Christopher Columbus is our first Imperial Stout, and has been a huge success with friends and family! Its taste notes has a roasted chocolate and licorice note and suits many food pairings. Its an expensive beer to make due to the large amount of barley and specialty malts and added spices. This time however, we wanted to challenge ourselves and try to make a spicy version. The choice fell on the Ancho chili (dried) as it has a gentle spicy flavor with hints of raisin, licorice and coffee. Sounds good, right?!
Recently, we have upgraded the brewery with some new controllers and a new wort pump. This means we can better circulate the wort and get more efficiency from the mashing process. 40L batch of such a high grain percentage brew, is right on the limit of what our brewery can do. But having the new equipment gave us confidence that we could pull it off. Still, we had to leave out 1 to 1 1/2 liters of water for the mashing, as the mash tun would have overflowed. This water was added later.
We were able to pull off 1.072 Original Gravity, exactly that we want to achieve. Thanks to circulating during mashing, we ensure that our temperature is maintained throughout the wort, and that we get out all the sugars we want.
We were brewing this beer trying out the new controller we built, running CraftBeerPi. You can see from the image, that circulating has a huge impact on the temperature. We are aiming for 68,9 deg.C!
So, now we wait. But it doesn’t end there. You can still follow our process on «Whats Brewing» and watch this during the fermentation process. For 2 weeks, we are aiming for a temperature reading of around 20 deg.C. (the sensor reading can vary +/- 0,5 deg.C)