Monday, April 27, 2009

The oats are out

Note to self, don't change the oats cooking method half-way through and wait until the other grains are steeped before doing the oats. I way overcooked the steel cut oats for the stout, turned off the heat and by the time I had finished sparging the other grains, I had oat paste. This made sparging very difficult, though I was able to squeeze out some of the oat goodness. I am not sure of the results, so I'll either have nothing or a beer with a head able to hold up a spoon.

I did make another change to recipe while at Listermann's. I added a pound of chocolate malt. That gives a total of 3 pounds of adjunct grains to the mix. After steeping, that gave a very dark brown, nearly coffee look, smell and texture. I upped the total boil time to 90 minutes, though the bitter hops were still in for the usual 60. That boiled off nearly 1.5 gallons of water, making chill down a bit easier. I pitched with White Labs Irish Ale liquid yeast. The little buggers should be going to town now.

Saturday morning I bottled the barley wine. The final gravity was 1.030 giving an estimated 13.5% ABV. I tried some of the flat beer and it was quite good. The bottles are clearing nicely and the color is a medium caramel. I will have to resist the urge to try this one too early. I just hope the local barley wine critic likes it. I do have a slight modification in mind, but I will not tell what it is. I'll let tasters tell me. The modification will cost me about $40 over the $75 worth of ingredients already in the recipe.

The next beer tastings at Jungle Jim's isn't until the 29th of May. Perhaps I can get through what I've bought and some of what I've made by then. I am running low on both empty bottles and storage space.

I will try the Irish Red again this week, just not sure when.

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