Sunday, May 17, 2015

Brew Day: Curly's Milk Stout

As the blog closes in on its one year anniversary, this is a first. This is the first beer I brewed for the site that I am rebrewing.

Beautiful dark wort color.

As my flagship beer, I need to have some Curly's Milk Stout on hand at all times. My original brew day was last November and I am down to my last dozen or so bottles. The nice thing about a balanced stout as opposed to an IPA or hoppy pale ale is that the beer keeps relatively well as hop aroma and hop flavor are the first things to go in a beer. If you buy a six month old bottle of Peeper at a bottle shop, then find Peeper served fresh on draught, it is a completely different experience.

Curly's Milk Stout works because all the ingredients contribute to the overall flavor. It's a stout so there is plenty of malt flavor, but the variety of malts contribute more than just a one-dimensional "roasted" character. The hop flavor from the Northern Brewer and Fuggles were evident without being overpowering. The unique esters from the Burton Ale yeast enhance the sweetness from the lactose.

One pound of lactose for a 5-gallon batch.

The only quibble I had with my last batch was that the initial tan, frothy head would disappear in short order. Household dish-soaps designed to rinse off easily can have a similar effect on beer foam. If there was any soapy residue on my kettle, fermenter, or bottles that could be a cause. In recent batches I have made extra precaution to thoroughly rinse my cleaned bottles before sanitizing. For this batch I substituted a half pound of my base American 2-row barley for unmalted flaked barley to see if that makes a difference in the head retention.

Lots of Chocolate Malt.

Brew day was fairly smooth. The last batch was before I had my new 8 gallon kettle. Since I am able to boil a greater percentage of the wort, I had to adjust the bittering hops to make sure the beer has the same bitterness as the last batch. The only other hiccup was that I was short one pound of dry extract, so I had to substitute one pound of pilsen dry extract. At such a small percentage in such a dark beer, I doubt the difference will be noticeable.

Splitting batches is a great way to create more than one beer at a time. My plan is to brew a five gallon batch and split off one gallon each to blend with chocolate and coffee. I am still working on the details of what coffee and chocolate I'll use and how I'll blend them. The end result will be three gallons of regular milk stout, one gallon of coffee milk stout, and one gallon of chocolate milk stout.

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Curly's Milk Stout
Sweet Stout

5.4% / 15.4 °P
Recipe by
Jason Chalifour

Partial Mash
5 Gal Partial Mash (8g kettle)
70% efficiency

Batch Volume: 5.25 gal
Boil Time: 60 min

Original Gravity: 1.063
Final Gravity (Fixed): 1.022
IBU (Tinseth): 24
BU/GU: 0.38
Color: 37 SRM 

Saccharification — 154 °F — 60 min
Mash Out — 168 °F — 10 min

Malts (5 lb 14 oz)
3 lb (27.2%) — Briess Brewers Malt — Grain — 1.8 °L
1 lb (9.1%) — Briess Caramel Malt 60L — Grain — 60 °L
1 lb (9.1%) — Chocolate Malt — Grain — 258.9 °L
8 oz (4.5%) — Barley, Flaked — Grain —
4 oz (2.3%) — Briess Roasted Barley — Grain — 300 °L
2 oz (1.1%) — Weyermann Carafa Special III — Grain — 525.2 °L
Other (5 lb 2.4 oz)
3 lb 2.4 oz (28.6%) — Pale Liquid Extract — Liquid Extract — 6.5 °L — Flameout
1 lb (9.1%) — Milk Sugar (Lactose) — Sugar —
1 lb (9.1%) — Briess Pilsen Light — Dry Extract — 2.1 °L

Hops (1.69 oz)
0.69 oz (20 IBU) — Northern Brewer 9.9% — Boil — 45 min
0.5 oz (3 IBU) — Fuggles 5.3% — Boil — 10 min
0.5 oz — Fuggles 5.3% — Boil — 0 min

10 g — Chalk — Mash
1 g — Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) — Mash
0.25 tsp — Irish Moss — Boil — 10 min

35.49 ml — White Labs WLP023 Burton Ale 72%

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