Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Coco-Krausen: Brewing with Ovaltine

Boiling the Ovaltine HardCrazy for Coco-Krausen?
As part of my Ovaltine experiment, I brewed a bigger 12 litre batch yesterday. I also boiled up some invert sugar to go with it. Here are the details of the Brewing a Beer with Ovaltine Experiment. The recipe became more complex as I fiddled with it. Maybe I should have kept is simple stupid, but I love the complexities.

I started with 1.2kg of Ovaltine in 10 litres of water. This has a specific gravity of about 1.050 in the kettle, if my calculations (guesses) are correct. This gravity is ok for hop utilization. I boiled it hard for 15 minutes and scooped the fat and protein that separated and floated in the foam. I take it that whey powder and milk solids were the grey blobs that were floating up on the side of the pot.

I added 14g of Nugget hop pellets at 15 minutes. I then let it roll hard for another 30 minutes before adding 14g of Cascades as finishing hops. With about five minutes left in the hour-long boil I added 500g of inverted, caramelized brown sugar which I made while watching the boil.

These are the added ingredients that I did not plan on until the last minute. I also added 2 teaspoons of instant coffee and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Apparently, cinnamon in an antioxident and hey, I like Ovaltine in my coffee, so it can't be all that bad. I finished the boil and chilled in a bucket of ice water. I added the thick wort the fermenter and added fresh water to 12 litres. I shock it like mad and picthed a package of Munton's Gold ale yeast that I had rehydrated earlier.

For being a fairly high-gravity brew (1.080?), it was roaring in a few hours! The zillions of happy yeasts were chowing on the chocolate wort making some kind of coco-krausen. See photo. It's been a day and a bit and the experiment seems to be going ok. The smell from the fermenter is of malt, chocolate, hops and fruit. I am guessing that the fruity aroma is coming from some kind of reaction with the cocoa? Or perhaps the inverted, caramelized brown sugar? Anyways, it sure smells good.

When the fermentation is complete, I will rack into a secondary with some gelatin in it. I hope to be able to clear the beer, but have not researched much in the way of finings yet. This is a comepletely different kettle of coco compared to real beer brewing.

Happy brewing!

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