Thursday, December 31, 2009
2 Stouts, 1 Mash! (Safe For Work)
(RIS on the right, second runnings beer on the left)
In the Mild Ale post a while back I suggested that a Mild would be a great beer to try to brew in conjunction with a strong ale, as a Part-Gyle brew. Most people know what that is, but in case you don't, it's a brewing method where the mash is run off in different batches. The first runnings make a strong beer, and as the mash is sparged out with hot water, the progressively weaker runnings make more average or even "small" beers. This technique dates from when mash tuns were made of wood (since they didn't need to exposed to a flame, it was cheaper than metal and could be built bigger than the boil kettle for economy.) The multiple runnings from a large mash tun can be fermented together or separately, or combined in a number of creative ways according to the brewer's creative urges.
I decided to take this approach on a batch of Imperial Stout. It's a longer brew day, but for the modest price of an ounce or two of hops, a second beer can be made. It's kind of a no-lose situation because even if the beer isn't great, you have hardly wasted any additional resources.
Above you can see the base mash, which was about 25 pounds of grain The grain bill is a little atypical of an Imperial Stout, as I added a little German smoked malt and peated malt for a smoky complexity to blend with the roasty and caramel flavors. After doing some research, I expected the first 6 gallon batch to come in at about 1.090, and the second batch to come in at 1.050-1.060 O.G. But as you will see, the extract split was much more dramatic with that, with the beers starting at 1.101 and 1.041 respectively. I was fine and actually very happy with those results!
Here are color samples of the first beer on the left and the second beer on the right. Flavor-wise, the first wort tasted very much like an imperial stout and the second beer tasted like a nutty, toasty and fairly peaty brown beer (so not really a stout after all). The peated malt was surprisingly much more noticable in the second beer. Of course there are less sugars and other flavors to hide behind, but I would have thought that the smoke presence would have been proportionally less in the second beer too.
Here's the recipe. A note first on the mineral additions for this mash: I have a feeling that the water adjustment was wack on this beer. I have some serious questions about John Palmer's water addition calculator, specifically the Residual Alkalinity it suggests for stout-colored worts. I am looking into it and there is an interesting thread here on the BN forum where I am really trying to get a better understanding on mineral additions for dark beers.
"2 Stouts, 1 Mash" RIS and peated "small beer"
19 lb. 2-row pale malt
1.5 lb. British Roasted Barley 575L
1.5 lb. German Rauchmalt
1 lb . Chocolate malt 400L
.5 lb. Munton's extra-dark crystal malt 200L
.5 lb. Crystal 120L
.5 lb. Crystal 70
.5 lb. peated malt
Mash in 7 gallons of water to 149 degrees for 40 minutes, then add 1 gallon boiling water to raise to 152 for 30 minutes.
Mineral additions: 10 gr. chalk, 1 gr. calcium chloride, 12 gr. baking soda
Sparge with 9 gallons H2O at 168
First Runnings RIS:
7 gallons pre-boil, 5.9 gallons post-boil
O.G. 1.101 F.G. 1.028 ABV 9.8% IBU's 91
Collect 7 gallons at 1.085 (67% of potential extract)
Boil 60 minutes on outside burner
35 gr. Chinook whole 10% AA 60 min
8 gr. Centennial whole 7% AA 60 min
8 gr. Newport whole 10% AA 60 min
5 gr. Zeus whole 14% AA 60 min
40 gr. Magnum whole 10% 30 min
Wyeast nutrient & whirlfloc at 10 min.
(This beer might get some French oak chips after fermented, depending on a flavor analysis.)
Second Runnings peaty brown beer:
7 gallons pre-boil, 5.8 gallons post-boil
O.G. 1.041 F.G. 1.010 ABV 4.1% IBU's 23
Collect 7 gallons at 1.034 (27% of potential extract)
Boil on stovetop for 90 minutes
17 gr. Horizon pellets 8.2% AA 55 min
Wyeast nutrient & whirlfloc at 10 min
14 gr. Glacier pellets 4.5% AA 5 min
Both beers were chilled to about 66 degrees with the plate chiller and fermented with Cali ale yeast. Fermentation started at 60 degrees and worked its way up to 65 in the first few days.
Racked both beers to keg on 1/18/09. Second runnings beer tastes surprisingly excellent, I guess I expected it to be compromised in flavor some way but it tastes like a great brown porter with a mellow background of smokiness. RIS is pretty hardcore, not really even remotely drinkable at this point. Very sharp, almost acrid in the roastiness and noticable alcohol, although not fuselly. It probably just needs some months to age.
Here's a quick little side project that Clarissa and I did: Irish cream. We did this internet recipe straight up, and damn, it's good! We're having some in our coffee right now. The Bushmills is pretty cheap Irish Whiskey, but it's just fine for this kind of sweet, rich cocktail. You'll never drink Bailey's again after making this yourself, and it's very easy.
Cheers, Happy New Year everyone. Be safe. Don't be a cheapskate, get a damn cab!
Sean & Clarissa