Big Brew Day 2016 - KBS Style

>> Saturday, May 07, 2016

Today is Big Brew Day and we're brewing up what's intended to be a clone of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS). Three of my buddies and I recently acquired a 15 gallon bourbon barrel from Sugar House Distillery. After primary fermentation is complete, this beer will spend a little time in the barrel where it'll pick up some of the bourbon and oak character.

This recipe is based off one that has appeared in both BYO and Zymurgy magazines, and was written with the help of Founders Head Brewer, Jeremy Kosmicki. We're doing three separate mashes. Two of the mashes will be combined into a single boil, and the third will be boiled separately. We're deviating slightly on some of the recipe details. For example, we're making a tincture with the nibs rather than adding them to the boil. This is to help avoid extracting tannins from the nibs. Here's the recipe as we're making it today. The following is for a five gallon size batch.

13.25# Maris Otter
1.5# Flaked Oats
0.75# Crisp Chocolate Malt 340-450L
0.75# Crisp Roasted Barely
0.5# Crisp Crystal 77L
0.5# Carafa III (De-husked)
28g Nugget (60 min)
35g Willamette (25 min)
71g Ghirardelli Bitter Sweet Chocolate (15 min)
49g Willamette (10 min)
57g Jack Mormon Takengon Mandheling, ground (Flameout)
57g TBD Kona coffee toddy, secondary
Yeast Nutrient

Mash at 155F, 90 minute boil, ferment at 65F. Target OG 1.092

Note: I did not adjust the grain bill for my normal system efficiency. Since we're brewing on three different systems, I figured it might be better to risk having a higher OG and adding water to dilute things rather than being too low and needing to add some DME.

Update 5/13/2016
I forgot to post a brewing notes update on this session. Brew day went fairly well although we did run into a few hiccups. First, one third of the batch was done on a keggle BIAB setup, and was the first time it had been used. The gravity came in quite a bit lower than anticipated, so our oveeall gravity post-boil was low (1.077 for 2/3, 1.090 for 1/3). The bad also let a lot of grain bits through. During our whirlpool on the first 10 gallons, the grain bits and bitter-sweet chocolate clogged the filter, so we weren't able to chill as fast as we wanted. We were concerned the hop bitterness may be too high due to the delayed chilling, so we adjusted the hops a little in the last 5 gallons. We also eliminated the bitter-sweet chocolate in favor of increasing the nib tincture. Fermentation kicked off without too much delay and this beer has had a thick krausen all week. This batch got a double dose of O2 before it showed signs of fermentation.

Update 6/15/2016
This beer went into the bourbon barrel tonight. Before filling the barrel, I rehydrated using the French method which consisted of standing the barrel on end, then filling the heads with near boiling water. Next I filled the barrel with about 8 gallons of near boiling water. The barrel was then drained and seasoned with about 2/3 cup of SHD bourbon.