I had the unbelievable pleasure to collaborate on this Chocolate Stout craft beer with Iron Hill Brewery. If you didn’t know, Iron Hill is one of the most award winning craft breweries in the country. Their list of awards and is so long I had to add a link to it here . We set out to make the worlds best Chocolate Stout beer.
Lead Brewer Jeff took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of brewing. We started out with the milling process. Jeff selected the perfect combination of grains to send to the mashing tank. There all of the sugars are separated trough the process of lautering using hot water. This creates the Wort. Wort is the sugar and water that was removed from the grains.
It was super hot in the brewery. As a chocolate guy, I’m used to working in much cooler environments so we had to step outside and sample a bunch of beers to cool down.
After Lautering we sent the Wort over to the boiling tank. It takes quite a while to get that much liquid to boil so Jeff made me clean the brewery while we waited. It was pretty hot but I knew the sooner I was done scrubbing the sooner I would be rewarded with more Craft Beer Samples.
I was wrong, because then I had to clean out the grain tank. Jeff informed that a farmer comes and takes the grain away to use on his farm. These guys have it figured out. They not only have created excellent systems for their beer brewing, they are very environmentally conscience as well.
After the Wort was fully boiling we needed to add the chocolate and hops. This is where my part really starts. I made a nice blend of dark semi sweet dark chocolate for this chocolate stout. Not only do I make excellent chocolate, it turns out I am incredible at pouring chocolate into boiling hot wort.
After the prescribed amount of boiling time according to the recipe, the beer is chilled and transferred to the the fermenting tank. Once in the Fermenting tank the yeast is added and the waiting begins. There is a lot of inside baseball of the brewing process I left out of this post. I must say that this was one of the greatest days of my career and i look forward to more craft brewing in the future.