|Screwy's Snowy Daze Stout|
|Victorian Era Ad For Ale|
It wasn't until the 1840s when Guinness decided to rename their 'Extra Superior Porter' to 'Extra Stout' that the name became synonymous with a strong dark beer style. When researching history of Stout beer you'll see that it originated from another dark beer style called a Porter. There were different strength porters too, with the stronger brews being called Stout Porter, and they were served to English dock workers who were also known as porters. The ales houses of the day, or Porter Houses, provided some much needed food and drink to all those hard working dock workers so it comes as no surprise that they served Porter House Steaks too. So there you have it, hungry and thirsty Englishmen known as porters going off at the end of their work day to porter houses to eat porter house steaks and washing them down with stout porter ale.
I drink Guinness now and have for a good number of years and while I like it's dark color and creamy barley taste I wouldn't call it a very strong beer. But a lot of people to this day are under the impression that a stout beer means a very strong beer and in fact there are many stouts brewed today that really do have a high ABV but they don't have to. I think it's because of the history of the word stout itself that people today still think of stout beer as a very strong beer.
|East Kent Goldings, 2 Row, Roasted Barley, Chocolate and Crystal Malt Mix|
In this stout recipe I decided that the only hop influence needed would be for bittering because I wanted to make sure that the full aromas and flavors of the roasted barley would shine through. I chose East Kent Goldings because of their earthy and spicy character and mild aroma and I added half as first wort hops and then added the other half to the boil with 30 minutes remaining.
|Mashing Stout Recipe Grains For 60 Minutes|
|First Wort Hopping 3 Ounces Of East Kent Goldings|
Big clumps of grain mean less grains are going to come into contact with the mash water, you can actually still have dry grains inside the clumps when mashing. Channeling means the sparge water doesn't come in contact evenly with all the grains to rinse all the converted sugars off of them and into the boil pot. Instead during the lauter water flows from the top of the mash tun straight down to the spigot via the channels and out into your boil pot leaving precious sugars behind and giving you lower conversion rates and weaker wort. These two things in themselves are the easiest things to correct and a brewer's failure to correct them are probably the single biggest reason for all grain batches lower conversion rates, but they are easy to avoid just by stirring the mash really well.
|Fly Sparging Stout Wort After A 60 Minute Mash|
By this time the entire brew area took on the aroma and smells familiar to anyone who has ever been to a Starbucks or worked in a coffee plant were they roasted imported green coffee beans to a deep dark color. When lautering the hot wort I got a nice warm comforting feeling from the aromas coming off of the mash and wort as the boil pot filled that was perfect on the first cold day of Fall.
|Recirculating A Half Gallon Of Freshly Made Wort|
|Original Gravity Reading Of 1.056|
|Stout Wort With First Wort Hops And 30 Minute Boil|
|Adjusting Yeast Temperature And Consistency Before Pitching|
At the start of my brewing session just as I was preparing the mash tun I took the tubes of WLP004 yeast out of the refrigerator and set them in a bowl of OneStep to so they could gradually warm up to pitching temperature. Both tubes had been refrigerated and kept cold at the LHBS and I did the same when I got them home. Over the next several hours as the grains mashed and the wort was lautered and boiled I would give both tubes a shake or two to mix up the yeast cells with the beer inside the tubes. I wanted the yeast to have a nice creamy consistency when I eventually pitched them into my wort. This is a good way to make sure there are no clumps of cells lumped together and that as many yeast cells as possible get emptied from the tubes when pitched.
|White Labs WLP004 - Irish Ale Yeast™ Pitched At 70F|
Size 5.00 gallons: Estimated IBU=37, SRM=37, OG=1.059, FG=1.015, ABV= 5.7%
Recipe:Click to download this recipe file for qBrew
8.5 pounds US 2 Row
1.0 pound Crystal 20L
0.5 pound Chocolate Malt (British)
1.0 pound Roasted Barley
White Labs WLP004 - Irish Ale Yeast™
Mash at 155° F for 60 minutes.
Boil for 30 minutes.Aerate, pitch at 70° F and ferment at 68-72° F until final gravity is reached
Raise to 72° F over 2 days then hold for 5 daysKeg at 30 psi for 2-3 days and serve at 36° F
I use Mr. Beer fermentors and they hold around 2.4 gallons of wort but I used all 11g of yeast that's typically packaged for 5 gallon brews.
Infusion Mash: (Soak mash tun in 8 quarts of 170° F water for 20 minutes, preheat and dump it)Heat 21 quarts of filtered water to 165° F
Pour 14 quarts of 165° F water into mash tun
Mix in 11.0 pounds of crushed grain mix at 68° F
Pour the remaining 165° F water to fill mash tun to 4.50 gallon mark
Stir water and grain mixture and adjust to 155° F and mash for 60 minutes
Fly sparge with 168° F strike water to set mash bed to 168° F
Lauter for 30 minutes adding 19 quarts of sweet wort to 20 quart pot
Full Wort Boil:
Add 1.5 ounces Kent Goldings (U.K.) hops with 30 minutes remaining to boil
Add 1/4 tablet WhirlFloc with 9 minutes remaining to boil
Use wort chiller to cool wort to 70° F
Use autosiphon to prevent excess hop and grain debris from getting into fermenter
Fill the Mr. Beer fermenter with wort to just above the 8.5 quart mark
Aerate wort and pitch rehydrated yeast at 70° F
Ferment to final gravity, raise to 72° F over 2 days and hold for 5 days
Keg and force carbonate at 30 psi for 2-3 days at 34°F
Keg with priming sugar, purge with Co2 and naturally carbonate for 7-14 days at 68°F
Bottle or batch prime and carbonate at 68° for 7 to 14 days
After the first 12 hours the fermentation had taken off vigorously. When I looked in on the progress the next morning I was happy to see that a thick healthy layer of krausen had already formed at the top of both fermentors. With minimal lag time this was a good sign that the fermentation was off to a great start. By the next day the fermentation had completely filled the headspace of both fermentors and one of them was beginning to overflow into the the drip tray. Over the course of the fermentation I had to remove and clean the fermentors a couple of times but overall less than a cup or so of beer was actually lost.
With the final gravity reading holding at 1.016 I figured it was time to
bottle this stout up, even though the qBrew calculation said the final
gravity should finish at 1.015 this reading was close enough for me.The results were in and I liked them. According to my measurements this stout came in at 5.3% ABV with 190 calories per and 22 carbs per 12 ounce bottle. The other good news was the apparent attenuation was also around 70% which for me is just perfect for this style of beer.
|12 Hours Later A Thick Healthy Krausen Had Already Formed|
|Final Gravity Reading Of 1.016|
|StarSan, Bottle Rinse And Bottle Tree|
I boiled about 5 tablespoons of pure can sugar in a cup of water and stirred it until the sugar was dissolved to prevent scorching or burning the sugar. After cooling the priming solution down to pitching temperature I added it to the bottling bucket along with 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract and then racked the fermented beer on top so it all mixed together as the bucket filled. Once the bucket was filled I used a large sanitized plastic spoon to gently swirl the beer and sugar solution together to make the mixture more consistent, which in turn would make the carbonation levels between bottles more consistent too. Interestingly enough I found that adding pure vanilla extract to the beer at bottling actually enhances the chocolaty flavors of the Chocolate Malt in the recipe, who would have guessed.
|Adding Vanilla Extract At Bottling Enhances Chocolate Flavors|
The bottles have been carbonating at 68F for almost two weeks now and this weekend end I plan to put a couple of bottles in the refrigerator for a day or two and them sample them. By this coming weekend the beer will have been brewed 4 weeks ago and should be ready to drink. I like to start sampling my home brewed beer after waiting at least 2 weeks for them to finish naturally carbonating and if they taste great then they'll be gone all the sooner.
|Snowy Daze Stout Naturally Carbonated And Delicious|