Brewing Log – Dieci Anni Di Dolci

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been meaning to post some updates about the beers recently brewed and currently fermenting. This is the first of various updates I’ll be posting in the next couple days to document many of the notes I’ve taken.

Dieci Anni Di Dolci Russian Imperial Stout
This will probably be the last update about the RIS for a while. In case you missed it, I decided to prepare french oak cubes soaked in bourbon. After an extended stay in the primary fermenter, I finally transferred this batch almost two months after it was brewed. The gravity at this point has remained at 1.029 for quite some time, indicating that the yeast is pretty much done. The oak cubes had a chance to soak up the bourbon for a little over a month. They were added to the secondary carboy after being strained from the bourbon. I didn’t want to add the bourbon for fear that the flavor would dominate the finished product. There was only a shots worth of french oak infused bourbon left, so I saw no use in saving it. Time to enjoy one oaky boilermaker!

it’s hard to tell the difference between the beer and the bourbon since the whiskey’s color changed drastically

a little more head space than i wanted for this long conditioning stage. hopefully the glass will help keep the oxygen out

Over the next 6 to 10 months, I’m excited to taste small samples to see what flavors the oak imparts. The reading I’ve done on oak cubes indicate that different flavors develop throughout this maturation process.

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Catching up…

Hey now! It’s been a while, but there hasn’t been much brewing lately. I’ve been out-and-about recently enjoying some great music and also drinking some quality brews. My brewing efforts have revolved around carefully watching over my RIS, Dieci Anni Di Dolci. It’s been fermenting for over a month at ambient temperatures between 62-72F. Airlock activity has slowed and the yeast is slowly falling out of suspension. My last gravity reading was right around 1.030, which would indicate 71% attenuation. Hopefully these warm temperatures allow for a couple more points to drop. The hydrometer samples still have a “hot-liquor” taste that I think will mellow as it ages… still very tasty.

In the meantime, I’ve been preparing a nice twist for this brew. My goal was to make this something special, so I’ve incorporated medium-plus toast french oak cubes soaked in bourbon. Many expert brewers say the cubes should impart different layers of flavor and are intended for longer aging as opposed to the chips. The bourbon… why the hell not?! My process involved the following:

  1. Measure 1 oz of oak cubes
  2. Using a vegetable steamer, sterilize the cubes for 15 minutes
  3. Clean and sanitize mason jar
  4. Add cubes to jar and fill with enough bourbon to cover the cubes.

That’s it for now… hopefully some brewing is in my near future. I’ve been reading up about and tasting some great saisons and biere de garde styles. But for now here are some pics of my bourbon oak cube experiment: