25 January 2014

posted by benjy edwards

The first brew of the new year is another batch of our Milk Stout.  Late last year we were down to the last  two gallons of the stout, and then we suffered the mishap where the beer line came off the faucet shank due to it being over-pressurised, resulting in a couple of gallons of stout at the bottom of the chest freezer.  Quite a mess, and it was the final part of a serious brewing mishap which started with a leak in the co2 line causing the 20 pound tank to be empty and beer backing up the co2 lines into the regulator.  It took a week to sort all of that out.  It was by far the worst brewing disaster I have had in over 17 years of homebrewing.

In any event, this batch followed the previous version with Maris Otter, Fawcett dark crystal I, aromatic, chocolate, and black malt, along with a healthy addition of lactose near the end of the boil.  Hops are just for bittering, and I chose to use the last of the Willamette along with some Belma to reach 40 IBUs.  The brew session went smoothly and quickly, with no previous batch to keg or a second brew to handle.  We overshot our 1.057 gravity, reaching 1.064, so the strength of this batch should be around 5.5% to 5.7%.  We pitched with a starter culture of the WLP002 and fermentation had started by early Sunday morning.

The next planned batches for next weekend are an American pale ale hopped with solely Citra and a cask bitter single-hopped with Sterling.  After that it’s likely to be an IPA and Imperial IPA brewed from the same mash.  Stay tuned for the next exciting installment about homebrewing in Olympia!