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Well the fermentation for my dry stout was rapid and impressive to watch. This is only the second time I’ve ever invested the extra money and effort to get hold of the most appropriate liquid yeast rather than just shoving in S-04, US-05, Gervin or Nottingham dried yeasts, and I really don’t know why! Last time was when I bought an East Coast White Labs vial for an extract APA style thing and it worked really well, both for that brew and when harvested for the next golden ale I made. This Dry Irish version took off like a rocket, smells superb and will definitely be harvested and used in whatever dark ales I brew in the near future.

As I mentioned prior to kicking off this brew, I ordered the yeast much too late, expecting Patsy at Hope & Grape to travel back in time in order to get the gear to me with enough of a run up to make a worthwhile starter for brewday. As it turned out, 24hrs or so proved more than enough, which is good to know. I boiled up 200g of Muntons Spraymalt in one litre of water, let it cool in a demijohn and shook it well with the yeast vial before putting under airlock.

By the time I needed to pitch the next day the starter didn’t look spectacular, but a layer of yeast had formed in the bottom of the bottle and there was a very gentle fizz and occasional airlock burp. I swirled it up and pitched it into the fermenter as the 20c wort transferred from the boiler. A thorough paddling and a warm room did the rest. Fermentation kicked off after just a couple of hours, in 24hrs the krausen had billowed high enough to coat the underneath of the FV lid in sticky stout tar, and just now, less than 48 hours after pitching, it was already susiding and gravity was down to 1.016 with a lot of action still coming through the airlock.

Very satisfying so far, all in all. I had a sample from the hydro drips while testing the gravity this lunchtime and, yup, it’s stout allright! Bitter and dry as you like, but unmistakeably stout. I plan to move this into secondary towards the end of the week where it will stay for a further week. I’ll update as and when anything interesting happens. Meanwhile, here are some pics as ever:

 

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This turned out to be a very¬†relaxed brewday with my new mashtun. Because I hadn’t sorted out the sparge manifold to my satisfaction just yet, I reverted to batch sparging for this one – there’s plenty of headroom in the¬†thermo box after all!

The plan¬†was to make a dry Irish stout, not a million miles away from Guinness in terms of overall bitterness, but with the added fun of using my own grown WGV hops in the copper. I added a small amount of wheat malt for head and feel. I also¬†ordered liquid yeast especially for this brew, although I probably ought to have given it more time to multiply ahead of brewday – ah well, it’ll be fine I’m sure.

Anyway, here’s the full recipe:

 

Boxshed Seasonal Stout
Date: 08/11/2008
Style: Dry Stout (Irish)
Batch Size: 23.00 L
Boil Volume: 32.00 L
Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %

Ingredients
3.75 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (5.9 EBC) 68.2%
0.8 kg Flaked Barley (3.3 EBC) 14.5%
0.75Kg Roasted Barley (591 EBC) 13.6%
0.2Kg Wheat Malt (3.9 EBC) 3.6%
65.00 gm Whitbread Golding Variety (WGV) [5% est.] (60 min) Hops 36.7 IBU

Protofloc Tablet (15 min)
1 Pkgs Irish Ale yeast (White Labs WLP004)

Batch Sparge
Mash Grain Weight: 5.25kg Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 13.0 C
Mash In Add 13L of water at 69.3C (63C) 90 min
Step Add 11L of water at 67.7 (65C) 10 min
Step Add 11L of water at 80C (75C) 10 min

Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.014
Estimated Color: 62.6 EBC
Bitterness: 36.7 IBU
Alpha Acid Units: 1.9 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 4.8%

 

 
Below are some photos and descriptions of the day. I mashed-in at around 11am in the end, and pitched around 4pm, managing to fit the process around various chores. The new mashtun was superb and made me want to replace my boiler with something equally cool looking and move my boiler to be the HLT. One day, maybe. In the end I got 23L exactly in the fermenter with no need to add any further liquor, but I missed the 1.050 OG and got 1.048 istead. I’m putting this down to not compensating for the switch to batch sparging, which seems reasonable.

 

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