Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brewday: Fustigator Eisbock

Fustigate: (v) To beat with a club.
That about sums up an Eisbock. An already strong Doppelbock that has been ice distilled, concentrated by removing the frozen water and leaving the concentrated beer behind. The last one I brewed was over seven years ago, and it is still probably the most widely remembered brew I've done. It was good, even if my stoner ex-housemates unplugged the lagering fridge while I was away for a month in Norway. But I think seven years' experience will make this next one great.

Step one in making an eisbock is planning. You can't just ice a normal doppelbock, it will be cloyingly sweet. You should brew a doppel expressly designed to ferment as dry as possible, so that when it's concentrated it sweetens up nicely. Also, make sure you have plenty of yeast around. I brewed up a Helles and an Oktoberfest just to be starters for this one. By the end I had just under a half quart of solid Wyeast Continental Lager built up.

The base is German Pils and Munich, with a pound of CaraMunich. At the last minute I decided to add 6oz of Special B, a dark Belgian crystal malt. I think it will add a nice deep caramel complexity, but time will tell whether it also added too much caramel malt and over-sweetened it. Hops are way in the background on this one, about 28 IBU of Brewers Gold and Sterling, because that's what I had in the freezer. Shot for 9.5%, when it's been iced it should be up around 11%.

RECIPE: Fustigator Eisbock

ABV (pre-eisbocking): 9.25%-9.5%. Post Eisbocking: 11%ish.
O.G.: 1.094
F.G.: 1.022-24 probably, 1.020 if I'm lucky.
IBU: 28
SRM; 18
  • 10 lbs German Pils (had to use Best, would have preferred Weyermann)
  • 7 lb Munich (10L)
  • 1 lb CaraMunich
  • 6 oz Special B
Infusion mash to 144 for 20 minutes, then infusion to 156 for 30. Pulled a decoction to mashout at 168. The stepped infusion was due to my 5 gallon stovetop pot being too small for a proper single infusion of that much grain. You could do a single infusion at 154 easy, I just didn't feel like firing up the propane burner until the main boil.

Water adjustments were:

Mash: 2 tsp chalk, 3/4 tsp Calcium Chloride, 1/2 tsp Epsom salts, 3/4 tsp Baking Soda, 1/4 tsp salt.

Boil: 1 1/2 tsp calcium chloride, 1 tsp Epsom.

90 Min Boil.
  • 1 oz Brewer's Gold (Pellet) @ 9.7% AA @ 60 min
  • 1/2 oz Sterling (Pellet) @ 4.3% @ 30 min
  • whirlfloc tablet @ 15
  • 1 t yeast nutrient @ 15
Cooled as much as possible using icewater in my plate chiller. Need a pump if I'm going to do better than 59. But I do have a new Stopper Thermowell, so I have accurate temp control again. After a couple hours it had cooled to 53. Racked off the cold-break and pitched my yeast. Fermenting away at 50.

I'll give it two or three weeks to ferment out, then a D-rest for a few days. Then rack it. Slowly drop it down to 35 and lager it for a month. Then rack into a keg. Into the chest freezer and I'll drop it to 19 degrees. Swirl the keg until noticeable icebergs have formed. Then I'll use a jump-tube to rack over into a 3 gallon keg. If all goes as planned, nothing will be left in the first keg but two gallons of ice. Then I'll lager the 3 gallon keg for another month, carbonate, and bottle the whole batch in 12oz'ers with my BeerGun. That's the plan, anyway.


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