Monthly Archives: April 2014

BIAB#4: Salamander

Due to unplanned busy lives there has been a bit of a gap between brews, but we were finally able to get together for BIAB#4 last week.  It was Jono’s turn to select a style and work up a recipe and he went for doing another stout.

Avid followers of the blog (i.e. approximately no one) may remember that our first brew was an Irish Dry Stout.  The end result was fine, we were quite happy with it all things considered.  Sharing with others – including our local homebrew club – did tend to lead to the feedback that it was perhaps too dry, too roasty and just lacking a richer dimension of flavour.  In fact, some of those very clever palates at the club meeting were able to spot straightaway that we had used (too much) black malt.  We now know that 8% of the malt bill is way too much!  (We are new to this after all)

Anyway, not to be deterred, Jono got us right back on that stout-flavoured horse with the following recipe (for 10 litres):


  • 1630g   Concerto Pale Malt  (68%)
  • 190g     Flaked Oats  (8%)
  • 120g     Chocolate Malt  (5%)
  • 120g     Crystal Malt  (5%)
  • 120g     Flaked Barley  (5%)
  • 100g     Peated Malt  (4%)
  • 100g     Roasted Barley  (4%)
  • 25g       Black Malt  (1%)


  • 10g       Fuggles @ 60m
  • 6g         Green Bullet @ 60m
  • 10g       Fuggles @ 20m
  • 6g         Green Bullet @ 20m


  • OG:     1048
  • FG:      1012 (intended)
  • ABV:    4.9%
  • IBU:     57
  • SRM:   38

But more complex malts and righting the Black Malt wrongs of our previous attempt was not really adventurous enough for our Jono.  In addition, the contents of the bowl below were added with 10 minutes of the boil remaining:


Specifically, this was a 10 minute addition of:

  • 2          Dried Chilli Peppers
  • 2          Cinnamon sticks
  • 150g    Cocoa Powder
  • 60g      Coffee Grounds
  • 50g      Lactose
  • 25g      Cocoa Nibs

As you can see below, along with the hops and wort chiller, that little lot took up a fair bit of space in the ‘kettle’:


From there on in it was all pretty standard and straightforward.  Chilling took a little longer than usual, I don’t know why, at which point we got a little complacent eating tasty cheese and pitched the Mangrove Jacks British Ale Yeast at a bit cool.  Maybe 15C.  We were using a yeast starter for the first time, though, moved it somewhere a little warmer and fermentation was well underway 20 hours later (first opportunity I had to check).

The original plan was to add the following to secondary:

  • 2          Dried Chilli Peppers
  • 2          Cinnamon Sticks
  • 100g    Cocoa Nibs
  • 60g      Coffee Grounds
  • 2          Vanilla Pods

That is all very much subject to change following tasting after 10 days or so, though.  Initital tasting of the wort once chilled was overwhelmingly of coffee and bitterness, with very little chilli.  As such, we may well up the sweet and spicy addition and hold off on the coffee.  We’ll see.

Will try and remember to update progress on this one for anyone interested.