Back to Brewing–Cream Stout

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After a summer of not brewing any beer, I have again started to get things going again.  I decided that it would be best to start the new brewing season my making my favorite beer, which is a Cream Stout that I have brewed a few times previously.  The stout has a good amount of roast, and also has a great coffee taste, which is produced by adding 3.5 ounces of ground coffee.  The sweetness and creaminess in the beer comes largely from 8 ounces of lactose, which also adds a nice smoothness when drinking the brew. 

As you can see on the left, I made a small starter for this brew, as I always do.  In the past, I have used Wyeast European Ale yeast (Wyeast 1338), but decided to go with Wyeast Irish Ale yeast (Wyeast 1084) this time.  I also made one major, and hopefully good, change.  I decided not to add my coffee grounds to the boil as I have done in the past, but instead boiled the grounds separately and used a French Press to strain the grounds out of the liquid.  I found that at times, even after a month in primary, a very small amount of coffee grounds would transfer to my bottling bucket, with the possibility of entering the bottle.   Don’t know how this is going to work, but considering the strength of the filtered coffee that I added, it is Brewing_18Oct12_DSCN0197going to work out well.  If the coffee flavor does not come through as I want, I will simply add some more at the end of primary and let it sit for another week or so. 

A few additional changes were a shortened boil time of 90 minutes instead of 120 which I did last time, and a return to Crystal 60L which differs from the 80L that I did with the last brew.  I think both of these changes will be positive taste wise.

The image on the right is my somewhat ghetto setup.  However, it works well in most instances, though the table is also my bottling station, so things get moved around a lot.   Someday, I plan to build a stand and go all electric, and automated, but this has worked for 3 plus years without DSCN0195any issues.  I want to build an electric system, as I do not really like using propane in the garage, an example of which you can see on the left (and you can see our dirty shoes…..).

I pitched yeast at 6:00 PM last night, and the yeast were doing their thing by the time I went to bed at 10:00 PM.  I am hoping to keep the fermenter between 65 and 67 degrees , with 65 degrees being ideal.  This morning it was at 66 degrees.  As usual, I will keep the brew in the primary for 30 days, and check to see if it is finished fermenting – which I am quite sure it will be. 

Now, for the good stuff:

Recipe: Cream (Sweet) Stout – Version 3.1

Boil Size: 7.15 gallons
Batch Size: 5.5 Gallons
Boil time: 90 Minutes
SRM: 29.0
IBU’s: 34.6
Measured Efficiency: 74.40%

Grain:

59.6% – 7 lbs. Pale Malt
12.8% – 1 lb. 8 oz. White Wheat Malt
8.5%   – 1 lb. Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L
6.4%  – 12 oz. Chocolate Malt (350 SRM)
4.3%   –  8 oz. Roasted Barley (350 SRM)
4.3%   -  8 oz. Carapils
4.3%   -  8 oz. Lactose – @ 15 minutes

Hops:

.75 oz. – Magnum (pellet – 32.5 IBU’s) – 60 Minutes
.25 oz. – Magnum (pellet – 2.2 IBU’s) – 5 Minutes

Yeast:

1 pk. – Wyeast #1084 – Irish Ale with 1.5 L starter

Additions:

3.5 oz. Ground Coffee – Boiled, strained, and added to primary.
1/2 tab Whirlflock – 10 Minutes

Last time I brewed this beer, I carbed to 2.7, which was just a bit too much. This time I think I will go for 2.5. I like my beers highly carbed, usually in excess of the guidelines, but 2.7 was high – great head though.  

I seem to be stuck on stouts and porters, so am planning for a cream ale next brew, with rice and corn additions – a nice session beer, or possibly a nice Amber Ale.  After that, a Black IPA, a smoked porter with home smoked grain (Cherry wood?), a regular IPA, and then maybe a light Belgian, though I think I am done with Belgian’s.  Just am not Belgian’s as much as I once did.

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