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Brewing Homebrewing

Brew Day – Brewing A Maple Rye Imperial Stout

Well, with the long weekend, I had to get a new brew in.  Brewing day is always a fun day!  I started my yeast starter, some White Labs 007 that I had done a overbuild starter of before.  That stuff cranked up without a problem.  Then I had to make the final decisions on just what I was going to use for my maple rye imperial stout.  I had some maple syrup that a buddy made, and he told me I had to brew with it…so I accepted the challenge.

I didn’t get started on my brew until later than expected, and I didn’t finish my cleanup until after 2 AM – oh well.  I got my water going for a steeping of some Chocolate Rye, Black Malt, Chocolate Malt, Roasted Barley, and Flaked Rye.  I had to use two muslin bags due to using almost 3 pounds of grains for this.  After a mash in at 155 for 60 minutes, I pulled the bags, and gave them a quick rinse with the sink sprayer into strainer and another pot, plus a few squeezes of the bag…this additional rinse got added to the wort.

Firing up the wort to a full boil, I used 2 ounces of Summit as a bittering hops.  I hope the oniony taste doesn’t show up in this beer, but I am pretty sure I will be safe.  I added in 6 pounds of dark liquid malt extract right at 60 minutes.  This represented half of the liquid extract to go in.  I thought about doing less at this point, but figured with 12 pounds of it going in total, that was kind of a moot point.

At 15 minutes left, I added the additional 6 pounds of  dark liquid malt extract.  This wort is now jet black.  I put the wort chiller in to help sanitize it through the boil before use.  At 10 minutes to flameout, I added an ounce of Cascade hops pellets and 4 ounces of maple syrup with some extra maple sugar crystals from that had formed ( I realize this will do little for the maple flavor, it was more for good show).  5 minutes to flameout, I added 2 ounces of Willamette whole hops that I had.  I SHOULD HAVE USED A MUSLIN BAG OR SACK FOR THESE HOPS!  I will get back to that point soon.

With a quick chilling using my copper wort chiller, it was time to send the beer over to the carboy.  I fired up the auto siphon and had nothing but problems.  My tubing will be replaced this week.  It had stretched out enough from me using it for a blow-off tube connected to the stem of a 3 piece airlock.  I was having trouble getting a good seal without air seeping in.  Then, I sucked up a boatload of whole hops, even through the sediment cap on the siphon.  That gummed up the siphon, so I had to pour the rest of the pot in.  That is why a wide mouth carboy is a good thing….easier pouring.  That is, until a wad of hops unsticks itself from the bottom of the pot and splashes all over the side of the carboy and the floor.

I got everything cleaned up and added in my 1.5 liter starter of White Labs 007.  This is truly some James Bond yeast!  I found it already with a strong Krausen less than 6 hours after pitching.  I pulled the regular 3 piece airlock and changed it to a blowoff tube going into a growler.  It is 12 hours after pitching now, and there is about 2 bubbles a second, that I can hear from the other room, going through the 6 foot tube and  the growler of water.

I will be adding more maple syrup later.  Probably a little more into the secondary fermentation, but a majority of it will be used for priming.  I read about priming with maple syrup in BYO magazine, so I figured I would give it a try.


Things to ponder:

  • My OG fell a little lower than I had hoped, a modest 1.095.  I really wanted this over 1.1, but I will live.
  • This brewing was a good reminder that I need to bag those whole hops.  I will be harvesting a boatload of nugget hops soon, and those will be brewed up.
  • This is why I should get a non-splattering funnel, and have it handy just in case.
  • I love using a StirStarter for my starter.  I am looking forward to the savings in yeast, but also how quickly that it starts to really get things going.
  • I have to remember that this batch will need time to develop the flavor profile.  I am pondering adding in some oak chips and bourbon to the mix as well in the secondary.  Maybe soak the oak chips in bourbon AND maple syrup…..mmmmmmmmm.

1 comment

  1. Pingback: Brew Day Update - PSA BAG YOUR HOPS - AdventuresInHomebrewing.Beer

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