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Brewing Homebrewing

Brewing Day: RISing Mounds

So the wife went out for a Girl’s Night Out…so I decided to brew once the boys went to bed.  I made a yeast starter the night before.  I invited over a good friend, Chris, to be an assistant brewer for this batch, and taste a little craft brew (READ – excuse to drink beer together).IMG_20151107_232313879

Before Chris came over, I did some work ahead of time.  I took a pound of oats, and toasted it in the oven.  About 15-20 minutes on a bar pan gave it a slightly darker color, and a little more toasty flavor.  I tossed that into a muslin bag.  I also added the pound and a half of other crushed grains I had for the recipe into another bag.  I steeped these for about 70 minutes.  I used my new big pot for it’s second brew.  I love this pot because of the internal basket.  It leaves about 3 inches of space between the basket and the pot, so there really isn’t a way to scorch your grains.  I got a nice dark color, and a little bit of oatie goodness in there, and it was time to ramp up the flame.

 

For the main brew, I remove the basket, as it is no longer needed.  Chris showed up just after I added almost 3 pounds of dark dried malt extract, and was in the process of adding the first 6 pounds of dark liquid malt extract.  We then also added the Summit hops to the beginning part of the boil.  Letting it boil for a while, we drank some great beer and talked about beer.  Chris and I always chat about our Untappd check-ins and poker.  At 45 minutes of the true boil, it was time to make some more additions.  First, another 6 pounds of liquid dark malt extract.  Then, 5 ounces of Royal Dutch chocolate powder.  Also, 1.75 ounces of Centennial hops.  The hops addition was a bit early.  I was supposed to put it in at flameout, so the characteristic of the beer has changed a bit from the design.  Then finally, some yeast nutrient before the last bit of boiling for the batch.

At flameout, I put the pot into my sink, and dropped in my wort chiller.  It took IMG_20151107_221143303 about 20 minutes to chill things down low enough.  I used a auto siphon to move the wort over to the fermenting bucket.  I aerated it a little with some real vigorous spooning (no, not that type).  Time to dump the yeast starter in, and let it fly.

36 hours into the fermentation, there is some decent activity in the airlock….but there is some chunky stuff starting to get into the bottom of the airlock.  Enter the blow-off tube going into a glass growler.  I set that up this morning.  By this evening, the bubbles were blowing through at a few good sized bubbles per second.  It is a pretty vigorous primary fermentation.IMG_20151107_231651572IMG_20151107_103338933

Coming up next:  5 more ounces of Royal Dutch chocolate going into the secondary.  I will also be adding 1 pound of  toasted flaked coconut.  I have started to soak a few vanilla beans in some bourbon to toss in as well.  This will then hunker down for a few months in a glass carboy.  It looks like the batch should be ready to bottle in February, and the first tasting will be around Easter.

 

Questions/Thoughts/Reactions:

  • Brewing with a friend is so much more fun.
  • My OG turned out to be 1.118, falling short of the 1.122 projection of the Beersmith software.  Is that really a big deal in the scheme of things?
  • What effect on the fermentable sugars and gravity will a pound of coconut flakes have?
  • Just how much chocolate and coconut flavor will through?
  • I opted not to use cacao nibs, since I didn’t have any.  Will the Royal Dutch chocolate give enough flavor?
  • I will post the recipe only if requested/ 
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