Syzygy is the alignment of objects in straight lines. This beer was named after the recent syzygy of the Earth, Moon and Sun to create the total solar eclipse seen in the United States last week.
After so many session strength sour beers and pale ales with grapefruit or tropical fruit hops in I thought it was time for a change. I found some coconut sugar in a supermarket and decided on a coconut stout, but thought I'd just use it as priming sugar as it's an unknown factor to me at the moment. I still want it it be a dry beer, so I've kept all the mash temperatures low to promote the beta-amylase activity and convert more of the long chain sugars into ones small enough for the yeast to metabolise.
Water Treatment: 1 teaspoon of MgSO4, 1 teaspoon of CaSO4, 1/2 teaspoon of NaCl and 1 teaspoon of NaHCO3 were added to the water before the mash was begun to raise the mineral levels in my local super-soft water supply.
Mash: 1 hour 15 mins. Initial mash temp 62°C, falling to 59°C after 30 mins, then boosted to 66°C and left to fall to 62°C at the end of the mash.
4Kg pale malt
510g crystal malt
270g chocolate malt
150g black malt
200g roast malt
Boil: 2 hours 15 mins
50g Fuggles hops (5.5% alpha acid) added 55 mins from end
50g Fuggles hops added 20 mins from end
30g Fuggles hops added 10 mins from end
8g Irish Moss added 10 mins from end
The wort was chilled to 22°C and yeast from my last beer - Sinister Brew - used to inoculate it. The OG was measured at 1.068 and PG at bottling 1.020, which should give me a beer with 6.3% alcohol. The calculated bitterness is 82 IBU.
Bottled after 5 days at 20°C and 2 days at 14°C.
Verdict on bottling: An intensely black beer, viscous and smooth with some alcohol warmth.
Version 1 had coconut blossom sugar added as priming sugar.
Version 2 had 5ml of a 60% lactic acid solution per litre added as well as sucrose priming sugar.
Version 3 had just sucrose added as priming sugar.