Saturday, October 12, 2013

#11 Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout Clone - Brewday

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

So before brewday even started, I needed to toast the oats.  The CloneBrews recipe recommended toasting at 325 for 75 minutes, but I decided to take it conservatively and did 75 minutes at 300F (or rather 275F but with convection on).  Spread out on cookie sheets, they started to turn golden, but not quite toasty, and smelled delicious, but I removed them just as the smell began to turn harsh.  As I was reading the notes on the forum, I noticed they recommended getting the oats off the pans immediately so they don't continue to cook, and letting them sit for 1-2 weeks to let the aroma dissipate.  I was brewing the next morning, so I simply moved them to a shallow tub and hoped the exposure would be enough.

Brewed 10/12/13:
Then when I went to brew, I realized I was out of grain.  After buying the big 55 lb. sack of Gambrinus pale malt I forgot this was even possible!  The original recipe called for English Maris Otter malt, so I had added some Munich to mimic it (read somewhere that US 2-row + Munich = Maris Otter?  A little extra toastiness won't be out of place here.)  I rushed to the homebrew store and wound up dropping the extra change on the sack of Thomas Fawcett Marris Otter, so now the grain bill looks like I just scraped up all my past mistakes.  Time to knit a onesie for it.

Once I actually got brewing everything went pretty well.  I calculated the recipe using 50% efficiency, but I ended with 55%, so I ended up with 8.5 gallons into the fermenters instead of 8.  No complaints there.  I double crushed the MO portion of the base malt to try to improve efficiency, but it doesn't appear to have made a sizable difference.  I need to get that efficiency up to around 75%, so next thing to try is water chemistry, then getting the mash tun running.

PS.  I thought this was one of the most delicious looking beers I've brewed in the kettle.

Fermentation Notes:
Pitched yeast at 60F.  Split batch, half Wyeast Irish Ale and half dry US-05, 4.25 gal in each.  Temp set to 64F.

2 days: Temp to 66F. Irish Ale about .5 to 1 in krausen, US-05 minimal.  I guess this shows why they say to rehydrate the yeast!  Even at 64F the Chico should have been active.

1 week: Racked to secondary and stored in bedroom.  One week is sooner than I planned, but should be fine.  I need the fermentation space for cider!  Based on the krausen scum, the Chico seems to have picked up and had a healthy fermentation.

Bottled 11/10/13 (4 weeks from brewday):
Aimed for 2.5 vol of carbonation, but I calculated priming sugar weight using cold-crash temp (40F).  Residual carbonation levels depend on the maximum temperature after fermentation finished, so recalculating using the max fermentation temp (66F) gives a carbonation level of 1.9 vol before.  This is a bit low for the pillowy head I was aiming for, but will fit perfectly with the classic English style.  I tried to pop the top on a warm bottle and add more sugar, but it foamed over.  Hopefully carbonation is adequate when not overly chilled.

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