After a little bit of ballyhoo and success with the original Brut du Faucon, Kent and the gang decided
to recovene for a second attempt at the process, this time with a chocolate brut.
Based on Jim Kopitzke and Drew Beechum's chocolately Saison d'Hiver, this was originally targeted for
16 gallons. Due to some better readings in the boil kettle than anticipated (and a need to keep the beer in the 1.085 range for champenoise purposes), the beer was diluted
to 20 gallons. The readings must have been off because we ended up with a 1.074ish beer in the fermenters. Jonny L and Kent Fletcher are boosting each portion with sugar (3 lbs total dissolved in water and boiled). Fortunately in this
beer, sugar isn't a bad thing as you want the beer to have a rock bottom terminal gravity. Fermentation sugars were boiled in a small amount of water to make a syrup before adding to the fermentors.
Plans for bottling are online for July of 2005 with the beer getting spiced at bottling time. Proposed bottling
spices include mace, vanilla, cinnamon, mint and others. Watch this space for more info!
BOTTLING UPDATE (7/24/2005): So come the day of our annual "Alternative Barleywine" series, this year's being the Double Devil Wine, we decided to move the beer from
secondary into the bottles for it's first go around. We dosed ~68 liters of the Brut Noir with 2.8 lbs of corn sugar for an aimed carbonation level of 5.5 volumes. To add a little extra spice to the brew we added
fresh high quality mace, all spice, true cinnamon and double strength vanilla. Beer was bottled into 4 750ml Champagne bottles, 30 1.5L magnums and 6 3L Double Magnums, one of which was promptly lost to the beer gods. The bottles are currently
resting and carbonating. Disgorgement to follow in the fall. (For the record, 3L magnums aren't designed to accept crown caps, so we had to cork and cage them. I anticipate these being difficult for disgorgement.
DISGORGEMENT UPDATE (2/4/2006): Winter has come and just about gone here in LA. Today Drew, Kent, Jonny, Jim K, Craig Wickham and Derreck B grabbed all 39 bottles and passed them through the
disgorgement gauntlet described on our tech page. Part of the bottles were dosed with a simple sugar syrup while others received a portion of a
simple dark Belgian ale we brewed in August. Now it's just a short wait and the beer will be ready to roll.