Thursday, March 18, 2010

This Waiting is Killing me...

My Brown Ale has been fermenting for only 5 days and I cant handle it. The aroma coming from the airlock bubbles is wonderful. It has been bubbling nicely and I am already certain this beer will be a great success. I will transfer to the glass carboy for secondary fermentation on Saturday. At this time I will take another gravity reading and sample some of the beer.... I think it's actually called beer now?

All this waiting has me thinking of my next recipe. I think I might act aggressively and jump right into my next recipe once the Brown Ale is bottled. This would mean I would have some Brown Ale ready for official tasting around bottling day for recipe number two.

I really want to do a stout, and its a toss up between a Chocolate Stout and a Sweet Stout. I have two recipes that I will need to tweak to ingredients that I have access to. When I notified my fans, they both agreed that I should try something a little more common or main stream such as a Pale Ale or a simple Lager. I have not read much about brewing lagers, so i can scrap that idea at this point, but I am willing to consider a Pale Ale.

Here's my choices:

1) Chocolate Stout - A noticeable dark chocolate flavour through the use of darker, more aromatic malt; particularly chocolate malt— a malt that has been roasted or kilned until it acquires a chocolate colour. Sometimes, as with Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and Rogue Brewery's Chocolate Stout, the beers are also brewed with a small amount of actual chocolate.

The recipe I found does calls for unsweetened cocoa, gypsum, and barley malt syrup, which can all be purchased at a grocery store. The rest of the ingredients are standard.

2) Sweet Stout - (sometimes called Milk Stout or Cream Stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers, along with other stouts, such as Guinness. The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson Stout, for which the original brewers claimed that "each pint contains the energising carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk". In the period just after the Second World War when rationing was in place, the British government required brewers to remove the word "milk" from labels and adverts, and any imagery associated with milk.

This idea was inspired by the Pogues song Sally MacLennane, which, as I understand, was the name or type of stout that is no longer commercially produced. For this recipe i will need to find lactose powder and dark molasses. It also calls for a specialty grain black malt, which the Brew Kettle does not have, so I would just use additional roasted barley or add some chocolate malt.

3) Pale Ale - A beer which uses a top fermenting yeast and predominantly pale malt, is one of the world's major beer styles.

I would use the american Pale Ale recipe in my Homebrewing for Dummies handbook. This recipe calls for Spalt Hops. I will need to find a source for this because the Brew Kettle does not carry Spalt... or i could substitute with Saaz.

I will post a poll later and allow my fans to vote on my next type of beer to brew.

-Thanks to Wikipedia for the Beer descriptions.