Sunday, 17 July 2016

Farmhouse Imperial Stout

I originally had plans for an imperial stout with brettanomyces much like The Mad Fermentationist Courage Imperial Stout, which historically, had brettanomyces involved in the fermentation, probably from the barrels. Either way, check out  this Post.

So, I had the inclination to brew a big Imperial Stout, but I wanted to use brettanomyces. Bingo! I had harvested some WLP670 recently, from a batch of Hoppy Farmhouse Ale I've appropriately named Lemon-Face, due to the Sorachi Ace Hops. So I figured why not, and scoured the internet, looking for anyone or anything who'd done it before, when I came across Jester King Black Metal.

The Jester King beer is considered a Farmhouse Imperial Stout. It looks like they use some brettanomyces as well, this can also be funked up to crate Funk Metal.

so anyways, I had found my inspiration, I had some harvested yeast, and some malt I had ordered previously. What the Heck Right?!

From what else I had read, the Saison yeast, would be somewhat lost behind rich aromas of an Imperial stout, but there would be some funk and phenols around it, to essentially round it out. With the added brettanomyces already inside WLP670, some additional funk should come about of a period of time.

So without further delay - a Recipe:

FEAR OF THE DARK_Farmhouse Imperial Stout
Batch Size: 18 Litres
Estimated OG: 1.085
IBU: 43.2
EBC: 94.1
Efficiency: 67%
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

     6.4kg Pale Ale Malt
     0.45kg Amber
     0.15 Shephards Delight
     0.15kg Caramunich II
     0.4kg Pale Chocolate

     0.15kg Roasted Wheat: Cold Steeped

     0.4kg Carafa II: Cold Steeped

     30g Pacific Jade @ 60 Minutes
     50g East Kent Goldings @ 5 Minutes
     WLP 670 Slurry (200 ml thick)

Mash Schedule: Mash at 67 Degrees C for 60 minutes.

Brewing Notes: 
     6 Feb 2016 - 1.5 Litres of Cold Tap Water added to Insulated flask, dissolved half tsp of Calcium carbonate to this. and mixed with 0.4kg Carafa II & 0.15kg Roasted Wheat for 24 Hours cold Steep

     7 Feb 2016 - Brewed on the Grainfather. Mashed in with 24 litres of water, and sparged with 6 litres of water. Missed the amber malt in the recipe, as it had been bagged separately. Removed 1-1.5 litres of mash water (the mash had been removsed and sparging had begun) and stirred in the amber malt for a 15 min mini mash. poured back to the Grainfather through a sieve. No other salts added to mash  or boil.

 OG: 1.081 4 Points shy of target.
Pitched 200ml of fresh thick slurry, harvested from Hoppy Saison.

24 Hours later - signs of fermentation

     13 Feb 2016 - increased Temp to 21 degrees. and two days later 21.5 degrees to ensure Saison yeast is completed.

     7 April 2016 - Small Taste from Primary.  no hot alcohol at this stage, some yeast character, and plenty of thick malty stout type character. No presence of Brett noted.

     4 May 2016 - FG 1.010!!!!!!!!! Over attenuated, but tasting good, some booze.

     14 May 2016 - Bottled to 2.0 Volumes (75g priming sugar) Final Volume: 16.5Litres

     17 July 2016 - First Tasting (See Below) - WOW! 5 Months from Brewing to the first taste test.....

     Aroma - Some Funk, plenty of Malt Background, notes of dusty cocoa and biscuity malt.

     Appearance - Black as night, with beige/brown head. Carbonation, is nic and low, perfect for style. some lacing despite, being higher in alcohol

     Flavour - Funky Farmhouse notes, but restrained. Booze is prevalent, but hopefully should dissipate with time.  Some small amount of tartness as well to round it off.

     Mouthfeel - Good mouthfeel, the lower carbonation, works well with thestyle, and keeps the booziness in check. Probably a tad thin, but that'll be the low FG.

     Overall - Overall a nice beer, and should only improve over time, I'll post more notes another time, but I'm impressed, it does work as a style, just be sure to keep the esters and phenols in check.

Next time, Id mash higher maybe 69Deg C, and probably, add some extra crystal malts.

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