Stout Success!

Howdy folks,

I have had a very successful brewing start to 2018. I decided to try my hand at an all-grain stout recipe, and now, having finally tasted it, I can truly say that I have brewed a cracking beer! This recipe was a milk and chocolate stout, with a long and complicated grain bill including oats, brown malt, and cara wheat grains. I found it interesting how stouts and porters are truly an expression of the grain profile involved, and the hops take more of a back seat- something which is unusual in today’s day and age of hoppy craft brews.

For the first time I also decided to use my local tap water for the entirety of the brewing liquor. Having ordered a lab test of it late last year, I was confident that it was good enough to brew, and for this batch the only alteration to the liquor was the use of a single Campden tablet to eliminate the chlorine. For the next batches I am planning to use dry mineral salts to alter the composition of the water to better suit the style of beer which I will be brewing, but more on that later…

I am pleased to announce that the stout turned out delicious! I have even received a comment saying that it is better than some of the stouts available commercially- which to a home brewer is one of the highest compliments. The lactose sweetness really comes out, as well as aromas of chocolate and coffee. The level of carbonation is quite low, which I feel compliments the beer perfectly. To finish it all off it has a lovely off-white head which looks really appealing in my opinion.

For the label I have decided to remove the side panel and go with a more graphic approach. The space man was really due to the dark nature of space, much like a stout, and the fact that I loved the illustration as soon as I came across it. Without further ado, here is the final version of the label:

I called the brew “Milky Nibs” as I used cacao nibs as an adjunct during the fermentation, and of course as the brew contains lactose sugar milk had to be involved in the title somehow. Overall I feel the design is quite striking, hopefully the drinkers of my beer will agree! At 4.5% it is also dangerously sessionable, and I for one will be drinking a few of these bad boys in the coming weeks.

I have just finished another brew day, so keep an eye on the blog for the write up of that coming sometime next week.

Cheers!

New Year, New Brew!

Hi folks,

So it’s been a little while since I posted an update to this blog (since my Summer APA post back in July to be precise) so I thought I would write a little bit about what has happened since then.

I have not lost my passion for brewing- quite the opposite in fact. Since the Summer APA I have brewed a Midsummer Ale, a Harvest Pale Ale, and a single hop wonder called the Amarillo Armadillo. I will be posting a little breakdown of how each brew went and some tasting notes for you soon, but I think they were quite successful brews each in their own right. Since the D’n’Ale I have also made the leap to all-grain brewing, which has been both extremely challenging and rewarding. All grain brewing involved purchasing another piece of equipment needed for this process (a mash tun of course) but now I have complete control over the quality and style of the finished beer. Furthermore, having now brewed two batches using the all grain method, I can safely say that I will not be going back to extract!

We have also had a second successful hop harvest in autumn, with the yields from the hop plants out in the garden being much more impressive than last year!

Exciting times ahead with a lot more brews scheduled. Next up- a milky chocolate stout. Super excited for the next brew and cannot wait to document it on here.