#4 Irish Stout

Eureka, today the recipe of my first sour beer. But the sour character was not intended… This was my fourth batch, a Irish Stout recipe fermented with Wyeast’s #1084 Irish Ale yeast.

Recipe: Irish Stout
Numbers: Volume [L] 20 (5.3 gal)
Original gravity 19.5°P
Terminal gravity 4.5°P
Color Around 200 EBC
ABV 7.1 %
Grains: Vienna Malt (6.5 EBC) 4.95 kg
Carafa Typ 1 (900 EBC) 0.2 kg
Barley flakes (0 EBC) 1.4 kg
Hops: Magnum (11,2% AA) 36 g boil for 90 min
Hallertauer (5.3% AA) 52 g and boil for 10 min
Yeast: #1084 Irish Ale
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 12 L (3.2 gal), sparge: 17 L (4.5 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: 1 step Mash in @40°C (104°F), 15 min @40°C (104°F), 90 min @ 66°C (151°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 90 min
Fermentation: Primary 3 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a plastic bucket
Secondary N/A
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) N/A
Maturation time N/A

Immersion chiller for cooling down the wort

07/02/2006: Brew day. Batch number four. All went according to the protocol until the sparging begun. The sparge got stuck for several times. After several failed attempts to collect a clear wort, I begun to use a mash bag for lautering. Then added the Magnum hops as the wort begun to boil, then the Hallertauer hops just before the end of the 90 min boil. I then used an immersion chiller to cool the wort down to the appropriate temperature for pitching the yeast. Pitched the yeast and the fermentation begun. Gravity of 19.5°P. What a huge gravity for a normal Irish Stout.

07/05/2006: Gravity was already down to 4.5°P. I sampled the fresh beer and it was extremely sour! My brewing experience was very limited at that time, and I did not yet liked sour beers at all, so the batch went down the drain right after the fermentation. My first lost batch… due to an infection.

I remember that I was really sad about this lost batch because I really like stouts and I was really looking forward to taste this one. This batch even stopped me of brewing another stout for nearly four years. I needed the experience of another twelve batches until I finally did another small batch of Irish Stout in summer 2010. My first real full size batch of Irish Stout was my 33rd batch in May 2011!

I can’t remember what kind of sourness it was. I just noted “the beer was very sour” in my brewing protocol. But I am pretty sure that it wasn’t a vinegar note. I am no friend of vinegar. Although, some notes of vinegar in a Flanders are totally okay. Now I can only imagine what I might have brewed here in 2006. Maybe a sour beer that needed some further maturation? How would it taste now after maturating for nearly six years? I will never find out…

One thing to say in perspective is that I would not brew this batch again this way. The Vienna malt seems to be the wrong malt for a typical stout. I would expect a very malty character of the beer if brewed as mentioned. I suggest, if someone would like to brew a stout, to use my recipe of the 33rd batch which can be found in the recipe section. And maybe lower the original gravity… But if someone brewed/ or intends to brew this batch according to the recipe, let my know.