Bluejacket’s Mexican Radio clone

Bluejacket’s Mexican Radio clone

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.076 FG = 1.023
IBU = 32 SRM = 46 ABV = 7.4%


5 lbs. (2.3 kg) North American 2-row pale malt
5 lbs. (2.3 kg) Maris Otter pale ale malt
1 lb. (0.45 kg) flaked barley
1 lb. (0.45 kg) chocolate malt (350 °L)
12 oz. (0.34 kg) crystal malt (80 °L)
12 oz. (0.34 kg) roasted barley
12 oz. (0.34 kg) flaked wheat
4 oz. (113 g) black patent malt
1 lb. (0.45 kg) lactose sugar (15 min.)
7 AAU Millenium hops (60 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 14% alpha acids)
2.25 AAU Fuggle hops (60 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 4.5% alpha acids)
2.25 AAU Fuggle hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 4.5% alpha acids)
0.15 oz. (4.3 g) cinnamon sticks (10 min.)
2.5 oz. (71 g) cocoa nibs (secondary)
1.25 oz. (35 g) dried Ancho chili peppers (secondary)
3 vanilla beans (secondary)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale), Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or Safale US-05 yeast
2⁄3 cup (133 g) dextrose (if priming)

Step by Step

Mill the grains and mix with 4.5 gallons (17 L) of 164 °F (73 °C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 152 °F (67 °C). Hold this temperature for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear. Sparge the grains with 3.5 gallons (13.2 L) and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 L) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops, lactose sugar and cinnamon sticks according to the ingredient list. After the boil, turn off heat and chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 65 °F (18 °C). Aerate the wort with pure oxygen or filtered air and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 °F (20 °C) for 7 days, then drop the temperature to 60 °F (16 °C) for 24 hours. Add the cocoa nibs, Ancho peppers, and vanilla beans, and age for 5–7 days. Crash the beer to 35 °F (2 °C) for 48 hours. After aging the spice addition, bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to approximately 2.25 volumes.

Partial mash option:
Reduce the 2-row pale malt in the all-grain recipe to 2.5 lbs. (1.13 kg) and add 5 lbs. (2.3 kg) Maris Otter liquid malt extract. Bring 2.2 gallons (8.3 L) of water to approximately 164 °F (73 °C). Place milled grains in grain bags and submerge in the water for 60 minutes. The temperature of the mash should stabilize at about 152 °F (67 °C). After 60 minutes, remove the grain bags, and let drain fully. Wash the grains with about 1 gallon (4 L) hot water, then top off to 6 gallons (23 L) in your brew kettle. Add liquid extract while stirring, and stir until completely dissolved. Boil 60 minutes. Follow the remaining portion of the all-grain recipe.

Tips for Success:
Mexican Radio adds some complexities to the average stout, in the form of a number of spice additions at two points in the production process. Add the cinnamon in the boil just as you would a hop addition, but add the cocoa nibs, vanilla, and Ancho peppers in secondary to limit the amount of oil extraction; to account for the head-killing oils that do get into the beer, the recipe includes a significant addition of flaked wheat and barley to aid in head retention. To prepare the vanilla (go with cheap beans, since the subtleties and nuance of more expensive vanilla will be lost in this beer — but don’t use extract!) and peppers, slice lengthwise before adding to the secondary to increase surface area and impact on flavor. You might also consider a vodka tincture, and just add the entire product to the beer! Finally, keep an eye on water. With so much roasted grain, astringency and acidity are a real concern. Consider the addition of a buffer if your water profile is lacking it naturally. 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp. of baking soda in the mash (especially for the partial mash recipe) may be a good idea if you are using soft water.

Issue: September 2015

A spiced stout brewed with oats and lactose, then finished with vanilla beans, ancho chili peppers, cinnamon sticks, and roasted cacao nibs. A truly innovative stout.