If you have ever been to Starkville, MS then I’m sure you have heard of Strange Brew Coffeehouse. He has created this coffee house as a staple for StarkVegas. I decided that an attempt to take the flavors in his signature drink and put them into a beer. Yeah, what can be wrong about this, right? The Albino Squirrel has my wife by her reigns. If the thought of Strange Brew pops into her head she instantly think do I want it iced, frozen, or hot. Well, since I’ve been doing some more off the wall things lately with my brewing, I’ve decided I am going to try to recreate this.

For those of you who have no idea what an Albino Squirrel is. I apologize, you’re missing out. You’ll want to get to Starky ASAP, or when he opens his new location in Tupelo next year. It is a coffee drink with white chocolate and hazelnut. Now how in the world am I a going to get white chocolate in my beer? Well white chocolate is essentially cocoa butter, sugar and some milk solids. Well I’m not. My plan is to use cacao nibs in the secondary and then some awesome vanilla at kegging. This will not be exactly white chocolate flavor, but I think it will be pretty close.

Here are some notes at my attempt thus far.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 14.4 IBUs 4.2 SRM 1.053 1.015 4.9 %
Actuals 1.053 1.01 5.6 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer 21 A 1.03 - 1.11 1.005 - 1.025 0 - 70 5 - 50 2 - 3 2.5 - 12 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 6 lbs 54.55
Barley, Flaked 2 lbs 18.18
Oats, Flaked 1 lbs 9.09
Cara-Pils/Dextrine 8 oz 4.55
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L 8 oz 4.55
Milk Sugar (Lactose) 1 lbs 9.09

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Northern Brewer 0.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 8.5

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
English Ale (WLP002) White Labs 67% 65°F - 68°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 156°F 45 min

Notes

Starkville Water Profile - Water machine in Wal-Mart
Batched sparged at 170 degrees.

Brewed on 9/20/2015

Cacao Nibs soaked in vodka, added after primary fermentation has finished.
Approx 24 oz of weak cold brewed coffee added at kegging
1 ounce of Bourbon Vanilla Paste added at kegging
2 ounces of Hazelnut Extract added at kegging.

2015-08-13 21.32.35My first attempt at a kettled-soured Berliner Weisse went awry. I tried to use the yogurt souring method that is posted on the Milk the Funk wiki. Living in the south where we are accustomed to 90+ degree days for two months I pick the one weekend to kettle sour a beer where the lows for the night are in the 60s, go figure right. I whipped up some starter wort and chilled it and then threw my flask into a water bath and turned on my sous vide heater. After about 24 hours I tasted the wort I inoculated, it was a clean yogurt like sour. I then proceeded to brew the Berliner. Brewed, pitched the soured starter, bubbled 30 seconds of CO2 into the wort, covered with plastic wrap, then the lid and forgot about it. The next day, I went outside to check on it, my wort was sitting at 70 degrees. Yes, it felt glorious outside, and a cold front coming through in August. *head slap* I let it sit one more day and it still tasted like sweet wort with just a twinge of sour in the background. *head slap* Well the expierement was watering my grass. Ahh, well. Yes it took me all this to tell you why I was brewing this “Golden Sour”. My all knowing self really believed that I had enough grains to brew another Berliner and use the Omega Yeast Labs Lactobacillus blend. I thought wrong. *head slap* Kitchen sink time, I already knew I wanted to brew this evening so here we go.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 0.0 IBUs 4.9 SRM 1.047 1.008 5.2 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Style 1.035 - 1.055 1.008 - 1.015 10 - 30 2 - 10 2.2 - 2.8 2 - 5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 7.75 lbs 75.61
Barley, Flaked 1 lbs 9.76
Rye Malt 12 oz 7.32
Aromatic Malt 8 oz 4.88
Acidulated (Weyermann) 4 oz 2.44

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Meridian 2 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 5.5

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American West Coast Ale (BRY-97) Lallemand/Danstar 77% 59°F - 71.6°F
Lactobacillus Blend (OYL-605) Omega 72% 68°F - 95°F
Brevis/WLP011 European Ale Home 72% 64°F - 69°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 148°F 75 min

Notes

Brewed after work on a Friday evening.

Process:
----------
Chilled to approx 95 degrees. Called it good enough, pitched Lacto blend. Let it sit in my carport for approx 48 hours. Put the carboy in my fermentation chamber at 66 degrees. Let it cool down to ambient temp in the chamber then pitched the slurry.

2015-09-04 23.46.56After 3 or 4 days I noticed that I did not see any sign of fermentation. Hmmmm. This is not good. I checked my gravity and I was hovering around 1.038. Something needs to happen, because I’m ready to drink this beer.

I dug around in my fridge and found lots of dry yeast. I have way too much yeast on hand, but I decided to give it a go and pitch a pack of the Lallemand BRY-97. The next day I walk outside to check on the fermentation and I see signs! Whew! I let go for about 4 days, I check my gravity once again I’m sitting at 1.010. I go ahead and dry hop it and now it is almost ready to package.

2015-09-13 09.06.22Getting a dry-hopped sour ale has really challenged me. I guess this one of many reasons I brew. The sample I pulled tasted pretty good and I am really looking forward to this beer. These experiments have really kept me going lately.

If you ask people about the style of beer that I’m most known for the answer will be an imperial stout. I have brewed one at least once a year for the past four years. Well this year has been no different. I brewed one in January and now this is my second iteration of Let’s Stout It Out this year. But I am putting a twist to this batch. I have some oak chips soaking in bourbon right now. I normally let my RIS go about 6 weeks in the fermenter. I’ll strain the bourbon off the oak chips and throw them right in, then will sample it every so often to make sure I don’t get too much bourbon character. I’m looking forward to enjoying this beer come Thanksgiving this year.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 60 min 58.4 IBUs 51.6 SRM 1.092 1.027 8.6 %
Actuals 1.092 1.01 10.9 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Imperial Stout 13 F 1.075 - 1.115 1.018 - 1.03 50 - 90 30 - 40 1.8 - 2.6 8 - 12 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt, Maris Otter 19 lbs 80.85
Roasted Barley 1.5 lbs 6.38
Special B Malt 1 lbs 4.26
Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L 8 oz 2.13
Caramunich Malt 8 oz 2.13
Chocolate Malt 8 oz 2.13
Pale Chocolate 8 oz 2.13

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Warrior 1.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 15.6

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Edinburgh Ale (WLP028) White Labs 73% 65°F - 70°F
Scottish Ale (1728) Wyeast Labs 71% 55°F - 75°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 155°F 60 min

Notes

Longview Water Profile - Straight from the faucet through a carbon filter

Batched sparged at 170 degrees.

Brew day at my house with Ron. He brought his equipment and brewed a Lemon Lime Wit that day. This was my second brew for the Labor Day weekend.

2015-09-10 06.20.16I missed my numbers pretty badly with this beer. My SG should have been in the 1.085 range and I believe I was hovering around 1.075. My volumes were more like 7.75 gallons than 7.25. I boiled it hard for an extra 30 minutes or so to get my SG. That is when I put the hops in. I may have been a bit under my 5.5 gallons into the fermenter, but that is just fine.

Yes, I used two different yeast companies. I knew I wanted to brew this beer and I went to a LHBS and he did not have another vial of WLP028 so I bought the Wyeast smack pack off of him. 2000 mL starter for 3 days, cold crashed and then another 2000 mL wort on top of it. I had a nice healthy pitch for this beer. As you can see from the looks of my messy fermentation chamber. It blew the little white cap off of the carboy cap and I have beer in the bottom of the fermentation chamber. I just cleaned up the chamber from an exploding hefe. Yes, blow off tubes need to be use, but this is less than 5.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy, surely I had enough head space. No sir! I have brewed this beer 6 or 7 times and I have never had a blow up like this. First time for everything I suppose.
2015-09-22 07.37.419/27/2015 – Soaked 4 ounces of medium toast oak chips in bourbon for 3 weeks. Added everything that was in the mason jar to the fermenter.