 - I haven't had to use a blowoff in my conicals, ever, in the 5 years i've had them. not so here! i think this is going to be quite close to the real deal!

    3. I doubt you'll notice the 3 gravity points difference. Hopefully it turns out awesome!

    4. The samples taste and smell amazing. But it crapped out at 1.024. I don't know what happened - I aerated for over a minute and half. I pitched a 2 stepped (2 vials into 2L stirred, then decant and pitch in 5L stirred) starter. I mashed at 144-145 for about 70 minutes before the 20 minute ramp to mashout (168), so in theory I mashed in alpha-beta range for almost 90 minutes.

      The only thing I may have done wrong was not raising the fermentation temp soon enough and the yeast just crapped out. I pitched at 62 and kept it there to try and prevent the blowoff from getting out of hand, and raised to 68 on day 5 but that was probably too late. I tried rousing every few days for a week and nothing.

      Oh well, albeit uncarbonated, it doesn't taste sweet or big bodied at all - it actually does taste like RuinTen. Perhaps next time i should repitch rather than build up. Starting dryhopping regimen tomorrow. maybe racking to kegs for dryhopping will stir up some activity.

    5. That is a bummer. Good to hear that yours doesn't taste sweet, as mine definitely did. I'm curious to see what a different does with this recipe.

  10. Scott, what are your thoughts on using WLP090 for this recipe. I'm not familiar with WLP007, but if it wouldn't make a major difference on the flavor the WLP090 might attenuate better.

  11. Brewing this today with a lb of dextrose subbed for some of the 2 row and using wlp 090. I know it's not what stone does but I don't want a cloying ipa.

    1. Good luck, hopefully it turns out well!

    2. Just got competition results back and I won imperial ipa category, Went on and won best of show round also. What a great recipe!


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