Irish / English Stout Batch

IMG_0477All malts are Muntons.

  • 16.8 lb Pale malt (73%)
  • 3.45 lb Brown malt (15%)
  • 2.3 lb Chocolate malt (10%)
  • 0.46 lb Black malt (2%)
  • 2 oz Challenger 60 min
  • 2 oz Challenger 10 min
  • WLP 004 Irish Ale Yeast
  • WYeast 1968 London ESB Yeast

// Mash-in 1.23 qt/lb (7 gal mash liqour) at 153 for 50 min, raise to 170 for 5 min. Sparge to collect 12.5 gal 1.051 wort. Boil 60 min to collect 11 gal 1.054 wort. Chill to 75, pitch 1L starters of each yeast. //

IMG_0458UPDATE (11/4/14): Fermentation has slowed down, gravity of both carboys at around 1020. The English yeast batch tastes great – the esters work beautifully with the full bodied English malts. Great roast flavor with hints of dark chocolate. The Irish yeast batch is not as attractive at this point. The yeast definitely has a “different” character which reminds me of other stouts I’ve had (hard to describe that yeast flavor), but i’m not sure it works as well with the English malts and the hops. The hops are a little more pronounced in the Irish batch as well. It’s solid – big roast and chocolate flavors – but doesn’t really jell like the English batch.  Gave both carboys a good shake to hopefully help them attenuate a little more.

UPDATE (11/7/14): Neither batch attenuated any further, but they taste complete. Moved the Irish batch to the chest freezer at 35F, and moved the English to a keg to cask-condition. Kegged the Irish on 11/11/15.

THE VERDICT

My opinions about both of these beers changed pretty significantly throughout their time in the keg. Initially, I thought the English yeast provided a much rounder, flavorful beer that jelled much better with the rest of the ingredients… but, after a few weeks in the keg, the Irish yeast seemed to claim my favoritism. The hops mellowed out (I think this was the main source of “meh”) and something about the very soft and delicate ester profile of the Irish yeast tastes so appropriate alongside the roasted character of stout that it’s mind-boggling.  The cask beer was delicious as well, but I think the force carbonated version won me over. All-in-all, this was a delicious stout that had plenty of deep chocolate and roast character.

I do need to investigate why my beers have not been attenuating fully as of late. It’s a bit colder out, which will definitely slow down fermentation, but I also think I need to look into getting some pure O2 to aerate the wort more thoroughly. I give it a fair splashing when transferring to the carboy from the kettle, but it’s probably not enough.

 

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Filed under All-grain, Stout / Porter

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