Our latest homebrew is nearing the end of primary fermentation. We’re aiming for a “chocolate orange stout” – not so much Terry’s chocolate orange, but more something bitter and rich with a hint of citrus. A bit like our impressions of Yeti Imperial Stout, which in turn reminded me of an 85%-cocoa-solids hot chocolate I had in Spain once. That’s what we’re going for. We’re not ambitious or anything.
Anyway, we’ve had a sneaky sample, and it’s already showing a lot of promise. We’re going to bottle some just as it is, but we’ve got some smaller carboys, so we could do a range of experiments with secondary fermentation. So if you’ve got any ideas for what to do next, whether based on experience or pure fantasy, let us know after the “jump”, where you’ll find the full recipe so far.
Malt: 4lb pale malt, 4lb mild ale malt, 1lb wheat, 1kg Carahell (30 EBC), 0.5lb chocolate malt, 0.5lb roasted barley, 1lb oats, 1lb light DME
Hops: 1hr: 1.oz Whitbread Goldings 6.8% AAU
20 min: 1.5oz East Kent Goldings 4.6%, 1oz Cascade 6.9%
5min: 2oz East Kent Goldings
Yeast: Whitelabs WLP 005 (2nd generation…)
Other: Zest of one orange (about 30g), about 10g of lemon zest and a tsp of vanilla extract added with last hop addition.
Notes, directions etc: We used filtered London tap water. We mashed at 65 degrees Celsius for 1hr and 10 before mashing out at about 72 ish. We got OG of 1057 and about 18 litres. [NB: We’re generally pretty inefficient brewers, what with the plastic bucket approach – this recipe came out at about 65% efficiency]. It tasted really unpleasantly bitter when it was fresh out of the kettle, but now after a couple of weeks of fermentation it’s very nicely balanced, with hints of cream and citrus.
So here’s the question – what should we do next to X-tremify this beer? Creme de Cacao? More orange? A funky spice mix? Bung in some more wort and get it really strong?
We’ve got room for about 3 or 4 options, so suggestions welcome! If you can get to a mutually convenient pickup point in Central London, you can even try a sample when it’s done, assuming it passes our rigorous quality control processes.