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Gzombie Gnome Gapocalypse

  Kegged: 06/09/2015

Do a search on untappd for beer named "Zombie Apocalypse".

gzombie.jpgThere are a ton. There are even more if you simply search for "Zombie". Apparently beer guys love zombies. Given how many craft beers have "Zombie" in the name, it is amazing that we've never heard of any trademark violations around that name. 

In the Spring of 2015, a new brewing gnome joined the SheppyBrew staff. Like the other two brewing gnomes, Gzombie Gnome is a Chicago sports fan. Unlike the other two, he is also a zombie.

"A zombie gnome?", you ask. Yes, a zombie gnome.

I had given the other two gnomes the opportunity to help me design beers (see Gnasty the Gnome ESB and Gnaughty Gnome English Coffee Stout). As an equal-opportunity gnome employer (as long as you are not a Red Wings or Packers fan), of course I gave Gzombie the chance to design one with me as well. 

The main design question became ... what sort of beer would we brew during the Zombie Apocalypse? 

Well, ideally it would be from ingredients that I had (or would likely have) on hand. I have various "left over" hops in my freezer, so it was easy to say we would use those. I don't keep grains at the brewery, but if I were to choose one base grain that I would stock, it would be Maris Otter, so I decided to make that my base malt. 

gzombie2.jpgThere are probably a bunch of adjuncts that I might have available to me in an apocalypse, but we didn't want to over-do simple-sugar adjuncts (we still want a beer to be enjoyed). I decided to add flaked oats (oatmeal), but no honey or other simple sugars.

We want our wits about us in case of zombie attacks, so we decided to go low in alcohol. 

We also decided to pick a dry yeast as it can last longer without refrigeration. 

We decided to go with no temperature control for similar reasons. Plus, we would want fermentation to go as quickly as possible.

We added rye malt to the grain bill ... just because zombies like rye.

We added midnight wheat because I just thought the beer needed some color.

You can see the resulting beer recipe below. 

It should be a flavorful, drinkable, low alcohol, balanced beer. Pleasant to drink without being overpowering in any way. Drink it by the pint. Perfect for a day of avoiding zombies.

For more information on Gzombie, see 

Gzombie Gnome Gapocalypse --- Batch 1

Special/Best/Premium Bitter
Batch Size
5.50 gal
All Grain
Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.042 SG
Estimated FG
1.012 SG
Recipe Bitterness
27.2 IBUs (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
4.0 %
BU : GU   0.647        
Recipe Color
14.4 SRM
Measured OG:   1.042   Measured FG:   1.012 
ADF:   71    Measured ABV:   3.9 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
6 lbs Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 2 64.9 %
2 lbs Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 3 21.6 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4 10.8 %
4.0 oz Midnight Wheat Malt (550.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.7 %
0.250 oz Magnum [14.00 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 6 15.0 IBUs
0.375 oz Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 7 10.5 IBUs
0.250 oz Fuggles [4.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 0.9 IBUs
0.250 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.30 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 0.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Nottingham (Danstar #-) [23.66 ml] Yeast 10 -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 11.56 qt of water at 168.2 F 156.0 F 45 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (2.10gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
Not really designed to fit in a category. Just wanted a sessionable beer using up hops I had lying around.
4g gypsum in the mash water. This should bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Mash and boil as instructed.
Cool to around 60 degrees F.
Pitch yeast. Don't actively control the fermentation temperature.
Ferment 2 weeks. Keg Carb to 2 - 2.5 volumes.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:
Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:
160 -- 148 -- 156
Pre-boil OG   (1.034 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency
Pitch Temp   66
Day 1: kraussen starting 64
Day 2: fading 74  
Day 3: pretty much done 74  

Brewing Notes:
05/20/2015 esheppy
Bought ingredients.
05/21/2015 esheppy
Put together the recipe based on the ingredients I bought. Backwards, I know, but in a Zombie Apocalypse, sometimes you don't have time to plan. Sometimes you just have to do!
05/24/2015 esheppy
Brew day today. Up at 3:30 or so. Mash going by 4, but lots of work to get temp right. Pre-boil of was real high. Diluted with water throughout. Refractometer says 1.042, which is where the design called for it to be. Chilling now. Will let it sit over church.
05/24/2015 esheppy
Hydrometer also at 1.042. Went into carboy pretty clear. Pitched at about 66. Didn't hydrate.
05/25/2015 esheppy
Kraussen going. 64.
05/26/2015 esheppy
Bubbling away. Kraussen is already beginning to fade. Temperature up to 74 this morning.
05/27/2015 esheppy
Bubbling has stopped. I'll check the gravity soon. Don't have a keg for this to go into yet so it might be awhile before it gets transferred.
05/31/2015 esheppy
Took a gravity sample today. Gravity is at 1.013, which makes it a 3.8% ABV beer. It is very tasty. Stylistically, I don't have any idea what to call it. Probably closer to a mild than a bitter, but it does have some hop flavor. The rye adds just a bit of spiciness. It has a bit of a roast flavor. It isn't real visibly attractive being a hazy brown, but it will probably clarify some in the keg. And it tastes good enough that it's appearance doesn't really bother me.
06/09/2015 esheppy
Kegged today. Gravity at 1.012. 3.9% ABV. I do really enjoy the taste of this beer even if I don't know what style to call it. Put into beer fridge. I'll probably put in keggerator in a day or two for proper carbonation.
06/14/2015 esheppy
Carbonation still low. Blended about half and half with Summer Lovin last night during hockey game. Actually a really good combo.
06/14/2015 esheppy
It isn't a visually attractive beer, but it is very tasty. When we make this again, I think some whirlflock will be called for.
06/25/2015 esheppy
Great beer to drink while grilling. Tasty and low on alcohol. Don't think this beer will end up lasting very long.
07/06/2015 esheppy
Keg blew last night. That is good. I'll need it for my saison soon.
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