Today I had a great time brewing my Shutdown Cocoa Brown Ale with
Cellar Dweller. Overall, the brew day was a success. We all learned a few lessons about cocoa nibs and managed to overcome some hurdles from mash tun to fermenter. The Brew Professor even made his way out from the western hemisphere of Cincinnati and helped us with the brew day.
Here are some brew day pictures. Shutdown Cocoa Brown will be available in the Cellar Dweller taproom sometime in November 2013. Next month, they will have another guest brewer. However, if they cannot find someone…count me in again! These guys are great company and know how to have a fun time.
The beer grain smelled so good
The beer grain goes into the mash tun to extract all of those precious fermentables.
Steve and Mike are adding grain to the mash tun while I stir. This is a good way to be sore in the morning.
Mashing is a step in the brewing process that combines crushed Malts with hot water in a mash tun to convert complex starches into simple sugars that are more readily fermented. -BrewWiki
Vorlaufing is the recirculation of first runnings to ensure a clearer beer goes into the boil.
Sparging, also called lautering is a step at the end of the mashing process where hot water is run through the grain bed to extract a sweet liquid called wort. The wort is later boiled and fermented to produce beer. -BrewWiki
Shoveling the spent grain really does suck. Its like shoveling snow except with a purpose!
Cellar Dweller sends the spent grain to a farmer who then feeds livestock with it! Just think, the bacon you eat could be from a spent grain fed pig. Lesson learned? Drink more beer. The circle of life.
Shutdown was hopped at 60 and 10 minutes to provide a minimal bitterness yet nice aroma.
We added brown sugar at 5 minutes to enhance the flavor and beef up the fermentables.
We added 10lbs of cocoa nibs at flame out and then whirpooled them for 15-20 minutes. Generally people add these to a secondary fermenter. We decided differently and learned that cocoa nibs like to clog stuff up.
Cocoa nibs are basically raw chocolate. They have an amazing aroma yet a very bitter taste straight from the bag.
After the boil, the wort (unfermented beer) needs to be cooled down from over 200 degrees to an ideal temperature for pitching yeast (sub 80 degrees). The hot wort runs through plates with passing water to bring down the temperature quickly.
Shutdown entering the fermenters. We can call that the home stretch.
Yeast has been pitched and Shutdown Cocoa Brown is ready to start turning into beer. Let’s hope for a healthy fermentation!
Hoppy Poppy is Cellar Dweller’s best beer if you ask me. Hopped with plenty of aroma and goodies! I had the pleasure of enjoying a few during the brew. Or, maybe more. Actually, it was more. Way more.
Shutdown – Cocoa Brown Ale is coming to the Cellar Dweller taproom very soon. Follow
Cellar Dweller, Brew Professor , and BeerMumbo/ Mumbo Brewing on Facebook for release date announcement!