“Something in a Sunday” is a breakfast stout. I first came up with and brewed this recipe in December of 2018. It was a mess. There’s not a lot of hops in a stout compared to any given IPA. But, with the addition of ground coffee, both in a steep just after the boil, and in the secondary, it was a constant mess. With that said, I thought it turned out quite good and I looked forward to making another batch of it, as soon as I got a chance to upgrade some equipment to help with some of the mess.

New Gear:

I’m happy to say, that day has come. New gear is fun! The first addition to my set of gear is what is called a “hop spider.” This particular one is trademarked the “Green Widow.” A hop spider is basically just a means to allow hops and other additives to come into contact with your wort without the mess in the kettle. The fine mesh lets the liquid through but keeps that mess from later gumming up the works. That’s a win in my book.

Another purchase i made was the Maelstrom stir plate. I don’t do a ton of yeast starters as most of my recipes don’t have too high an ABV to necessitate one, but this recipe calls for 17 pounds of grain, including oats and rice husks. That’s a lot of sugar for one pouch of yeast, so a starter is a good idea, and with a stir plate, I won’t have to swirl the starter manually every hour or two to keep it going.

I also moved away from the standard glass carboy, and purchased a Big Mouth Bubbler fermenter. Cleaning the inside of a carboy after a fermentation completes is messy and you have to use special tools, nozzles, or brushes, to get at the inside. The wide opening on the Big Mouth will make cleaning a breeze. It also came with a handy carrying harness and it has a spout on the bottom that will make sampling during fermentation a lot easier. Win/win. I upgraded to a two-port lid so I can have a temperature probe actually inside the fermenter rather than taped to the side.

The last piece of new gear that I got will be put to use in the secondary. It’s called a “Depth Charge,” and is very much like the hop spider but is used for post fermentation additions, like dry hopping for example. This recipe calls for more coffee and cacao nibs at that point. Once again, a lot less mess, and very little likeliness of clogging up the works. the Depth Charge is designed for use with Big Mouth Bubblers. Holy cow, I just realized while typing this that I’m going to need another Big Mouth for secondary.

The Research:

I’m not sure if I need to continue talking about the research I put into these recipes. That is because, I pretty much do the same thing for all recipes. I decide on a style I’m shooting for and track down recipes for beers of that style. Then, I compare similarities, make adjustments, and come up with my own.

I love Founders Breakfast Stout, and I wanted something like that. In developing my recipe, I made sure to add flaked oats to the grain bill, as well as coffee and cacao nibs. Baker’s chocolate is also included for an extra blast of sweet goodness.

The Recipe:

Fermentables:

  • 13.00 lb. Briess 2-Row
  • 1.00 lb. Flaked Oats
  • 0.75 lb. Briess Chocolate Malt
  • 0.75 lb. English Roasted Barley Malt
  • 0.50 lb. Belgian Debittered Black Malt
  • 0.50 lb. Briess Caramel 120L Malt
  • 0.50 lb. Rice Hulls (not fermentable, but goes in with the grain)

Hops:

  • 1.0 oz. Nugget
  • 1.0 oz. Willamette

Yeast:

  • Wyeast 1056 American Ale (with starter)

Other Ingredients:

  • 4.0 oz. Cacao Nibs
  • 2.0 oz. Dark Roast Coffee (coarsely ground)
  • 2.0 oz. Light Roast Coffee (coarsely ground)
  • 1.5 oz. Baker’s Chocolate
  • 0.5 tsp Irish Moss
  • 0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient

The Process:

Brew day was chilly again, but tolerable. When heating up to my target temps, I leaned on the cautious side and intentionally overshot to account for the cold. My mash tun is only seven gallons, which leaves very, very little room for much with a grain bill as heavy as this recipe’s. I recall last time considering perhaps adjusting the recipe to three or four gallons. Instead, I lowered the amount of water necessary to mash, which allowed me to squeeze all my grain in. I needed to overshoot the temperature of the strikeout water too because I still had very little space for it.

The sparge went slowly, but my sugar readings were good. As was my temperature. I feel like I might have rushed the sparge last time, because this time my original gravity reading, after boiling down to about 5.5 gallons was 1.105. Last time, it was 1.087. That’s a significant improvement on potential alcohol.

My refractometer readings remained decent most of the way through collecting my wort. I started boiling when I had collected roughly four gallons, but kept collecting until I had about seven gallons. then, I boiled down to 6.5 gallons and started the official hour-long boil, adding hops and other ingredients along the following schedule:

-60 minutes: 1.00 oz. Nugget
-30 minutes: 0.50 oz. Willamette
-15 minutes: 1/2 tsp Irish moss & 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
-10 minutes: 1.50 oz. cacao nibs & 1.5 oz. baker’s chocolate
-0 minutes (flameout): 0.50 oz. WIllamette & 2 oz. dark roast coffee (steep for 10 minutes

When I rack to secondary, after fermentation is complete, I’ll add in two more ounces of coffee. I’ll probably stick to dark roast as that is what I have.

The Name:

It’s called “Something in a Sunday,” but I brewed it on a Saturday. As for the name, “Something in a Sunday…” This is a line from the song “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” which was written by Kris Kristofferson and originally made famous by Johnny Cash. There is a line that says, “the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad so I had one more for dessert.” Well, this is a breakfast stout, so tipping my hat to this song seemed natural, but I looked elsewhere in the song for a simpler title. That line is “there’s something in a Sunday that makes the body feel alone.

And there you have it.

If you happen try my “Something in a Sunday” recipe, I hope you like it. Please let me know how it turns out for you.