Archive for June, 2009

Oatmeal Cookie Stout

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Yes, you read that correctly, and yes the Oatmeal Cookie Stout has been brewed.


Above: Mash tun full of broken cookie bits, oh Jebus!

So on Friday 06.19.09 I brewed a batch of Oatmeal Cookie Stout. The idea being this would be a beer that would cross the flavor profile of an Oatmeal Stout with that of an oatmeal cookie – seems like it would have potential to be tasty. So first I had to figure out how I wanted to go about getting that cookie profile into my beer. Originally I had thought about adding the cookie type spices during the brewing process at some point. Then I thought that I really wanted that baked type flavor a cookie has so maybe it would be better if I toasted my oatmeal in an oven. Finally I decided that actually baking cookies and putting them in the mash would be the best idea. So I had to create a cookie recipe that I was comfortable with putting in my beer, so no oil, butter, eggs, milk – none of that stuff. So I kind of created a recipe (see post below for the recipe) that came out consistency-wise very similar to granola but in the shape of a cookie. The first trial batch of cookies turned out pretty well and were eaten right up, a good sign.

So when it was brew day I went to bake the batch of cookies for the beer which was twice the size of the original trial batch. I then realized we only own one cookie sheet and I didn’t want to have to wait. So essentially I packed the entire sheet with the cookie batter in sort of the style you would bake cookie bars. Then after it was finished baking I kind of just broke the pieces up into cookie type sizes to help cool, and then after they cooled broke those pieces up into smaller chunks to help them break down in the mash tun. It was kind of a funny little process, but I hoped it was all worth it in the long run and the profile comes through in the beer.

Oatmeal-Cookie-Stout-Web-2 Oatmeal-Cookie-Stout-Web-1

So to try and help compensate for the additional ingredients into the mash tun and not to trow off all of my numbers for strike water and estimated original gravity and such I weighed all of the ingredients going into the cookies to be put into the mash tun to enter into Pro-Mash to see what the differences were. The cookies had the strike water volume adjust a couple quarts up and the estimated OG went up a few points too. I have added the weights to the original recipe below also. Once I actually mashed in and threw a batch of cookies in the tun I was kind of weirded out. I just felt like I sealed my fate to a very long stuck mash and was preparing for an epic battle against oatmeal. Ironically enough the entire sparge went off with out a hitch. I am concerned there was some minor channeling just because the remaining liquid from the mash tun still tasted sweet, but the numbers in the long run didn’t disappoint, so I’m sure it was fine.

After the brew day is finished I always taste the wort to try and understand what this beer could develop into. Almost all wort tastes similar, especially for specific styles. It tasted as expected, stout-y, a lot of sweetness and roasted barley, but in the finish was a really cool baked cookie flavor with a little bit of cinnamon too. I really am not sure if this will translate to the finished product, and I am really tempted to not add any additional flavor to the seconday just to see what the results will be. Anyway, I think this will be ready to go by the end of July, so we’ll see if it goes on line then, or if I hold onto it for four months of more for the cooler weather to arrive.

On a side note, this was the last recipe I had ingredients prepared for, so that means I’ll be thinking recipes and ordering ingredients soon, so if you have any suggestions of things you’d like to see speak now or, well you know.

“C” is for Beer

Monday, June 15th, 2009

That’s good enough for me!


Tonight I baked an experimental / trial batch of cookies for an upcoming beer. Yup, a batch of cookies for a batch of beer. For a while now I have had the idea of an Oatmeal Cookie Stout stuck in my head. All the creamy love of an Oatmeal Stout but with some of the characteristics of an oatmeal cookie: toasty, chewy, raisiny, cinnamony, a touch of vanilla – you know. So originally I was just going to add the flavorings to the boil or fermenter or something, but I wanted that baked cookie flavor. So I thought for a while about toasting the oatmeal before the mash, and just recently I thought why not mash with cookies! So that’s what I am going to do, mash oatmeal cookies – I know I am begging for a stuck mash!

Anyway, I’m going to keep my base Oatmeal Stout recipe the same and then mash in additionally about 30 oatmeal raisin pecan cookies. The reason I did the trial run tonight was because I had to modify the cookie recipe to take out all the milk and oils/fats – I only wanted to use things that I was OK putting into my beer. The funny thing is I am not really sure how to compensate for the extra sugars and oatmeal stickiness in the mash, maybe just some extra hot water – I’ll figure all that out later, right?


Anyway, here’s the cookie recipe, I made a half batch tonight and it made 15 cookies:

Fool Circle’s Oatmeal Cookie Stout Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

1 cup raisins soaked in 2 oz of Cognac for 24 hours

1 TBSP vanilla extract

1 cup dark brown sugar (5oz by weight)

1 cup light dried malt extract (DME) (3.5oz by weight)

1 cup Marris Otter flour* (4oz by weight)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3 cups oatmeal (9oz by weight)

3/4 cup chopped pecans (3oz by weight)

1 cup water

Mix all ingredients together. Let stand for 5 minutes so oatmeal can help mixture set-up. Spoon globs of goo onto an ungreased baking sheet, about golf ball size, around 15 per sheet, should yield 30 cookies. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375’F or until desired doneness is a achieved. Remove promptly from sheet and cool. I think that’s it. (*Marris Otter two-row barley ground to flour consistency, hint: use a coffee grinder.)

I thought the cookies turned out pretty well, will definitely try them warmed up in the microwave for breakfast this week. We’ll see how they hold up. I’ll let you know how the stout turns out, whenever that is!

Irish Red & Coffee

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

So tonight I did a little maintenance and transferred the Irish Red.


So, this was the beer I pitched “expired” yeast into, though it fermented out in like 48 hours. So I transferred it to secondary tonight to help clarify it a bit. Theoretically I will be brewing on Sunday and whistling in the dark. On Sunday there is the potential to keg the Irish Red and to brew an Oatmeal Cookie Stout, we’ll see what happens between now and then, be like yourself.

I also earlier this week made more ice cream, this time coffee flavor ice cream and it is sick! I kind of went from past experience, the Ben & Jerry’s coffee ice cream recipe, and gut. Here is what I cam up with if anyone cares:


2 Large Eggs

3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP Sugar

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup half & half

8 TBSP fresh ground Kenya AA coffee


– Heat cream and half & half to 180′ F

– Add coffee and heated cream mixture to a french press, mix, and let sit 10 minutes, then press

– Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute.

– SLOWLY add hot cream/coffee to egg/sugar mixture to temper eggs and avoid lumps

– Heat entire mixture back to 170′ F

– Chill overnight and then follow ice cream maker instructions

For me both ice creams I have made so far have been very flavorful, the Vanilla was very vanillay and the Coffee was very coffeey – but the coffee, the second ice cream, had a much better consistency. The difference? I’m guessing eggs versus pectin, the eggs were a much better emulsifier.

Phish 2009

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Well, I just recently got back from my first Phish shows in almost five years, and, well, Oh My God!


FYI, this picture is ridiculous! From left to right: Dan Woolard, Erik Mitchell, Brian Moore, Craig Mummert, Frank Maier, Keith Collins, and Mike Kavanagh. I had the ultimate pleasure of enjoying a Sunday afternoon with these guys prior to a Phish show in Camden on Sunday. I have know these guys for going on 20 years (!), I met them all between 1989 and 1994 – crazy, crazy, crazy!!

Anyway, back to Phish, last time I talked about this guys I was more than disappointed with the way things ended, and I was very sceptical for the way things were going to re-star, again. I was very broken-hearted back in 2004 and I was scared to let Phish back in, it was very much like an old girlfriend. But, they did good, they did real good! I was lucky enough to go to three show this summer tour, Thursday 6/4 at Jones Beach, NY, Friday 6/5 at Jones Beach, NY, and Sunday 6/6 at Camden, NJ. If everything the band is putting out there to the public is true, this is a very clean Phish that is rocking like it is the mid-nineties again! I had so much fun at the two Jones Beach shows and Camden was off the charts for me, probably top five favorite shows I’ve been to. Between the people I got to hang with in the lots, to the vibe inside, to the music Phish cranked out it was one amazing time.

Without further ado, and if you are interested, here are the setlists from the three nights:

June 4, 2009
Nikon At Jones Beach Theatre, Wantagh, NY
Set One
* Grind
* The Divided Sky
* Ocelot
* The Squirming Coil
* Punch You in the Eye
* Dirt
* Ghost
* Run Like An Antelope
Set Two
* Water In The Sky
* Birds Of A Feather
* Drowned
* Meatstick
* Time Turns Elastic
* Waste
* You Enjoy Myself
* Rock and Roll

June 5, 2009
Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
Set One
* Wilson
* Buried Alive
* Kill Devil Falls
* AC/DC Bag
* I Didn’t Know
* My Friend, My Friend
* Ya Mar
* Theme From The Bottom
* Boogie On Reggae Woman
* Split Open and Melt
Set Two
* Down With Disease
* Twist >
* Piper >
* Backwards Down the Number Line >
* Free
* Twenty Years Later
* 2001
* Slave To The Traffic Light
* A Day in the Life

June 7, 2009
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
Set One
* Chalk Dust Torture
* Fee
* Wolfman’s Brother
* Guyute
* My Sweet One
* 46 Days
* The Lizards
* The Wedge
* Strange Design
* Tube
* First Tube
Set Two
* Sand
* Suzy Greenberg
* Limb By Limb
* The Horse >
* Silent in the Morning
* Sugar Shack (debut)
* Character Zero >
* Tweezer
* Joy (debut)
* Bouncing Around The Room
* Run Like An Antelope >
* Tweezer Reprise

What Else?

Monday, June 1st, 2009

I noticed that I had done a couple fun things that I hadn’t talked about, probably because most of them weren’t beer related, well like it or not, here’s some of the stuff I’ve been up to.

trail-dawgs-half-marathon-0 mideval-festival-01 mideval-festival-02 slosh-ball-web the-dead goat-race-web lost spinal-tap-web mitchell-hg-web bcbf beach-web bizarroroby01

I suppose I am kind of going to try and go in order, though I really don’t think it matters and you’ll probably be able to tell which picture goes with which detail, and if you can’t . . . well, just look at the “pretty” pictures. Anyway, about a month ago was the annual Trail Dawgs half marathon that Robert and I run every year. This year was actually our fifth year participating and our second and third best times overall, all right! Also, this was the first time since I was in sixth grade, like 19 or 20 years ago (!), that I visited and enjoyed St. Mary Magdalen’s Medieval Festival that my mom puts on as part of her history class. It was so much fun and the kids seem to love it as much as I remember it, I’m sure I’ll be going back again. Got introduced to a new game too, Sloshball! The basic idea to Slosh Ball is very similar to kick ball except in order to proceed from second base you have to finish a can of beer and you have to field with a beer in hand at all times. Tons of fun to say the least. Got to go to my last show at The Spectrum and the last time I’ll see The Dead. It was nice to take in the Spectrum one last time, I’ve seen lots of great shows there and have always felt like it was Philly to me, The Dead was fun, but hopefully this will be it. Also got to enjoy one of my favorite beer festivals of the year the Goat Races up at Sly Fox Brewery. Even in the rain it was a good time and a large crowd, and the Maibock was excellent. My favorite TV show LOST had its season finale for season five, only one more season to go and the show is all wrapped up. This was a good season, but not my favorite, and I feel about the same for the finale, good, but not my favorite. Went up to the Keswick Theater for the first time and checked out the Spinal Tap Unwigged and Unplugged performance. Very chill atmosphere, good crowd, good performance, shitty ticket prices ($75). Picked up another show at Homegrown Cafe with the Erik Mitchell Band, fun times per usual. Though it is basically a restaurant, they do a good job hosting bands there, and they have good beer, and they JIMP. Karen and I went up to the Media Iron Hill location and checked out the Brandywine Craft Brewer’s Festival. Not sure why we’ve never been before, always remember being busy, but it was a good time none the less, all local boys. And finally got to have a fun weekend down at the beach for Memorial Day weekend. We stayed with our friends Dave and Jody on Friday and with my dad on Saturday. Wish there were more beach weekends on the schedule.

So there’s the last month in a nut shell. I think since some weren’t beer related they got bumped, and I think sometimes I was busy so the beer ones didn’t get posted, not sure, maybe Facebook and Twitter and stuff have just ruined “Blogs”, seems like people are actually talking less and less these days . . . you never know.