Saturday, February 20, 2010

Variations on a Theme: Thebes

As we alluded to in the previous update, the next two releases are going to be based on the Oaked Bourbon Porter base recipe.  They will all have the same grain/hops/yeast, but they'll get a different treatment at some point in the process.

To tie the three together, we'll be calling them "Variations on a Theme".  And in order for the trilogy to make sense, Oaked Bourbon Porter will be getting the new name, " At Giza" and that recipe was previously posted.

The second in the series just hit the primary fermenter today.  Again the grain bill and hop schedule is identical to the the now 'At Giza' recipe.  That grain bill got/will become 'Thebes' via the following treatment:

While waiting for the mash, we created a little mixture to fill a tea infuser.  Using a mortar and pestle we crushed about an ounce of ca phe chon coffee beans obtained in Vietnam.  This is incredibly delicious coffee that is produced by feeding the best berries to a civet (think weasel) and comes out the other end before roasting.  It sounds a bit odd, but it is worth it.  We sacrificed a little of our stash for this beer.  If you have the chance to taste this coffee, take it!  In any case, there is a little bit in this beer.

The second ingredient in the tea infuser:  Organic cocoa nibs.  Since there is a healthy dose of chocolate malt in the grain bill, this will hopefully add only an earthy bitterness to the final product.  Both these ingredients aren't looking for boiling water, so we added the mixture when the wort cooled to 160 degrees on the way to being able to pitch the yeast.

Prior to the tea infuser, when the boil finished, we added about 1.5 oz of dried hibiscus flowers.  This should add a deep red to the already dark brew, a soft aroma and just a little on the palate.  We may still add some to the secondary depending on how things progress.  While we're quickly moving through February, this will end up as the Die Hipster chocolate and flowers beer with a little (albeit rare) coffee added to the mix.

Batch Size:  5.0 g
OG:  1.081
Update 03/27:  Bottled today and a little worried about the FG being a point higher than we'd like to see, then again that was measured after adding the priming sugar.  Tasting going into the bottle, everything is there and everything is subtle.  Should be very nice.