With fall due to be arriving here in the northwest I wanted to get the first darker beer brewed for when the weather really takes a turn for the worse. I love a good Irish stout and haven’t taken a stab at the style yet, so I figured this was the 1st fall beer to get brewed. This recipe is going to yield a beer different from Guinness, more closer to a Beamish stout with the inclusion of chocolate malt and some darker crystal and a higher mash temperature. I’m hoping the blend of roasted barley and chocolate malt and the dark crystal will a some more dimension that the standard Irish Stout but still be very drinkable and fairly light in body. This batch I also got to use a new yeast supplier in the area, Imperial Yeast. The yeast comes in 200 billion cell 5 oz cans which is perfect for most beers I brew so I can skip making a starter a lot of times. The gents at the homebrew shop had really good things to say about the yeast so far as well.
Mash: 153 (45 min)
Boil: 60 min.
Mash pH: 5.4
55.0% Stout Malt (Malting Co. of Ireland)
20.0% Flaked Barley
7.5% Rauch Malt
7.5% Roasted Barley (300 L)
5.0% Chocolate Malt (350 L)
5.0% Extra Dark Crystal (160L)
0.75 oz Northern Brewer (10.1%) 60 min.
1.00 oz Goldings (4%) 10 min.
0.50 oz Goldings (4%) 0 min.
0.75 oz Northern Brewer (10.1%) 0 min.
Imperial A18 – Joystick
Yeast pitched at 62 and will ferment this one at 65 before ramping up to finish things out. Activity stated within 6 hours, so not really much more of a lag time from when pitching from a starter at this temperature. It was really strange not to make a starter and the yeast was so compacted at the bottom of the can it was a little tough to pitch, but not too bad. The strain I’m using is supposedly the Pacman strain so I’m thinking that will yield a pretty clean ester profile that will allow the malt profile to really come through.
Ended up finishing a bit higher than I was thinking. I always forget stouts seem to attenuation 10-15% less than other beers. The gravity sample smelled of espresso and tasted really nice. Should be on tap on a week or so after carbing up.
Tasting notes – 11.24.15
Aroma: Cocoa, coffee and a touch of smoke in the aroma.
Appearance: Black with a nice beige head that hangs around a minute plus.
Taste: Roasted coffee and some chocolate, little bit of bitterness hangs on the tongue and subtle yeast esters round out the taste. Hard to discern if bitterness is from hops or roasted malts. The bitterness lessens as the pint warms up and drink very smooth around 55 degrees. No real hop flavors noticeable.
Mouthfeel: Full with medium carbonation.
Overall: I’m really pleased with how this beer turned out. It has way more flavor and body than a Guiness or Murphy’s and is a great winter beer to have on tap. There’s a really nice combination of coffee, chocolate, smoke, sweetness and maltiness that make this an interesting stout that doesn’t drink too rich or sweet. And with it clocking in under 4%, its a pretty complex session beer that’s pretty easy to drink a few pints of. I’m really loving the ester profile that this yeast gives as well. It has a slight mineral quality that really meshes well with everything else going on in this beer.