Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fuzzy Little Foreign Extra Stout + Bugs

"I'll slack you off you fuzzy little foreigner..."

Whenever people talk about stouts, Guinness invariably comes up in the conversation.  It's one of the most famous beers in the world and is THE example of a dry stout.  Guinness famously sours a portion of their beer in oaken tuns remaining from the early days of the brewery.  These tuns have Brett, lacto, pedio and doubtlessly a bunch of other organisms, and provide the unique taste of Guinness.  I wanted to try something similar, but on a homebrew level.  Plenty of homebrewers have done this before by adding acidulated malt or lactic acid.  Some have soured portions of their wort and then added it to the finished product.  As someone who likes making Dregs Beers, I thought I'd try a different approach and add the dregs of a sour beer to my homebrewed stout after a primary fermentation with a traditional ale yeast.  My thought is that the English ale characteristics essential to a traditional stout will be established in primary and the remaining bugs and bacteria from the dregs will provide just enough sour bite to make the beer a little more interesting.   I like Draught Guinness, but really prefer Foreign Extra Stouts, and they come in two sub-styles: Export and Tropical.  Here are some thoughts about each with a short sensory evaluation of two representative beers.

While travelling in Scotland I had a chance to try Guinness Foreign Extra Stout in a bottle.  It has a higher alcohol content, plenty of dryness and a smooth creaminess to it that I liked immediately.  It's a deep opaque black, and not as bitter as some others I've tried.  There's almost no sweetness-it's the Guinness you know and love times two.

I tried a Lion Stout for the first time when travelling in Peru.  It pours a deep dark brown, almost black and has plenty of roasted malt and coffee aromas.  Lion retains a sweetness and a hint of alcoholic bite that serves a nice counterpoint to the bitterness associated with a lot of roasted barley.

Fuzzy Little Foreign Extra Stout was brewed in the Export style.  Here's the recipe:

Brew Date:March 24, 2014
Yield:5 gallons
Color (SRM/EBC):
Bitterness (Calc):58.4 IBU (Daniels)
Conditioning:Bottles and Cask
Batch No:137
Target OG:1.075
General Information
Method:All Grain
Higher gravity stout brewed in the export (as opposed to the tropical) interpretation of the style. Brettanomyces to be added mid-fermentation.
Scale Recipe
Enter desired final yield (volume): gallons  
Malts and Grains
8.00 pounds 54.2% of grist
1.50 pounds 10.2% of grist
1.00 pounds 6.8% of grist
1.00 pounds 6.8% of grist
0.75 pounds 5.1% of grist
0.75 pounds 5.1% of grist
1.00 pounds 6.8% of grist
0.75 pounds 5.1% of grist
14.75 pounds
Total Grain Weight (Water Amounts)
100% of grist
0.50 poundsBrown Sugar, Dark
1.00 ounces 9.2% Pellets @ 60 minutes 
Type: Bittering
Use: Boil
9.2 AAUs
0.50 ounces 9.2% Pellets @ 30 minutes 
Type: Flavor
Use: Boil
4.6 AAUs
0.50 ounces 6.9% Pellets @ 15 minutes 
Type: Flavor
Use: Aroma
3.5 AAUs
2.00 ouncesTotal Hop Weight17.3 AAUs
Total Boil Time:60 minutes
Name:Dry English Ale
Manufacturer:White Labs
Product ID:WLP007
Temperature Range:65–70°F
Amount:35 ml

I plan to sour this beer slightly with Wyeast Brettanomyces Lambicus. This beer will spend some time fermenting out as the bugs do their job slowly.  Need more?  Check out the BrewBlog posting here.

You can't end a post that references Carl Spackler without including this:

"A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

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