February 10, 2014

Black Samurai Oak Aged Dry Stout

Why doesn't love a little blaxploitation like Black Samurai? I certainly do. The movie titles are entertaining enough to deserve some homebrews as homage; plus, with How I Met Your Mother ending (a source of many of my brew names) I need to tap a new source for comedic beer names.

This bad mother of a stout is somewhere in the vicinity of a dry Irish stout. It actually began life as a very simple dry stout recipe but while I was working on designing recipes for 2014 I realized I had more spare ounces of grain in the back of my fridge than I thought. So I've tried to shove some of these leftover grains into my recipes this year so I can get rid of them. Here, I added some leftover biscuit malt and carapils. Both additions will add useful contributions to the beer.

I also intended from the outset to do a pseudo-barrel aging on this beer with some oak cubes soaked in Canadian whisky. I thought the drier Canadian whiskey would be a nice touch in a less potent stout. Bourbon can sometimes be overwhelming, plus there are just so many dang bourbon barrel aged beers out there.

That's about all the set up this beer needs. Here comes the 2.5 gallon recipe.

Black Samurai Oak Aged Dry Stout

Batch size: 2.5 gallons
Est. ABV: 3.8%
IBU: 40.6
SRM: 21.9
Est. OG: 1.041
Est. FG: 1.012
Est Eff: 72%

The Grist

3 lb. US 2 Row (2 SRM) 72%
8 oz. Flaked Barley (1.7 SRM) 12%
6 oz. Roasted Barley (300 SRM) 10%
2 oz. Carapils (2 SRM) 3%
1 oz. Black Patent (500 SRM) 1.5%
1 oz. Biscuit malt (23 SRM) 1.5%

The Mash

Single infusion with batch sparge
Mash 6.25 qt 60 minutes at 156F
Sparge 3.11 gallons at 180F
RO water built to black malty profile in Bru'n water

Mash water: 6.25 qts

Gypsum 0.1g
Epsom salt 0.3g
Canning salt 0.3g
Calcium chloride 0.1g
Chalk 0.8g
Lactic acid 0.5ml

Sparge water: 3.11 gal

Gypsum 0.2g
Epsom salt 0.6g
Canning salt 0.6g
Calcim chloride 0.2g
Lactic acid 1.6ml

The Boil

60 minute boil
0.50oz Belma [12.10%] at 60 minutes (40.6 IBU)

The Fermentation

Pitch S-04 at 64F until 90% of estimated FG reached then raise to room temperature. Once fermentation is complete add 0.65oz. Canadian whiskey-soaked oak cubes for 6-8 weeks. Bottle to 2.3 volumes.

Brew day & fermentation notes

Ended up with way, way too much wort. Collected 3.4 gallons in the fermentor, even after extending the boil for an extra hour (before adding hops). Really humid today so that killed boil off and I accidentally added an extra half gallon of sparge water.

Ended up with OG of 1.037 and 3.4 gallons, good for 87% efficiency. We'll see whether the beer ends up too thin or very low on alcohol. Personally I'd rather have less alcohol and enjoy all of the sensory aspects of the beer.

2/15/14: FG at 1.013, good for 3.1% ABV. Added 0.80 ounces (by weight, not volume) of canadian whiskey aged with medium toast oak chips. May add more at bottling to enhance "barrel" flavor. Flavor is good: roasty, chocolate, coffee. Light body, maybe a little too light due to the excess volume. Still expect a very drinkable beer.

3/3/14: Stable FG. Bottled with 2.6 ounces of table sugar. Body is thin but the flavor is nice for a small beer. Lots of chocolate and coffee. Oak tannins show up and the whiskey flavor is mellow and appears strongest in the aftertaste.

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