Originally Posted by humann_brewing
So how is this turning out Eddie.
Funny you should ask. We just bottled this last night. It tasted absolutely amazing! I can't wait to taste it chilled, aged, and carbonated. Here is a brief overview of what I think about the recipe and process the first time around.
As far as the base of the recipe (grain and hop bill/schedule) which gives you a beautiful "double" Black Butte Porter -- and a fine brew in and of itself. We are 100% positive that it is spot on. After listening to the podcast (several times) of the "Can You Brew It" show that cloned a standard version of BBP and had a pretty substantial interview with one of the brewers at Deschute's, We know we have exactly the right start which needs no adjusting.
We were also satisfied with our method of adding the coffee. Instead of adding the grounds to the conditioning vessel, we simply did a cold infusion and added the liquid to the boil. The coffee flavor was very strong initially, however, after 6 weeks, it has mellowed out brilliantly. Won't change a thing about that process.
Finally, the oak chips soaked in bourbon (Woodford Reserve) for a few weeks... They sat on the beer a bit longer than we would have liked, but the flavor seems to be great! Subtle but there. We'll just have to see how it works out after a month in the bottle. Once the recipe is just right we probably will use cubes instead of chips for a more "barrel-like" flavor, but that is down the road. For now, the chips seem just fine.
We will change a few things next time however:
We'll probably double the amount of cocao nibs to a full half-pound. There was no noticeable presence of a chocolate flavor -- nothing. 8 oz. might be too much, but I'm willing to try it to see how it affects the flavor.
As mentioned in an earlier post, I would make sure that an adequate starter is pitched. We might even toy with pitching a WLP 002 starter AND a Wyeast 1028 at the same time. That gets the finishing gravity a little closer to what Deschutes finishes with.
We did have some stuck fermentation issues with this brew (again, mentioned earlier) that we resolved by adding a pack of Wyeast 1028. This seems to have done the trick as our FG was 1.030.
Based on the way the flavor of the beer developed over the 6+ weeks of fermenting and conditioning, I would leave on primary for a full 30 days and then move to a conditioning carboy for another 14 days on the bourbon soaked oak chips.
Here are some of the notes concerning the actual fermentation for those who care...
OG of 1.107
Very aggressive fermentation start within about 8 hours of pitch.
Readings at 7 and 14 days were both 1.035 (short of projected FG)
Racked to secondary at 14 days.
Added oak chips at day 28.
35 day reading was 1.035.
Added 1 "Smack Pack" of Wyeast 1028 (London Ale) on day 35.
Bottled on day 50. Primed with 3/4 cup priming sugar (corn).
Sorry for the long answer, hope it helps anyone else who wants to tackle this.