Monday, September 22, 2008

Rye Stout 2008

I think I had Bell's Rye Stout about 5-6 years ago, around the time when I first started homebrewing. It was a very nice, characterful beer. Shortly after, when I was working at a homebrew store for a little while, I did my first Imperial Stout. I can't remember what it was exactly, some recipe out of Clonebrews.

Of course, being a new homebrewer, I couldn't leave that recipe alone. I added a pound and a half of flaked rye, and some honey. 8 months later when it stopped tasting like rocket fuel, it actually developed into a really fantastic beer.

Point being, this is not a clone of Bell's Rye Stout. I've brewed a lot of incarnations of this, and the best time was last time, at an export stout strength. It has a very creamy mouthfeel, notes of chocolate, coffee, and even cherry. It also went really well next to a shot of bourbon. This time will be a little different too, but I don't know how yet. Last time I used a british yeast. This time I am going for a little more attenuation with an American ale yeast, and I threw in slightly bigger hop additions at the end. Eventually I'll bottle this for Christmas presents for friends.

This was not my smoothest brewday. I came up a little short on my kettle volume, then boiled off a little too much, and then thinned the beer down with a quart of water. Also, I had a huge flask of Wyeast 1056 ready for this and the next day's group brewday. I didn't have a good way of measuring the yeast so I just guestimated, and judging from the lag time, I was a little low on my yeast pitch. But not a lot low. It should be fine.

Recipe is for 5.8 gallons post-boil, 5 in the fermenter.

O.G. 1.067 F.G. 1.020 ABV 6.3% IBU's 75

10 lb. Glen Eagle Marris Otter malt
2 lb. Rye malt
1 lb. Roasted Barley
.5 lb. rice hulls
.5 lb. crystal rye (no lovibond stated, maybe 40L)
6 oz. chocolate rye
6 oz. crystal 120
2 oz. chocolate malt (I would have just used a half pound chocolate rye, but I was short)

28 gr. Millenium pellets 16% 60 min
28 gr. Centennial pellets 9.5 % 15 min
28 gr. Centennial pellets 9.5% 0 min

Mash in 4 gal to 150, rest 75 min.
Raise over high heat to 165 over 15 min.

Sparge with 5 gal at 178
Collect 6.3 gallons at 1.062 = 76% efficiency. A little short, I should have used an additional qt. of mash water.

Boil 60 min, hop additions as noted.
Whirlfloc at 15 min,
1/2 tsp. Wyesat nutrient at 10 min.

Chilled to 76 and racked to a carboy.
Aerated by shaking for 8 minutes (after reading recently that aerating by hand provides better saturation than an aquarium pump).

Chilled further to 68 degrees and pitched a slurry of Wyeast 1056.
Fermenting at 66-68 degrees. Lag time was about 12 hours till any real krausen.

Racked to a keg on 10/20/08. F.G. 1.020. Tastes pretty good. I was looking for a little more attenuation, like 1.017-18, but I think it suffered a bit from the low yeast pitch. I am not going to mess with it though.

I tasted this beer around 11/4/08, and it is nice but it is really so thick, I couldn't really drink much. It has an inky flavor, although it is really good. So here is what I did today:

11/10/08 Pulled the keg out to warm up, rehydrated 1 package of Munton's dried yeast, and pitched it into the keg with a blow off hose attached. Hoping to drop a few points and also, as a learning experience, I'll have tried the beer at 1.020 F.G. and a lower F.G.

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