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Thursday, May 3, 2012

BaseCamp Dessert aka Bourbon-Vanilla

Breakfast on the Left
Dessert on the Right
Clear shift in color
Over the weekend I kegged up my two beers that started their lives as a split batch of porter.  They started this journey back in March as a 10 gallon batch of porter brewed specifically for SCHF.  Right out of the gate the Breakfast version of the beers I've been calling my BaseCamp series got over a pound of maple syrup but it wasn't until secondary that the other beer, name Dessert, started its story.

As I mentioned last time the base grain bill was inspired by Denny Conn's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter, Dessert represents a slight variation on that original beer.  The beer started this process when I added 4 vanilla beans (the processing of which I botched) to secondary and set it aside to age and meld flavors.

After several weeks in secondary it was time to keg it up and finish the process.  During transfer I tasted some of the vanilla porter that it had become along the way, frankly I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it.  The vanilla was up front and a part of the beer but not in an overpowering way.  When I do this beer again I need to be careful on how I handle the bean remembering that the bulk of the vanilla guts went down the drain in the first attempt. 

Needed to get it transferred quick
so I transferred the at the same
time using two sets of equipment
When I came to add the bourbon I reviewed some notes of Denny's and found he used around 10 ml of bourbon per pint of beer.  For five gallons this came out to be was 400 ml or 13.52 oz which I rounded to 14oz.  For the bourbon I sent my wife to the store to pick some up for me, she came home with some Makers Mark.  This differs from the Jim Beam Black Bourbon that Denny uses but I've used it before and it's Eric from AHP's favorite brand.

I've been tasting the final blend over the last few days as I've been carbonating it and I've been digging the flavor balance.  I recently read an article by Denny "Recipe Formulation: A Road Map to Good Beer" in the latest issue of Zymurgy.  In it he details the process on how he created the recipe for this beer.  It started as his attempt to replicate the flavors he was getting from barrel aged beers without it touching a barrel.  I can see this when I taste the beer but would shy away from saying it's completely successful.  Then again this is my version not his so it could be an unfair judgement. Never-less it's a pretty damn tasty beer.

Now the update I know you've been waiting for - BaseCamp Breakfast aka Maple-Bacon-Coffee!  When we left this beer I had jammed a pound of oven cooked bacon into the secondary fermenter to dry bacon my beer.  3 weeks later the beer had taken on a slight bacon-ness in both flavor and aroma. At the time I'd been worried about getting the bacon out of the fermenter, fortunately the beer had broken down the bacon and it slid right out.  To finish the beer off I added coffee and a very slight amount of liquid smoke.  For the coffee I had to change to a different method as I lacked the time to to a cold extraction.  For a quick coffee boost I asked Bonnie to pick me up some espresso from Starbucks that I tossed straight in the keg.  Taste wise it is ok but long term I will still lean towards cold extracted coffee for beers that will be around longer then a weekend.

If you're hitting up Southern California Homebrew Fest this weekend try to stop on by both the Brewcommune and AHP Brewclub booths to sample both versions of BaseCamp Series 1.



BaseCamp Dessert
Robust Porter
Type: All Grain Date: 2/17/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Brewer: Scott Bennett
Boil Size: 6.97 gal Asst Brewer: 
Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: SNB Brewhouse (Keggle and Cooler)
End of Boil Volume 5.25 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.071
SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.072 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.019 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.9 %
Bitterness: 24.3 IBUs
Est Color: 33.7 SRM 

6.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
1.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
1.25 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM)
1.00 lb Brown Malt (65.0 SRM)
0.75 lb Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM)
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)
0.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
1.50 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM)

0.50 oz Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
0.25 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min

1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)

1.0 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007)

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 13.25 lb
Sparge Water: 4.71 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Mash In Add 3.92 gal of water at 167.5 F 156.0 F 45 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.10gal, 3.61gal) of 168.0 F water

Bourbon Vanilla
My Take
4 Vanilla Beans in Seconday for 2 weeks
Bourbon - Add to taste at kegging -  14oz


Ready to go
Dual Transferring
Spent Bacon
The coffee
The Dessert Bourbon

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