Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monk Basement Black Sabbath Tasting

As I've mentioned, I brewed a Russian Imperial Stout a couple of months back, along with a second beer, using the partigyle method, where wort for the main, or bigger beer is collected first. Once I had about 7 gallons of wort, I boiled it, and then collected enough wort for a second, lower gravity beer, this time, approximately 5.5 gallons.

The Mr. Crowley beer turned out to be a stout, but I did dry-hop it with an ounce of Simcoe hops because I thought it would turn out more like a black ale. The roasted barley made sure to keep me focused, though, and so a stout it is, albeit dry and floral-wood smelling. I was very happy at how this one turned out, as it was a total shot in the dark, without any specific recipe, but now I know what to expect, and when I make this beer next year, I'll plan hops accordingly, and may even sparge some more oats and drop in a little dry malt extract to the boil to give it a little more "oomph." It pours black with a head like soft serve cone of ice cream.

I waited exactly three weeks after I bottled the Imperial Stout to try it. It finished at a final gravity of 1.021, or 9.7% alcohol by volume. Not the 13% I was going for, but then, it started at 1.094, not 1.125.

As I poured it into the snifter, I wondered how much of a head I would get on it. Turns out, in a German pilsner, which sort of looks like a tulip, I had about 1 finger-thick worth of tan head on it. Very nice.

After 3 weeks, I can taste chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits, with just a touch of cherry in there. It still has not mellowed yet, but I expected this, since this is a beer that should age well. I would have to say this turned out less like the Dark Lord, but more like Bell's Expedition stout.

I think this may very well be one of the best beers I've brewed. If anyone is looking for a decent clone recipe for Dark Lord, I would recommend the recipe I posted. Hopefully, your efficiency will be better than mine, and you will get closer to the Dark Lord than I did.

No comments: