Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Brew Day Double Trouble – Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout & Electric Citrus Saison – Part 1

My experience with the Ye Old Confused Brown Ale has made me confident (or maybe cocky) and I decided to brew two different beers in one day. 
Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
Based on LCasanova’s Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and Igliashon’s NoNonsense Stout plus various other references I’ve franken-beer-ed together my own Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout recipe.  The goal here is a thick, creamy stout with a nice chocolate aroma and aftertaste.  A side goal is that when the chocolate is thrown into the brew kettle, the whole apartment should start smelling like chocolate, which I think Mrs. Thirsty will appreciate.  This brew took some pre-planning because I had to roast some flaked oats, trying to get a nice dark colour, and then let the roasted grains sit for a time.  So I roasted half a kilogram of flaked oats in the oven starting at 125°C for 20 minutes and increasing the temp by about 12 degrees every 20 minutes stopping at 175°C for 70 minutes, stirring the batch every 5 minutes, and a final 15 minutes at 200°C.  I finished this and let the grains sit in a paper bag for a week, at which point I thought that maybe they aren’t dark enough and decided to toast 100g in a frying pan for 10 minutes very dark.  After another week in the paper bag, I was ready to brew. 

Oats after roasting

The whole purpose of the paper bag is to let any harsh aromas and flavours “waft” away.  As I understand it, using the grains right after roasting can impart some bitter or astringent flavours to the beer and some burnt aromas.  By letting the roasted/toasted grain rest for a time, the compounds that cause such flavours and aromas dissipate into the surrounding air.
So I started with 7L of water, bringing it up to about 70°C(158°F) and putting the oats into a muslin hop bag and steeping it in the water for 30 minutes.  At the end of the time the oats seemed to soak up about a litre of water.  While the oats were steeping, I put the honey into the empty carboy with 2 split, chopped vanilla beans and added about 3 litres of room temperature bottled water.  Here comes the cardio portion of making beer.  Putting a rubber plug into the carboy, I grabbed it and shook it like hell for about 2 minutes.  The purpose of this is to oxygenate the water so that the yeast has enough to grow well.

One the steeping was done, I started the boil.  I added the remaining ingredients as listed and at the end I had 5.5L of wort ready to be cooled.  While the wort was cooling I started the Electric Citrus Saison.  I’ll explain in that post about the problems but basically the pot I was using for the Saison was a little small and I had to ladle out about a litre of the water/rice syrup to prevent boil over.  Since this fluid (SG1.036) was already sweetened I decided to use it to rehydrate the yeast for both batches.  I split it into two separate bottles and added 5g of yeast nutrient to one and 3g to the other.  Then I let these cool to about 35°C(95°F), added the appropriate yeast and let them sit for about 45 minutes while the wort cooled.

Only an engineer would think of this.
Also RIP thermometer that burnt this week!

Once the wort was cooled to about 30°C(86°F) I poured it into the carboy through a strainer to remove whatever sediment I could (Hot Break, Cold Break and hops pieces).  The carboy was filled to about 8.5L at this point.  I added the yeast slurry and enough bottled water to fill up to 10.25L, mixed it up a bit, pulled a sample to test the gravity and capped it with an air lock.  When I tested the sample with the hydrometer, it came out to an Original Gravity of 1.075.  This carboy was set into a room at 21°C(69.8°F) to ferment for the next few weeks.

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
Grain Bill
0.40kg Medium Roasted Oat Flakes – Steeped for 30 minutes @ 70°C
0.10kg Dark Toasted Oat Flakes– Steeped for 30 minutes @ 70°C
1.0kg Brown Rice Syrup – Added 60 min remaining in boil
0.20kg Black Strap Molasses – Added at 60 min remaining in boil
0.5kg Brown Rice Syrup – Added 20 min remaining in boil
0.15kg Pine Honey – Added to Carboy

Hop Schedule
5g Magnum Pellet (14.90 %AA) – Added at 60 minutes remaining in boil
5g Magnum Pellet (14.90 %AA) – Added at 30 minutes remaining in boil
6g Tradition Whole Leaf (6.70 %AA) – Added at 15 minutes remaining in boil

Misc Ingredients
5g Irish Moss for clarifying – Added at 10 minutes remaining in boil
150g Cocoa Powder – Added at 10 minutes remaining in boil
150g Malto-Dextrin for body – Added at 10 minutes remaining in boil
5g Yeast Nutrient – Added to yeast slurry as described
2 vanilla beans, split and chopped – Added to primary
1 pkg Nottingham Dry Yeast – Rehydrated and added to cooled wort

During the boil the house did smell great, like chocolate and hops, and overall the process went really well.  The wort came out looking nice and dark brown, though maybe not as dark as I wanted.  I am looking forward to this beer.

Photos courtesy of Mrs. Thirsty