14 January, 2006

posted by benjy edwards

Trying to achieve an original gravity of 1.105 is not easy! Following the recipe from Brew Your Own magazine for the Tenth Anniversary American Stout, we maxed out the mash tun with 40 pounds of grain, and got a cement-like consistency from the 10 pounds of flaked barley, and could only fit a pound or two of rice hulls in the mash tun. The mash temperature was a bit low after half an hour (147F), so we bumped it up to 154F and mashed for an hour and 45 minutes. Then the boil was the first sign that the beer had satanic properties, because the volume did not seem to decrease, despite a 2+ hour boil. We had a pretty serious boilover near the end, which caused the entire kettle to start smoking and with the steam rising from the wort you couldn’t see it anymore! In order to achieve the proper gravity, we needed to add 6 pounds of DME, 3.25 pounds of molasses, and 2 pounds of corn sugar. Definitely wacky.

We brewed this batch with Jonathan Page, who brought over his newly-acquired 14.5 gallon stainless cylindroconical fermenter, which we used for this batch. I think we ended up overfilling the fermenter (see lack of boil volume reduction above), so once the gallon of yeast slurry was pitched, the satanic properties kicked back in and there was wort leaking from the lid gasket and overflowing out of the blowoff bucket. The temperature rose overnight from 70 to 80, whereupon I cranked the fridge temp. down to the 40’s. It took about 12 hours to get the temp. back under control. By Sunday night it was in the mid-60s. Monday I tried to get the temp. back up to the high 60s. Overall loss of wort from the blowoff was probably around two gallons. The beer was “christened” (probably not the appropriate term considering the name) Son of Satan Stout.

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