Quantum Deep Stout — The Maiden Voyage

For the first time on 4/19/14, I brewed my Quantum Deep Stout, which was designed to be an amalgam of two different recipes.  It has the grain bill and hops addition of an imperial stout, but I added lactose during the boil and cacao nibs in secondary like a chocolate milk stout.  I had visions of doing my own version of Cigar City’s well renowned Hunahpu.  Yes, I aim high.  So I added crushed coffee beans into the secondary also.   I still do BIAB (brew in a bag), but now on a larger scale so I can make 5 gallon batches.  However, the well known limitation of BIAB is the difficulty of brewing a high gravity beer.  With a heavy grain bill, you need a HUGE pot to hold enough water for a 5 gallon batch but still have a mash that isn’t too thick.  Then there is the issue of hauling that heavy sack of wet grains out of a pot without breaking my back.  So for this one, I decided to do a 2.5 gallon batch.  Here’s the recipe.

7.5 lbs Rahr Pale Ale

0.25 lbs Roasted Barley

0.25 lbs English Black Malt

0.25 lbs English Chocolate Malt

0.25 lbs English Medium Crystal

1 oz Summit hops @ 60 minutes

1 oz Cascade hops @ flameout

0.5 lbs of Lactose @ 15 minutes

Strike Water:  3 gallons at 164

Mash at 151 for 60 minutes  (water to grist ratio:  1.41)

Mashout at 170 for 10 minutes

Sparge with 1 gallon of water at 170 (sparging for me is putting the grain bag in a colander over the pot and slowly pouring hot water through the grain bed)

Yeast:  Safale US-04

Primary fermentation:  14 days

Secondary with 2 oz of cacao nibs for 7 days.  Added 2 oz of manually crushed (hammer time!) colombian coffee beans for 4 days.

Bottled and let condition for 3 weeks before refrigerating a couple and tasting.  A higher gravity beer will benefit from longer bottle conditioning so I will only refrigerate a couple as I’m ready to drink them.

The aroma was strong with coffee.  The coffee was also at the forefront of the taste profile.  Immediately I knew that coffee beans for 4 days was too much.  It was still enjoyable and drinkable but it won’t be for everybody.  The coffee adds a bitterness to the stout that is not characteristic of the style. All the other roasty, heavy characteristics of a stout were there and, as is always important to know I didn’t really fuck anything up,  there were no detected off flavors.  Next time, I will just add the coffee beans whole and do a taste test once a day to determine when to take them out.  I want to aim for a more subdued coffee flavor next time and I have a feeling just one day will do the trick.  As for this batch, I want to try it as a black and tan in addition to drinking as is.  My OG was 1.068 and FG was 1.020 which makes the ABV at 6.3%.  Definitely not imperial, so I dropped that from the name.  I love stouts and with some tweaking, this has the promise of a good one.

Quantum

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