Sunday, September 25, 2011

Imperial Espresso Stout

  It's brew day again in the NEW DeArmond house. A few things have been mixed up here. First off I had to use a new brewing shop because my old one is to far away. Olympic Brewing Supplies in Bremerton has some serious advantages but it's no where near the massive size of Larry's. They have a great system for ordering specialty (or base) grains. Much like Zanatto's market used to do for sandwiches, there's a form you fill out with exactly what you want. All the grains are posted with their prices on the little form and you just hand it to them. They also pour extract for you at 1.85/lb if you bring your own container. All in all a good little shop, they know their stuff. One other small disadvantage is that they sell their hops in 2oz packs rather than 1 oz packs.
  So today we're working towards a deep dark strong beer. I wanted to really bring out both the dark, sweet, and malty flavor for this stout so I went with 1lb each of my specialty grains. Chocolate, roasted barley, and Crystal 120. I'm planning to drop somewhere around 1lb of espresso beans into the secondary and really bring out a big coffee flavor.

Imperial Espresso Stout

Batch size: 5.0 gal
Boil volume: 4.0 gal
OG: 1.081
FG: 1.020
Bitterness (IBU): 60.6
Color (SRM): 54.8
ABV: 8.0%

Light LME    7lb   
Light DME      3lbs
Crystal 120L    1lb   
Roasted Barley    1lb   
Chocolate Malt (US)    1lb   
Nugget 2.00oz 11.5% AA Whole @ 60 min, 60.6 IBU
Nottingham Ale yeast   

Monday, September 12, 2011

The review of Root Beer Beer

So this is completed. I did some additional work to try to sweeten it up by adding three tablespoons of stevia. It worked to sweeten it but the flavor combination gave an interesting problem.

When you drink beer you have a very dry flavor. Even beer defined as sweet (due to crystal or honey malt) give an allusion to sweet with out actually being any more sugary than other beers. These residual flavors mix well with the dry flavor that beer presents creating a smooth malty beverage. Soft drinks, and soda in any variety, is never actually dry. The heavy sweetened liquid may be described as tangy, creamy, fruity or herbish. But never dry.

In the end these two flavors seem to be somewhat irreconcilable. A beer that is dry, shouldn't be sugary sweet. A soda shouldn't be dry. I didn't manage to get a way to combine these two issues into a palatable drink. My previous attempts at oatmeal vanilla stout came much closer to the root beer flavor than this particular drink ever could. Though it was still very dry, and not very sweet.

In summary, there's a reason that there isn't a large number of alcoholic root beers available on the market and that breweries aren't making their own mix in every town. The truth is the two flavors of beer and soda don't mix very well. I should have realized by the lack of functioning recipes was caused by the lack of ways to make this particular drink work.

In short, don't make this beer. I poured out half my bottles tonight.