Monday, November 24, 2014

The Barista Batch #3 (Breakfast Stout) -- Brew Day

My last attempt at a breakfast stout came out pretty wonderfully, in my opinion.  The beer finished a little bit higher than I had planned and it carbonated less than I had expected, though.  I've always tried to carbonate my stouts at the 2.1 volumes that most of the online calculators spit out, but that has always resulted in a less than sufficient carbonation.  Due to the under-carbonation, head retention and occasionally body has suffered as a result.  Despite these shortcomings, the beer scored a 35 at a local competition and took a silver medal in the Stouts category.

Comments from the judges centered around the inadequate carbonation (I agree), the domination of the coffee (a slight ding, but I brewed it to be like that), and a lack of character from the base beer (agree and disagree).  The carbonation will be fixed this time around.  The overpowering coffee character that they noted isn't really shared by my palate.  I really enjoyed the nice, roasty flavors that the coffee addition brought to the table.  In terms of the base beer lacking character, I had a hard time classifying the base beer.  I put it down as an imperial stout, but in all honesty it was a little weaker than that and I think that hurt the score.  In reality, there isn't a BJCP category for a fuller flavored, higher ABV American Stout.

In this iteration, I'm going to be largely following the initial recipe with a replacement of the 2.5lb of malted oats in the old recipe to be swapped by upping the flaked oats to 5lb.  I didn't really think that they added anything detectable that flaked oats don't add, but they had the added bonus of being an utter bitch to source.  Additionally, I'll be monitoring the fermentation a little closer in order to ensure I get to the final gravity I want.  This beer was a big hit and I'm excited to have some more around.

The Barista Batch #3 (Breakfast Stout)
Est OG: 1.085
Est FG: 1.022
Est ABV: 8.25%
IBU: 76
SRM: 8

8.00lb Pilsner Malt
5.00lb Flaked Oats
2.00lb Pale Chocolate Malt
1.15lb Brown Malt
1.15lb Caramunich Malt
1.15lb Roasted Barley
0.65lb Rauch Malt

1.50oz Centennial @ FWH (39 IBU)
0.80oz Chinook @ FWH (26 IBU)
0.50oz Cascade @ FWH (10 IBU)
1.00oz Cascade @ Flameout (2 IBU)

1.00oz low acid, cold-pressed coffee -- pressed in 12oz of water added 2 days before bottling

1250ml starter of WLP090 Super San Diego (House Culture)

Mash @ 153f for 60 minutes

11/22/2014 -- Brewed by myself.  Still trying to hone in on my efficiency with the new grain bill.  This batch came in at around 80%.  Seems like my higher gravity stuff comes in a bit lower, so I'll have to compensate for that in the future.  Gathered 5.5 gallons of 1.082 wort and pitched my WLP090 starter.  Fermentation rocketed off within a few hours.

12/11/2014 -- Added coffee.

1214/2014 -- Bottled.  FG came out to 1.030, higher than expected -- the same as last time.  There must be something the BeerSmith is calculating wrong because if there was something in there that was fermentable, I'm positive that WLP090 would have taken care of it.  Carbed to 2.2 vol -- higher than the calculators say, but I've always felt like my stouts were a touch under carbonated based on the calculators.  Sample was good, really dominated by coffee, probably more so than the last batch.

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