Monday, November 12, 2012

Breakfast Stout

With “winter” (I live in south Texas so that term is relative) I felt compelled to brew a big Imperial Stout. I wanted to base mine off of Founders Breakfast stout. This is one of few Imperial stouts that is actually better fresh then it is aged. The reason for this is the coffee aroma that is provided by the coffee they add post fermentation. I plan to do the same thing to mine. I plan to add coffee and chocolate to secondary in order to give it a bit chocolate and coffee aroma. I also plan to rack a little bit into a second carboy and add some cherries.

In certainty looks the part of a big mean chocolatey imperial stout.  I also decided to do a little water chemistry with this batch for the first time. Whenever you have a large percentage of roasted grains you can often end up with an astringent final product.  To counter act this you can up the calcium content of your water.  I added a touch of baking soda to the mash to keep the pH in check while it was mashing, hopefully this will keep the astringency from becoming overwhelming due to the roasted grains and black patent.

I ended up being about 80% efficient, which is good; however, I was estimating 75% efficiency. I ended up adding some more of my third runnings to the boil to lower the gravity. This was effective, but I lowered it a little too much and finished with 1.089. Only 2 points under so not a big deal.

  • Batch size: 5.0 Gallons (finished with 5.5 Gallons)
  • Grain Bill: 18lbs 9 ounces
  • Anticipated OG: 1.091
  • Measured OG: 1.089
  • Measured OG: 1.023
  • Anticipated SRM: 40 degrees
  • Anticipated IBU: 50.7
  • Boil time: 90 minutes
  • ABV: 8.5%
  • Marris Otter - 13.5 lbs - 74%
  • Flaked Oats - 1.5 lbs - 9%
  • Belgian Chocolate Malt - 1.125 lbs - 6%
  • Crystal 120L - 0.625 lbs - 3%
  • Carafa Special II - 0.56 lbs - 3%
  • Coffee Malt - 0.5 lbs - 3%
  • Black Patent - 0.25 lbs - 1%
  • Willamatte - 2.5 oz - 75 min
  • Willamatte - 0.25 oz - 30 min
  • Willamatte - 0.25 oz - flamout
  • Yeast nutrient at 15 minutes
  • American Ale - 1056
Mash Schedule
  • Saccrification at 155F for 60 minutes

(10/29/11) - Brewed by myself. Preboil OG at 1.068, well over my target of 1.062. This would leave me with a beer of 1.099. I added some extra 3rd runnings to bring the gravity down. Finished with 1.089 measured. Chilled to 70F and placed in my bottling bucket with water and ice. Pitched yeast from a starter made earlier in the week using the yeast from my pumpkin ale, shook to aerate.

(10/30/11) - Small krausen formed on top with rapid bubbling from the air lock. I’ll keep adding ice to keep the fusels under control.

(11/1/11) - Taking a gravity reading I noticed the krausen almost reached the bottom of the air lock. Gravity down to 1.027, I expect it to fall another 2 or 3 points by the time I rack to secondary. Right now great roasted, coffee, and chocolate aroma with no perceivable alcohol. Pretty excited for this one.

(11/20/11) - Racked to secondary and took another gravity reading, down to 1.023. Didn’t have cacao nibs at the store so I’ll get some tomorrow at a different location. No apparent alcohol even at over 8.5% ABV.

(11/21/11) - I added about half of the cacao nibs I bought yesterday, which should be close to 2 ounces. As they sink to the bottom I will add more cacao nibs, but right now the carboy is a little full.

(11/31/11) - Racked a gallon off to a one gallon carboy and added two drops of cherry extract.

(12/2/11) - Used 1 cup of coarsely ground Ruta Maya Shade Grown Organic coffee and added it to a mason jar with 4 cups of water. Placed in the refrigerator to cold brew over night.

(12/3/11) - Strained the coffee with a coffee filter and then boiled the coffee for 5 minutes. Placed the pan with the boiled coffee into an ice bath. Poured the coffee into a sanitized mason jar and back into the refrigerator to chill over night. This procedure produces coffee that taste like coffee smells, without the oils and astringency from hot brewed coffee.

(12/5/11) - Added coffee to bottling buck and primed with 0.20 cups of priming sugar. Primed cherry portion with 0.8Tbs of table sugar.

(1/18/11) - First tasting. Very good, a little over carbonated, but nothing a little degassing can’t solve. I need to work on the coffee addition to get the burst of coffee aroma and flavor I was looking for.

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