This is by far my most complex recipe to date. My grains include some roasted barley, crystal, and brown. The LME is a combination of 2 dark brown ales. I also went with Northern hops for bittering and got a little aroma from Perle. Dextrine was mixed with the coco to add body and flavoring.
Ive wanted to brew an oatmeal stout for a long time now however, my goal was to do a Sam Smith clone. Since you cant really walk into Brew Depot and pick up some Sam Smith proprietary yeast, II decided to wait till I cam up with my own recipe. The last chocolate beer I did (Rasperry Chocolate Wheat) was not chocolaty at all. I only used 1 roasted grain and no real coco. This time I was determined to get it right.
So after sanitizing my fermenters, tubing, pots, spoons, etc, I got started with the fun stuff. First thing I did was mixed the Dextrine and coco with a cup of water in a small gravy pot. After bringing it to a boil and whisking thoroughly, i sat it to the side and started on the wort.
After soaking my LME cans in hot water for 30 min, I started my wort with 4 gallons of water. The Northern Hops were added @ 60 min along with the Dextrine concoction. At 30 min I added the grains followed by the Perle @ 1 min. I was shooting for an OG of 1.061 or higher (considering all the sugars I included) but I made a grave mistake with the top off water. I estimated a 1 gallon loss due to evaporation (taking it down to 3 gallons) so I was supposed to add 2 gallons to the fermenter before adding my wort. I mistakenly added 3 gallons (no idea why), which took my OG down to 1.051.
Last time I checked, there was no law about DWB (Drinking While Brewing). Probably related to my OG issue :)
So after deliberating on whether or not to add more sugars to the mix ( I had 1 lb of crystal on hand) I decided to go with the 1.051 OG. If I am lucky, I might be able to get 5.3% ABV out of this batch. I was shooting for atleast 7%.
I then pitched my British Ale Liquid yeast (WL005 i believe) and crossed my fingers. It took a good 8 hours for the yeast to start talking to me, the longest I have every had to wait for any signs of life. But it seems to be doing its thing now.My temp is a little on the high side (76F) but things look good so far.With all of the sugars involved, I will probably leave this one in the primary for 4 weeks before transferring.
In the mean time, I am working on a full bodied Belgian Ale that I should be brewing in the next 10 days.