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.