Good morning, everyone.
A week ago, We brewed a stout with 8# 2-row, 4# Victory, 1# C80, 1.25# Roasted Barley, .25# Chocolate, .25# Black, and 1# Flaked Barley (added all roasted malts at beginning of sparge). We mashed at 1.5/1, about 6 gallons, at 154 for 60 min., then sparked with about 5 gallons. We pulled all the liquid, which never reached below 1.014 or so. We were shooting for 5.5 gallons (pre-boil calculated at 7.5) of 1.080, but got 7 gallons (pre-boil measured at 9.5 gallons) of 1.070 (sorry I don’t have pre-boil gravity numbers handy). We boiled for 1.5 hours. We added 2 oz. of Northern Brewer cones at 60 min. and 1 oz. at 30 min. Then we dropped about 6.5 gallons in the fermentor with about 350 billion cells of 1056 (I made a 2L starter with two packets, thinking we were gonna get 1.080, and after 36 hours this monster was still bubbling away, and I put it in the fridge before it stopped bubbling). I’ve kept the fermentation between 66-68, holding steady for two days now at 66.6. It is still bubbling slowly, and after six days in the vessel it has reached 1.022 approx.
This beer was developed with a friend who owns a cafe/bike shop, and she supplied the coffee beans for this collaboration coffee stout. But I have a few questions regarding the finished product, if you’d be so kind to help a friend out.
As far as my numbers or recipe above, would you change anything, as pertains to your experience?
Did I do something wrong by putting the starter in the fridge before it completed fermentation?
What would be the reason our pre-boil gravity was so low, yet yield so high?
What has been your own perceived taste difference between stouts mashed with roasted grains versus adding roasted grains to the spare, post-mash?
Did I overdo it with the hops? Because I was shooting for 1.080+, I was adding more hops, but in the energy of brewery, I didn’t recalculate for new gravity. I hope I didn’t hop too high. Thoughts?
As for future stouts, what is your recommended grist ratio, and mash temperature? I like thick, creamy stouts, not very sweet, more bitter and toasty than sweet, with hints of chocolate and coffee and toast.
That’s all I can think of for now, but I am a stout fanatic and I want to create the best stouts I can: thick, toasty, creamy.
Cheers, and thanks in advance for your time and advice.