Rule #1: Never brew in socks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Cosmos 9/29/11

Angry Monocle's first anniversary is just around the corner, and we thought we'd brew something special for it. From the filthy depths of our minds came The Cosmos, a ravishingly dark hybrid of a Belgian Quadrupel and an American Imperial Stout. This heavy brew combines the esters and phenolics of Trappist yeast, the dark fruit flavors of special B and Belgian Candi syrup, and a massive quantity of roasted barley, imparting roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavors. With an expected ABV of near 12%, this beer is our biggest yet.

Batch Size: 5 gal
Boil Volume: 4 gal
Calculated OG: 1.113
Measured FG: 1.022
ABV: 12%
Calculated IBUs (Tinseth): 27
Pitching Temperature: 70F
Yeast: Wyeast 3787
Starter: yeast cake
Fermentation Vessel: Bucket

Malts Mashed Amount %
Roast Barley 2 13%
Special B 1 7%
Other Fermentables Amount %
Candi Sugar (dark) 1.5 10%
DME 10.75 70%
Hops/Additions Amount Time AA%
Horizon 0.8 60 11.9%
Fuggles 0.5 30 4.5%
Fuggles 0.5 20 4.5%

Hannah and John came by to help with the brewing process, giving us a much needed hand as we were bottling the Belgian Black simultaneously. This was necessary, because with a beer this big you need a ton of yeast. Lee had proposed making a four and half liter starter just to cultivate a enough yeast for this beast, but fortunately there was an easier way. We decided to treat our last brew, the 2.5 gal Belgian Black, as the starter and just dump the wort for the Quadrupel Stout onto its yeast cake. This meant we were going to have to bottle just before the wort was ready, to prevent the yeast from losing viability or getting infected.

While Lee and I kept our hands busy bottling and tending to the steeping grains, John and Hanna mixed the DME into the kettle. A miscommunication resulted in John's attempt to add 800 ounces of DME to the brew, a measure which would have broken our extract bank and one which was fortunately caught before he'd added more than 3/4lbs extra extract. So our 10.5% beer became 11.5%. There was also some scorching as result of insufficient stirring, however, with all the flavors in this baby, its unlikely to matter. Otherwise, the whole process went to plan. Except we forgot the yeast nutrient (oops!).

After being pitched onto the yeast cake and aerated vigorously, the beer quickly began to bubble. By the next morning a steady stream of bubbles was coming through the blow-off tube. This was quickly followed by huge amounts of blow-off, enough to pop the lid off the fermenter three times. We attempted to combat the blow-off by scooping the top layer of krausen off twice, leaving just enough to cover the beer. The beast was quickly able to regenerate the krausen, but stopped blowing off by the second day of fermentation.

Racked to secondary 11/1/11.

Bottled 12/18/11.

No comments:

Post a Comment