How Brauphroaig Came Into Its Own
With the National Homebrewing Conference coming up those of us bring beer want to bring something special/unique to the conference. I’m bring a bunch of beers including Brauphroiag. Brauphroiag is a whiskey barrel aged peat-smoked porter. I’m a huge fan of peaty scotch, so I thought I would bring a beer inspired for my love of peaty scotches’. Bonus points if you can guess where the name comes from, it’s not that tough!
This beer started out as the basic porter that I brew a lot with about a pound of peat smoke malt added for an 8-gallon batch. After primary fermentation I aged it for a week in my 8-gallon whiskey barrel. What happened here is the whiskey overpowered the peat and I lost all the peat smoke out of the beer.
Not satisfied with it is what it is; I wanted to get the peat flavor back into the beer. With a suggestion from Robert French (@threefrenches), I made a peat-smoked tea. I cold steeped a pound of peat malt in 1/2 a gallon of water for about 10 minutes. Truthfully, I really had no clue what I was doing. I was sniffing the water until I felt it was intensely peaty, because I needed to boost the smoke profile for a 5g corny. It’s like heating cold water with hot water, the hotter the water is the less you need to heat up the water. I couldn’t add a lot of this tea to the beer; there simply wasn’t any room in the corny. It had to be strong. After the cold-water steep, I boiled the wort for about 5 minutes to sanitize. This netted me about .3 gal (1200ml), the grain soaked up a lot of the water. I added about 800ml to the corny, which brought the beer level in the keg up to the gas in dip tube.
I did a cold steep in an attempt to avoid getting more sugar into the beer, and avoid a secondary fermentation. It’s been about 4 days since I added the peat-smoke extract to the beer and there doesn’t seem to be any further fermentation, at least that I can tell. I’m hoping this will work, I did try it initially and a there was a good deal of peaty smoke back in the beer, but it needed some time for the flavor to melt back into the beer. Let’s hope it settles before NHC.
Looking forward to sharing it with fellow homebrewers at NHC. If you’re there, come try it; I would love to hear what you think!