The main targets are big malt complexity, a roast character that will start off assertive but lend to a wonderful age-ability, rounding from chocolate which will come more into view with time and a few nuances from a very subtle smoke and molasses addition. The flaked wheat lends to head retention ad the sugar is a boost in ABV I need to gap up to 12% without using a second mash tun or losing volume.
A little research lent an interesting tip, that is, if you're going to use a barrel avoid the caramel malts in an attempt to not bring sweetness out of balance. I like it here, and my barrel definitely has that sweet character from the bourbon. A very smart play indeed.
A British Ale yeast will lead fermentation and employ some beautiful esters which will evolve over time; a key to success in the long term. As primary fermentation begin to slow I'll pitch 001 with the sugar, molasses and some nutrient to finish the job. British Ale yeast only show me getting to 1035, but I fear too much residual sweetness even though this will oxidize through time, but truth be told, that number is just too high. So 001 it is which should take us to about 1028-1030. The basement is only holding the low 60's, therefore the 001 wont run away with the FG, just get it those few extra points.
OG - 1.124
FG - 1028-1030
SRM - 55
IBU - 61 (could go even higher here...)
ABV - 12.4%
Maris Otter - 13lbs
Dark Munich - 3lbs
Roasted Barley - 2lbs
Pale Chocolate - 1lbs
Flaked Wheat - .5lbs
Smoked Malt and Melanoidin Malt - .33lbs each
(Late Primary) Turbinado or Demerara Sugar - 2lbs
Hops - EKG - 6oz - Noble hops have a very low ratio of beta to alpha acids which will help in the aging process as Betas will degarde slower than Alphas while Alphas degrade to trans-2-nonenal otherwise known as "wet cardboard). Also, Beta acids are respoinsible for the transformation of higher alcohols to lovely dark fruit and winelike characters. All good things! And, a reason to not fear the warmer initial pitch temp, yet I couldnt pitch above 65 in a beer this big even if I tried. Habit.
1. London Ale -1L London ale. Pitch 500ml and step to 2L with cooled wort.
2. 001 to finish.
Brew Day - March 2015
Well, not sure how my notes arent making it from the phone to the blog, but here goes a month later from memory.
I brewed my plan and had a very normal brew day except I had the time to go GONZO on the boil and boiled until I ran out of gas. 3.5 hours. This put my bagged 6oz EKG hop addition at about 90 minutes. Got the OG up to 1.128ish then topped up to 5G dropping it to 1.115. Pitched and in 60s and let her run, and run she did. The step up with the wort worked great and had a strong krausen after 24 hours which I pitched in its entirety. Added a vial of 001 after 10 days. Spent 2 weeks adding the demerara sugar slowly in 1c doses and the beer never stopped moving. Got all the way down to 1.028 by the 4th week and sent the beer to a brand new bourbon barrel I received from my beautiful bride for my birthday. And there she sits.
4/20/15 - added 1qt sterile water to top up barrel.
2/17 - it's well on its way to awesome. Been legged awhile and have bought a house since it was brewed. It's slightly too fussely...but the hops are dropping and the whole beer is mellowing. Deep deep flavors...keep waiting
7/17 - wait till deep with ter to try again. Still a touch too much bitterness. The beer is rounding out and getting two thumbs up, but I want to see it in it's third year as planned.