Over the past few months I’ve been brewing and bottling like crazy. This is because I make a “Holiday 6-Pack” of beers I hand out to friends and coworkers. While doing that I depleted my 2 kegs in my keezer. Fast forward to 2 weeks from Thanksgiving: I realize that I need to fill a keg with beer that my guests will enjoy for the holiday. My problem is that I only have 2 weeks (from the date I found out we were hosting) to get it in a glass.
- It had to be a low gravity beer (under 4.6%)
- I had to pitch a ton of yeast
- It needed to be kegged
- Only certain styles lend themselves to a “speedy schedule”
I settled on a stout. I took inspiration from Chip’s Odd Winter Stout and decided to make it an all-grain recipe and turn it up a notch by adding some more specialty grains. I also decided to do what Chip did and take a gallon of the fermented beer and “ice” it (full post on that here). Here’s the recipe for a 6 gallon batch:
- OG: 1.046
- FG: 1.010
- ABV: 4.6%
- IBU: 42.5
- SRM: 38
- Calories: 151 (per 12oz)
- 76% American 2-Row
- 7% Chocolate Rye
- 7% Rice hulls
- 1,75% Roasted Barley
- 1.75% Chocolate Wheat Malt
- 1.75% table sugar
- 1.75% Carafa III
Mashed at 156 for 45 minutes and batch sparged.
Brewing Salts: I also broke out my brewing salts. I haven’t done this much, but I figured it was worth trying to match my water with that from Dublin, Ireland.
- 6 oz of unsweetened bakers chocolate (1 oz per gallon) just before boil*.
- 3 oz East Kent Goldings (5% Alpha) @ 60
- 1.2 oz of orange peel at flame out.
- 2 packets of Nottingham Dried Yeast
*I place the bakers chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, nuked it for 45 seconds, stirred, and nuked again for 45 more seconds. I then stirred it while putting the wort in my bowl. I dumped it into the kettle. It took a few pours and stirs to get it all cleaned up.
- Saturday November 14: Brew day
- Saturday November 21: Cold crashed
- Sunday November 22: Keg/Ice Day (force carb at 30psi for 2 days)
- Tuesday November 24: Drink Day
- Thursday November 26: Thanksgiving Day
Upon reading up on articles I noticed a few authors had mentioned cold crashing. Since I have a fridge fermentor (video) I figured I’d crash that, along with another beer I had going in there. I wanted to get it down to about 53 degrees for a day.
On keg day I noticed there was a ton of yeast in the bottle of my bucket. That’s because I had pitched twice the amount of yeast that I would have normally done. I’m glad I did too…my final gravity was lower than expected.
Tasting Notes: Thick creamy head dissipates quickly. The roast comes through the nose. It has a pretty thick mouthfeel and the chocolate comes through, ever so gently. I find very, very little orange too. I based my amount of orange peel on a previous batch of pale ale I made, which worked out great. My mistake was not factoring the heavy flavors from the chocolate and the malts. Maybe nix it completely or double down or triple it.
I have also tried this with a drop of Irish Whiskey to my glass first. That made it pop a bit more. If you want to try this don’t be heavy handed with it.
Would I make this again? Yes, it’s a solid recipe. On day 9 it is totally drinkable and I think with some age, it will round out very nice. My total cost for this 6 gallons was about $30, and $9 was on the yeast. Since I spent double the amount on yeast than I would because I needed to get it done fast I’d give it more time to ferment.