Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Xocolatl gravity check

So I checked the gravity and did a bit of tasting yesterday on my Mayan Imperial Stout. It has been in the fermenter about a month as of this coming Friday. So far so good. Gravity is at 1.024 for an attenuation of 73%. Pretty much right on.
Taste wise it is surprisingly drinkable for something so big and still so young. Chocolate flavor was evident especially in the bitter character I was hoping for. There was some flavor present that was not quite desirable but it is young. I could not pinpoint what it was and it was not really bad so I will just consider it to be an age issue, meaning too young... Nice and roasty overall.

I did a bit of playing with adding some drips of the pepper infused vodka as well and it helped to imagine the character the pepper will add. Again not so much heat but more a fruity rich flavor from the peppers. I am fairly certain now I will add some small amount of fresh scotch bonnet peppers (- the seeds and ribs) for a touch of spice.

So next step is to transfer it to a clean vessel for doing the infusion of chili's, vanilla beans, and cacao nibs. I feel like I did achieve the chocolate flavor I want but I do not think adding some cacao will hurt. I had a new thought about what vessel to transfer to. Since it is only 3 gallons; or probably only 2.5 after racking, I am hesitant to transfer to another 5 gallon simply because it is not producing much CO2 at this point. Therefore there will be potentially a lot of air in the headspace that could oxidize. I am hesitant to transfer to one gallon jugs because I want to keep it all together for infusing. Though it could be good to try different amounts in each... Anyway my thought is to transfer to a corny and then top it off/purge with CO2. Lot's of CO2 used but it is worth it to protect the beer. I don't think it will be a problem as far as it becoming carbonated as it will be stored cool and not cold. I guess I will have to top it up now and then... I don't know. Decisions decisions. Not sure I can spare the corny either as I only have 3 empty at the moment and I have 4 beers in the fermenters including this one. Guess it may be time to do some bottling from some kegs! Man, I have a lot of brew stuff to do! Hey, I ain't complainin'!

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