The beauty of an oily and viscous wort coming out of the mash-tun and into the brew kettle was awe-inspiring. I have brewed 2 previous stouts. Those two were 8 & 9.5% ABV but were from extract. One was a standard extract of light malts with some steeped barley and grain which gave it the dark appearance. I added toasted oak chips and chocolate and it was terrible. Over 4-5 months, it balanced out pretty well and I’m drinking it now. It’s okay but not great. The second was an extract from midwest that was 2 gallons of extract with some basic hop additions. No steeped grains and I let that condition for 3 months and added 32 ounces of coffee to the 5 gallon keg. It’s drinking great right now and I’m enjoying it a lot. Still, it’s not the quality I would expect which is why i wanted to do an all-grain batch.
Here’s the base recipe.
21lb13oz Domestic 2-Row barley, 14.5oz Chocolate Malt, 4.8 oz. Caramel 120°L, 14.5 oz. Roasted Barley, 3 ounce Northern brewer and 1 ounce williamette hops.
It was in the mash tun for 4 hours mostly because the target temp was 156/154 F for the first 2 hours and 152 was the target mash temperature. The sparge took an additional 90 minutes. This was a very big beer and to get “clear wort” out of the mash tube took a lot of water to get there.
Then, bringing that back up to boiling for 60 minutes and doing a full 5-gallon boil and then cooling that to a pitching temperature…well, it was a VERY long day off from work.
We’ll see how this one turns out but I really enjoyed doing the stout and my OG was a bit higher than estimated as I added in a bit of maple syrup at the end. Adding this to BeerSmith and I hit the OG right on which was surprising given my previous efficiency misses. I discovered this is due to poorly crushed grains on the part of Midwest Supplies which I’ll simply not order from them next time and start researching my own grain mill.