Westbrook Mexican Cake

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GCR
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Westbrook Mexican Cake

Post by GCR » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:43 pm

I'm planning to brew a Mexican Cake-like clone, largely inspired by recipes and suggestions in this thead: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/thre ... ery.556380

Maybe somewhat similar to this recipe posted there:

GW two row: 16lbs
Castle light chocolate (350L) 1.5lb
Briess Crystal 120L: 1lb
Corn sugar: 1lb @ flameout
Candi sugar (dark belgian) 1lb @ flameout
flaked oats: 0.75lb

1.30 oz Columbus @ 60 mins aiming for ~50 IBUs

Followed OPs advice and mashed around 150

Mashed with 6 gallons RO water + 4.5 grams calcium chloride which netted me about 3.5 gallons of wort.

Sparged with 3.5 gallons RO water + 2.6 grams calcium chloride for a total of 6.75 gallons pre-boil.

After 19 days I secondaried on 2 short cinnamon sticks, 3 chopped vanilla beans, 5 chopped habanero peppers and 4oz cocoa nibs. Let secondary for 8-9 days, checked flavor at day 5.

Or like:

2 Row @ 78%
Roast Barley @ 6.75%
Chocolate Malt @ 6.75%
Dark Crystal @ 4%
Black Patent @ 1.35%
Flaked Oats @ 2.6%

CTZ @ .33 oz per gal
Dextrose @ 1.5 oz per gal
Candied Sugar @ 5 oz per gal

Vanilla bean @ .02 oz per gal
Nibs @ .3 oz per gal
Cinnamon @ .005 oz per gal
Habanero @ .02 oz per 

Or:

16 lbs Briess 2-Row
1.5 lbs Chocolate 350L
1 lb Crystal 120L
0.75 lb Flaked Oats
18 oz Turbinado Sugar @ Flameout
16 oz Belgian Candi Syrup 90L @ Flameout
1.3 oz Columbus (17.8%AA) @ 60 min

So my questions are:

1. Has anyone brewed anything similar and have any tips/can I learn from your mistakes? Thinking a 5 gallon batch.
2. I'm leaning towards a tincture in a pint of bourbon, which I was thinking of putting on now so it would be ready to add in 2 or 3 weeks if I manage to brew it in the next few days. Is it worth it to buy top shelf bourbon for that?
3. Have you used methods other than tincture that you would reccomend?
4. I found vanilla beans and cocoa nibs at Bulk Barn, and will roast the cocoa nibs in the oven a little beforehand. I'm thinking 3 beans and maybe 2 peppers?
5. Would there be any advantage to dehydrating the peppers, or is just chopping em up and tossing them in sufficient do you think?

Any advice or comments appreciated.

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Juniper Hill
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Re: Westbrook Mexican Cake

Post by Juniper Hill » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:26 pm

Looks like a tasty brew. I wouldn't add top shelf burbon - will probably be lost in there - save it for yourself after the brew day! I can't see any advantage to dehydrating the hot peppers. My only experience with vanilla beans is from a vanilla porter I made a while back. I put in two beans into 11l (secondary) and the result was very subtle. I went on to add some vanilla extract to try to amp up the effect.

GCR
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Re: Westbrook Mexican Cake

Post by GCR » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:08 pm

Juniper Hill wrote:Looks like a tasty brew. I wouldn't add top shelf burbon - will probably be lost in there - save it for yourself after the brew day! I can't see any advantage to dehydrating the hot peppers. My only experience with vanilla beans is from a vanilla porter I made a while back. I put in two beans into 11l (secondary) and the result was very subtle. I went on to add some vanilla extract to try to amp up the effect.
Thanks. Bottling this on Monday I think... tasting pretty awesome so far.

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GCR
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Re: Westbrook Mexican Cake

Post by GCR » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:48 am

Had to label this one...

The "main" beer is quite spicy (but pleasantly so) with just 2 habaneros in a 5 gallon batch. Cocoa nibs, cinnamon and vanilla bean come through nicely as well.

We bottled a 3.5 l side batch with a small bourbon tincture with two extra habaneros - let's just say if it was an Unfiltered beer it would be called Spicy MF'er...Image

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