BIG BREWING: Mint Chocolate Stout & Gruit (a live-blogging)

Happy end-ish of July follks!  Today, that day being SaturdayJuly 25th, Brian (of Untamed Beer) and Evan (of OrangeCoat) and I are doing some super serious huge brewing.  Two beers, ten gallons each, all sorts of awesomenes!  We have over 40lbs of grain for the mashings.  The two beers are a Chocolate Mint Stout (dark and delicious) and a Gruit (ancient and herby).  This will be a really exciting brew day!

So we shall live blog and hopefully include some pictures and hopefully have some fun.  Let’s start.

9:20 am: Well Brian, the trooper that he is, has already seen to the mashing of the stout grains and currently we are warming up some sparging water.  Let me share the ingredient list for the Chocolate Mint Stout:

  • 15 lbs Pale Malt
  • 3.5 lbs C-60
  • 2 lbs C-120
  • 1lb wheat
  • 1lb Chocolate (grain)
  • .5 lb Black Barley
  • 1 lb flaked barley
  • 1lb of Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 oz Goldings Hops at 60 min and another 1.5oz at 20 min

Added in secondary will be Chocolate (coco powder I believe), vanilla, and fresh mint.

Expect more in a bit.

9:30 am: Your friend and mine, Bear (another OrangeCoater) just arrived with his smoker, which will be utilized to make some delicious boston butt.  I will aim to get some pictures in a little while.

10:10 am: Well the Stout is coming along and we’ve applied sparge water to pull out the wondrous starchy sugars essential for a good beer.  Bear has rubbed up the pork (which is not intended to be a dirty comment) and placed it on the smoker.  Things are coming along.  Here are some pictures.

Evan relaxing while sparge water gets up to temp

Evan relaxing while sparge water gets up to temp

Boston Butts with a delightful rub for flavor

Boston Butts with a delightful rub for flavor

Using iodine to test that starch conversion has succeeded

Using iodine to test that starch conversion has succeeded

Look at those butts

Look at those butts

Brian transferring the wort to the boiling bin

Brian transferring the wort to the boiling bin

The lovely dark stout wort being transferred to the boil bin

The lovely dark stout wort being transferred to the boil bin

Note: We have already had great quoting moments from Star Wars (Luke’s whine “But I was gonna go to Toshi station to pick up some power converters!”) and The Big Lebowski (Walter’s “I can get you a toe dude!”).

10:45 am: We’ve begun warming up the mashing water for the Gruit, while the Stout wort comes up to boil (almost there, a little worried about the foam build up). While the smoking butt doesn’t look that much different it smells absolutely amazing.  We’ve all got a good bit of coffe in our guts.  Nicole (the Mrs. Untamed Beer, also of Big Gnome) has succeeded in finding some more juniper berries for the Gruit and is currently hunging for more bog myrtle  (which is proving to be difficult).  All and all things seem to be coming along pretty well.

10:55 am: WE HAVE A BOIL!  Adding the brown sugar and first regiment of Goldings. Bear took some video footage of the additions (capturing some wondrous comments).  More photos taken as well (I’ll upload some more in a little bit).

11:25 am: We’re have added the grains for the Gruit mash so let me share what is going in.

  • 10 lbs pale malt
  • 9 lbs C-80
  • 2 lbs Smoked Malt
  • .5 lb Chocolate

At a five minute boil we will be adding

  • 4 oz Crushed  juniper
  • 10 grams bog myrtle
  • 10 grams caraway
  • 10 grams mugwort
  • 6 grams rosemary
  • 6 grams ground clove
  • 6 grams cardamom

So no hops (as is the definition of a Gruit).  Pretty exciting.  Oh, and adding a multimedia element to the whole deal, Bear has uploaded video footage to YouTube which we now share here:

12:05: The boiling of the Stout is all done and is now in cooling down mode.  Evan and Brian are currently sanitizing there buckets in preperation of the finishing stages.  The Gruit is just hanging out in the mashing tun, well insulated and ready to be sparged once the Stout is moved out.

Here are some more pictures from the front lines:

Brian standing behind the two converted kegs that are put to brewing use

Brian standing behind the two converted kegs that are put to brewing use

Bear displays the wondrous smoking chips used to add flavor to the butts

Bear displays the wondrous smoking chips used to add flavor to the butts

The Stout is boiling

The Stout is boiling

The lovely grains for our Gruit brew

The lovely grains for our Gruit brew

Pour the grains for the mashing

Pour the grains for the mashing

The smoking butts are coming along nicely

The smoking butts are coming along nicely

1:30 pm: Well the Stout has ben moved into the primary fermentation stage. We have been joined by a crowd of people including Daniel, BKS, Meg, Mad and others.  We are getting ready to start the aim of boiling the Gruit wort.  Meg brought strange fruit-vegetables called sun-fruit which are supposedly related to tomatoes and tasty sweet and interesting (though Bear hade an unripe one which he described as tasting like “hate”).  The Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon just came on the playlist which is an amazing song.  Also something fell over and sounded really bad but turned out not to be.

Question of the moment: Is Sarko deaf or just extremely bizarre?

2:10 pm: waiting for the Gruit to get up to boil.  Everybody is  kind of lounging around right now.  My computer is getting realy really hot . . . might shut it down for a little bit and let it cool on down.  Boston butts are looking wonderful and I personally (without speaking for others) cannot wait to eat them.

3:05 pm: went to Publix, grabbed some PBR (just for good Domestic Beer) measure.  We’ve added some juniper and mugwort (btw a wort plant is this) to the boil.  Now just chilling out.

5:00 pm: Gruit has been moved to primary.  he herbs jammed the boiling bucket system a little so we had to rely on a cyphen to get all the beer out.  I used a German Ale yeast and Brian took a Belgian Abbey I yeast . . . should be interesting.  Already has a really clove aroma to it.  Smoked Butt is pretty amazing, waiting for some veggies to finish up.

7:10 pm: Alright, final udate of this shiz!  Beer’s been brewed we’re all tired, and full of awesome food.  I’d upload more photos if I wasn’t so lathargic.  Thinking about going downtown in a bit and playing pseudo-trivial pursuit (no board just answering questions).  Been good, hope everybody enjoyed thisadventure.  Will let know how the beers come out in the futures.

PEACE!

~ by Nathaniel on July 25, 2009.

4 Responses to “BIG BREWING: Mint Chocolate Stout & Gruit (a live-blogging)”

  1. All I have to say is….can I be a part of the club? Then, if you need someone to help distribute past the Mississippi River…we can change that tune: “West Bound and Down”.

  2. a ton more photos, taken by my friend Daniel with his awesome camera. Really really great looking photographs, fully capture the detail and color of the whole day. With the wide angle lens that Dan was using some of them look almost surreal. And yes, one of the last shots is indeed me taking a snooze. It was a really long day

  3. […] BREWING: Round 2, Labor Day Weekend Well, we had a real blast with the last Big Brew Day back on July 25th and so Brian of Untamed Beer and I are back at it again this lovely September 5th.  Joining us […]

  4. […] when it comes to beer and brewing.  The guy is prolific, and he brews some amazing beers (see here and here for two of our Big Brew Days).  I should also extend an apology to Brian again, for […]

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