Trying to capture a Monkey… Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. clone

I am constantly humbled and grateful for the lovely people at Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery. From the kindness and generosity they showed my friends and I when we visited the brewery for my stag, to the inspiring beers they produce for all of us to enjoy. For me, they are simply one of the best craft breweries in Ontario.

Their highly acclaimed Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. was an explosion from the start. The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) had a beef with it’s packaging, saying that it was in bad taste and/or violent. [as a side note, the unfortunate tsunami and resulting events in Japan had just occurred around the time it was to be released, complicating the LCBO’s decision I’m sure] After some slight revisions to the packaging, Flying Monkeys was able to retain it’s unique style of branding and release Smashbomb to the masses.

I have no illusions that I’m going to be ale to nail this recipe the first time. The complex malt character and incredible velvety hop profile that Flying Monkeys get in their beer is, to me, the pinnacle of brewing. If I’m able to pull a beer out of my keg that tastes like that, it will be the ultimate brewing reward for me. So in an attempt to capture a Flying Monkey, bear with me, this may take a few attempts!

As a demonstration of the enthusiasm and sense of community that Flying Monkeys has, on their website they not only have a description of the beer and how it came to be, but a list of ingredients they use in the beer, including malts, hops, and even the hopping schedule. I’m blown away that a brewery would share this with the world.

From their website:

  • Original Gravity: 1.061
  • Final Gravity: 1.016
  • 6.0% ABV
  • 11.72 SRM
  • 70 IBU


  • Briess Victory Malt
  • Briess Crystal 60
  • Muntons Black Patent Malt
  • 2-Row N. American Pale (Metcalf and Copeland)


  • Early Hops Citra (Wort/mash)
  • Early Hops Citra (1Runnings)
  • Kettle Hops Citra (Bittering)
  • Kettle Hops Citra (15mins Before End Of Boil)
  • Kettle Hops Citra (End Of Boil)
  • Late Hop Additions Citra (whirlpool)
  • Late Hop Addition Centennial (whirlpool)
  • Dry Hop Citra / Centennial through Hoppapotamus

I’m going to have to alter the hop additions a bit as I don’t have a system for whirlpooling and I don’t own a “Hoppapotamus” (or hopback). I recently brewed a Red Ale in which I tried a late hop experiment upon the suggestion of a fellow home brewer. The only hop addition I did was a 50/50 ratio of Centennial/Citra at 10mins left in the boil. This addition needed to be quite large to get the necessary IBU’s into the beer, but so far, the hop character in this beer has without a doubt been my favourite, and the closest I’ve been able to come to Flying Monkeys’ beers. What I’m going to do for this recipe is mix a bit of what their site suggests, and a bit from my experience with late hopping.

Also, to get an ABV of 6.0% I need to hit a final gravity of 1.016. There are 1 of two ways to do that; the first is to beef up the specialty malts, and the second is to increase the mash temperature. I tried increasing the specialty malts in my BeerSmith program, but I ended up with a darker beer, so I’ll target a colour of 12 SRM as noted and increase my mash temperature to 156F. I know this isn’t normal for a pale ale or IPA, but I’m going to give it a try anyways. Who knows what the hell Peter Chiodo does up there at the brewery! (There is a third option, trying a less attenuative yeast than Safale US-05, but that will be after figuring out the basics)

Here’s what I’ve come up with for a first run:Carbonation and Storage

Hoptomology’s Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A.

American IPA

Type: All Grain Brewer: Hoptomology
Equipment: 7.5 Gallon Stainless Steel Pot + 10 Gallon Rubbermaid Cooler Mash Tun
Est Original Gravity: 1.061 SG Measured Original Gravity:
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG Measured Final Gravity:
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.0 % Actual Alcohol by Vol:
Bitterness: 70.0 IBUs Bitterness Ratio: 1.148
Est Color: 12.2 SRM Calories: 0.0 kcal/12oz



Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) Cdn (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 87.6 %
11.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 57L (57.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.5 %
9.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.3 %
1.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 4 0.6 %
0.450 oz Citra [14.00 %] – First Wort 60.0 min Hop 5 32.1 IBUs
1.500 oz Citra [14.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 6 19.4 IBUs
1.000 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 7 7.7 IBUs
1.000 oz Citra [14.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 10.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [1.70 oz] Yeast 9
0.500 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.500 oz Citra [11.10 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
Total Grains Used: 10 lbs 9.0 oz Total Hops Used: 4.950 oz

Mash Profile

Mash Style: Single Infusion, Full Body
Brewhouse Efficiency: 84.00 %
Mash Steps

Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 3.55 gal of water at 172.4 F 156.0 F 45 min
Mash Out Add 1.32 gal of water at 207.0 F 168.0 F 10 min
Sparging: Fly sparge with 2.83 gal water at 168.0 F to achieve 6.18 gal

Boil Profile

Boil Size: 6.18 gal Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Volume: 5.48 gal Estimated pre-boil gravity: 1.052 S.G.
Batch Size (into fermentor): 5.00 gal Measured pre-boil Gravity:
Final Bottling Volume: 4.75 gal

Fermentation Profile

Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage
Primary Fermentation: 10.00 days at 68.0 F
Secondary Fermentation: 7.00 days at 68.0 F

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.10 PSI Age Beer for: 3.00 days
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 40.0 F Storage Temperature: 40.0 F


Taste Rating: 0.0 / 50
Taste Notes:
Download: Hoptomology’s Smashbomb Atomic IPA clone – All Grain – A little about life, a lot about beer.

You can read about the results here: Reviewing my Smashbomb Atomic IPA clone…




9 Responses to Trying to capture a Monkey… Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. clone

  1. Hope it turns out. I love this beer. That photo looks damn tasty! Those are some rare hops.

    • Me too. (on all counts) I’m sure it’ll take a few incarnations, but I’ll let you know in a few weeks. If I have the time, I may try and brew it up tonight, if not, this coming saturday.
      btw, can’t take credit for the pic, I found it on the net! :) but it does look damn tasty!

  2. Nice work. Looking forward to putting this to the test as I am currently sitting on everything I need for this. Lots of similarities to a recipe I whipped up and brewed last Tuesday…The Florida Bomb IPA (Chinook, Amarillo and Citra) – 7.0 ABV – 70 IBU. As far as the mash and boil, it’s technically the best brew I’ve done, but taste is everything. Once that one hits the taps, I’ll take a crack at your recipe too. Can’t wait. Please follow up with tasting notes!

    • Thanks Joe,
      Your Florida Bomb IPA sounds awesome! I haven’t had much luck with using Chinook in late additions myself, but I’d be curious to see how yours ends up. Would love to hear about and see a pic if feel so inclined.
      For sure, I’ll pass on some tasting notes for this one. The commercial version is one of my top 3 beers, so I’ll be happy to nail this one down. Might take a revision or two, but I’ll keep you posted.

  3. You think God can be captured and put into a test tube by mortal monkeys? None of us are able to understand. He is superior, you can not apply your human concepts of empirical evidence and scientific method to something not in the expanding, regenerating bubble that we call home. We are the ones who are in the test tube just trying to play catch up.

  4. It IS a great beer… I think the recipe looks pretty darned good, especially what you have for the malts. You may need more dry-hopping to get that big citrus aroma that the real thing has, but it’s always fun to tweak a recipe after you’ve tried it once.

    Looking forward to the tasting notes…

    • Hey Shawn!
      Thanks for stopping by.
      I think you may be right on the dry hopping. I went a little conservative to see what I get from the late hopping.
      Just bottled it up this morning and it smells fantastic, just like the original. I’ll sit down in the next couple of days and write up a comparison…

  5. Pingback: Reviewing my Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. clone…. | Hoptomology

Leave a Reply to Craig Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>