This is shaping up to be perhaps my biggest brewing weekend ever.
Last night, I bottled the oatmeal toffee stout. Final gravity was just a hair under 1.020, which is a fuzz higher than Beersmith predicted - but is just fine (especially in light of the fact that I overshot my predicted OG by .002). More to the point, the gravity sample was absolutely delicious! I got some nice roastiness without it being bitter, and it had some really pleasant malty sweetness to it. Even better, I did pick up on some toffee notes, and the beer had some definite slickness to the mouthfeel. Of course, time (and carbonation) will tell the final result, but I'm pretty hopeful that I will have hit my target flavor profile.
I stacked those two cases of stout on top of the two cases of my Oktoberfest. The O-fest is a mere two weeks into the bottles, but in a stark contrast to the patience I displayed while lagering this thing, I'm having a really tough time not cracking open a bottle. I'll try one in another week; hopefully, they'll be carbed up, and I'll be able to move them to the basement (and out of the dining room, which my wife will appreciate).
I'm about to cold crash my starter for tomorrow's brew, which I have decided to dub "Royal Goblin". It's a rendition of Orfy's tried and true Hobgoblin clone recipe, except that I'm using WLP037 (Yorkshire square ale yeast) and I'm adding a bit of flaked barley for head retention.
Tomorrow's brewday holds several firsts for me. The simplest of these firsts is the fact that this will be the first beer that I employ the technique of first wort hopping on. Supposedly, first wort hopping imparts a smoother bitterness to the beer. I know that the commercial Hobgoblin beer (from Wychwood Brewery) uses this technique, and the clone homebrew version does, as well. I'm honestly not at all...
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Tags for this post: bottling, first wort hopping, brewing, home brew, beer, water chemistry, spent grain bread