So, late last year it was decided that we would make our first stout. As this was a venture into new territory, I spent a lot of time agonising over mash temperatures, water treatments, grain bill, hops and so on.
My family have roots in West Cork, Ireland and I have been lucky enough to try some of the best stouts Ireland has to offer. Just down the road from my folks in Ballengeary is Franciscan Well Brewery; a small, independent micro making some fantastic beers.
Just before Christmas I paid a visit and this got my brain working. It was their stout, with the addition of oatmeal that I used as inspiration for Tamesis. I decided to take a break from tradition and add chocolate malt. Traditional dry stouts would only use roast barley and perhaps, some black malt. The addition chocolate would enhance the overall roasty chocolatey flavour as well as giving a nice tan coloured head.
With the malt bill was beginning to take shape and I started to look at hops. From my research of some of the old stouts and porters, classic English hops such as Bullion, Goldings and Fuggles were popular as bittering and aroma hops. I stumped for the classic combo of Fuggles for bittering and plenty of Goldings for aroma.
All that left me to do was to chuck in a liberal seasoning of salt (for enhanced flavour) and brew the bugger.
On Brew day I mashed in at a nice high temperature to get a full bodied beer. We added a large amount of malted oats and whilst fairly being stodgy, I had little problem getting the brew through. A slow fermentation and a week later it was off to be bottled and we are all very pleased with the results.
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.