532: Coconut Shakespeare Stout


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An exciting day yesterday – my Picobrew Zymatic finally arrived! My grand plan to “Make Brewing Fun Again (TM)”

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It didn’t all quite go according to plan day 1, however.  First the initial deep clean using the supplied dishwasher tablet left massive amounts of residue which took ages to get rid of.

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Then I cut the plastic keg seal that goes on the keg during brewing – not a big deal but annoying.

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But the repeated kick in balls came when I started brewing and the machines started foaming at the mouth.  I went around about 5 cycles of Drain -> Exit Brew -> Wipe clean -> Check and tighten everything -> Restart Mash -> Watch the foam come out again 10minutes later -> Drain …

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Eventually I figured that I’d probably mashed enough to get some conversion and I skipped to the boil. The ingredients for this first brew came with the machine and I supplemented the 10 and 5 minute additions with Citra pellets.

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While the boil proceeded trouble free, I bottled up the Coconut Stout I’d been “dry hopping” with coconut, and tracked the Facebook post about my foaming issues on the Pico User group on Facebook. Given it was around midnight on a Saturday night / Sunday morning during an Easter holiday, I wasn’t getting any reply back from Picobrew. To be expected when you’re living in Asia, I guess.

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From the Facebook group and from the amount I eventually collected, I’m guessing I didn’t add enough water. If that’s the issue then fantastic, because it’s easy to solve.

A number of people also said that they experienced foaming first time but not after that. Again, if that’s my experience, great.

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By the time the brew was finished and I was onto cooling and cleaning, I was knackered and I just wanted to get to bed.

So not a successful first brew, but I’m hopeful – and a little nervous – that the second will be better and the machine will live up to its promise of making my brew days easier and not more hassle!

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It’s been a while. So long, in fact, that I forgot my login details!

Does anyone still follow blogs these days? The chances of anyone still following this one are pretty slim I guess!

I’m now up to beer 533, which means 22 beers since I last posted – a figure I can barely believe but which certainly explains the increase in my waistline! 

Currently brewing is Shakespeare Stout clone infused with 800g of toasted unsweetened coconut:

The last time I made a Coconut Porter/Stout was back in 2009 so I’m really looking forward to this one.

I have big plans for brewing this summer. More on that coming soon. In the meantime, if there’s anyone who found this blog who is looking for information on home brewing in Japan, Beer in Japan has just updated their resource page: Homebrewing in Japan – Beer in Japan