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Old 11-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
thisgoestoeleven
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Default Stout suggestions

Last week I brewed an oatmeal stout as recipe 1 of 4 that I'm brewing for my wedding in late May. OG was 1.070, and FG was 1.017, bringing it in at around 7.1% abv. I'm doing another brew in a week or so, so I've gotta get it out of the bucket by then. I typically keg my beers, but bottles are going to be far easier logistically speaking for a wedding. I'm toying with a few ideas as to what to do with this brew in the next couple of weeks.


1. Rack to my keg, force-carb the beer, and bottle it. Stash it in the closet until it's time for the wedding

2. rack to secondary and maybe add some oak chips until December/January, then bottle. My concern with this idea is that I'm not sure how an oaked imperial stout will play at an outdoor spring wedding.

3. bottle with priming sugar and carb naturally. My concern with this is that because I'm serving it to a lot of guests, I don't want uneven levels of carbonation that you can sometimes get with priming sugar.

4. something else I'm not thinking of.

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #2
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Maybe some vanilla beans instead of the oak? Might be a little more appropriate for a spring wedding. Although if all your guests are craft brew nerds then go with oak.

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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I would secondary a beer with that high of a gravity, probably for at least 90 days then bottle condition by adding about 130 grams corn sugar dissolved in 500 ml of the brew and pasteurized at 170F for 5 minutes.

I would not add oak chips.

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Old 11-08-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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I've been to plenty of homebrew weddings where beer was served straight from a keg on ice with a CO2 charger and a picnic tap. But if that's not an option, definitely force carb and bottle. A $50 investment in a Blichmann BeerGun or some other counterpressure bottle filler will make this a whole lot easier and ensure good carbonation.

You don't want to naturally carb in beers for a mass audience. Your guests will be pouring full beers instead of stopping at the elbow, and won't like the taste or look of beer infused with a healthy little yeast colony.

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Old 11-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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A 7.1% stout? For a wedding? I'm trying to picture my mother at a wedding, enjoying a 7.1% beer. Wouldn't BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde be a little more friendly to a broad audience?

If you're determined to do it, I would definitely not bottle-condition. Too unpredictable and inconsistent, plus the yeast/sediment issue already mentioned.

If you have the ability to bottle from your keg (i.e., counter-pressure bottle filler), that'd probably work fine too, although I wouldn't bottle them too far ahead of time in case of oxidation.

My first choice would be to just serve directly from the keg, using a jockey box for cooling if refrigeration is an issue. That way people can have as much as they like, no empty bottles/caps to deal with, etc. But then again, I'd also go with a much, much lighter beer too, or at least brew 2 (the stout and something lighter) to give people the option. Otherwise I hope you're planning on having a bunch of wine available for those people (majority?) who don't like beer/homebrew beer/"dark" beers/strong beers.

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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I made a 11% bourbon barrel aged imperial stout for my wedding, which was in July. Go big or go home.

That said I don't care for plain "oaked" stuff...it's gotta have some bourbon flavor or something in there. Maybe soak some spirals in bourbon for a month and drop those in your keg for a week and then bottle and carb?

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thisgoestoeleven View Post
...
4. something else I'm not thinking of.
....
Buying another keg?
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
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People evidently can't read that this is only 1 of 4 beers you're making. And I'm not sure why there's so much hate on bottle conditioning. That being said, this beer needs more time. Why not just rack to secondary without any additions and then bottle in another month and a half or so?

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmaster12 View Post
People evidently can't read that this is only 1 of 4 beers you're making. And I'm not sure why there's so much hate on bottle conditioning. That being said, this beer needs more time. Why not just rack to secondary without any additions and then bottle in another month and a half or so?
Ya, If I knew I was going to have to bottle an entire kegs worth...I would bottle from the start. I don't worry much about darker beers and sediment, but given that its for the wedding maybe you could fine with gelatin and then bottle condition. There will still be plenty of yeast to carb it up and you will leave a tiny amount of yeast in the bottle (think sierra nevada)
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kombat View Post
A 7.1% stout? For a wedding? I'm trying to picture my mother at a wedding, enjoying a 7.1% beer. Wouldn't BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde be a little more friendly to a broad audience?
Well I brewed the stout now because my schedule is pretty chaotic, and I never know when I'll have a change to knock out a batch. I'm planning on doing this stout, an IPA, a lighter pale ale, and a hefeweizen, so I did the stout first because I know it'll handle the aging better than any of the other beers I'm doing.
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