- Apr 7, 2010
- Reaction score
- Brookhaven, GA
great looking wax job - seriously, nice work. any tips or techniques or equipment that worked well for you?
Drink one for review so we can hear your thoughts on the recipe - thats your excuse to crack one
Is this still the case?I don't know that anyone used the recipe in the op. I believe most of us used the recipe in post 30, with some minor changes here and there. I don't know the answers to the rest of your questions, but I'm sure someone else will chime in.
From post 30. Is this still the recipe everyone is using? I really want to make this and would like to leech off of your all's experience with it.5.25 gallon batch (70% eff)
OG: 1.137 (31 P)
FG: 1.053 (13 P)
13# 4 oz Maris Otter - 47%
5# 8 oz Munich II - 20%
2# 14 oz Flaked Barley - 10%
2# Chocolate - 7%
2# Roasted Barley - 7%
14 oz Black Patent - 3%
14 oz Dark Crystal (Hugh Baird) 150L - 3%
14 oz Crystal Malt (Thomas Fawcett) 60L -3%
Boil for 90-120 minutes
3 oz Magnum (14% aa) @ 75 minutes - 80 IBU
Added in Secondary to make it Hunahpu'ish:
1 stick of Ceylon Cinnamon
1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean
4 oz Peruvian Cacao Nibs
1 oz Ancho Pepper (dried, deseeded, chopped)
.5 oz Pasillia Pepper (dried, deseeded, chopped)
.5 oz Guajillo (dried, deseeded, chopped)
Has the "spicing" changed at all since the first post? I have read through most pages and don't recall seeing a change to that, only that Post 60 appears to be the "correct recipe," but that doesn't mention the spices at all.
I'm planning on making a RIS with a similar grain bill as this and split it to get some variety out of one brew and see which I like better. Planning to do a 4 gal BIAB batch, ferment 2 gal as the base recipe, 1 gal with WY3522 for a Belgian Stout, and 1 gal as the base plus the vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, and pepper from this. Unless somethign deters me I'll be using either a yeast cake of Denny's Favorite or i'll split a large mason jar of washed Denny's between the 3 fermenters.
I have been getting 80% with Denny's, but with an ABV this high i'm wondering if it'll pull that off. Wyeast states 74%-76%. They rate Thames Valley at 72% - 76% so Denny's isn't that far off going by their specs.
Tolerance is 10% on Denny's. I also I have about half a jar (500ml) of WLP002. I can build a starter up and use that, I've got 69% and 72% on the two brews I've used that on. I have no problem buying yeast and would rather drop the $6 or $7 for a new strain and build it up, or brew something small, than end up with a whole batch that I don't like.
Is 1968 attenuative enough for a beer this big?
Ah ok, yeah that's a really high final gravity, makes sense that you'd use 1968.Wyeast lists it at 67-71%, up to 9% alcohol. CCB has stated that they have no problem getting 1968 up to 13%. I don't believe any of us that used 1968 had any problem with its alcohol tolerance, but we pitched massive starters, or in my case, an entire low abv yeast cake.
IMO, the "party trick" of this particular beer is the fact it finishes in the 1.030-1.040 range, making it thick as hell. And to do that, you need the lower attenuating yeast.
I guess that's as good of an excuse as any to invest in a pH meter.You'd be best to use a meter. Baking soda is the best bet as chalk has a hard time dissolving for all the grains. Calculators can be suspect with such a crazy recipe.
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Baking soda has a lot of sodium - won't it end up being salty? You're right that chalk (or other source of calcium carbonate) isn't that soluble in water, but in a mash it will dissolve to regulate the pH.You'd be best to use a meter. Baking soda is the best bet as chalk has a hard time dissolving for all the grains. Calculators can be suspect with such a crazy recipe.
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I used a combination of Baking Soda and Chalk in my mash to raise the pH. I normally don't use Chalk because of its inability to dissolve in water, but the calculations that I was using had me adding too much Baking Soda. So I supplemented with Chalk to gain the correct pH. My efficiency was down (expected) to around 62% (I normally run around 74%), but I think it would have been lower had I not adjusted the water.Baking soda has a lot of sodium - won't it end up being salty? You're right that chalk (or other source of calcium carbonate) isn't that soluble in water, but in a mash it will dissolve to regulate the pH.
I assume you used the recipe from post #57?I used a combination of Baking Soda and Chalk in my mash to raise the pH. I normally don't use Chalk because of its inability to dissolve in water, but the calculations that I was using had me adding too much Baking Soda. So I supplemented with Chalk to gain the correct pH. My efficiency was down (expected) to around 62% (I normally run around 74%), but I think it would have been lower had I not adjusted the water.
I brewed this back in early April and it has now been in bottle (750ml; cork and cage) for about 2 1/2 months. I opened a bottle on July 13th to test and it was tasting incredible. Still a smidge green, but the cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla were showing nicely (I used sour cherries instead of the chilies).
The body was incredibly thick and the head was persistent with a nice reddish hue. (OG 1.123; FG 1.049; abv 10.25%; steeped the spices in aged rum which accounts for the higher abv)
I've already set aside 6 bottles that will be part of my "Library Selection" so after 5 years of brewing this beer, I will have amassed a nice vertical of 5 different vintages. Named it "The Sweetest Death".
This will be an annual brew for me in the Spring so it will be fully ready by the time the holidays roll around.
Here are some tips that I learned by either not doing what I should have done, or doing something that I shouldn't have done. Trial and Error is the best teacher, right?
1. I should have pitched more yeast. Like an entire cake from a previous stout recipe (OG 1.055 or less); I built up a starter of 1968, but it wasn't enough.
2. I should not have attempted a "no sparge" type of recipe with my equipment. I lost some efficiency and gained a lot of headaches. Unless you have a 15-20 gallon mash tun, you will need to sparge for a 5gal batch.
3. Divide your wort into 2 different fermenters. Thankfully I did this and it saved me some headaches. The yeast goes bonkers in this stuff and would have exploded all over my ferm fridge.
4. If you can, Oxygenate your wort. Shaking or whisking the wort will add some O2, but not nearly enough to get the yeast to perform their best.
5. Use the best quality spices/additives that you can find and buy them in their whole form and grind/crush them. This is a very powerful brew and the spices (cinnamon, vanilla bean, etc.) that you put into secondary will need to be as potent as possible in order to have any effect on the final flavor and aroma. I suggest using whole cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans from a place like Whole Foods or Penzey's. They have a lot of turnover of their products, so they aren't just hanging out on the shelf losing flavor. I spent almost $80 just on grain for this brew, so shelling out the extra $8.00 to get quality spices was a no brainer for me.
Okay, enough of the soap box. Enjoy brewing this beer or the various incarnations of it. It was a blast and I learned a lot about brewing "big" beers by doing it. It is one of those that I will definitely have on the annual brew schedule.