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-   -   Too much coffee in my stout? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/too-much-coffee-my-stout-201085/)

Jubilee 10-17-2010 06:34 AM

Too much coffee in my stout?
 
Last night I brewed up a slightly modified Founder's Breakfast Stout clone. Here's my process for detail's sake:
1) Steep specialty grains @ 155F for 35 min in 2 gal H2O, rinse with .5 gal hot H2O.
2) Boil DME and 1 oz nugget whole hops 60 min
3) 0.5 oz Willamette whoile hops @ 30min
4) Add LME, 1 tsp yeast energizer, 2 tsp irish moss @ 45min
5) 1 oz orange peel @ 10 min
6) .5oz Willamette, chocolate, coffee @ flameout

My main concern is with the coffee. The recipe asked for 2oz ground coffee at flameout and 2 oz in the secondary. I've not found the need or desire to rack to a secondary, so made the decision to add all 4 oz of coffee at flameout. My OG is in the ballpark, it's fermenting nicely, but it REALLY smells of coffee right now. The sample I pulled for hydrometer reading tasted very strongly of coffee as well. It's overpowering.

So my questions...will this mellow with time? If not, is there anything I can do during the cold crash or kegging that will mellow or counteract the strong coffee smell/taste?

ScrewyBrewer 10-17-2010 11:56 AM

Yes, IMHO pretty much all beer mellows over time, it's just a matter of how much time and mellow you'd like it to turn out. How long do you plan on fermenting, carbing and conditioning?

Fletch78 10-17-2010 02:15 PM

AS fermentation continues, more and more of the coffee aroma will be lost, which is why it's recommended you use half of it in "secondary" which simply means "after fermentation". You'll probably have more coffee astringency with less aroma in the final product.

In the future, know that "secondary" doesn't mean "rack it all into a glass carboy". It simply means "after primary", in most beer terms.

Wine and cider makers take it literally.

Jubilee 10-17-2010 03:54 PM

Thanks guys. Live and learn eh?

Screwy: I was planning on leaving it in the primary 2-3 weeks total, then cold crashing 2-3 days before kegging and carbing. I can leave it in the keg indefinitely, although would like to drink it asap of course.

Fletch: thanks for the clarification on "secondary". Guess I was taking it too literally. Is there anything I can do to counteract an overpowering astringency that's detected during kegging?

nikkormat 10-18-2010 07:15 AM

even if it's got too much coffee in it after mellowing, it can still turn out to be a great beer. one of my local brewpubs has an imperial coffee stout, and it's one of my favorite beers. normally i drink IIPAs but the intense coffee flavor and sweetness is awesome. it drinks like an espresso for a cold day, and if your beer turns out to be similar, then don't go into drinking it thinking that you're going to be having a "beer." go into every glass expecting to have a glass of alcoholic espresso or whatever you like, and the flavor will really grow on you.

as far as the astringency goes, it's the same reason that old coffee is never as good as freshly brewed coffee. while the flavor will mellow out with time, I'm not sure if the astringency will.

Jubilee 10-18-2010 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkormat (Post 2344077)
even if it's got too much coffee in it after mellowing, it can still turn out to be a great beer. one of my local brewpubs has an imperial coffee stout, and it's one of my favorite beers. normally i drink IIPAs but the intense coffee flavor and sweetness is awesome. it drinks like an espresso for a cold day, and if your beer turns out to be similar, then don't go into drinking it thinking that you're going to be having a "beer." go into every glass expecting to have a glass of alcoholic espresso or whatever you like, and the flavor will really grow on you.

as far as the astringency goes, it's the same reason that old coffee is never as good as freshly brewed coffee. while the flavor will mellow out with time, I'm not sure if the astringency will.

Thanks for the thoughts....they're good ones. :mug:

Even if it turns out less thn expected, it's all about the learning process...or maybe I'll love it! On a sidenote, it took about 36hrs for this brew to really start cranking up the fermentation. I thought it'd be okay to just throw the airlock on (due to an apparent sluggish start to fermentation) but came home from watching football to it being full of foam. Switched to the blowoff tube and it's been gurgling happily since.

Joker 10-18-2010 03:50 PM

I have brewed 4 oz of espresso and added it to a stout and it was just fine at drinking time. I believe you will enjoy your results.

Jubilee 10-20-2010 03:58 PM

So it's day 5 of fermentation and things are starting to slow down in the carboy. The STRONG coffee smell bubbling out has mellowed significantly. This morning I'm convinced I can smell the chocolate now. Really looking forward to seeing how it turns out. Always an adventure!


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