So I'm putting this up here partly for the purpose of documenting what I know will be a rather long process, and partly to be able to ask questions, for suggestions, etc. while I move this one along.
Having a few BIAB batches under my belt and limited funding, time, etc. but an incessant need to keep designing (and subsequently wanting to brew) new batches, I decided to get together supplies to make three 1 gallon batches - a massive imperial stout, an imperial IPA, and an american stout. Here were the recipes (I believe... I did a poor job of keeping the notes I took since I had nearly given up on them as being ruined):
3oz roasted barley
1oz chocolate malt
4oz brown sugar
.25oz northern brewer@15mins
oak chips soaked in bourbon at 2ndary
black peppercorns (3) at 2ndary
Calculated OG: 1.141
1oz citra dry hop
Calculated OG: 1.098
4oz chocolate malt
Calculated OG: 1.061
I brewed two of them on one day, one on another day. Didn't bother taking OG because I wanted to taste them first, as test batches. Perhaps dumb, but I wasn't concerned. It was experimentation. I discovered not too long later that my thermometer was off... by a lot. Result being that all three were mashed via BIAB at well over 160F, perhaps as high as 170-175F? I don't really know, quite honestly. You'll note that two of these would have had pretty massive
I used Notty on all three, and discovered after ferm was "finished" that all three were very, very sweet still (I didn't notice any tannins, so temp didn't get THAT high). I left them alone for quite a long while hoping that something would work/happen. No such luck. Long story short, I was right near the point of just dumping all three and calling them a loss, when I decided to be experimental.
Time has gone by (5, 6 months now?), so aroma and dry hops are gone, probably any hop flavor too. Before I bothered joining here and getting reasonable advise, I thought I would try blending the three, adding about a gallon of water and about a pound of cane sugar, assuming it might help "dry it out". I also added champaign yeast thinking it might do something (I know better now, via a different thread).
So, the yeast has done all it's going to do with the cane sugar and whatever fermentable sugars there were in the batches. And here I sit with roughly 3 gallons (after all the loss from the three original containers) I've ordered up a vial of Brett C. that I'm going to add to it. I'll probably add some oak to it at some point (or perhaps spanish cedar? hmmm...) I figure, at this point, what could possibly be a problem? If I'm going to otherwise dump it anyway, should be fun to play with. It might even eventually, in a year or two or three, become something interesting.
Yes there might have been some oxidation introduced during the blending and the addition of the water and sugar. I'm sorta counting on it at this point. But again, with Brett and age, and maybe some other things along the way, who knows?
It's clearly unstylable and I don't anticipate ever entering it into any competitions or anything, but it should be a fair learning experience. And could prove interesting. I'm thinking of calling it "Odd Bruin" or, if it really works out well, "St. Brett: the Patron Saint of Failed Mashes".
Anybody having any interesting thoughts, suggestions, or ideas - they would be most welcome. At this point in time I don't think I want to make a full on sour by adding any bugs... especially with the IBUs in the bittering alone for all of these, they might not work anyway. At any rate, the Brett should be here next Thursday, so it'll begin then. I'll take an "initial" gravity of it at that point, since I haven't done that yet.
Cheers to the Mad Homebrewer's laboratory over here...