From the HBD Archive
From: Ted Manahan <hpldola!tedm@hplabs.HP.COM>
Subject: Dark Winter Ale Recipe
Date: 1989-11-22 14:54:57 GMT

I've been reading the homebrew digest since the beginning, but before now I
had never contributed. It's time to change that.

I usually prefer to make light ales. If I had the equipment (like a spare
refrigerator) lagers would be my preferred style. Beck's is my holy grail.
I'll probably try the wet towel method of cool fermenting this winter.

Despite my preference for light brews, I occasionally make a dark beer. I made
one recently, and it is the best dark ale I've made to date. Here's the

Barrel Bottom Black Bitter

2/3 lb whole chocolate malt
1/3 lb whole crystal malt

6 lbs liquid Australian Dark Malt Extract
2 oz Oregon Perle hops

1.5 oz Cascade hops

Burton liquid ale yeast

I soaked the malt in a pot of hot (not boiling) water for an hour. At the same
time, I boiled the Australian Dark with the Oregon Perle hops. After an hour,
I added the Cascade hops and turned off the heat. After letting this sit for
about 1/2 hour, I strained everything into my primary and added cold water to
bring it to 5 gallons. The wort was still too hot, so I pitched the yeast the
next morning. I used a single stage fermentation.

Note that I never boiled the liquid that the malt soaked in. Does anyone know
what effect this may have on the finished brew? Barrel Bottom Black Bitter is
very dark, rich and bitter, with a full head of tan foam. It could pass as a
stout. The only bad part of this is that my 5 gallons is almost gone, in less
than two months.

I got all my ingredients from William's Brewing. They sell two types of dark
malt extract; English dark and Australian dark. The Australian is the "darker"
of the two.

The yeast was my first try at using a "Yeast Bank". I froze yeast from a
previous batch (my "Sort of Santa Fe Ale"), and reused it. This worked very
well. I tried the same thing with some lager yeast, and it didn't come to life
after being thawed. I'll keep experimenting with this method, as I don't like
to spend $3.50 on yeast for every batch.

Ted Manahan

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