Prarie Doggin' Stout

Chocolate Oatmeal Stout with a roasted mildly bitter profile.

Brew day was a busy affair to say the least.  At some point basic knowledge of one’s own brewing system takes over after a year off from the craft.  With all equipment set up, and grains crushed, it was off to make some delicious chocolate oatmeal stout, which has become to be known as Prairie Doggin’ Stout.

Everything seemed to be running smoothly until checking the original gravity just prior to boiling.  I was using 2-row pale malt that was over a year old, but to my surprise, the wort was a full 12 points below original gravity!  The barley was stored in air-tight containers and seemed to smell and taste just fine.  I’m not one to just dump a batch, so I preceded to move on with the boil and keep the recipe as intended.  A week later, after tearing down the malt mill, it was discovered that over the course of our move, the mill was offset, which in turn didn’t crush the grain properly.

Fast forward to today, and checking final gravity, the beer came out at a beautiful 5.4% ABV.  Apart from a slight increase in bitterness, it still has all the qualities of the intended recipe.  It is now on CO2 and will be ready for consumption within a week or so.

In closing, I may have found an alternative recipe that could lead to a Turtle Head Stout.  It just goes to show that even when a recipe doesn’t seem to hit all the numbers during the brew process, or something seemingly catastrophic takes place, you may find great quality beer on accident.

Until next brew day!

After 8 years of brewing, the inevitable happened.  I woke up this morning and checked on my newest batch of young malted goodness to make sure the room temperature was adequate and discovered the airlock was filled with krausen.  I quickly changed out the airlocks and went off to work.

Sometime around lunch, I get a phone call from my wife and she told me she was sitting in the adjacent room to where my beer ferments and heard a strange hissing sound.  Shortly after the hissing started, there was a loud bang.

I came home after work and promptly checked on what I had anticipated to be a recreation of a Mount Vesuvius eruption.  I approached the room and noticed the lid to the 6 gallon bucket was half blown off.  To my surprise, there was not a ton of fallout from what had to have been a massive explosion.

Since the yeast was still in a very active fermentation, and the ambient temperature was around 62F, I felt safe replacing the lid to the bucket and changing the airlock for the second time.

Only time will tell if the beer really survived through that ordeal.