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Old 02-01-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
ViperMan
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Default Hazelnut Coffee Ale - I'm doin' it!!!

Okay, I started a discussion on this nearly a year ago, but now I'm actually planning on doing it. Here's what I'm planning:

All-grain Bill:

9.5 lbs Mild Malt (4.0 SRM) Grain 1 76.0 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 2 8.0 %
1 lbs Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 3 8.0 %
.5 lbs Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.0 %

Single Infusion Mash at 154, Batch Sparge to 6.4 gallon total volume before boil.

Hop Schedule

1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 14.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 7 5.2 IBUs
Total IBU's 20.1

Extras:
.5 lbs Milk Sugar (Lactose) - Add at Flame-out
2.00 Cup Coffee (Primary 3.0 weeks)
1.00 Cup Hazelnut Vodka (Bottling 0.0 mins)

Yeast:
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.00 ml] Yeast

The plan is to make a beer out of my favorite morning coffee - dark roasted Starbucks with hazelnut syrup and a splash of half-and-half.

I'm going to brew 2 (measured) cups of extra-strength coffee using a paper filter which produces much less oil than using a french press. I'm also going to soak a pound of Hazelnuts in high-quality vodka for 2 weeks to produce hazelnut-flavored Vodka. I'll add the coffee into the primary and the vodka into the bottling bucket.

My first question of course is what do you think of my grain bill? I actually wonder if the 1.068 OG might be too high and result in too-sweet of a beer. (I have NO idea what "style" this might be emulating.) FG estimated at 1.017.

Second question; is there a better way to infuse the coffee flavor? I can easily buy whole beans, but I know that the flavor is inside the bean, not on the outside. Also, do you think this might be too much coffee? Is "a little a lot"?

Hazelnuts have a relatively mild flavor, so I'm actually not worried about adding too much. I also chose the mild malt for the base as it supposedly imparts a nutty flavor, which I hope will accentuate the hazelnuts.

I welcome your comments - you guys have never steered me wrong. I'm hoping to brew a half-batch of this next week.

Jeff


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Old 02-01-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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I prefer to use coffee exactly as you originally described. I find brewed coffee gives a nice flavor without being too much.

I'd be interested to hear how the vodka turns out ; I have never tried the infusion method. I used hazelnut extract in a porter and wasn't too impressed. Ever think of using frangelico instead of infusing?


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Old 02-01-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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Actually yes I did, but my concern would be the Frangelico getting consumed by the fermentation process (since it's sweet) and leaving either a processed flavor or no flavor at all. Vodka absorbs the flavor but isn't fermentable, so the flavor is consistent.

I've done orange-infused Vodkas before for the "Hemi Beer" in my siggy. It worked well, though after a taste-test, Absolut Mandarin tasted better. I am going to look for a peanut vodka, though I think I've only seen peanut butter vodkas in the past.

I'm thinking I'll do a real light toast on the Hazelnuts beforehand just to make sure the flavor gets picked up by the Vodka.

Thanks for the support on the coffee. Think I'm using the right volume of it?
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yea, the quantity sounds reasonable. For a darker beer (ie: coffee stout or porter) I've used a full (10 serving) pot without it being overbearing (not sure how many actual cups are in a standard pot).

Toasting the hazelnuts is probably a good idea; I think they taste better that way anyway.

I hadn't thought about the frangelico fermenting. Sorta makes me want to try it and see what its like lol
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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Well, I'm doing an experimental half-batch with this. No reason why I couldn't further split it into quarter batches at the secondary phase and do toasted hazelnut vodka in one and Frangelico in the other. Hit the subscription button and I'll let ya know what happens.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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Sounds like an interesting brew, and I like the recipe.

Is the munich malt you're using that Gambrinus dark munich? Like the stuff BMW sells? If so, I have been experimenting with it in a lot of different styles, and I have found that a little goes a long way. I actually once added it as 25% of the grist of a dunkelweizen, confusing it with Weyermann dark munich (about 8-9 SRM) -- ack! I think it's actually pretty similar to melanoidin malt, contributing an intense (and possibly cloying at higher %) malty sweetness. So, my advice would be to go not any higher than a pound so as to not compete with the hazelnut...
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips, greenbirds.

I actually realized I had chosen that grain from BeerSmith and not double-checked with my LHBS to see what they actually sell. The answer appears to be "No - not Gambrinus" but instead, "Yes - Weyermann Dark Munich." The product I selected on BeerSmith calculated at 20 lovibond, while I'll be using the Weyermann at 9 lovibond. Recipe adjusted (minimal impact to the calculations at the top of this post, but thank you still for making me do a double-check!)

Here's the link to the product at my LHBS:
http://www.southhillsbrewing.com/pro...-F0CB572C7E41}
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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If I drop the Mild Malt down to 6.5 pounds, I get an OG of 1.052 and an FG of 1.010 - right in line with an American Brown Ale...

I wonder if this is more where I want to be. I also wonder if BeerSmith is considering the lactose to be more fermentable than it actually is...
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:35 AM   #9
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Yeah I'm not sure which 20L dark munich it is that Beersmith refers to. There is the Weyermann dark munich, 8-9L, and the Gambrinus dark munich, ~30L.

Anyhoo, if you scale down the OG, I would scale down the percentages of all grains, not just your base malt, lest you throw the rest of the ingredients out of whack.

Not sure about BS's treatment of lactose with regard to FG. I bet someone has addressed that question, but I'm too sleepy to check right now . Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #10
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Yeah since I'm starting off with a half-batch, the difference in grain is negligible. So I'm going to plan on the bigger grain bill because then yeah - the percentages, hop infusion, etc, all works out better.


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