Friday, December 16, 2011

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

The first time I brewed an imperial stout, I learned a lot about brewing a big beer.  The original recipe, simply titled "Black Sabbath", was a pretty basic Imperial Stout, really more like a regular stout but amped up.  The plan was to make one of these beers every year, and age it to see how it improved.  In that recipe, I was able to use the Wyeast limited edition Imperial Ale yeast.  I made 5 gallons and was going for a 12% ABV recipe.  I also ended up making a 4% ABV stout with the second runnings.

However, when you're using 24 pounds of grain, your efficiencies tend to go down the toilet.  So I got a 10% beer, which really isn't too bad.  Considering I was two years into brewing, it turned out pretty good.  I "dry-beaned" it with 4 ounces of coffee beans.  I won't do that again, as I think the coffee becomes more astringent as time goes on.

There was also some design involved in the labels, in that each succession would line up with the next Black Sabbath album.  I figured this would keep me in label art for some time to come.  I also picked up some darker red wax from Shoreline Brewery to dip the top of the capped bottles in, akin to Three Floyd's Dark Lord.

In this second iteration, I was learning more about specialty grains, so I wanted to experiment with them.  The idea behind the use of these grains was to make a very complex beer.  The other issue I had was fermentation.  I wanted the fermentation to finish well, so I figured I would make a smaller batch so I didn't have to have such a large (1 gallon) starter.  I also didn't have the same Imperial Ale yeast, so I went with the British Ale II (Wyeast 1335) since that was what Northern Brewer was using for the Surly kits, and I like Surly quite a bit.  I made a 2000 ml starter for this one.  Fermentation began within 2 hours of pitching.

Black Sabbath – Paranoid 

Batch Size (Gal): 3.00
Anticipated OG: 1.094 (22.50)
Anticipated SRM: 54.9
Anticipated IBU: 124.6
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

5.00 lbs. American 2-row (Great Western)              
3.00 lbs. Munich Malt(dark)
1.00 lbs. Golden Light Dry Malt Extract             
0.25 lbs. Crystal 80L                 
0.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt               
0.25 lbs. Golden Naked Oats            
0.50 lbs. Flaked Barley                
0.25 lbs. Honey Malt                   
0.50 lbs. Roasted Barley               
0.50 lbs. Molasses                     

1.50 oz. Magnum @ 60 min.
1 tablet Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
3 tsp yeast nutrient @ 15 min.

Wyeast British Ale II 1335

In the last batch, I used both honey and molasses.  I have no doubt that the honey added to the alcohol content, as that ended up being a 10% ABV beer.  I went with Honey Malt this time for more honey flavor. The Golden Naked Oats were supposed to also add a fruitiness, and I went with those instead of flaked oats, which I used in the original recipe.  Another change to this recipe was the substitution of some Dark Munich malt for the 2-Row, to give it some more evil.

OG was a little under (I ended up adding the pound of DME for this reason) at 1.088.  Fermentation was vigorous for 3 days.  I even did a second oxygenation at this time with my aquarium pump for about 30 seconds.  I doubt this was enough.  The beer ended up finishing at 1.028, which freaked me out, but the beer has been in bottles for over 6 months now.  The most recent one had strong carbonation, but others I had were not as carbonated.  I didn't want a big carbonation by the style, but I have yet to drink a beer that wasn't helped out by at least 2.5 volumes of carbonation.  It's beer for Chrissakes, not wine.

So I ended up with an 8% ABV beer, which is actually all right.  The flavors have gotten more complex over the months, with more dark fruit beginning to show up. 2012's version (Master of Reality) will get an increase of 2-row, and I think I will add back the honey and molasses, but put them into the bucket 3 days after primary fermentation has started.  If I can get the Imperial Ale yeast again, I will.  I would like to use that to make an Imperial IPA and then use the yeast cake from that to make this beer.  Vanilla beans are a possibility.  Down the road, I'd like to use a Trappist High Gravity yeast to give it more of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale twist.  The possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Honorable Mention for 2Wicky

So I responded to a question in the LinkedIn Homebrewer's forum about interesting beers you've brewed or somesuch.  Unfortunately, I was mistaken for someone else named Thierry in the post.  Whatever.  Here's the Drapeau Noir Siason (sic), otherwise known as my 2Wicky Saison Noire.  Hopefully, we'll hear back some tasting notes.  Might be a chance to brew this one again in 2012, but I really only want to brew a Belgian Dubbel this year.  But I will have to brew another beer with the yeast cake from that.