Around half a year ago when I was still posting our bi-weekly updates someone commented to me:”You know Jason, there’s no way you’ll still have this blog going once the Breweries open, you’ll just be too busy and lose any care to explain to us the tiny details of whats going on”, well mysterious commenter: You’re both right and wrong, I am extremely busy, but everyone still deserves to be an integral part of building the brewery with us, and today that is by brewing our first Stout.
Developing the Stout:
After living and studying in England for half a year I learned two major things: The English loved their Stouts, and also that they had the most brutal love-hate relationship with the Irish. Based off of this I decided to focus on the love for Stouts rather than delve into their geopolitical strife and attempt to understand what the differences between United Kingdom, Great Britain, British Isles etc all meant. To do this I broke down the most important parts of a Stout: roastiness, chocolate, and almost a sweet molasses backbone. Rather than brew a true Dry Irish Stout I figured we are in the Jersey Shore, the land of an entire month of St Patricks Day Parades, where most people are descendants of Irish Immigrants, lets brew an “Irish Extra” stout. Irish Extra Stouts tend to be a little bit stronger and have a slightly more pronounced roasted character than a standard Dry Irish Stout.
Irish Extra Stouts are direct descendants of English Porters, using things like Flaked and Roasted barley as using the grain unmalted was a cheaper prospect than using all malted grains. Trying to stay as true to style as possible we used a base of Maris Otter malt (English Malt), and a healthy amount of Flaked Barley for body as well as Roasted Barley for its dry roastiness and bitterness. Rather than just stop there we also used both Chocolate Malt and Coffee Malt to add a depth and character to the roast reminiscent of dark chocolates and black coffee as accents. While this is an extremely simple recipe, it is often the simplest recipes that offer the most character.
True to what would be used in the UK (or is it the British Isles???) we used East Kent Golding for both bitterness and for a slight amount of Aroma. East Kent Golding is probably the most English of English varieties of hops but seeing as how hops in Ireland were imported from England, well that is our best option.
We pulled the Yeast from our American Brown Ale (London Ale III) and reused it for the Irish Stout, and is still fermenting at this point quite happily. We are keeping the fermentation temperature at 67F for the majority of the Fermentation and hoping the gravity drops far enough for the alcohol to end around 6% abv.
Our end-goal for our Irish Stout is to release it on St Patricks day weekend (Not Belmar St Patricks Parade weekend nor Seaside St Patricks Parade weekend, but instead March 17th). Planning to have the entire tasting room dedicated to Stouts/Porters/Irish Reds/one-offs of each for the weekend to celebrate like only the Irish (and certainly not the English) would. Currently working on the next round of brewdays which should include: Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Blonde, Northeast IPA, Weizenbock, Coffee Saison, and maybe even a nice big Russian Imperial Stout.
Currently in Fermenation
Fermenter 1: Australian IPA (Release Date: 3/3/17)
Fermenter 2: American Brown Ale (Release Date: 3/4/17)
Fermenter 4: Foreign Extra Stout (Release Date 3/17/17)
Currently in Barrels: Birdie Scotch Ale on Rye Whiskey
Birdie Scotch ale on Bourbon Whiskey
Imperial Yukon Cornelius Coffee Porter on Buckwheat Whiskey