Today I was joined by Jon Tucker, who I got to know at beer tastings he organized at BrewDog Bar Birmingham, for a special collaboration brew. He wanted to brew a Foreign Export Stout, 6-ish in ABV, on the drier side, and with a distinct hoppy character.
We worked on a recipe for a couple of weeks and settled on the following:
- Pale Ale (base)
- Black malt
- Brown malt
- Aromatic Malt
- Torrified Wheat
- Carafa Special 3
- CaraMunich I
- Special B
We wanted something malty but very complex. Roasty but not harsh, dark fruits, lush burnt sugars, and a dry finish. We used British pale ale malt as the base for a solid body. The black and brown malts provide roastiness, depth, and a dry quality. Aromatic malt contributes to depth and augments the aroma, as its name might suggest. Torrified wheat was used to improve the head. Carafa Special 3 was used to make the beer blacker and also to add to complexity. CaraMunich and Special B both contribute unfermentable sugars to balance the dryness of the beer, as well as provide some of those dried dark fruit flavors.
For hops, we used Northern Brewer for bittering in First Wort Hopping – that’s adding the hop to the kettle before we fill it with wort – and made a 15-minute addition of some Bramling Cross hops to complement those dark fruit aromas in the malt.
For yeast, we went with California ale yeast (WLP001), which at the Brew Studio ferments to consistently high attenuation levels. This will get us the dryness we are aiming for, since we didn’t mash it particularly low (the lower the mash temperature, the dryer the beer). This will be offset by the unfermentable sugars provided by the crystal malts as well as those produced from a higher mash temperature (67C).
Jon’s great to have around since he truly loves beer, is well read, and highly beer literate. We had a great brewday with excellent efficiencies and lots of great beer to look forward to!