Monday, February 18, 2008

O'Connor's Stout Porter

a.k.a. "What a cluster-fuck!"

Perhaps not. But I am entranced by the notion of decoction mashing, and I blame that on Greg Noonan's excellent New Brewing Lager Beer. So I stumble into the wilderness and wander dazedly, and, in the end, I think I got beer. I doughed-in with cold water, and was never able to get enough thermal mass into the mash to bring it up to saccharification. I must have pulled out and brought to boil every quart in there, and then I finally gave up. I could taste sweet wort, but I think I had a hell of a lot of other stuff swimming around, too. I wonder specifically if there was a surplus of enzyme-deprived starches, and a shortage of fermentable sugars. I went ahead and batch-sparged it with my half-assed system, resisting the temptation to chuck the whole shit-a-roo into the compost heap. It was a stout-ish combination of adjuncts to the pale malt: Weyerman Carafa 2, Briess roast barley, flaked barley, and Extra Special malt (just a touch), and a heap of oat flakes (I suppose they could be a source of hazy debris). Organic German Perle hops and White Labs Irish Ale yeast completed the package. Stay tuned for improvements here at FSB. These forays into new techniques are starting to pay off, even if this beer turns out to be lousy. I can see what I need, and I think I know how to get there. It was beautiful today, reaching the low 60s with lots of sun, a great day to have the brew paddle in hand and the brewpot raging.

a.d. XII Kal. Mar.

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