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.