- 10 pounds British pale malt (2.2 L)
- 1 pound roasted barley
- 14 ounces chocolate malt- British 375 L
- 1/2 pound, 60 L German Caramunich II
- 1/2 pound flaked barley- gelatinized unmalted
- 2 ounces Northern Brewer (6.6%) 60 minutes
- 1/2 ounce Casacade (6%) after boil
- Wyeast 1028 London
- 1/2 teaspoon phosphorus acid to sparge
- 1 tablet of Irish moss 15 minutes end of boil
- 17 quarts water (mash water ratio 1.3 quarts /pound)
- Strike temp = 167 F
- Mash Temp = 157 F
- Mash out at 165 F
- Original Gravity 1.055
- Single infusion mash
This was by far the easiest making brew I’ve done to date. There were no major meltdowns; everything went relatively smoothly. I am expecting a decent beer. It was Emma and I in the brewery.
Starting Temp and pH
I prepped 9 gallons of water the night before brewing (4 1/2 went to mash, 4 1/2 went to sparge) by boiling two 5-gallon batches of water for 1/2 an hour. I adjusted the sparge water with 1/2 a teaspoon of acid but had no pH meter since the batteries in mine were shot. 1/2 a teaspoon of acid should be close to where it needs to be.
I started warming mash water before 8:00 AM. I used a 1.3 water to mash ratio which made for a slightly thin mash. I used the following formula to derive the strike temp:
Ts = [Td + WEF * (Td – Tg) / MWR] + FF
Ts = Strike Temp (F or C)
Td = Desired Mash Temp after Strike
WEF= “Water Equivalent Factor”, 0.192 while in quarts
Tg= Temperature of grain (room temp)
FF= “Fudge Factor” to account for thermal mass of vessel (3 degrees for F)
MWR = mass water ratio, quarts/lb
= [155 + .192 (155 – 70) / 1.3] =167 F
Began heating strike water at 8:00 AM. I raised the strike water to 167 F and mashed-in. Mash temp came in at 155.
Began mash at 9:00 AM. Single-Infusion Mash, so no temp raises until mash-out. Held temp between 150 and 157 for two hours. Raised temp to 165 to Mash out (this took ½ hour; must put more flame under the kettle next time). Mash out for 5 minutes at 165.
15 minute recirculate; 15 minute drain; 50-minute sparge. Sparging went well, but I wish I had a little more fine control over the flow from the lautertun. One notch was too fast; the next notch was too slow. Manually squeezed the tube to get finer control of flow.
Had 8 gallons of wort in kettle. Began hard boil at 2:30 PM. (5 ½ hours from mash-in) Boiled for 40 minutes to reduce volume. Boiled another hour with northern brewer’s hops. I put in a tablet of Irish moss with about 20 minutes left in the boil. I put the chiller into the kettle with 10 minutes left. Shut off heat and added cascade hops. Total boil time = 1 hour 40 minutes
45 minutes to drop from boil to less than 80 degrees.
I tried racking the liquid into the fermenter, but leaf hops continually got sucked into the siphon. I ended up sterilizing the funnel and poured through a screen.
January 24, 2006
I pitched yeast in fermenter the following morning. Need to break that smack-pack sooner.
Gravity is at 1.055, a little higher than I thought but a good number. Best news is that I have at least 6 gallons of liquid, which, after racking and spilling and bottling, should still give me 5 gallons of beer when I’m done.
The batch started bubbling in less than 12 hours and by the next morning was pouring out a steady stream of CO2. Once it started bubbling, I moved the beer to the basement at 64 F. The beer is sitting in the downstairs bathtub.
On Day 2 of fermentation the bubbling was furious, but no clogging with the blow-off tube in the cup of sanitizer. The beer is really boiling and churning inside the fermenter.
Day 3 the bubbling has subsided a little. It sounds like a steady heartbeat.
Day 4 the bubbling is down to once every 20 seconds. Decided to rack the beer into secondary.
Primary fermentation was going quite well, so naturally I had to screw with it. After four days the bubbling had slowed to 3-4 times a minute. My thought was to rack it off the dead yeast now, while the bubbling was still going, and that way I’ll be assured that a nice layer of CO2 that will fill the space in the carboy. So I racked it, and the beer shut off– no more bubbles. I was kind of bummed.
The good news is that I drew a sample from the racking process and the sample was awesome. At this point, this is the best beer I’ve ever made. I drank the entire sample and it was good enough to drink more. The beer has a smoky quality to it, which is impressive. It may be a little over-hopped for a stout. Also, the gravity went from 1.055 to 1.024, which is plenty to get the job done (though I would like to see the finished gravity another 10 points lower). I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the yeast continues to work. I have some minor hope because I’m still seeing small bubbles form at the top neck of the carboy (I’m down to a 5-gallon carboy now that is completely full).
So, whether or not I’ll get a true secondary ferment is debatable. I’m planning at this point to let the beer set for 10-14 days and then I’ll bottle. Overall, I’m thrilled with the way this beer has gone thus far. There’s still a lot to go and plenty for me to do to screw it up, but so far, so good.
February 12, 2006
Ok, she’s in the bottle. I ended up with 656 oz. or 5.125 gallons. I bottled:
15- 24 oz. swing tops
19- 12 oz. capped (old Fuller’s bottles)
1- 2 liter swing top (green growler)
Final Gravity: 1.022
Alcohol by volume: 4.26% (pitiful, but c’est la vie)
The sample was, again, pretty good. What struke me was the intense licorice flavor in the middle of the first gulp. I wasn’t particular fond of that, but over all it was good. It’s still smoky at the end, and the more I drank, the more I wanted.
Tried the bottling bucket. Still had hot water all over the kitchen and me. Bottling stinks. I’m going to bed.
Post Brewing Comments
February 28, 2006
I sampled the first stout last night in celebration of the new moon, and it was good! The head was thick and creamy to begin with and stayed with the beer until the finish. The flavors were strong but none were too overpowering. I detected no off flavors though the beer was still a little green. I think a few more weeks will take the green edge off this stout, but it is very drinkable right now. I am quite pleased. I would venture to say that this is the best stout I’ve ever made and among the best beers I’ve made. It’s not a beer to pass on to my Bud drinking friends, but the strong flavors are appropriate for a stout. It really sent me back to MO’s apartment on Pearl street…
I poured an offering for the good people (they also got to taste the sample from the weizen).
March 5, 2006
I drank two of the stouts yesterday in an effort to reward myself for working on bottles for the weizen. This beer is a good one.
I noted that the second of the two beers had no head in comparison to the first one (and the sample one noted in previous entry). The latter beer had subtle flavor changes, too, which I didn’t like.
My initial thought was, “Oh, this must not have gotten the same priming sugar as the others,” and I noted to mix better next time. After more consideration, I think maybe differences were because the latter beer was colder. I put both beers in the fridge at the same time but drank the first one within half-an-hour of getting it in there. Maybe this beer is not as good when drank very cold.
March 06, 2006
Cold No Issue On Carbonation
CO2 comes out of solution slower at lower temps, but this is not the issue with this beer. I tried 2 more on Sunday, both out of the fridge, and they both had a great head.
The temp in the fridge has got to be below 40 F. The beer not in the fridge is kept at 63 F.
Great Final Product
For my tastes anyway, and that’s all that really matters for the beer I make, this is best beer I’ve ever made. I am extremely pleased with the results, and will use this recipe again when it is time to make another stout.
I’m really wanting a second opinion. Maybe I need to road trip a six pack to NY.