Friday, August 29, 2014

The Barista Batch #2 (Imperial Breakfast Stout) -- Brew Day

Third brew in one week.  Solid.

As the weather will slowly be turning cooler (winter is coming...), my brew calendar has started planning for some darker beers.  I attempted a medium strength coffee stout last year, and while it scored pretty well, it just wasn't what I was really envisioned.  For this year's attempt, I wanted to style something more along the lines of a Founders Breakfast Stout or Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Stout.  Both of these beers to me embody strong, chocolate notes with a nice, round, subtle coffee/espresso character.

The recipe for this batch is going largely along the lines of the Mikkeller brew with some grain adjustment and a change in yeast.  Beer Geek is brewed using a higher attenuating American ale yeast, but I'm imaging something that has a little bit a fuller body than the Mikkeller beer.  As such, and since I've been enjoying these yeast lately, I'm using the new(ish) White Labs WLP200 American/English ale blend.  This should finish slightly higher than the straight American Ale, by probably 3-4 points, but will lend a rounder character to the finished brew.

I've always been a fan of the brew days for two types of beers: 1) IPAs, just because the sheer amount of hops is always a pleasure, and 2) stouts/porters.  The mash on a dark stout or porter is one of the most glorious smells, in my opinion.  I wish that I could avoid some of the fermentation compounds and harness that raw roastiness right there.

I've been battling efficiency issues lately that I think are a combination of pre-crushed grains, water chemistry and my own laziness when it comes to the BIAB process.  For the grains issue, although I'd love my own mill, I don't see this as a realistic purchase within the next 2-3 months.  The water issue should be solved soon enough.  My tap water sample that I send off to Ward Labs came back tainted somehow with a pH of 3.7, so they offered to retest it for free.  Nice guys.  The laziness aspect with regards to stirring and whatnot has no known cure.

The Barista Batch #2 (Imperial Breakfast Stout)
5.5 gallon batch -- 90 minute boil
Est OG: 1.082
Est FG: 1.025
Est ABV:  8%
IBU: 74
SRM: 60

9.12lb Pilsner
2.50lb Flaked Oats
2.50lb Malted Oats
2.37lb Chocolate Malt
1.37lb Brown Malt
1.37lb Caramunich Malt
1.37lb Roasted Malt
0.75lb Smoked Malt

1.30oz Centennial @ FWH (38 IBU)
0.70oz Chinook @ FWH (27 IBU)
0.50oz Cascade @ FWH (8 IBU)
1.00oz Cascade @ 1 min (1 IBU)

1000ml starter WLP200 American/English Blend

1oz cold-pressed coffee in 12oz water added 2 days before bottling

Mash @ 153f for 60 minutes

Fermentarium coming along nicely
8/27/2014 -- Brewed by myself.  Mash smelled incredible and almost filled my 10gal mash tun.  Efficiency sucked at 65%, but that sometimes happens with big, dark beers.  Gathered 5.5 gal of 1.078 wort, a little short of target.  I didn't have a chance to make a starter for the WLP200, so after it hadn't started up in 24 hours, I added some S-04.  Kicked off quickly from there.  Dense, dark krausen.

9/22/2014 -- Added 1oz of cold pressed coffee in 12oz of water.  Used Starbucks Verona for its high body and low acidity.

9/23/2014 -- Bottled with 3.2oz of corn sugar for 2.1 vol.  Finished a tad on the high side at 1.029.  Tasted fantastic, very much on par with Mikkeller.

11/7/2014 -- And here are some tasting notes.


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