Batch #13-09: Dry Stout

Style Dry Stout
Ingredients View Here
Brewing Date: Monday, November 9, 2009
Primary Fermentation: Monday, November 9, 2009
Original Gravity: 1.046
Secondary Fermentation: n/a
Bottling Date: Sunday, November 15, 2009
Final Gravity: 1.022
Release Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2009
Alcohol by volume: 3.7%
Brand: Master-Yeast Theatre
Release Name: A Few Stout Men

Summary: This will be the third batch made from raw ingredients, and the final batch released this year. It is scheduled for release just before Christmas.

08 Nov @ 10:15PM :: Created the yeast starter.  After taking the Wyeast out of the fridge, I waited one hour to allow the package to reach room temperature, before the “whack” to release the nutrient.  Within 2 hours after that, the package inflated to almost stretching.  It is now in the flask with 5oz of malt extract.

09 Nov @ 9:00PM :: This was a simple brew, compared to the pumpkin ale.  Mashed the grains for 1 hour.  The sparge required some strain-a-little, sparge-a-little cycles, but was about 1.5 colanders full versus about 2.5 for the pumpkin ale.  I think I may need a larger colander than what I have, but it suffices for now.

The wort is black, with red hues on the edges when pouring.  The 1 hour brew produced really wonderful aromas.  Cooled the mash in an ice bath for 20 minutes, which dropped the temperature to only 140F.  This time, I had three gallons of ice cold water (3 hours in the freezer) which I added to the wort to quickly get the temperature under 90F degrees.  The temperature immediately dropped to 80F after adding the 3 gallons of water.  Adding near-frozen ice water is definitely the way to go. Took a hydrometer reading, then pitched the yeast from the starter flask, which appeared to be coming out of the lag phase.  I sealed the bucket, and put it next to the bucket with pumpkin ale.

10 Nov @ 7:30 AM :: there is pressure building against the airlock, but no bubbling yet.

11 Nov @ 7:00 PM :: there are good bubbling bursts coming out at 3 seconds intervals.

13 Nov @ 7:00 PM :: the yeast is fully engaged.  Strong bubbling bursts occurring at 1 to 1.5 second intervals.

14 Nov @ 6:00 PM :: The bubbling cycle is now just over 1 minute.  Took a hyrometer reading.

15 Nov @ 7:00 PM :: The hydrometer reading is stable.  Bottled the beer.  Produced 53 12oz bottles, and one 34oz Ikea snap-lock bottle.  This beer has a wonderful aroma, even prior to conditioning.  I can’t wait to try the final product.

24 Nov @ 8:00 PM :: 9 days into conditioning, so it’s time to try a bottle.  The pour made a good head in the glass: about an inch and a half… and a thick, really smooth head at that.  The taste?  Even if you just “like” Guiness Extra Stout… AWESOME.  This one had my vote for best batch of the year, but I admit I am partial to stouts and dark beers.  The only problem with this batch will be keeping my hands off of it until the release day.  😉

18 Dec :: I received very good feedback on this beer.  I will need to determine why some of the bottles are not maintaining a strong seal when capped, since about half of the bottles were generating very little head.  I hope it is as simple as cleaning up a build up on the rim of the bottle where the cap makes contact.  We will see.