Strange beer, leaning to Graf

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Kuzi16, May 30, 2020.

  1. Kuzi16

    Kuzi16 New Member

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    #1 Kuzi16, May 30, 2020
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
    I am currently working on a stout that is loosely based on Holiday Wassail.
    A few changes needed to happen to make it conducive to both my tastes, and being turned into beer. I have most of it worked out with only two lingering issues.

    The actual beer is going to be a Bourbon Barrel aged stout/graf, brewed with honey, aged with orange zest and clove.


    Issue One:
    Clove
    seems like a difficult ingredient to use nicely. I am currently planning on adding it in the secondary. Quantity is the concern. I am looking for a lighter Clove impression and just about everywhere says a little goes a long way, so im thinking one clove cracked for a week.

    I dont have too much of a frame of reference, being this is the first time i have used clove as an adjunct.
    I have also seen the tincture method referenced (using vodka) and i have concerns with ABV notes using that technique.

    Issue Two
    Amount of apple juice/cider to use.
    I decided to run this Stout a bit closer to a Graf being that Wassail's bulk liquid is apple cider. effectively i am making up a small batch of wort and bringing up the volume to batch size with cider.
    As with most of this beer, this apple flavor cant over power either. I want this to read as a stout.
    Given that i have no experience in brewing a Graf, limited experience drinking Grafs, and have never heard of a Graf that was Stout based, quantity is a concern.
    my initial idea was with a super low apple cider percentage -around 5% but im unsure if that will impart any flavor.

    iduno... anyone have thoughts?
     
  2. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    The cider will ferment out clean and dry. I think the more cider you add, the thinner body you’ll have in the finished beer. I would be more concerned with body as I don’t think the cider will overpower on taste, especially with the small amounts you’re planning.
     
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  3. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    You could combine both approaches for the cloves. I'm guessing (based on some spiced black saisons I've done) that your approach will be on the subtle side. So if you make a clove tincture you can bolster it a bit at packaging and increase it in the recipe next time.

    I haven't tasted any boozy notes when I've used vodka and bourbon tinctures. I just don't add enough as they're generally carrying a pretty huge amount of flavour.

    @Bubba Wade I've got a similar graf based recipe I've been meaning to get around to. How do you think the cider will go with a low attenuating English yeast? Still ferment out to pretty close to 00?
     
  4. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Since the cider contains almost all completely fermentable sugars, that should ferment down to about 1.000. For estimating FG, the cider can be considered sugar.

    I think this is a recipe that I would probably add a bit of carapils or similar malt in order to maintain some body, particularly if I was using a large proportion of cider.

    Let’s see some recipes and results! Sounds like a worthwhile endeavor.
     
  5. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    There's a stout based Graff towards the end of this video https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/how-to-make-graf-a-cider-beer-hybrid/
    I never tried this approach, but did brew several graffs and could just never get on board so I let it go. Also in the video, the talk about a Belgian yeast. Something like that may help with the clove notes you're looking for.
    I've used vodka tincture often in a cream ale and never had any issues picking up any of the alcohol flavor. Highly doubt you would have an issue in a stout especially if it's going to be bourbon barrel aged.
    Interesting endeavor.
     
  6. Kuzi16

    Kuzi16 New Member

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    thanks for the feedback.
    tring both methods (tincture and secondary) may be the way i am going.

    Good info about the cider fermenting out so clean. ill have to do a bit of adjusting to the recipe.

    havent had time to watch the video but i plan on doing that tonight so i have to if i want to adjust any more.
     
  7. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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  8. Kuzi16

    Kuzi16 New Member

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    So brew day was super smooth. Was aiming for an OG of 1.090 and I hit it spot on.

    The wild card that I threw in last minute (Probably not a good idea unplanned) was enzymes. A bit of amylase after the wort was cooled.

    Originally I was looking at the FG being around 1.015ish... but with enzymes....

    When I racked it was at 1.020 (almost 10%abv) and was not fermenting anymore. Wyeast1728 won't get much more especially after 4weeks in fermentation.

    At rack I added in wlp099 with a small starter.
    The airlock is showing life again. Since this is also on bourbon barrels I will have some time to let it ferment cleanly. (Planning on 3mos)

    Limited use of amylase before this, not sure how low the FG is going to get.
    I may have created a monster.
     
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  9. Hot P!$$

    Hot P!$$ New Member

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    I’d never heard of a Graf! I just had to google it. Mind blown!
     

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