The computer at Mac’s Brew Pub died the week before Christmas so I have been unable to post anything for the last several weeks. We just replaced the computer on Friday (January 25, 2013), so I hope to start posting regularly to this site again. I trust that each of you had a happy and fulfilling holiday season, and hopefully things are going your way in this new year. There is a little technical jargon in this latest newsletter, so please refer to the terms and definitions category if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.
Mac’s Brewing resumed operations on Monday January 14, 2013. I brewed Mac’s Bourbon Barrel Stout. It’s the same recipe as Little Levi’s Bourbon Barrel Stout, but I have tweaked the procedures somewhat to get a little closer to what I had in mind when I created the recipe last year. Last time I ended up with a ridiculously high final gravity, so this time I mashed the grains at a significantly lower temperature (151° F in 2013 vs. 156° F in 2012). This makes the wort more fermentable. Since this is a very high gravity beer, even a more fermentable wort should end with a relatively high final gravity, and with all of the oatmeal in the recipe, I’m not worried about drying this beer out too much. Also, I’m using oak cubes (instead of oak chips like last year) and soaking them in bourbon for about a month in order to get a stronger and longer lasting bourbon barrel flavor. I plan to age this stout on the oak cubes for 6 – 9 months, which should also impart the stronger bourbon barrel flavor.
I had 80% efficiency with my mash and the wort went into the fermenter with an original gravity of 1.105 (that’s high!). It was transferred to the secondary fermenter after a week and was already 11.1% ABV. The fermentation should continue slowly for a couple more weeks and I anticipate Mac’s Bourbon Barrel Stout should end up around 12% ABV. I’m getting a buzz just thinking about it.
It sure was nice to make beer again. I haven’t brewed since May, 2012, and I almost forgot how. I plan on brewing again soon (should be able to make two batches in February – buying the ingredients next week), and I’m really excited to get back into the hobby. I’m still finishing up with our remodel, but the end is in sight, so I’m turning my attention (and efforts) back to endeavors with Mac’s Brew Pub. I really want to work on that kegerator project so I don’t have to bottle any of these recent brews (the bourbon barrel stout should not be any problem – it won’t be ready for kegging or bottling until October or November 2013).
I have sampled a bunch of beers in the last couple of months, and will post the reviews as soon as I possibly can. Maybe I can work on those ASAP and be caught up within a couple of weeks. That’s it for now, but stay tuned for those beer reviews.