What kind of good home brewin' Irish boy would I be if I didn't craft my own stout? Not a very proper one I suppose. With that in mind I give you:
Irish Pride Stout - brewed on: 4/15/2011 - Briess 2 Row: 2 lbs 14 oz - Briess Flaked Barley: 6 oz - Briess Carapils: 6 oz - Briess Roasted Barley: 4 oz - Crisp Chocolate Malt: 3 oz - Kent Goldings (UK) Pellet Hops: .5 oz (60 min) - Pacman Yeast
pre-brew plan of attack: mash: 155/56° for 70 minutes in 4 gallons and let "free fall" down to 152° (hitting with some heat if needed) thinking of going "Aussie No-Sparge" here...little nervous about it, but what the heck? after the mash, raise temp to 168-170° for about 10 minutes to "mash out" - about a gallon lost to the boil, about another 1/2 gallon to absorbtion - leaving 2.5-ish gal after the boil - put 2.28 gal into LBK anticipated @ (hopefully) 75% eff: 1.044 OG, 4.3% ABV, 18 IBU 2-3-2 methodology
actual brew day notes: ok, so my mash was...interesting. I didn't account for proper heat loss, so when I added my grain to the 4.1-ish gallons of 165° water, the temp only dropped about 4 degrees, so I left the lid off and allowed the temp to fall back down to 156° before I started my countdown. it fell to 152 after about a half hour, and I brought it back up to 155 and let it go for the duration of 70 minutes...finshed at about 151, so I am curious to see how the mouthfeel will be affected (I read somewhere that Palmer actually liked the "free-falling" mash, so I figured what the hell, right?). Also, I stirred the mash every 15 or so minutes.
raised it up to 170° to "mash out" for about 10 minutes, then I pulled the bag and let the goodness drip out. however, before discarding the grains, I gently squeezed the bag and got a few more ounces to come out. 60 minute boil and I was all done.
my OG measured in at 1.044, which means I got about 82-83% from the grains based on the volume of wort produced (approx 2.75 gallons...with 2.5 gallons going into the LBK with 5 drops of Fermcap just in case!). I couldn't be more pleased with that result, as I was actually a tad worried about going no-sparge for the first time.
-ferment through: 5/2/2011 ***sample during bottling was GREAT! slight coffee bean-ish roastiness with a touch of chocolate
-carb/condition through: 5/22/2011
-1st tester: 6/5/2011 ~notes from 6/7/2011: poured out almost pitch black, but there are tawny edges when held up to a light...very nice for a stout IMO. That huge tan head dissipated relatively quickly, but left a thin ring around the glass all the way down...also nice for a stout. So far so good, but then I realize there is only a hint of roastiness in the nose, and that was it. The flavor consists of a slight bit of roasted coffee bean and a slight touch of dark chocolate...and it stops there. The mouthfeel is leaning towards thin, and the sip goes down slick and easy. Not bad for an easy drinking stout, but I am a bit disappointed that the flavors are as subdued as they are. I guess I should not be surprised since my wife actually thought this beer was "pretty good" and she usually would not go anywhere near a stout. So, while not bad at all, I think I will mash a few degrees higher and toss in an extra ounce or two of the chocolate malt and roasted barley next time. That is good sign since I am already looking ahead to "next time" with this beer! ~Next Recipe~