Sunday, March 23, 2008

Filthy Frenchman Stout

Brewed: 03/30/2008
Status: Consumed
This stout is my first off-the-wall type brew. The recipe is based on Austin Homebrew's "Coffee Malt Stout" kit, but with one major addition: elderberries. From what I've read (and smelled), elderberries are quite tart, and would pair nicely with a stout. Since raw elderberries contain a bit of cyanide (apparently cooking them breaks it down), I'm going to have to make sure they're cooked before they enter the brew. Based on what I've read from recipes calling for dried elderberries versus those calling for fresh elderberries, one ounce of dried berries seems to equal roughly six ounces of fresh ones. I boiled two ounces of dried elderberries in the last 15 minutes of the boil. For the berries in the secondary, I soaked them in enough water to cover them overnight, and then simmered them in that water for about ten minutes. I tasted this batch when taking the final gravity, and I'm quite pleased. There is little (if any) hint of a distinct "berry" taste to it, just a mild tartness in the aftertaste. Despite coming out about 1% short of the intended ABV, I didn't find it to be particularly weak. It should be tasty once it carbonates. Instead of doing the 2-day force carbonation @ 25 psi, I decided to do it at 12 psi for 2 weeks (roughly 2.5 vols of CO2 @ 40° F). This recipe turned out exceptionally well, and it disappeared pretty quickly. The elderberry taste was fairly subtle, so I was happy with the estimates made in their addition.

  • 1.75 lbs. Marris Otter Pale Malt
  • 0.75 lbs. Coffee Malt
  • 0.25 lbs. 40L Crystal Malt
  • 0.125lbs. Black (Patent) Malt
  • 0.125lbs. Black Roasted Barley
  • 0.5 lbs. Malto Dextrin
  • 2.0 lbs. Amber Liquid Malt Extract
  • 4.0 lbs. Dark Liquid Malt Extract
  • 1.0 oz. Galena Hop Pellets (Bittering, 60 min, 13.1% AA)
  • White Labs London Ale 013 Liquid Pitchable Tube Yeast
  • 2 oz. Dehydrated elderberries (mash)
  • 1 oz. Dehydrated elderberries (secondary)
OG/FG/ABV: 1.061/1.023/4.91%
Primary Fermentation in 6.5 gallon glass carboy @ 75° F for 9 days.
Secondary Fermentation in 5 gallon glass carboy @ 75° F for 11 days.
Force Carbonation in 5 gallon cornelius keg @ 40° F, 12 psi.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Moosbeere-Apfel Verr├╝cktheit

Started: 03/22/2008
Status: Bottled and Collecting Dust

This batch is somewhat of a spin-off of the Apfelwein recipe that I made last month. I used a different brand of apple juice, added more sugar, and put in a bit of Cranberry juice cocktail to give a different little bite to it. I dissolved the turbinado sugar in a saucepan of apple juice to make sure it mixed in well. It tastes vaguely similar to the first Apfelwein, but the added sugars gave it a boozy flavor, and the cranberry juice didn't particularly ferment well. It's barely drinkable and taking up space.


  • 4.5 Gallons HEB Central Market Organics Unfiltered Apple Juice
  • 0.5 Gallon Organic Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  • 2 lbs. Dextrose Monohydrate
  • 1.25 lbs. Turbinado Sugar (AKA Sugar in the Raw)
  • 5 oz. RedStar Montrachet Dry Wine Yeast
ABV: 9.25%
Force Carbonation in 5 gallon cornelius keg @ 40° F, 12 psi.