Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Eric Stout

The Eric Stout

My 1st Oatmeal Stout and I couldn't be happier! "Chocolaty" with a roasty slight coffee finish. Smooth and light, easy to drink, too easy, I had 3 last night without noticing. Unfortunately this may be a one time brew and I'll explain why later. See red lettering. What's with the name? A friend of mine had me and another friend out to Oregon last year and after a few rounds he forced me to make a beer in his namesake. Nah I volunteered. It's an ode to the absolute blast the 3 of us had in Oregon. Drinking and hiking, hiking and drinking. Eric is a great friend to have and I'm more than happy I could make this for him. I can't wait to get back out there, I love Portland. I recommend going if you have the opportunity.

I think the brewing and friendship spirits where present when I made this. Even though there were multiple undesirable events it still came out great. I may even enter it into the National Homebrewers Competition in April.  

 - Grain Bill - 
10 lbs 2 Row 
8 oz Roasted Barley
1 lb Crystal 120
12 oz Quaker Oats (not the minute oats, I used the original)
12 oz American Chocolate Malt
4 oz American Black Malt

 - Hops - 
.5 oz Cascade (90min)
.5 oz Willamette (90min)
.5 oz Cascade (30min)
.5 oz Willamette (15min) 
Wyeast 1056 American Ale 

My strike water was 165 and once the grain was added it brought it down to 149. Panic ensued - not really but I was concerned about the temp. I needed 153 (yes it makes a difference, I found out with last years Christmas Ale) so I drained off about a gallon and brought it to 177 degrees then sparged back into the grain bed. Miraculously it did the trick and the grain bed was brought up to 153. This is one of the problems I encounter with not having a recirculated mashing system but I'm slowly getting there. If the mash isn't exposed to a heating source then the possibility of low temperature exists. 
After an hour of sitting at 153 degrees I "mashed out" with 170 degree water and extracted 6.5 gallons of wort.
Added the hops and brought the wort to a hard boil which boiled over once but was under control after that. In doing that I know I must've lost a bunch of the Cascade and Willamette in the beginning stages. Life goes on.
After a 90 minute boil and 2 hop additions I got ready for the cooling. I inserted my chiller and the damn thing ruptured inside the wort releasing a little hose water into the wort. After pulling the chiller out of the wort I threw the pot into a vat of ice water and salt. Salt? It was a whim. I read an article where it's possible to chill a can of soda in about 3 minutes submerging it in. ice water and salt. So I thought the same principle should apply here. It did. The wort cooled from 180 degrees to 70 degrees in about 15 minutes. Outstanding. 
I took an initial gravity reading (1.056) and pitched the yeast starter at 64 degrees. Then placed it into the fermenter chiller where it sat at around 68 degrees for a couple hours until the unit chilled it to 62 degrees. Fermentation started in about 12 hours (ALWAYS MAKE A STARTER! It really helps.).
After fermentation was complete (FG 1.016) I took it out of the chiller unit and placed it in a vat of water and ice bottles for about two weeks. It sat at around 46 degrees (yeah I know it's lagering temperature folks) for the duration. This is called crashing the yeast I think but I'm not sure. 
I kegged it and set the the psi to 30 for about 48 hours then dropped it to 5 psi. I'm not quite sure on the numbers but it feels great to me. The resulting brew is pictured above.


No comments:

Post a Comment