Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Smith & Wess'n Oaked Aged Vanilla Porter & Tasting Session

I was issued a challenge to brew a Barrel Aged Vanilla Porter within 2 weeks.  For some reason I agreed to this idea.  Choosing to take some of Shea Comfort's ideas and run with them.  Going back to Shea Comfort's interview on the Brewing Networks Sunday Session, Brewing with Oak.  The idea was simple, using a 5" piece of Honeycomb White American Oak in the last minutes of the boil.  Knowing that wood will swell when you add hot water, releasing tannins, expelling positive (and negative) flavors and then capturing these flavors into the beer and hopefully cut the aging time normally necessary for this style of beer.

I started off with the base recipe from Black Butte Porter, raising the Original Gravity up, hoping for a beer finishing around 7.4%.  Expecting to bottle and age this beer, I also wanted to push the bittering hops way up to 45 IUB's with a clean Magnum addition.  Other than that, the base recipe stayed about the same.  To push up the "Barrel Aged" feel, I ordered Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, which I split and scraped out into a small glass jar.  To speed up the extraction process, I added Markers Mark (1.5oz) and let them steep together while the beer was fermenting.

The brew day went great, hitting all my numbers.  With 5 minutes left I dropped the honeycomb into the boil.  After dropping dropping the White American Oak, I got a beautiful boutique of vanilla, toffee, tannins, cinnamon bread and toasted flavors.  Letting the Oak boil for 5 mins and into the whirlpool cool down.  When I was ready to rack over into the carboy, I moved the Honeycomb along with the wort.  I wanted to note that the Honeycomb dramatically changed colors during the boil.  (I wish I had before and after pictures) Pitching the yeast at 63 degrees the next morning with the Honeycomb suspended with fishing line for 5 days of the fermentation.

Starting off at 63 degrees and slowly bringing the temperature up to 70 on day 5.  The day before I kegged the beer I dropped the vanilla bean mixture into the carboy.  Letting it mix over night before racking into the keg. 

Aroma: Stone Fruit on top of Chocolate notes.  Big Vanilla mixed with some Oak tannins of toasted Coconut covered in root beer.  Very interesting aroma profile, there is a lot going on.  Not getting much "Aged" feel to it. The vanilla has a cheap or fake quality to it. 

Appearance:  Beautiful thick tan head that appears like whipped cream on top of the glass.  Pitch black liquid blocks any light from shining through, a perfect pour in my opinion.  

Flavor:  Claim Jumper like Rootbeer candy overwhelms me, a gritty oakness on the back end.  Some old cigar lounge leathery flavors hang around.  Chocolate underwhelms me,  however I'm still getting a vanilla sweetness on the first sip that bothers me, which then quickly disappears for the rest of the tasting.  The vanilla then comes back as a "Vanilla Old Fashion Ice Cream Cone" flavor. Wonderful.  Paired with this oak backbone, somehow it works well for me.  However I can see how this beer could get crowded with everything going on. 

Mouthfeel:  Smacking my tongue on top of my mouth I get a resistance texture only Oak fermented things can bring.  The oak tannins are perfectly balanced.  Good levels of carbonation which brings a chalkness to the party that's great in a porter.  

Overall Impression: Finishing up this beer was awesome.  This tasting had so many great qualities in it for me to talk about.  From the vanilla to the rootbeer to the oak backbone.  Such a interesting beer.

Brewing Timeline/Notes: This was a quick turn-a-round beer.  With the oak in the last minutes of the boil and the fermentation is really doesn't feel rushed.  I do think the fake vanilla flavors upfront take away from the drinking experience.  I might have to adjust this later or age it for longer.  Either way, I would recommend brewing this beer and tasting it for yourself. 

Smith & Wessn'
Wood Aged Beer
Type: All Grain Date: 10/5/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.75 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Can You Brew It
End of Boil Volume 5.72 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal Est Mash Efficiency 70.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 38
Taste Notes: Please see my "Tasting Notes" above
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 56.3 %
3 lbs 8.0 oz Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 21.9 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 9.4 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.1 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.1 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.1 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.1 %
1.20 oz Magnum [12.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 45.5 IBUs
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 9 10.3 IBUs
1.10 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 -
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 2.7 IBUs
0.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 1.7 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 13 -
1.10 Items Honey Comb, White Oak (Secondary 45.0 days) Flavor 14 -
2.00 oz Bourbon (Secondary 20.0 days) Flavor 15 -
1.83 Items Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans (Secondary 20.0 days) Flavor 16 -
0.55 tsp Gelatin (Secondary 5.0 hours) Fining 17 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.073 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.068 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.020 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.0 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.4 %
Bitterness: 60.2 IBUs Calories: 228.8 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 32.6 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 16 lbs
Sparge Water: 3.67 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 20.00 qt of water at 170.5 F 154.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.29gal, 3.38gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 11.69 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 11.69 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 41.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation:  63 Degrees for 5 days, then slowly raised to 74 over 2 weeks
Created with BeerSmith


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for Commenting, Prost!