Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Brewday: Bolt Thrower & the Buckwheat Honey Stout

Right, final beer post for today. Then we should be more or less current.

Every year since (let's see... 2006!) I've brewed a version of my Buckwheat Honey Stout for St. Patrick's day. This year's was delayed a bit due to inclement weather and the fact that I brewed two pale ales and two IPAs this last month. But with just seventeen days to go, I got to brewing.

One thing I've noticed recently is that I seem to listen to metal when I'm working on a stout. Or maybe listening to metal makes me want to brew stouts? Chicken and egg. But it all makes sense. Stouts are Metal. \m/ You can see this in my last stout, Iron Swan Stout, named after a song by The Sword. Well this time around I was working on my buckwheat honey stout and listening to Bolt Thrower's Those Once Loyal.

Unsurprisingly, this got me in the mood for a big, bad American stout. One of the problems of the Buckwheat Honey Stout has always been that it's...on the fence. I've usually made it like a bigger, Americanized Dry Irish Stout. But Guinness it is not. The buckwheat honey gives it a little sumpin sumpin, describable only as 'buckwheat honey-y'. Either it needs more buckwheat honey, so that becomes the primary flavor, or more complexity in general. So this time around I decided to throw it firmly into the hoppy, complex American Stout camp.

2011 Buckwheat Honey Stout
All grain, 5.25 gallons
O.G. est 1.066, act 1.068
F.G. est 1.016
Est ABV about 6.75%-7.0%
IBU: 58
SRM: 45+
  • 8 lbs Gambrinus ESB Malt
  • 1 lb Flaked Barley
  • 1 lb MFB Special Aromatic
  • 8 oz Black Patent
  • 8 oz Roasted Barley
  • 8 oz Chocolate Malt
  • 8 oz Crystal 80
  • 4 oz Crystal 135 (The Hugh Baird dark crystal. Briess Extra Special Roast would be perfect here.)
  • 2 oz Rauch malt
  • 1 lb Buckwheat Honey
Mashed in shooting for 152, got 149, adjusted up with boiling water to 153. Fine. Mash pH buffered with 12 gm chalk and 5 gm baking soda. Less soda next time, pH was 5.5, so I lowered it to 5.3 with lactic acid. After 30 minutes to full conversion mashed out at 168. Sparged 7 gallons for a 60 minute boil.
  • 1 oz Apollo (leaf) @ 19% AA @ 60 min
  • 1 oz Centennial (leaf) @ 11% AA @ 5 minutes.
  • Buckwheat honey added at the last minute or two.
Cooled down to 68 and pitched a half-growler full of the yeast from the IPAs, which I'd washed earlier. Kraeusen within about 30 minutes again. Brewday, start-to-cleanup, about 4 hours. Must be a new record.

So this thing will go for about week, then I'll cold crash it and rack it into a keg for St Patty's. Not sure whether I'll put it on nitro or not, and I may blend some of it with a secret project I've got going on.

In conclusion, CENOTAPH!!!!


Post a Comment