Monday, August 26, 2013

Brewing a Chocolate Mole Oatmeal Stout

I have been slacking on the blog as of lately. Currently trying to catch up on other blog reading, plus other hobbies that attempt to do leaves me not much time to write. I felt a little guilty that I have not wrote an entry, but I thought of something short that I can write aboot.

With brewing professionally at Saugatuck Brewing Company, I wanted to continue homebrewing and refining my beers that I make. The weekend before last I decided to to a brew session. One of the other brewers and a cellar person wanted to brew also, so I loaded up all of my equipment and headed into Holland, MI to brew at their house. My recipe for this brew was a Chocolate Mole Oatmeal Stout. The other people that I work with decided to do a Maple Stout. Both of these are tasty for the up coming Autumn season. 

I previously did this recipe and it scored well at the Michigan Beer Cup homebrew competition in 2012, where I scored above a 40, but only took honorable mention in my category. I decided to slightly modify the recipe and then do peppers in the secondary. The grain bill that I did is as follows:

10.5 # 2-Row Brewers Malt
1.33 # Flaked Barley
1.25 # Flaked Oats
0.5 # Cara-Pils
0.5 # Caramel/Crystal 120 L
0.33 # Roasted Barley
Shit ton # Rice Hulls

That morning I crushed the grain for a early afternoon brew session. What is nice aboot working at a brewery, I have access to inexpensive malts and hops, and a crusher. I started the brew session by boiling water for storage in by hot liquor tank and pre-heating the mashtun.. After which I heated more water to strike temperature. To the grains, I added 1.5 discs of Abuelita's Mexican Hot Chocolate made by Nestle™ and one-tablespoon of Chili Powder.

After I got the water up to strike temperature, I drained to mashtun and transferred 19 quarts of 168°F water into the mashtun. Then I had my fellow brewer Nick help out by gently pouring the grains into the liquid, while I mixed to to prevent formation of doughballs. This is a slight change from how I previously done this. Before I added the grain to the mashtun first then added water. This procedure worked much better. Once I check the temperature and adjusted it slightly, by adding water from the hot liquor tank, I mashed for 45 minutes.

Next I did a vorlauf for 15 minutes and the beer cleared up pretty good. Instead of doing a batch sparge, I changed the next step to bringing up the mash temperature to 168°F for mashing out by adding 7.5 quarts of 202°F water to the mash. I did this over a spoon to prevent disturbing the grain bed.

I mashed out approximately 7 gallons of wort to my kettle and prepared for the boil. At the start of the boil 1-oz. of Chinook whole leaf hops. These hops were from my harvest that at the end of the summer of 2011. At 40 minutes left, I added a half of a disc of the Mexican hot chocolate mix, at 15 minutes I added Irish moss as my to help clear the beer, at 10 minutes I added both yeast nutrient and 1 oz. of Fuggles hops, and finally at 2 minutes I added a half of a disc of the Mexican hot chocolate mix and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. My original gravity came out to be 1.079 (19° Plato), but I only collected 4.25 gallons, leaving my efficiency low at 65%.

During this week sometime, I plan on preparing peppers for the secondary. I will take and roast a whole Pablano pepper in the oven and save it in the refrigerator. When the gravity reaches and stays at the final gravity of 1.018 (4.5° Plato), I will transfer the beer to the secondary and add the Plabano pepper. I will add the both the roasted one and a raw one to the secondary. I will prepare them by cutting them into strips to increase the surface area and removing all of the seeds. I want to give this beer a savory flavour, no more heat.

My plans for future homebrews are as follows:
Belgian Blonde (with yeast harvested from Maredsous 6 bottles)
Robust Porter secondaried with Habenaro peppers
Saison secondaried with blueberries
American Wild Ale (with yeast harvested from open fermentation experiment)

I plan to bottle soon also the American Barleywine and a Mead that I steeped with Hibiscus flowers in the water before I cooled and added the honey.

I'll let you know of my thoughts of the beers in future entries.