With competition season starting up soon we decided to brew our only award winning beer to try and build upon our success from last year. Enter Brown Eye Woke: our brown ale aged on coffee beans. We received two medals for it last year (it would’ve been three had I submitted the bottles on time… oops). We always use a different coffee in each version. This year we opted for Four Barrel Nicaraguan el Diablo beans. We hit our numbers on the mark (with a bit of increased efficiency even!) and the brew day went incredibly smooth. Initial wort sample was nice and roasty/sweet. I’ve got a good feeling about this one. Do I smell a first place medal?
|8# Maris Otter||1 oz East Kent Golding @ 60||60 Minutes @ 154F|
|.8# Victory||1 oz East Kent Golding @ 15|
|.8# Brown Malt||Boil:|
|.75# Special Malt||60 Minutes|
|.5# Chocolate Malt||WLP002 (English Ale Yeast)|
|Estimated OG: 1.054||Actual OG: 1.054||Extra|
|Yeast Energizer @ 15|
|Estimated FG: 1.010||Actual FG:|
|Age of coffee beans after|
|Estimated ABV: 5.77%||Actual ABV:||Fermentation has completed|
|For two weeks|
A few things to note, other than my beautiful organized table for our recipe, are some minor tweaks to the recipe. Two things stick out – a higher mash temperature and a half ounce more of hops. When we submitted our beer last year, two points of constructive criticism stood out. One was that it needed more hops and the other was that it was a little thin. With those remarks in mind we took what we feel are the necessary steps to making a better beer. Only time will tell!
We heated our strike up to 165F and we preheated our mashtun this time, however we may have over done it. The mash temp was at 155F for most of the mash duration which is unfortunate but we hope it won’t affect the fermentability of the wort too much. We collected 7.5 gallons of sweet wort and started our boil.
In order to make the hop presence and bit more prominent we decided to forgo our usual hopping schedule and do a first wort hopping, and made it a full ounce as opposed to ¾ oz. We kept the 2nd hop charge at 15 minutes as we normally do. Hopefully this adds a bit of complementary bitterness to the roasty notes of the grain bill and coffee.
After boiling for an hour we chilled the wort down to 77F and dropped it in the fermentation fridge until it cooled to about 70F. Then we pitched our yeast (WLP002) and closed it off until we are ready to add the coffee beans. We collected about 4.8 gallons and hit our original gravity numbers on the mark. It’s always a good feeling to hit our numbers but it was especially nice to hit them on the nose while we brewed a beer for a competition.
We did a lot of other things this past weekend as well. Most notably, we bottled 15 gallons of beer! We bottled:
- “One with the Shadows” Stout –Roasty-Chocolate Stout
- “Medusa Oblongata” – Medusa & Victoria Secret Pale Ale
- “Destination: Terror” – A Rye Honey Saison with Lime Zest added
It was definitely a long brew day but it was also a very satisfying one. I can’t wait for these beers to condition so we can taste them as the initial sample going into the bottles was great. Of the bunch I’m most excited to try the stout, reason being that stouts are the last key to our homebrew puzzle. Hopefully this is a winner. Cheers.