Monday, March 23, 2015

Matt, and Maple-Bourbon Adam

It’s been more than two years since my series of four barrel-aged strong/dark beers (Wheat Trippelbock, Rye Stout, Vanilla/Cinnamon Porter, and Quadrupel), and stocks are beginning to dwindle. It seemed like a good excuse to brew a variant on the fantastic Hair of the Dog Adam clone I brewed six years ago, considering I'm down to my final bottle (recently drank the second to last – still tasted fantastic). However I didn’t want 10 gallons of the same ~10% ABV beer (no matter how well it ages).

My new water filter, right into the mash tun!Hair of the Dog occasionally brews a version of Adam called Matt which augments the base with candi sugar, more malts, and bourbon and apple eau de vie barrel aging. Apple brandy and dark candi syrup seemed like a nice match, so I went with that for five gallons of the beer.

I’d been thinking of brewing a Baltic porter inspired by the transcendent Les Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique I brought back from Montreal… with the addition of maple syrup and bourbon. I decided it would be a bit too close to Adam (both are dark, lightly smoky, and 10% ABV) so I transferred the concept to Adam. Maple syrup plus some bourbon is a technique that I’ve use to great effect before in a Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout inspired RIS variant. I wanted more maple flavor so I added one quart (nearly three pounds) of grade B maple syrup after primary fermentation slowed. That may sound like a crazy amount in five gallons, but I've heard that some highly sought-after maple beers are brewed with twice that rate (around 10% maple syrup by volume!).

The base recipe is pretty close to my first Adam clone. I tweaked a few percentages and hops, but the only major substitution was the switch from intense peat-smoked malt to a mellower combination of Briess Cherry Wood Smoked and Weyermann Beech Smoked. I used a higher percentage of smoked malt than the first batch, so hopefully the smoke intensity will be similar, if a bit sweeter.

This was the first strong beer (over 1.075) I brewed on the new system. I used the technique borrowed from HoTD, collecting only my target volume of first runnings and boiling down well below the target volume. This concentrates the sugars and amino acids, increasing the rate of Maillard reactions (raising the pH slightly with baking soda further encourages this process). Rather than top-off with water (through my new Camco filter), I sparged with cold water to collect four gallons of second runnings which I boiled for 45 minutes separately. This resulted in pretty good efficiency (overshooting my target gravity) so I topped-off with water post-boil. Nice to have 8 gallon fermentors to accommodate situations like this!

Matt and candi sugar, Adam and maple syrup.Matt, and Maple-Bourbon Adam

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 11.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 46.75
Anticipated OG: 1.095 (Pre-Sugar)
Anticipated SRM: 31.8
Anticipated IBU: 64.9
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65 %
Wort Boil Time: 180 Minutes

62.0% - 29.00 lbs. Rahr Pale Malt
19.3% - 9.00 lbs. Weyermann Munich Malt
7.0% - 3.25 lbs. Simpsons Medium Crystal
4.3% - 2.00 lbs. Briess Cherry Wood Smoked
4.3% - 2.00 lbs. Weyermann Beech Smoked
2.1% - 1.00 lbs. Simpsons Chocolate Malt
1.1% - 0.50 lbs. Simpsons Black Patent Malt

3.50 oz. Rakau (Pellet, 10.50% AA) @ 60 min.
2.00 oz. Crystal (Whole, 5.00% AA) @ 40 min.
1.25 oz. Crystal (Whole, 5.00% AA) @ 10 min.
1.25 oz. Saaz (Pellet, 3.50% AA) @ 10 min.

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Water Profile
Profile: Washington, DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch - 60 min @ 153F

Brewed 3/8/15

Added 4 g of CaCl to the mash and 3 g of baking soda to the boil. Collected 11 gallons of 1.078 runnings in the main kettle, plus 3.5 gallons of 1.060 in a separate kettle.

IBUs likely lower than projected given concentrated wort. Boiled down to about 6 gallons (~1.143). Added the 3 gallons of second runnings, plus 1 gallon of water to get to 10.5 gallons at 1.105 in the kettle. Then mixed with the entire yeast cake from the Honey Stout which was resuspended in another gallon of water for 11 gallons in the fermentors (poured back and forth to mix). Wort temperature was 64F in the fermentor. Left at 56F ambient.

Added 45 seconds pure oxygen about five hours after pitching.

Good fermentation by 24 hours. Temperature is a bit cool for this strain, so I wrapped the fermentors in a blanket to help hold in the heat of fermentation.

3/11/15 Moved to 67F ambient.

3/12/15 Still fermenting, thankfully as it's at 1.060 (37% AA), only half way there...

3/15/15 Still slowly ticking along, 1.038 (60% AA). Krausen has only gotten bigger. Adding sugars tomorrow.

3/16/15 Still some krausen, but activity seems to have mostly stalled. Added 32 oz (by volume) ~2.8 lbs of Whole Foods Grade B maple syrup to the bucket (effective OG = 1.111), and 1 lb of D-90 Candi Syrup to the Speidel (effective OG = 1.101). Still at 67F ambient.

3/19/15 Candi half down to 1.030 (70% AA, 9.5% ABV), the maple at 1.025 (77% AA, 11.5% ABV). Right where they should be, and fermentation appears finished.

3/22/15 Fermentation appears finished on both, moved to 55F ambient to settle.

4/5/15 Bottled the Matt portion. 5.25 gallons. Added 4 oz of Daron Calvados. Rehydrated 2 g of Pasteur Champagne yeast, and primed with 106 g of table sugar. Aiming for 2.3 volumes of CO2.

4/12/15 Kegged the Maple half with 1 cup of Medley Brothers bourbon.

2/2/16 Tasting notes for Maple-Bourbon Adam. Maple wasn't as assertive as I'd hoped, but it is there and melds nicely with the smoke, bourbon, and intense maltiness.

12/6/16 Tasting notes on the Cavados/Candi half.

12/29/16 Boiled 2 oz of toasted (55 minutes at 350F) maple bark chiseled off a tree in my parents' front yard in 2 qrts of water for 60 minutes uncovered. Infused 1 qrt of the resulting liquid into the keg. Really boosted the maple flavor! Boiled the remaining 3/4 cup of liquid with 1.5 cups of sugar until it reached 219F (for pancakes).

3/12/18 Tasting notes on the portion with maple bark.


Anonymous said...

Why cold water?

Unknown said...

Is there a spot on your blog that describes your "new system" I'm intrigued about the Spiedel fermenters (for dry-hopping with the wide mouth, as well as the spigot on the bottom for ease of "racking" and whatnot), but I'm wondering if your new system involves more than just the Spiedels (I have always been wondering how I can adapt your method of pouring the kettle thru a colander into a bucket, then bucket goes to carboy . . . but I don't think I can do this because I brew ten gallon batches and the weight would be prohibitive)

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I don't have an HLT for the new system. Kai did a test and found that you really don't sacrifice efficiency with cold water compared to hot, it just slows down run-off speed. As an added benefit, it cools down the grain making clean-up easier.

I'm whirlpooling and using a side-pickup to send the wort through a plate chiller now. Although that is unrelated to the change to the new fermentors. With my old system I did as you describe to ferment in carboys for sour beers. That was just the easiest way for me to remove the hops, not something that was done to improve the beer.

Kyle Kastranec said...

Is that a Camco hose/filter system you're using?

I was looking at getting that filter but couldn't find any brewing-specific reviews.

How do you like it?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Yep, Camco. No complaints so far. I've got it disassembled so it doesn't sit wet between batches.

Unknown said...

Just wanted to confirm that you used 8 oz of bourbon, but not aging on oak.

I brewed a maple coffee beer and based on your previous post about the CBS beer and experience of others, I used maple extract and it turned out really well. Using the extract feels a little like cheating and I'd like to try real maple syrup, but the disappointment factor seems fairly high. Really looking forward to see how this turns out. How long are planning on bulk aging it?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Correct. I've moved to adding wine/liquor directly when that is the character I want, and steamed oak cubes when I want oak. I never got much from aging the cubes in the spirit, easier to add each to taste separately depending on your goal.

This batch will probably go on tap this fall/winter once the weather cools down. The candi/calvados half is a bit more phenolic than I prefer at the moment, hoping the smoke mellows with time.

Unknown said...

Hey Mike. Did you transfer to secondary when you added the sugars? It appears you split the batch into two at this time? Is that right? Thanks.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I added the sugars directly to the separate primary fermentors. I don't have anything big enough to ferment 11.5 gallons of wort together!

Unknown said...

Thanks Mike! I brewed a stout and am going to add some maple syrup to it. I think I'll try your route and add it to primary after fermentation slows.