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McDole's Pliny the Elder "Clone" Recipe

McDole's Pliny the Elder "Clone" Recipe

Imperial IPA • All Grain • 6.5 gal


Mike McDole's Pliny "clone" which won the Sam Adams long shot award. I scaled it down to a 6.5 gal. batch and further scaled it to my efficiency. I would call this more of an imperial version of Pliny than a clone.

December 10, 2007 at 11:08am

0.0/5.0 0 ratings

Ingredients (All Grain6.5 gal)

  • 19 lbs American 2-row

    American 2-row

    Yields a slightly higher extract than Six Rox brewers Malt. Tends to give a smoother, less grainy flavored beer. Some brewers claim they can detect a significant difference in flavor. Lower protein and will yield a lower color than Six-Row Brewers Malt

  • 1 lbs Belgian Cara-Pils

    Belgian Cara-Pils

    Significantly increases foam/head retention and body of the beer.

  • .45 lbs Crystal Malt 40°L

    Crystal Malt 40°L

    Sweet, mild caramel flavor and a golden color. Use in light lagers and light ales.

  • .45 lbs White Wheat Malt

    White Wheat Malt

    Weizens. Improves head retention in all beers. Contributes spicy flavor. Protein rest required.

  • 1.75 lbs White Table Sugar (Sucrose)

    White Table Sugar (Sucrose)

    Common household table/baking sugar. Lightens flavor and body of beer. Can contribute a cider-like flavor to the beer if not cold-fermented or used in large quantities.

  • 1.25 oz Chinook - 12.0 AA% pellets; boiled 90 min


    Spicy, Medium to Heavy.Very strong bittering ability used in all American ales and lagers. Aroma is very floral.

  • 2 oz Warrior® - 16.4 AA% pellets; boiled 90 min


    New hop with much potential. Very stable.

  • 1.1 oz Simcoe® - 12.0 AA% pellets; boiled 45 min


    Used for aromatic, and especially bittering properties.

  • 1.25 oz Columbus - 12.3 AA% pellets; boiled 30 min


    Used mainly for bittering with some flavor qualities as well. Aroma is pleasant.

  • 1.1 oz Northern Brewer - 9.0 AA% pellets; boiled 15 min

    Northern Brewer

    Used for bittering with strong flavors and very fragrant in steam beers, dark English ales, and German lagers. Aroma is medium-strong with evergreen and mint overtones.

  • 1.65 oz Centennial - 10.4 AA% pellets; boiled 1 min


    Aromatic but acceptable for bittering. Medium aroma with floral and citrus tones. Good in medium to dark ales.

  • 1.1 oz Simcoe® - 12.0 AA% pellets; boiled 1 min


    Used for aromatic, and especially bittering properties.

  • 2.7 oz Columbus - 12.3 AA% pellets; added dry to primary fermenter


    Used mainly for bittering with some flavor qualities as well. Aroma is pleasant.

  • 1.65 oz Centennial - 10.4 AA% pellets; added dry to primary fermenter


    Aromatic but acceptable for bittering. Medium aroma with floral and citrus tones. Good in medium to dark ales.

  • 1.65 oz Simcoe® - 12.0 AA% pellets; added dry to primary fermenter


    Used for aromatic, and especially bittering properties.

  • 1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) - (omitted from calculations)

    Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss)

    Enhanced Irish Moss in convenient tablet form

  • 1 tsp Wyeast Nutrient - (omitted from calculations)

    Wyeast Nutrient

    Although wort is a good growth medium for yeast, additional Wyeast Nutrient will reduce lag time, improve yeast viability and provide consistent attenuation rates. Low assimilable nitrogen concentrations (FAN) of grape must or wort have long been known as a cause of sluggish or stuck fermentations. Wyeast yeast nutrient, a blend of vitamin B's, minerals, inorganic nitrogen (DAP), organic nitrogen (amino acids), zinc, phosphates and other trace elements will benefit yeast growth and carbohydrate uptake for a more rapid, complete fermentation. Use 1/4 tsp per pint for beer propagation, 1 tsp per 5 gallons for wine or beer fermentation or 1.5 oz per 10 barrels for beer fermentation.

  • White Labs WLP001 California Ale

    White Labs WLP001 California Ale

    This yeast is famous for its clean flavors, balance and ability to be used in almost any style ale. It accentuates the hop flavors and is extremely versatile.


Additional ingredients: 1.1 oz. Chinook added to the mash. 1 orange, peeled & sliced, added to mash. 2 oz. Cascade added with hopback at end of boil. Mash at 153 for 90 minutes. Boil 120 minutes. Ferment at 67. Add dry hops to primary when airlock bubbles are 15 seconds apart.

Style (BJCP)

Category: 14 - India Pale Ale (IPA)

Subcategory: C - Imperial IPA

Range for this Style
Original Gravity: 1.099 1.075 - 1.090
Terminal Gravity: 1.017 1.010 - 1.020
Color: 9.4 SRM 8 - 15
Alcohol: 11.0% ABV 7.5% - 10%
Bitterness: 243.7 IBU 60 - 120



Brewed 12/9/07

2007-12-10 11:12am

Brewed up this crazy monster yesterday. Began around 9:00AM and pitched a huge yeast starter (about 7 liters) at 6:00PM. At 6:30AM the next day fermentation had visibly started. The carboy is filled almost to the top and I installed a blow off tube. OG = 1.098 #33


Dry Hopped 12/13/07

2007-12-19 10:53am

Added a ton of freaking hops. The beer looks like churning pale green sludge right now.



2008-01-12 8:37am

I sounds like hop soup! I love it! Please post with taste results, thanks.


Update 1/12/08

2008-01-12 7:27pm

Right, so... This beer turned out amazing! This thing is an enormous beast of hop madness and kick you in the nuts flavor that warms as it goes down and keeps you begging for more. There is one warning I will give: if you aren't a complete hop head, stay away from this beer. It turned out JUST as I hoped it would. Extremely fragrant and complex hop aroma that blends an intriguing bouquet of citrus and piny scents. These same flavors jump out as you take a sip and then the big, fat malt backbone hits and balances it all out perfectly. You're probably wondering how a beer with this many IBUs can possibly even be drinkable. Well, yeah... it is VERY bitter. However, the big kick of full-flavored bitterness is countered by the considerable malt sweetness and high amount of alcohol. It goes down smooth and warming, without a hint of hot alcohol or phenolic flavor. You are left with a fairly bitter aftertaste comprised by a complex assortment of hop characters which lingers for just the right amount of time. As it fades you are eager to repeat the whole experience. I kegged this on 12/20/07 and it is clearing up very nicely. I'm amazed that even with the amount of hops in the recipe that it is almost completely clear. The color turned out a really nice bright yellow-gold. Appearances are very deceiving with this one - it looks almost like a blond or even a wheat... but it sure doesn't taste like one!


Sounds good...

2008-01-13 6:32am

I love Stones "Arrogant Bastard" and "Stone Ruination IPA" check out: www.stonebrew.com/beers/ So yeah, I'm a hop head. I plan to make this one soon.


Whats the secret?

2008-02-27 10:51pm

What am I missing here, what's the secret ingredient? Am I not supposed to know?


It's a secret

2008-02-28 1:45am

Don't worry, it's nothing that would make a noticeable difference in the beer, just a little something I threw in to make it "mine".


Dry Hop??

2008-03-03 6:39pm

You dry hopped in the primary? or secondary?



2008-03-03 6:41pm

Primary. I rarely use a secondary fermenter unless I'm putting something down for a few months.


Not a clone, but sounds tasty.

2011-02-02 3:06pm

Ok, I am a complete hop head, so please don't take this the wrong way as I think that this beer sounds amazing. People use the word clone WAY to loosely. I wouldn't call this a clone recipe, especially since you added a 'secret recipe' to make it your own. That alone makes this something other than a clone. Either way, sounds good!


Dry Hop?

2012-05-17 11:51am

How long do I dry hop?



2015-10-27 4:00pm

Brentron1982: I totally agree! I edited this recipe and put the word clone in quotes. It's definitely not a clone. I think I only created it this way because Mike McDole originally used that buzzword when referring to it. I also added the secret ingredient to the notes, which is no longer a secret, and really quite silly in retrospect. (Note: the secret ingredient was not part of Mike's original recipe.)

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