Having my brother in town as a helper, we decided to brew a partigyle beer: 11 gallons of Imperial Stout and a 2nd-runnings Mild. I used the same recipe I came up with for the first beer in the Knob Creek barrel. That beer was outstanding after blending with 10 other people’s beer and barrel-aging; as I recall, mine was pretty good going into the barrel, too.
The recipe was a mix of a few credible recipes.
Brewed March 24, 2017:
Water: slightly under-softened my water compared to usual, and it worked – mash pH was 5.41 with no adjustments. 1 tsp lactic acid to the sparge water.
Brew day: Fun, relaxed brewday. We bottled 5 gallons of pilsner during the mash and let the mash run a little long, about 90 minutes at ~156F.
Here’s the recipe (below and on Brewtoad):
|Batch Size||Boil Time||IBU||SRM||Est. OG||Est. FG||ABV|
|12 gal||75 min|
|2-Row (US)||36.5 lbs||73.74|
|Munich Dark (DE)||3.5 lbs||7.07|
|Roasted Barley (US)||2 lbs||4.04|
|Chocolate (US)||1.4 lbs||2.83|
|Special B (BE)||1.4 lbs||2.83|
|Pale Chocolate (UK)||1.4 lbs||2.83|
|Brown Malt (UK)||1.3 lbs||2.63|
|Carastan 30L (UK)||1 lbs||2.02|
|Crystal 135L (UK)||1 lbs||2.02|
|Magnum (US)||6 oz||75 min||Boil||Leaf||13.2|
|East Kent Golding (UK)||3 oz||5 min||Boil||Leaf||5|
|Nottingham Ale Yeast||White Labs||78%||32°F - 32°F|
|Safale US-05||Fermentis||86%||32°F - 32°F|
2017-05-10: bottled Batch A, the US-05 half of the batch, after it stabilized for several weeks at 1.030 (down from 1.100 OG). Used 92g table sugar in 5.1 gal, aiming for 2.2 vol CO2. I messed up the bottling: I put in the spigot without o-rings, so it steadily leaked beer out. This necessitated pouring (!) the bucket out into another bucket, then back (!) for massive cold-side aeration.
2017-06-02: racked Batch B, the Nottingham half of the batch, to a carboy (after 1.5 months in a primary bucket), added 2 pieces of bourbon barrel stave. It had soaked in a jar of Ancient Age 10* bourbon for most of a year, but given that these staves infected the last batch I used them in, I steamed the stave pieces for several minutes before adding them this time – which leached out color and aroma into the steaming water.
2017-08-01: with a little more fermentation after racking, plus the addition of the bourbon itself that the oak had soaked in, Batch B’s gravity dropped to 1.014, about 11+% alcohol (not exactly, given the addition of alcohol). Kegged and served. There’s a hot alcoholic note.
Neither beer is as good as the original Knob Creek barrel. Batch A is nondescript, and Batch B tastes like booze, not oak, and is too strong. I should know better than to pour in the soaking bourbon.