#101: Chocolate Stout – 10.1.17 Update

It’s been so long since I’ve brewed beer (~10 months?) that I may have forgotten how to do it. But, as with all recipes I’ve done, let’s start with the recipe – and onto Brewer’s Friend!

Catching Up On Best Practices

As decided from previous exercises, I steeped the grain at a target of 150 degrees for 75 minutes. The average temperature was closer to 155 degrees, assuming that my thermometer is accurate.

Also, I’ll be adding milk sugar at bottling, not to the wort.

Two Varieties

I want to make a couple different varieties with this batch:

  • Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Mint Chocolate Milk Stout

To accomplish this, I’ll brew a single gallon batch and split it up into two fermenters. One fermenter is going to have dried peppermint leaves added to the primary.

I’ll be going a little aggressive on the cacao nibs add-in, but relatively conservative with the mint. I’m a bit scarred from my last beer failure – having added too much ginger to the brew. And while I can’t imagine anything too terrible happening by making a beer too chocolatey, I can’t say the same for making a beer too minty.

I’m making a single batch of wort from which to make two varieties of beer. The beers will be identical save one difference: mint. One iteration of the beer will have 0.75 oz. of dried peppermint leaves to the secondary. Both versions will get 1 oz. of cacao nibs added to the secondary. During bottling, each version will get milk sugar added to taste.

You can download the recipe here.

10.1.17 Update

I made a pretty massive mistake on this batch. As such, it’s time to update best practices. And that update will be: change one thing at a time.

For this iteration, I decided to use S04, instead of the usual s05 yeast. S04 results in a much less boozy, much more malty fermentation. Think of it as the yeast just doing less work. In this case, it was way less work. The final gravity for this project is over 1.1.

And since my notes evaporated on the OG, I have no idea what the ABV is on this. #fail.

I moved the beer to a secondary with 2 oz. of cacao nibs. Hopefully, the ABV on this won’t be so low that none of the cacao notes don’t get extract from the nibs and into the beer. We’ll see what happens in eight weeks.

Super Rye Session IPA

I’m sure you’ve seen these before: Rye IPA. Rye IPA are distinctive for their red color, and what’s noted as a spicy character. I’ve tried a couple Red or Rye IPAs in my day, and haven’t really been impressed. I’ve never really noticed the distinctive “pepper” finish that beer geeks wax poetic about. (This includes a previous batch of rye session IPA homebrew.) So, enter my attempt to brew a Rye IPA so I can finally figure out what all this peppery finish stuff is all about. Why will my own particular homebrew version of a Rye IPA make the difference in me distinguishing all those features that a rye beer? I’m using 50% rye in my grain bill. (The last iteration was just 16% rye.)

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