Sunday, April 20, 2008

Industrial Stout

Every so often I get an urge to brew a dark beer. Usually this desire stems from a commercial beer that tickles me, and so it was with this stout. The impetus came from supping upon Black Pearl Stout brewed my Messrs. McMaguire here in Dublin. It is a proper stout with decent roasted and bitter notes and offers so much more than the nitrogentated stouts produced by the big brewers. As I said before, I don't really try to clone commercial beer, but I was certainly looking for the rich flavour that Black Pearl offered, so I upped the amount of roasted barley I usually add and threw in a measure of black malt, which may well be the undoing of this beer, and I also increased the bittering hops and made small aroma addition too. The flaked barley should give a voluminous frothy head, which is something I have always enjoyed about bottled Guinness and think every stout should have.

4.6 kg Maris Otter
600g Roasted Barley
500g Flaked Barley
250g Black Malt

Mashed at 68 C

12.5 Plato

45g 9% AA Target 60 mins
20g First Gold 20 mins

48 IBU

White Labs Irish Ale Yeast

It looked and smelled delicious during the whole process, particularly the black malt which had a distinct coffee aroma. Mashing in is one of my favourite steps during the brew because of the wholesome smell that develops when the malt hits the hot water. It smells so damn nutritious, but this mash was better then most because of the roasted grains. The boil was beautiful too with an almost cappuccino like foam forming on the top of the wort. I don't think I have come across a process that offers quite so much intrinsic worth to me. The brewing process itself is very fulfilling even without the invariably tasty end product.

I used a liquid yeast for the first time in quite a while having brewed a spell using only dried yeast. I nursed a yeast starter of Irish ale yeast all week long that I grew from an old vial from White Labs. I bought some equipment to aid me in this process which I'll post about soon, but the end result was a fabulous fermentation that started in a matter of hours and spilled from bottle I put the blow off tube into. Haven't had one of those in a while, though I did fill the carboy to the brim. The carboy is jet black with a fabulous tan head trapped inside bubbling away very satisfactorily. I'm looking forward to sampling this, and I can think of a few others who might be equally excited at the prospect.


The Beer Nut said...

Wot no Galena?!

Thom said...

Any more lip from you and I'll get the cat to take you off the official brewery beer appraisers list. If you recall I told you the other night that I used up all my Galena in the Centennial Ale (and very tasty it is too), but you were too beguiled by the tall, tasty Hooker before you.

The Beer Nut said...

:) Yes, I do recall that, but I didn't think you were still clinging to the Black Pearl parallel.

I have little doubt but that this will be lovely, however I just hope you're prepared for the "certain others" telling you plaintively that it doesn't taste like Black Pearl.

Some sort of prohibition of comparisons on the label might not go amiss...

Thom said...

I don't expect it to taste like Black Pearl at all really. I just want a stout with a bit of character, which Black Pearl seems to offer. Do you see why I don't like cloning?

The Beer Nut said...

Oh absolutely. To the point where I don't see why anyone would do it.

So do you want comments on how this does or doesn't have "the rich flavour that Black Pearl offered" or not? Assuming Oscar ever lets me taste it, of course.

Thom said...

This stout has around around 15% roasted grains. Guinness is about 9%. If I don't get the roasted flavour I seek, I'm not altogether sure how to go about it.

The Beer Nut said...

I understand that this stout took second prize at the inaugural Tara's Speciality Beer House homebrew competition last weekend. Congratulations!

Thom said...

That's super. I didn't think an old fashioned stout would get a look in with some of the more trendy hoppy beers that no doubt were present.