Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1056
Yeast Starter: 3qts
Batch Size (Gallons): 6
Original Gravity: 1.073
Final Gravity: 1.024
Boiling Time (Minutes): 75
Color: 48 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 4 days, ~ 70*
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 20 days, ~ 70*
Tasting Notes: A dark beer for people who "don't like dark beers." It's like Kahlua.
I got about 67% efficiency with this one.
11# English pale malt
1# crystal 120*
1# crystal 80*
1# English chocolate malt
1# aromatic malt
1# flaked barley
.5# American roast barley
1# caramelized sucrose (see below), add with 5 min left in boil
-Mash in at 127* with .75qts/# for 15 minutes
-Infuse with .5qts/# to reach 158*. I intended this rest to be 60 minutes but it took 90 for me to be sure I achieved conversion when looking at an iodine test.
-Mash out to 168*, lauter and sparge
-Boil for 75 mins
I used only Fuggle pellets (4.3%AA) for all additions:
1.5oz, 75 min
1oz, 30 min
1oz, 20 min
1oz, 10 min
1oz, 5 min
Definitely the best beer I've brewed and I'll update the recipe if I enter it into competition.
It pours a large, brown head that seems to erupt from the beer. Retention of this large head is low, but it maintains a thin layer of very small, foamy bubbles throughout the drinking.
It has incredibly deep notes of raisin and date that bring to mind thick syrups. The aroma is backed up by dank whiffs of Fuggles.
Mouthfeel is enormous and slick. It's so thick that the carbonation feels like it's not so much "in" the beer, but "around" it. Yeah. You want to chew it. To give you an idea of how thick it is, when I racked to secondary I had to carry the carboy across the room back to the brew closet. After setting it down, I noticed it had sloshed up the side of the carboy some - it looked like somebody had spilled dark honey inside as it slowly ran down the wall. It ran down leaving behind big legs that were more than just a thin layer of liquid - they were plump. I got really excited then.
As mentioned above, you can't help to think of Kahlua when you drink it. There's a definite alcohol warmth to it, but not too hot. Any roasty astringency is very mild and complimentary. The dark grains really provide some boldness more than anything. Sweetness is certainly noticeable but not puckering. There's a real roundness to the whole beer, which I think is a combination of the full mouthfeel, the pungent-herby hops, and the chocolate-syrup flavors. A 12oz bottle is plenty and makes a great dessert.
Instead of buying something like candi sugar or just adding table sugar, I decided to caramelize some table sugar. I added it to a copper pot with a couple ounces of water and a squirt of lemon juice. Begin cooking on medium high. The water will evaporate and you'll be left with this thick liquid sugar that will be bubbling intensely. If you were making candy, you'd probably want to use a silicone brush to drip tiny amounts of water down the side to discourage crystalization, but since this is all going into the boil, crystals aren't that big of a deal. Don't disturb the sugar as it boils, you'll just make a mess. It will eventually begin to pick up some color. At this point you can occasionally pick up the pan and tilt/turn the pan to make sure the sugar is evenly caramelizing. Remove from heat whenever the color looks a little lighter than you want it to finally end up. It will continue cooking for a little bit. You can rest the pan in ice water as well to slow/halt cooking. I added to the boil with 5 mins left.
One word of caution: don't make this right before it's supposed to go into the boil because you'll have super heated sugar (300* or more) that you're putting in water. As we know, water has a maximum boiling temperature of 212*, meaning that the super hot sugar will cause RAPID boiling. This can be messy and dangerous. Let it cool a little before adding the boil.