|Dark grains set aside to add during vorlauf|
The recipe is based on Gordon Strong's recipe from Modern Homebrew Recipes, with some modifications for the grains and hops I had on hand. My goal with this batch is to get a robust beer, but one that clocks in lower on the alcohol side of things (in this case, 4.3%). The beer is actually a bit outside the 2015 BJCP guidelines for the Irish Stout style, in terms of original gravity and color. The latter point surprised me--the BJCP lists 40 SRM as the maximum for this style, and to me it seems a little silly to set an arbitrary maximum for a beer explicitly described as "black" in the style guidelines.
The name for the batch stems from the famed Irish Elk, Megaloceras. Because why not?
The Celtic Elk Stout
- 6.5 lbs. Maris Otter malt (Thomas Fawcett)
- 1.25 lbs. flaked barley
- 0.25 lbs. Carapils malt
- 0.75 lbs. 80° crystal malt (added at vorlauf)
- 0.67 lbs. roasted barley (Simpsons, 550 SRM, added at vorlauf)
- 0.5 lbs. pale chocolate malt (225 SRM, added at vorlauf)
- 0.375 lbs de-bittered black malt (Dingemans, added at vorlauf)
- 1 oz. Newport hops pellets, 40 minute boil (10.7% alpha, 6.4% beta)
- 1 Whirlfloc pellet (10 minute boil)
- 1 pkg. Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004), prepared 12 hours in advance in 1 L starter
- I mashed in with the Maris Otter, flaked barley, and Carapils, using 4.1 gallons of water at 168°. The mash stabilized at 157°, and was down to 153.5° after 40 minutes. [note: I did not use 5.2 pH stabilizer in this batch]
- I added the dark grains (cystal malt, roasted barley, chocolate malt, and black malt) along with 0.75 gallons of water at 160°, let the mash sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected 3 gallons of wort.
- I then added 4 gallons of water at 180°, which raised the mash temperature to 164°. I let the mash sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the rest of the wort.
- All told, I collected 6.75 gallons of wort at a gravity of 1.040. This works out to ~73% efficiency, right where I had been hoping.
- I brought the wort to a boil, and added the hops and Whirlfloc at the appropriate times (aiming for 40 minute boil and 10 minute boil, respectively). After 60 minutes of boiling, I turned off the flame and chilled the wort down to 78° using my copper coil chiller.
- I transferred ~5.5 gallons of wort into the fermenter and pitched the yeast in its starter. I plan to let the temperature slowly equilibrate with the fermentation chamber overnight.
- The beer had a starting gravity of 1.048, exactly where expected. It was brewed on Saturday, November 21, 2015.