Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Smoked Stout - DC Homebrewers Anniversary Beer

Dave and Martin MillingThere is something really wonderful about joining an organization right when it is starting up.  I've been attending meetings of the DC Homebrewers club since it was founded in early 2008.  It has been rewarding to participate in the club as it grows and tries to find an identity in a metro-area that already has several larger/older homebrewing clubs.

A couple months back I struck upon an idea, why not get club members together to brew an anniversary beer to celebrate 2 years of DC Homebrewers?  I sent out an email to the club discussion list and got some interest.  Someone suggested that we try to brew a beer with as many local ingredients as possible.  Our definition of local was pretty loose, but we came up with barley malted/smoked by a local distillery, homegrown hops, local honey, and yeast from a local brewpub.

People were great about procuring ingredients and then bringing them over to my house early on a Sunday morning to brew.  Once most of the people (ingredients) arrived we set about trying to put together a malt bill based on what we had on hand.  For awhile it had a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen feel, but after awhile we hashed out something that I think most people were happy with.  We decided on a moderately strong stout/porter, in addition to the smoked malt we added plenty of pale malt for gravity, flaked barley for body, and a complex blend of dark malts for depth and balance. 

I contributed 1.25 oz of my own homegrown cascades (basically the whole harvest...), but luckily someone else brought some commercial cascades to supplement.  This is intended to be a beer that will age well, so we were a bit more heavy handed with the hops (50 IBUs) to ensure some bitterness remains in a year or two, and we left out late boil hops since the hop aroma is the first aspect of a beer to fade.

Rob and Brian Mashing InThe yeast slurry from District ChopHouse (20th generation Scottish yeast) was gangbusters ripping through the beer quickly despite the low wintertime temperature of my basement.  Scottish yeast is relatively mild in character and great in malty beers, but it will be interesting to see how this one is after so many repitchings.

The honey will be added to the primary fermenter after the initial fermentation dies down. This will preserve as much of its aromatics as possible because the honey will not be subjected to heat or the CO2 scrubbing of primary fermentation.  Despite adding it late in the process I'm not expecting too much character from the honey in a finished beer with so much else going on.

Hopefully the club will repeat this event every February to produce another anniversary beer. A six-pack of each of these beers will make it to the club's anniversary meeting every January, with the goal (a few years down the road) of being able to sample 5-6 different batches once a year.  We spent most of the boil discussing styles to brew in the future (possibly alternating between two different styles, tweaking them as time goes by), but it will probably be next winter by the time the format is determined.

If you want to see more pictures of the brewday take a look at the Flikr page.

DC HB Anniversary 2010 - Smoked Honey Stout

Me Recirculating the WortRecipe Specifics (All-Grain)
----------------
Batch Size (Gal):         5.25 
Total Grain (Lbs):       14.75
Anticipated OG:          1.075
Anticipated SRM:          34.0
Anticipated IBU:          49.9
Brewhouse Efficiency:    72 %
Wort Boil Time:          90 min.

Grain/Sugar
--------------
61.0% - 9.00 lbs. Canadian Pale Malt     
16.9% - 2.50 lbs. Wasmund's Smoked Malt        
6.8% - 1.00 lbs. Flaked Barley         
1.7% - 0.25 lbs. Simpson's Extra Dark Crystal                       
1.7% - 0.25 lbs. Carafa Special II         
1.7% - 0.25 lbs. Belgian Chocolate Malt                 
1.7% - 0.25 lbs. English Roasted Barley
0.8% - 0.13 lbs. English Black Patent Malt
0.8% - 0.13 lbs. Coffee Malt

6.8% - 1.00 lbs. Honey (after primary fermentation)           

Stefin Adding HopsHops
------
3.50 oz. Cascade (Pellet 4.50% AA) 60 min.

Extras
--------
1.00 Unit Whirlfloc @ 15 min.(boil)
0.25 Tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.(boil)

Yeast
-------
White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Water Profile
----------------
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
-------------------
Sacch Rest 60 min @ 152

Notes
------
Brewed 2/21/10 With a big group from DCHB.

Bee George HoneyApple smoked malt was from Copper Fox Distillery (Wasmund's Whiskey).  Didn't look like it took a very good crush.

No water adjustments.

Hops 1.25 oz of my homegrown, 2.25 oz of year old pellets.

Yeast was a cup of slurry from District ChopHouse, 20 generations.

Shook to aerate.  Violent fermentation by 12 hours.

2/25/10 Added 1 lb of Bee George Honey (Wild Flower Honey from Takoma Park Maryland).  Considering I bought it at the COOP in Takoma Park it seemed appropriate addition to a "local" beer.  After adding the honey I gave the beer a gentle stir with my wine thief to ensure that it was mixed in.

3/13/10  Racked to secondary, should be bottling in 2-3 weeks.

5/06/10 Bottled with 2.25 oz of table sugar.  Gravity down around 1.012.  Sample tasted pretty good, not much smoke/honey character.

6/23/10 First tasting, good if a bit over-carbonated (I'll be more excited about drinking it next winter, summer is not the right season for this one).

6 comments:

My Year Without said...

Congrats, DC Home Brew Club, on 2 years!!

Ryan said...

Wasmunds Smoked malt? what did they smoke it with?

Im curious what products wasmunds puts out, whiskey, bourbon etc google didnt bring up much unless its copperfox distillery

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yep, that's it (more info is in the batch notes at the end of the recipe). It was apple wood smoked malt, pretty subtle stuff. Not sure if this will be a smoked stout so much as it is a stout with some smoke complexities.

Dank brewer said...

Hey, me and some guys just had our first meeting of a new homebrew club in NE Minneapolis. We had 15 members show up to the first meeting! Any suggestions on what we should be doing, what we shouldn't worry about, etc. Anything would be appreciated from someone that is 2 years down the road from where we are at.

Cheers,

Nick

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Congrats, my girlfriend is in the process of starting up a club as well where she lives.

Happy to give some general suggestions, but I can also send along the email for the president of our club. He’d probably be more helpful for talking about the legal/practical aspects of running a homebrew club.

DC Homebrewers is more relaxed/social than many other clubs. People who can’t bring homebrew bring food or craft beer that we enjoy for the first 30 minutes or so, then everyone introduces their beers and we get to drinking homebrew and talking. That’s about it. Some meetings have themes (Oktoberfest, Strong Ales etc…), but most don’t. We’ve been trying to get some local pro-brewers involved, which is nice. Having a slick website can be a good addition to get more participation between meetings. Group grain/hop buys are also a good way to get people involved, as is getting a local homebrew store to offer members a small discount.

Try to figure out what people are interested in and work from there. I’ve attended other clubs that have very different feels. NOVA Homebrewers do a lot of education, with people presenting on a specific topic each meeting. Other clubs are big on judging beers and have each person fill out a score sheet for each beer they try. There are lots of models out there depending on what direction you want to go.

Hope that helps, good luck.

Dank brewer said...

Hey Man,

Just getting back to this comment. Thanks for getting back to me. We did start a homebrew club and it's going really good. Just did a Single Hop IPA experiment which was extremely educational. I'd love some more info on the legal/practical aspects of running a homebrew club. We currently don't have a membership fee, or any kind of real organization. FYI, ust got my first funk beer going. Flanders red ale! Next, Saison Brett! Cheers, Nick

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