Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tribute brew

A beer inspired by the greatest scene in all film history featuring the greatest villain of all film history. You've guessed it,it's the mighty Kurgan from the 1986 fiction movie Highlander. The brew is intended to embody the very essence of the Kurgan, so I thought it would be most fitting for it to be a Russian Imperial Stout. Taking some reference from another home brew attempt at this kind of thing, and some of the difficulties involved, I set forth. Pale, Crystal, Dark Crystal, Black and amber malts combined with flaked and roast barley were used as the fermentables for this one. Primary bittering hops were Northern brewer and Centennial. Late in the boil some Amarillo, more Centennial and nearly a full pack of Willamette were thrown in to achieve an estimated 88 IBU.

The resulting 2 gallons of viscous black solution at OG: 1111.3 was fermented with White Labs Dry English Ale Strain. I remembered using this strain to great effect a few years back for my 2008 12% Vintage ale so I knew it could do the business with high gravity beers.

    See the mighty Kurgan erupt from the fermentation vessel

 Strangely this time our friends the yeast started calling time at about 1036 and despite much rousing the fermentation basically died. I'm sure my unintended almost 67oC mash temperature could have had something to do with this but never mind. In desperation I re-pitched but only had the Daleside house strain available (these fellas struggle with anything over about 8% so I knew it was futile).

At 1034, that's under 70% attenuation (but still nearly 10.4% alcohol so I'm happy with that) cooling had to be applied and a few days later the batch was split between two demi-johns, one containing heavy toast French oak chips the other without. I shall leave it a while now, until the time of the gathering is upon us until I feel it's time for some tasting to see the effects of the oak aging compared to the un-oaked version. Hopefully it will ferment out a little more over time to squeeze out as much alcohol from this batch as possible. Brutal stuff indeed.


Ed said...

That certainly is a mighty Kurgan.

pdtnc said...

You must have missed my Homage to the film ;) Hope the brew turns out a good one :)