Tuesday, June 25, 2013

RIS Treatments

Brewday has come and gone and Scrappy RIS is happily fermenting away, looking like a decadent chocolate latte.
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Since its a big stout has a lot of roasty and chocolately flavors (or is supposed to), it should hold up to different treatments that will enhance those flavors. I am going to keep 2.5 gallons as it is to see what I can adjust for the next batch but I want to experiment with the remaining 2.5 gallons.
I love bourbon barrel aged stouts so I plan on soaking some dark roast oak chips in bourbon and then throwing them in the fermenter anywhere from 1 week to a month. I’ll taste as I go to determine how oaky it gets. I’m also debating adding a vanilla bean to get some of those flavors into the beer, but that depends on what the beer tastes like when I take gravity samples in a month. An oak bourbon vanilla aged Scrappy RIS sounds great doesn’t it?
On quite the opposite end of the spectrum, I had 0.5 gallons left after the brew day, so I decided to do a little experiment. I’ve been on a sour kick and have had success with using the natural lacto from grains, so I used the same method to try to see what it would do to this stout. I had to improvise and used a gallon jug that had water in it and Tyler’s little mini fridge, but it worked out OK. The only problem? I forgot to sanitize the jug! That explains why after 3 days the jug smelled like rotting, burnt creamed corn. :( Regardless, I’m determined to see this experiment out so I added a little water to get the gravity around 1.058-60, boiled and pitched a slurry of kolsch yeast (hey, it’s already gross, let’s see what this does). It’s in the fermenter right now and I’m hoping to see some krausen tomorrow! Maybe I’ll get lucky and this will be a real winner.

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