Tuesday, January 20, 2015

All Day Day ESB

This beer was made out of a fun series of events.  I found some time to brew, but had no prior plan or inspiration, so I went looking for some.  I checked my ingredients, yeasts, surfed the forums a bit and came up with nothing.  I went outside and looked around, as I always enjoy going to nature with questions and hoping for interesting answers, and there it was.  A cloudy, cool, misty day with a slight drizzle.  The trees had no leaves and that look of deep Fall - BAM, it hit me like a ton of bricks, this is just like a Fall day in the English countryside...and I was off.  Of course it would have to be an ESB, naturally.  

I’ve never brewed an ESB, nor have I had one since visiting England many years ago, and even then I wouldnt have known what I was drinking, so flying bling I surfed around and came across a simple recipe that seemed to make sense, and lined up with ingredients on hand.  Then I tuned up the English Folk muic station on Pandora and put myself in the countryside pub seen for the next 6 hours.  It was, in a word, awesome.  Top 5 brew day, I was all smiles.

One of the biggest draws to the hobby is the community and the history.  When you combine the two you begin telling a story about how Homo Erectus found his and her way from Mesopotamia to all reaches of the world.  Beer is ties into nearly every facet of culture and tradition.  It is a part of who we were, who we are and who we will be.  An ever changing landscape driven by our pallets’.  Brings a whole new meaning to, “put your money where your mouth iis,” now doesnt it.  I love it!  Before I jump on a soap box and go crazy diving into more philosophical mumbo and jumbo,  let’s brew something!

And it begins.

2-row - 11 lbs (maybe not totally English - 85%)
Victory - 1 lbs (7%)
C40 - .5 lbs (4%)
Special B - .5  lbs (4%)

EKG targeting 30 IBU at initial 60 charge.
EKG 1 oz at 5 min

Water - London Profile using 4tsp gypsum and 2tsp baking soda
Mash - 152/60

OG - 1052
FG - 1015
ABV - 6.5%
BUGU - .95
SRM - 14

Edinborough Yeast from slurry.

12/6/14 - Brew Day - straight forward and glorious.  Just good way old fashioned fun.

Lag less than 4 hours. PItched 70.  After 2 week 68 degree primary I put her in the basement at 61 degrees.

1/1/15 - racked to keg, carbed.  It was not as complex a beer as I enjoy drinking so I re-racked it to the bourbon barrel.

Looking back, I had a Fullers not long after this tasting note just to see if I was close and I feel it is in the ballpark.  The style guide talks about complex malt bills, but I didnt find it very complex, actually it seemed very straight forward, but highly quaffable.  Nonetheless, the base beer is solidly within the “style” of ESB.

1/6/15 - now she is getting nice.  Bourbon is coming through, but the wood is subtle if anything.

1/17/15 - racked from barrel to keg.  Cold conditioning at 12 psi targeting 2.5L.  I anticipate losing a little in the bottling process and some will get bottled.

1/17/15 - racked from barrel - recorded fg at kegging - 1015

1/20/15 - tasting notes

This brew is delish!  Best when served cold and im gonna say top 10 beers for me!  Couldnt be happier!

A - appearance - amber to pure copper slight off white foam on the head that is thin but does not dissipate (this beer needs another month to perfection).

S - earthy - esters are medium low, vanilla...my nose it terrible so I need a xecond opinion into perpetuity.

T - I got this! Alcohol is restrained but slight in that you feel a very mellow warming, very very mellow (bourbon character), perfect.  Malt is slightly forward, hops are balanced on bitter, but the woody character of the EKG is present and pairs beautifully with the oak. The drying charcter of the wood seems to come through here on this well attenuated brew, accenting the poiont that the tannins in the wood "dry" the beer...but there is a balance to be played here as the sweetness of the bourbon also comes through.  All in all I think a barrel like this, and as young as it is basically balances itself, just focus on the base brew. Clean fermentation with esters low.  The wood and bourbon balance balance beautifully and i could not be happier, with the result there.

M - medium to medium low. Carb is still coming in.  Another 2 weeks on gas and it will be perfect, another month of conditioning and this beer will be all-time.

O - Out of the park.  Maybe a few days less in the oak, but thats a small detail., I can drink the hell out of this beer.  Its an excellent style for this kind of barrel and it really shines even at such a young age.  I wouldn't change a thing if an easy drinking, slightly malt forward, English style ale is what you are looking for. Prior to the barrel it was a little young, so I think it just needed time as the complexity of the brew was on the low side for me, but I had a Fullers and I think the style is a little on the low side.  If Im doing an ESB Im doing it this way.  If I dont have a barrel then bourbon or rum soaked oak has to be in the mix.

Next time: Rum soaked oak

2/15/15 - bottled.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Bourbon Barrel Belgian Quad (with and without Cherries)

I was at home by myself for 28 hours.  Sounds benign, but it wasnt.  I haven't been in my house alone for that long in years!  Needless to say,  I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to brew and it wasnt long before inspiration struck.  I was at the LQ grabbing “supplies” when I saw Boulevard’s Bourbon Barrel Cherry Quad.  I was instantly intrigued, excited and on the hunt for a recipe.  Considering what I had on hand I knew this was going to be an American version of the beer, and as I am 
trying to break from style brewing, I couldn't have been more pleased.  

With that in mind I decided to diverge further with the addition of one of my favorite specialty malts, pale chocolate.  In an effort to go big or go home, I felt it apropos to tackle a 120 minute boil and on game day I reached into the toolkit and pulled out a little side pot, I grabbed .5G from the main pot and reduced it until it caramelizes.  Added it back with a grin.  Complexity?  Oh I like to think there will be a few fun things going on in this behemoth.

The grist is a little muddled as I had just al little victory, munich and vienna that were begging to be used, so I tossed them in for my complimentary bready/bisquit notes.  Ya, a bit kitchensink’ish’, but I stand by my decision. Let’s begin.


2-Row - 12 lbs (70%)
Caravienne - 1 lbs (6%)
Pale Chocolate - 1lbs (5%)
White Wheat - 1lbs (5%)
Munich - 12oz (4%)
Victory - 12oz (4%)
Demerara Sugar - 2 lbs (11%)

OG - 1098
FG - 1.009 
ABV - 11.5%
IBU - 45
COLOR - 22

As an aside, had I had it I would've just gone with 3 lbs Munich or Victory or Vienna.  Brewer’s choice.

Hops - Northern Brewer to balance at .5BUGU.  The oak will add to the “dry” character through the tannins, so starting off at balanced was the goal.

Yeast - 1500ml of built up yeast from Abbey Val-Dieu dregs were cooled and decanted to 500ml then tossed to a 1500ml starter for 24 hours. The starter was at high krausen in 4 hours.  Upon pitching, I made a 2L starter and pitched 1 expired vial of WLP Belgian Strong (may have been wise to go a 1030 instead of 1040 wort, next time).  Nonetheless, thats on the stir plate 72 hours and will be pitched directly and in its entirety direct from the plate.  

The idea here is at 1098 I want to be sure this puppy attenuates fully and that is no small task.  Between these two pitches and a little warm up at day 10-14 Im hoping to get below 1020 before sticking it on the floor for a 2 month 61 degree “conditioning” period.
Barrel - This will be the fourth beer in the barrel since I got it.  The bourbon and oak character are coming through over 2 weeks aging now, so this beer may take 3 or even 4 to hit a nice note.  I just want to know it is there and then I will rack it off.  Balance balance balance.

After the oak I am going to rack a few bombers and toss Brett and balloons at it.  The rest goes to a bottling bucket and will get 5 lbs cherries, macerated and without stones as the wood will have imparted plenty of tannins already.  Or should I leave the stones?  HMMM…. Age this to taste, rack, keg, condition/carb and bottle for the long haul.  

Brew day - 1/17/15

 Water - 3.25 gypsum, 1.25 baking soda (balanced I)

Mash 145 at 1.75 for 90

Demerara sugar was liquefied in water prior.  Syrup added during first runnings.

Ran off 7.5G and added DME to 1068 cuz software said I should have been at 1076...but 75% was 1060, I was on the money...I gotta switch software.

Pulled .5G from main boil and reduced for 30. Tasted like heaven.

Gas froze - had to bring boil inside.  Re-adjusted time.  Made arrangements so no boil off would drip back in. Clean.

1.25oz Northern Brewer 11% alpha at 60.

Boiled extra ten to get a few more points.  OG 1098

Cooled quickly, aerated for several minutes and tossed the first pitch at 66 degrees and left it in a 68 degree room for primary.

1/20/15 - 2 tap nutrient boiled and added. Plus, 2L starter (60 hours on stirplate) WLP belgian strong. All smells amazing. (But have since come to find that this amount of time could result in oxidation and diacetyl in the starter which if not decanted can push above flavor threshold of main brew...72 Max on stirplate. 18-24 ideal)

2/5/15 - getting slight coffee, and chocolate notes, very subtle on the Belgian, but correct. Eric is getting banana, I get slight fruit in general, not specifics there. A helluva good start! This beer is gonna go the distance!

2/13/15 - brix 10.6 shows 1008. Racked to barrel and filled it to the top.

3/1/15 - Brix - 10.8 - 1009. 90% attenuation. Must be true. Belgian Strong Ale touts a 85% attenuation on the high side. Add in 1G of total starter, plus 2lbs (10%) simple sugars and you can very well get those extra 5 points.  

Barrel tasting: Aroma - Alcohol perfume is medium to medium plus on the nose. Belgian character low. Im hoping this becomes more apparent with carbonation. Chocolate is medium-low. Oak character is low and bourbon character is almost non-existent. Have we worked out the booze in this barrel? More tim in the barrel is approved!
Flavor - slightly tannic (barrel). Alcohol is medium to medium plus. A nice bouquet of malt character and the chocolate comes through "balanced," to my taste.

3/3/15 - Barrel top up with marbles - cleaned, then ran boiling hot water on over marbles and added sanitizer. Let sit for a few hours then used latex gloves to pull the marbles and dunked in cool sanitizer and added to top up.

3/19/15 - moved to carboy. Initial tasting is too boozy, but very dry. Added 2 sugar tabs to bombers and siphoned a few bottles for comparison. Going to have to go with cherry juice instead of actual cherries. Trader Joe's run approved! Plan to add pure, Cherry Juice to taste. Want the sweetness and flavor, do not want anymore fermentation. Will knock out the yeast prior to blending with 1 camden tab per gallon crushed and dissolved in hot water. Let sit minimum 24 hours before blending. After blending be open to adding more oak if it needs it.

3/26/15 - crushed 4 Camden tabs into .5c boiling water. Dissolved and poured in. 

4/1/15 - homerun blending night with MoBigs. Several iterations culminated in 5:1 Quad to Cherry with a 50/50 blend on black cherry juice and tart cherry juice. Budgetary requirements considering the end of QE-Forever. (2.5G quad, .25G tart cherry, .25G black cherry)

5/14/15 - first tasting was very very pleasant. Aroma is moderate wood and light bourbon. Alcohols are restrained and lightly fruity. Belgian character is beautiful. Taste wise it is fairly simple, not much chocolate character is I'd hoped, probably double the chocolate compliment on the next iteration and could toss some chocolate extract to this batch. The only "problem" is a perceived bitterness/astringency that I think may be the tannins and how they push up against such a low finishing gravity. That will age out nicely. Overall the base beer is excellent. Perhaps slightly over attenuated and a bit more chocolate would put up to top notch, but I am calling this an excellent beer that will age gracefully. The cherry version will be nothing short of amazing!
6/3/15 - Homerun! So pumped on how this turned out.
A - actually a very dark brown, murky to be honest. Not sure clarity would ever come based on the ehaet add, but the head hangs in for the whole beer. At 11.5%, I couldnt be more pleased and less interested in clarity.
S - Cherries of course, light fruit, light chocolate. The bouget is huge! I have to believe a good chuck of the fruity aroma comes from the 11.5% ABV! It drinks like a 8% beer.....Fermentation profile was nailed!
T - Malt first rounds into a slight and light chocolate note, the cherries are very apparent and compliment/balance with grace here. Alcohol is there but not a real player on the pallet (but it is on the liver!). There is a medium-plus sweetness that lingers pleasantly.
M - medium - the residual sweetness fro the unfermented cherry juice thickens.
O- 8/10 - had i let the cherry juice ferment out for just a few days Id be in the 9 range. I would love the beer to have a bit less sweetness, but...and i mean but, this beer is friggin beautiful. Do not mess with a good thing just make something new. From aroma to sip to aftertaste and the buzz this baby sings!

Next time - no changes except knock out the cherries after 48 hours of rel-fermentation to allow some of the re-introduced sugars to get burned up. Use chocolate extract instead of pale chocolate for something very different. If you go this route you may consider letting the cherries ferment out competely as the perceived sweetness in the chocolate will play up the cherries bringing balance.

RyGasm Saison 1 (2015)

RyGasm could be viewed as the first beer I’ve reworked within the same year.  Apparently it takes pure frustration in order to get my bones in gear to dial in a recipe.  Nonetheless here we are.  As we saw in my Rye Saison post from not so long ago, I was inspired by a spicey and balanced Rye Saison I had in CA. My attempt at this brew fell far short of my personal mark, and I blamed my extract recipe for this, mostly.  Ironically, I am still doing a partial mash brew here as I have a can of PIlsner Malt burning a hole in my fridge, and this is the perfect time to get it in the mix (pun intended).
In the meantime I did some more research in an effort to unlock this magical grain and discovered a great little ditty in Radical Brewing which described a few fun facts and tips:

  1. Glucans - the sticky stuff which can make Rye a lautering nightmare
  2. Capping at 20% grist is common, above this and you’ll have to employ all your best techniques to get the wort to the kettle.
  3. Unmalted Rye is best utilized by cooking separately.  Other sources state the use of a crockpot is highly efficient in extracting the character of the grain.
  4. If mashing directly, a 30 minute 95-100 degree F glucan rest is ideal
  5. Use rice hulls and sparge slowly. (Or if you forgot rice hulls like I did just add a couple pounds of uncrushed 2-row and mix.  Worked like a charm...but still take your time)
  6. Keep that mash temp at 170 as long as possible to make the wort as “slick” as possible.

Moving forward I decided to really go for it on this brew, why not!  Unfortunately my Crystal Rye didn’t show up in time (it got there 3 hours late), so I have one more adjustment to make for the next version of this brew - perhaps a lucky twist of fate.  That aside let’s begin.

OG - 1052
FG - 1008
IBU - 18
BU:GU - .35
Color - 7


Pilsen Extract - 3.3 lbs (35%)
2-Row - 3 lbs (32%)
Rye Malt - 2 lbs (22%)
Flaked Rye - 1 lbs (10%)
Homemade Candi Sugar (Amber) - .5 lbs (5%) *note to self. Always have simple sugars prepared before boil begins.

Fuggles (4.5%) - 1 oz - 60
Yeast - WLP 565 - 100ml of slurry straight from zero gen starter.  400ml of thick slurry from second gen off last Rye Saison.

Water - 2.5 tsp Gypsum

Mash  - 1.5 qt/lbs - 147 - 75 minutes

Boil - 90 minutes

Candi Sugar - using straight lemons you want 18x’s the request for pure citric acid. So 1/8th tsp citric acid equates to 2.25 tsp real lemon juice. This was added to .5 lbs dissolved sugar in water.  Simmer until you get desired color, in this case about 20 minutes did the trick.  Then straight to the boil.

On the fermentation I called in for advice from an excellent brewer I have come to know as the Cool Fermentationist.  This cat has been “experimenting” with sub 60 degree Ale fermentations since the beginning of Winter with great success!  The beers he is turning out are clean”er” as you would expect, but when it comes to a yeast like Saison, what you find is the scales tipping more to a light citrus and spice character, which I think brings the peppery spice more to the forefront.  Rye, spice, perfect, lets do this!  

How do you get a Saison yeast to finish in such cool conditions?  Pitch a Lager sized pitch of Ale yeast for your cool fermentation and let them ride! He says it takes maybe an extra week or two, but to have faith.  

The profile he suggested was a room temp pitch and when you have activity move ASAP to your cool fermentation station.  In my case this is my basement which is sitting at 61 degrees.  Ferment to terminal FG (min 3 weeks) and then move to room temp again for at least 48 hours (diacetyl rest).

So thats what I did.  In my case I pitched at 80 and after 12 hours I was already at high krausen (I was sleeping when they perked up so this was my ASAP).  Moved the beer to the basement and after another 12 hours she was sitting at 64 degrees in a 61 degree room.  And there she sits.

I’m hopeful to find myself with a Saison that is dry per the style, and having found a balance between the citrus and spice of the yeast and the Rye spice.  I am happy about the 50/50 base malts as I find Pilsner to have a little too much “bite” as I like to call it.  Something a little more rounded suits me just fine.  And lastly, I will of course be throwing Brett at some of it as well, because Brett is always a good idea.

Brew Day

1/8/14 - With Mikey Brubaker.  Details above but 147 (75 mins), slow lauter (used 2-row to aid in grain bed filtering), got great efficiency due to reset of crush.  90 min boil. Cooled to 80, BIG pitch and quick start.  

12 hours - high krausen and huge activity - off to 61 degree room.

D1 - 5 - 65 (in 61 degree room) - added blow off tube.
D6 - 1 - 61
D10 - 0 - 61, plan to take first gravity at 21 days. (1/29 min). Once terminal bring upstairs and warm to 70 (if possible, for 3 days).

2/5/15 - brix: 6.6 ... FG 1010! - Up to 65 degree room.
2/10/15 - kegged. Yeast harvested.

Tasting Notes
2/10 - force Carbed at 30psi and shook 5 min then left at 40degreed at 16 psi targeting 3L. Needs time. Initial tasting after carb the brew is beautiful and the yeast character restrained but not subtle. I can't pick out the rye, once again...also it's not quite as dark as expected but a nice dark Orange-Amber hue. 

3/5/15 Added 1.5 mango puree and squeeze of one like to 1G pull.

3/12/15 - bottled remaining of keg. Kegged mango. DELISH! Need I say more? Poured mango beer through muslin bag direct to keg and purged/Carbed to 16.

Tasting Notes by The Cool Fermentationist - 3/18/15 - 
It was beautiful, vibrant orange with a huge white head.
The bottle was a bit of a gusher, but once I got it in the glass it was fine.
I really liked the high carbonation. I think it helped to dry out the beer a little.
Perfect saison aroma. Slight tropical fruit aroma, which I would’ve thought came from the hops had I not known about the mango.
Bits of mango, hops and yeast quickly settled out. I don’t mind that kind of thing as a drinker, but if it had been filtered I probably would have kept trying to figure out what was in it.
I would've guessed heavy on the Citra. What did you use for hops?
I love the spice yeast bite. That is followed by the sweet, but surprisingly earthy flavor of the mango.
When it was coldest, that bite and flavor were very balanced.
As it warmed up, the sweetness started to take over.
I’d be really curious to see where this would go with an earthy, pungent hop like your Chinook.
If this came in 6 packs - I’d be buying it!
Very well done.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

PayDay Barrel Brown

I recently received Radical Brewing from my beloved lady for the holidaze.  In it was a recipe for a Brown Ale that's old school style utilizing Mild Malt as the base grain, I was instantly intrigued.  In the end I used the percentages as a guide to creating a new school version of this old school recipe and upped the Brown Malt (which I had to sub with Special Roast due to HBS constraints).

The thing that really caught my eye and seems to be resonating more and more with me as of late is the 30% addition of Biscuit Malt.  Until recently I was far more conservative with my specialty malts, keeping them somewhat restrained in the beers, but I want to explore further, so let's begin. (The biscuit malt adds a bready character that is slightly "dry" in its "bready" character.  It does pair well with the Crystal, but on the next iteration I'd want to reduce to 25% and increase the Crystal to balance out that biscuit character just slightly on the base beer.  That said, I'm about to add the chocolate and that may be just what the doctor ordered).

I love a nice smooth, but subtle chocolate character in my Brown Ales and in order to get there I want to go the route of homemade extract from cocoa nibs and vodka.  Here is an excellent resource from the Maltose Falcons on the topic of  creating extract and here is an excellent article on the different ways of getting chocolate in your beer in general with tips, pros and cons all the way.  Helluva nice format. I'll be doing 1oz of vodka and 1.5oz of nibs on this one. (I found the extract resource after the fact.  The nibs were in the vodka almost 2 weeks.  Hopefully the tannins they speak of dont hose me.  Lesson learned, but the extract smells incredible).

I intend on Barrel Aging this puppy in my newly acquired American Oak whiskey barrel (thanks Mike of Devils Purse!).  After two brews I have learned the following, you must adjust your recipe to make room for the sweet perception of not only the vanillin, but the whiskey as well. With that said, I have upped the hops to target a .35 - .4 on the BUGU when normally I'd be hoppy with this beer between .25 and .35.  Was it enough? Should I have gone to .5 or more?  Time will tell.  

I'm hoping for a complex English style Brown Ale with a smooth malt forward character, complexity from the wood and whiskey balanced by the hops and a few months of aging.  I expect this beer to take 8 weeks in the bottle to find its way, but I leave that up to the beer.  Obviously this high percentage of Bisquit will add a layer to the cake of my experience and I am hoping it really brings a big, beautiful bready character that lives side-by-side with that oak character.  By the taste of the Special Roast I'm guessing some mix of C80 and Special B characters - dark caramel, light-light roast/toast notes and hints of dark fruit.  At 6% and having only 4 malts I'm expecting a nice balance from this as well.


OG - 1070
FG target - 1019
FG actual - 1019!  Bam!
ABV - 6.9
IBU - 24
BUGU - .35
Color - 17

9 lbs. 2-Row (56%)
5 lbs. Bisquit (31%)
1lbs. Special Roast (6%) (Brown Malt sub)
1 lbs. C40 (6%)

Hops - 1oz Fuggles and .1 warrior (Ya,

Mash - 152 (1.5qt/lbs for 60)
Boil - 90 (actually boiled closer to 100 or 105 to hit volumes.  The first 30 was plagued by boil overs).

Yeast - 100ml 2nd generation edinborough and 1 expired vial British Ale to 2L starter, 24 hours, 1040 w/nutrient.

Brew Day

1/8/15 - payday baby!  Brewed with Mikey Brubaker.  Targeted 6G batch but ended up short, nonetheless the numbers are on target and I'll have a little extra beer for barrel top up.

Water - 152 - added 2.25tsp gypsum, 3.25 baking soda

1050 without half a gallon which will go in at 60.  All liquid in at 60 - 1062 - full hop added.

Several small
Boil overs in first 30 minutes.  When doing volumes for a 5G barrel with the intention of having leftover wort just add 5G and leave 2.5 behind, boil hard for 45 then add remaining 2.5 to avoid all boil overs and get a nice rigorous boil.

Pitched at 60 degrees
Less than 12 hour lag
D1 - 64 in a 61 degree room - 5
D3 - 3 - 63
D9 - 1/17 - racked to barrel
2/5/15 - 9.8 brix - not overly sweet, bready, with some sweetness and a super slight lingering bitterness perhaps tanic?  Slight boozy note, oak is apparent, its ready.  FG -  1019, right on target!

2/10/15 - racked to secondary.  Not as bready as I expected, but nice. Wood/bourbon did well for balance and was pulled at a pretty good time.  Could have gone a little further, but not much 1.5oz Cocoa nibs to 1oz vodka in a jar.  Plan to keg all,
Carb then bottle half.  Then add chocolate to taste for remaining.

Extract includes 1oz vodka and 1.5oz Cocoa nibs, soaked for 15 days then strained.  Extract was frozen and cocoa butter settled to the bottom.

2/15/15 - kegged.  Force carb to 30psi, 4 minute shake.  Left on gas at 8psi targeting 2.2L (a little high to allow for loss in bottling and while corked). 

Initial tasting is very solid.  An apparent but not overwhelming bready character,
Slightly dry, earthy notes you'd expect from english hops.  Caramel is medium on the nose.  As the glass warms the bourbon begins to peak out, vanillin oak character is restrained.  A fruity character (yeast), begins to come through at serving temp and the bourbon booze's spicy aroma begins to cut in.

A beautiful dark, amber to brown hue with tan head which loosely holds up.

Taste is has a smooth start with a medium-low bitterness (already subsiding a week later) on the tail end that lingers.  Well attenuated. Aging will benefit here.  Medium bodied, subtle caramel and definitely a slight bread and light toast character.  Very subtle oak notes can be drawn out, but may be missed.  Low-low roast character. 

It's a solid base beer and will age well.  A little Brett funk will add historic relevance to the base beer, and the half that gets chocolate will tickle your palate if the extract add is done properly. 

3/5/15 - 1G beer to fermenter with 1oz of extract (1oz vodka soaked 1.5oz nibs for two weeks, strained nibs then frozen).  Left the cocoa butter behind, sealed mini-fermenter and placed back in fridge.   
3/11/15 - mini-fermemter too chocolate"y" - blended back 50/50 to original batch in keg.
3/12/15 - we'll see if a week on gas mellows things, but for now the chocolate is too tannic and the Bisquit malt does not pair well at this %.  It's too much aggressive flavoring.  On the next batch Id back down to 3# bisquit and add 1lb of pale chocolate.  I'm not a fan of the nibs unless they are coming in as a "fixer." And gotta get them off the vodka after 4 days as suggested above to avoid extracting tannins. Some aromatic might work well here as well.