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Old 09-30-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default Enter the Dark Arts. N00b Mockumentary

If you are a n00b like me then you probably have a ton of questions swimming around your head. Personally, my questions tend to be rather dumb and any decent person would feel stupid just asking them. Good thing I am not too decent but as most folks are, I decided to document my first beer brew to help out others in the same boat as myself. Its going to be a quick brew, its going to be a dirty brew, and its most certainly going to be a dark one.

I recently got itchy and tired of waiting for my meads to be drinkable and so queried the gods of brewing on this forum. The goal was to make something, anything really that was drinkable within 3 weeks. Thanks to the friendly folk who helped me out on this thread, here is what I came up with...

Recipe: Stout
5 #s Breiss "Special Dark" LME
2 #s flaked barley
1 # black roasted barley
2oz Kent goldings
S05 yeast

I will walk you through the trials and tribulations of this venture. If the creation of the wort has anything to say, this is going to be one dark evil beast of a stout.

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Old 09-30-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
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I began by heating ~3 gallons spring water to around 150 degrees and then steeped the barleys using a grain bag. Steeped this for 30 minutes and it immediately began to darken.

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Old 09-30-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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Removed the grain bag and brought everything to a boil. Added the hops and boiled for 55 minutes. I found that I lost as much as 1.5 gallons of volume during this boil and found myself periodically adding water during the boil. Yeah. Its pretty dark already. Not even any malt added yet.

not-even-lme.jpg  
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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Added the Breiss "Special dark" malt and stirred it in for about 5 minutes. It has a color rating of 90. Now this thing is a dark beast. This stout has now become known as Dark Abyss Stout and it is possible that Cthulhu himself has taken an active role in the darkness of this brew.

darkness.jpg   dark-abyss.jpg  
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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Topped off to 5 gallons in the ferm bucket. The wort was so hot headed that I had to put it on ice to chill out for a while.

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
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Next time, chill the wort right in the boiling pot in an ice bath, and then when it gets to 90 degrees, pour it into the fermenter, and then top off with cold water. It is faster, because it's much easier to chill a smaller volume than a larger volume. Otherwise, you have 5 gallons of too-warm wort, instead of 3 gallons of too-warm wort!

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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Yeah. That is something that crossed my mind after the fact. The metal boiling pot probably would have cooled better as well. Still, trials AND tribulations of the documentation must include the tribulations too

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:45 PM   #8
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Question. Is there any particular reason you hopped it before adding the extract? I know with a stout you really are only going for bitterness, but I am still curious.

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkleJon View Post
Question. Is there any particular reason you hopped it before adding the extract? I know with a stout you really are only going for bitterness, but I am still curious.
That was based on recommendations I received. As hot as I was boiling it, it was recommended to do this to avoid any damage to the LME flavor from excessive heat.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofgrok View Post
That was based on recommendations I received. As hot as I was boiling it, it was recommended to do this to avoid any damage to the LME flavor from excessive heat.
Right. It's very well accepted to add the LME late in the boil, to avoid caramelization type of flavors ("maillard reactions") as well as excessive darkening. Of course, with a black stout I don't darkening would be an issue! But a "cooked extract" taste isn't good, so adding the bulk of the LME late in the boil is a great way to avoid that.

LME doesn't have to boil, as it's been processed already. But the point of a boil in an extract batch is for the hops utilization. So, the hops are added as usual for the boil.
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