Toucan Kona Stout + ginger beer

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djsmi4

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The title's a little misleading, I've actually made two brews this morning. I'll start with the Kona Stout:

KONA STOUT

I've called this toucan a "Kona Stout" as I had a coconut/coffee style beer in Hawaii a few years ago, at a bar on the Kona coast. I thought it was awesome at the time, 3 thumbs up :p

Primary
* 1x Coopers Stout
* 1x Coopers Dark Ale
* 1x BE2 equivalent from LHBS
* packet of desiccated coconut
* 1 cup of cocoa powder

Later
* 1 cup of ground coffee



Steps:
1) So first up I toasted the desiccated coconut at around 160*C, periodically shifting it around/"fluffing" it with a fork so as to remove any oils from the coconut which might kill any head retention.



2) Whilst this was toasting I dissolved the cup of cocoa powder in a stock pot. I then added the BE2, and the two wort tins (pre-heated for better pouring).





3) Add toasted coconut to the bottom of the fermenter (or if you don't want to clog your tap after fermentation you'd have it in a teabag kind of setup).

4) Once everything in the stock pot is mixed/dissolved (NOT boiling) pour the contents in to your fermenter. Top up with cold water and aim for as close to 19*C as possible. I topped up to 22L expecting to bottle 20L worth. I added my yeast - the Coopers yeast from both tins - at 23*C. Meh close enough. I'll be brewing at 19*C for a few weeks.





OG: 1072 @ 23*C

5) A day prior to bottling I will steep a cup of ground coffee in a french press overnight in the fridge. Immediately prior to bottling I'll pour the filtered contents into the primary. I'm aiming for an FG of around 1010.

2nd post below for ginger beer + pics...

Cheers

Dave
 

djsmi4

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GINGER BEER

I recently had success with making cider from scratch with fuji apples, so I've had a crack at a ginger beer from scratch.

Primary
* 1kg ginger
* 2kg dex
* 1kg honey
* 1tsp Vanilla bean paste
* S-05 yeast

Later
* More ginger (raw or crystallised)



^^^ note only 2kg of dex used, and I swapped out the SN9 yeast for S-05..

Steps:
1) Put the honey in a hot water bath to allow it to pour better. I had a few old jars and figured I'd throw them in too.



2) Peel & finely chop the ginger, adding it to a stock pot. Add ~2L of water and boil for 15ish minutes. I kept a lid on the stock pot.





3) Add the honey, dex, and vanilla bean paste, stir around, bring off the boil but keep the lid on for another 30ish minutes.



4) Pour in to the fermenter through a sieve. Add subsequent cold water through the ginger to try & get as much out as possible. I topped up to 21L and then used the bottom of a bowl to press/squeeze the last of the juice out of the ginger pieces through the sieve.





5) Add yeast at 19*C (again, I did this at 23*C, too much hot water at the start!).

OG: 1060 @ 23*C

6) A few days prior to bottling chop up another cup of fresh ginger, or add some crystallised ginger. This is to get some flavour through after the initial fermentation which I expect will take 99% of the ginger flavour but leave behind the "heat". The vanilla bean paste is to retain some kind of sweetness to the brew. I'm expecting an FG of around 1000, similar to a cider.

Well it's pouring with rain at the moment so I'll probably check up on these later in the day. Hopefully my new brew setup (original setup is at the in-laws') won't be swimming with an overexcited toucan spewing its contents everywhere!





Cheers

Dave
 

ajg

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Definately interested in how the toucan stout ends up like.
 

wealsy22

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Seconded on the stout!

Thanks for the post.
 

djsmi4

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Cheers guys!

Well over the past few days the two brews have been leapfrogging each other. I was in & out of the shed a few times for various jobs over Thursday & Friday, but I checked on the brews a few times whilst in the shed (helicopter brewing like a newbie - says the guy who's only 6 months back in to brewing haha)

Firstly the ginger beer seemed to take off almost straight away, but then stalled sometime between Thursday arvo & Friday morning? Come Friday morning it still had no krausen but there was condensation on the inside of the lid, & there appeared to be +ve pressure in the airlock. I left it for a day but gave it a swirl to see if that would make any changes. I suspect it may have next to no krausen, somewhat like my earlier fuji cider. In the meantime the toucan had taken off overnight & was bubbling madly Friday, twice a second, but luckily its krausen wasn't going nuts. The freezer smelled like cake.

I left them both over the weekend and have checked up on them just now. They seem to have switched roles, the ginger beer is bubbling once every few seconds and the freezer now smells like a disinfectant from the fermenting ginger. The toucan seems to have stopped its crazy bubbling but still have +ve pressure in the airlock.

Given the experiences I'd had with both brews so far I'd change some things if I could do them over again:

1) I'd have refrigerated water (in sanitised containers) available so I could pitch the respective yeasts at a lower temp. My room-temp tapwater wasn't enough to bring either brew to a low enough temp.

2) With the ginger beer's S-05 yeast I'd rehydrate first rather than throw straight in, as I tend to do with all of my other brews. I should probably do this with other brews. I suspect dumping it in dry may have caused it to initially stall, even though I'd allowed it to reach room temp (dry) which was low-20s.

3) I'd probably toast the coconut 10*C lower, for longer, and on two trays, just to be sure I'd gotten rid of all the oils but haven't over-done with toasting. I'd also keep it all in a teabag & not just dump it straight in.

4) I may brew at 18*C instead of 19*C to see whether the toucan could initially behave more slowly.

Although the toucan's stopped bubbling sometime over the weekend, both brews have only been brewing for 3.5 days. I think the toucan will finish its primary fermentation quicker due to 2x yeasts & less sugars to eat through, but I'll leave it in for at least 10 days (& take hydrometer readings). I do realise "stopped bubbling" doesn't mean "finished fermentation" & the hydro readings are a preferred way to go. I think the ginger beer may follow the pattern the fuji cider I made had taken, & will have a slower primary fermentation (~3 weeks). I'll check its progress with airlock activity later in the week.

The beauty with the chest freezer setup is that opening it up a crack to peek in doesn't dump out the temperate air within, unlike my upright fridge.

Thanks for reading,

Dave
 

djsmi4

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Bump!

So I decided to test the stout 8 days in. It bubbled madly for the first few days but has pretty much shut down since Monday. When pouring into the hydrometer tube I realised I'd made a mistake: the coconut bits are floating around in the beer (well, the beer that I'd poured - from a somewhat disturbed fermenter bottom). Oh well, I can live with that & will definitely use a teabag next time.

It smells like banana, and the coconut / non-fermentables have both flocculated and coagulated. The taste test has come out waaay stronger than expected; the cocoa, coconut, dark ale and stout flavours have all kind of equally blended together, and there's a bit of banana taste in there too. I was expecting a strong "stout" taste with a hint of the rest. There's no visible carbonation but the mouth feel has a hint of it, which I find a little odd. Lots of alcohol warmth, not as much as the 10% cider I'd made but much more than my other K&K beers.

SG: 1020 (OG 1072) <-- This alone suggests up to 7% ABV if my calcs are right, and I was expecting probably 7-8% given that there's twice the wort plus a kilo of BE2. Perhaps my initial FG estimate of 1010 may be a little low & it's more likely 1015, especially given the floaties in the beer? It does have a ton of body to it, very thick stuff. The tighta$$ in me doesn't want to go through 5 or more hydrometer tests to make sure I've got the right FG with consecutive numbers, but the survivalist in me says bottle bombs are bad mmkay...

I've decided to bump up the temp to 21*C (up from 19*C), have given the fermenter a gentle swirl, and chucked in the filtered coffee to let that blend in too. I was going to add the coffee immediately prior to bottling but given the way the other ingredients' flavours have survived the primary fermentation period I figured I'd chuck it in now instead. I'll take further readings Sunday/Monday.

If anyone on here thinks I should tackle the stout's fermentation a little differently from here on in, please let me know as I'm still learning :)

The indirect disturbance of swirling the stout plus bumping the brew temp to 21*C has caused the ginger beer sitting next to it to start bubbling again also, but I was at least another week off checking its SG anyway.

Cheers

Dave
 

djsmi4

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Update on the Kona Stout: The hydrometer's been sitting on 1020 since Friday, so I figured this must be its FG & bottled the stout today. It's thick stuff! I did a taste test and I've found that the coffee flavour dominates now. I know it's very early days & the true flavour won't be known for a few months, but before I'd put the coffee in there seemed to be a perfectly even balance of the stout, dark ale, coconut, cocoa, and a banana factor from the brewing. Now it tastes like half-coffee and half-everything-else.

I should have either halved the coffee amount (1/2 cup steeped) or put it in at the start of the brew.

On to bottling... 100ml into the first bottle and the bottling wand on the end of my tap clogs up with coconut! So off with the wand & I'm filled all the bottles straight from the tap, trying to minimise aeration. No further flow issues from just the tap, although all bottles have trace amounts of coconut floaties in them. Hopefully they settle whilst conditioning. I primed at half-strength (1 carbonation drop aka 3g per longneck) as the last time I primed a stout with the full amount it was as carbonated as Coke.

The ginger beer in the meantime is still (slowly) bubbling away.

And now that I have a fermenter available again, plus my fridge/heater/STC-1000 back from the in-laws', I smashed out a quick & easy Coopers Euro Lager this arvo, albeit with BE1 instead of the recommended BE2. I'm actually aiming for a lager with next to no body in it. Should be good value come summer!
 

djsmi4

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I cracked open a bottle of the stout over the weekend, here's what it looks like:



As you can see the head isn't uniform nor fine as say a Guinness head would be, and it disappears after about a minute. But the carbonation for a stout is spot-on, it's thick, and it's strong.

The only significant change I'd make if I were to redo it would be halving (or quartering) the coffee - all the other flavours still came through, subtly, but it tastes like I tossed a couple of macchiato shots into the stout. I think over time it may mellow a bit more, but the dominant coffee flavour will remain.

I poured it "straight" down into the glass, no tilt, through a small seive to collect about 1/4tsp of the coconut floaties that had escaped the fermenter. The sediment in the bottom of the bottle was a bit more coarse than standard kit & kilo brews, and proportionally there was probably twice as much.

The ginger beer needed rescuing a few weeks in - the yeast had fallen over despite being stirred & having the temp bumped 2*C. It was stuck on 1032 and tasted very sweet. I chucked in a rescue pack of SN-9 yeast that I was originally going to put in it, gave it another swirl, bumped up the temp another 2*C (23*C now), left it about 10 days and it had dropped another 19(!!!) points to 1013 (OG 1060) and lost most of its sweetness, save the vanilla paste and residual honey flavours coming through. It tastes like a straightforward ginger beer, with a bit of body and a hint of sweetness. I've left it sitting for another 10 days or so and will bottle it tomorrow - anything below 1010 I'll be happy with.

The lager seems to be dropping 2 points a week after an initial week of high airlock activity, will leave it for another couple of weeks.
 

wealsy22

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Thanks Dave, been waiting for an update for the stout!

Will take it on board for my stout :)
 

djsmi4

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Cheers for the interest mate!

I'll have to keep an eye out for if you make a thread about yours :)
 

djsmi4

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Stout update: 6 weeks after bottling, the coffee flavour - whilst still dominant - is becoming less & less like an added shot and more like just simply a strong coffee flavour, if that makes sense.

As for the ginger beer... After a bit of a delay with sorting out an FG I ended up bottling the Ginger beer today, it ended up with an eventual FG of 998 (OG 1060), so it's an 8%er... It still has a slight hint of sweetness from the honey & vanilla, and smells like ginger beer, but almost all of the actual ginger taste has disappeared, apart from the pepperiness you get from ginger. I think I could just leave it for a week or so to carb, no longtime conditioning required!

In the meantime the ginger beer fermenter will steep in napisan solution for a good week or so to nuke the ingrained ginger smell it now has - I don't think this would carry well in my next brew.
 

djsmi4

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Hmm... I'm not sure on the ginger beer, after opening the first bottle tonight.

It's only slightly carbonated, has zero head (it's like pouring wine), and despite having a strong ginger smell & a reasonable amount of ginger heat, it has something both in the taste and smell that is slightly metallic(?), or anaesthetic, or "medical"...

I think I'll leave it for a few months, hopefully it will have retained some ginger flavour over that time & lost some of the Chemist Warehouse factor
 

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