Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mean Bean

Brewed - 1/27/06
O.G. - 1.114
F.G. - 1.028

3.3lbs - Midwest Gold LME
½lb. - Light DME
½lb. - Munich 20
½lb. - Munich 10
½lb. - Chocolate Malt
¼lb. - Carafall Malt
½lb. - Biscuit Malt
1oz. - Tettnang Hops
¼oz. - Liberty Hops
½lb. - Lactose
4tbsp - Belgian Chocolate Chips
12oz. - "Charbucks" Bongo Java Coffee
½ vanilla bean
German Ale/Kolsch Yeast (WLP029)

This one was an experiment. A half batch to try something that I probably wouldn't ordinarily brew. But I have a 3 gallon carboy so I figured what the hell. Something went horribly wrong on brew day and my target gravity of 1.070 ended up at 1.114. I was a little concerned that the yeast would have a problem with such a high gravity without a starter, but since the tube is made for 5 gallon batches I went ahead and pitched it. After 1 week it was down to 1.030 so I racked to the secondary and pitched a package of champagne yeast. The vanilla bean was sliced and put in the secondary. After three more weeks in the secondary, priming sugar and cold brewed coffee were added and Mean Bean Ale was bottled.

This beer will take some aging to be its best, but I still couldn't resist popping a bottle after a couple of weeks. It was lightly carbonated and had a nice full flavor without being heavy. The flavors blended together to the point that none were really distinct although the chocolate could be picked out with some effort.