So, the ultimate nerd’s beer has been brewed, baconed and bottled. Now we wait.
However, I do have some details on the taste of the unconditioned beer. Before bottling and just prior to the coffee addition, I gave the beer a taste test to determine how well the bacon flavor came along after the “hopping” period.
What I’ve found is that it takes a considerable amount of bacon to inoculate 5 gallons of dark beer with meaty deliciousness—but after slowly ramping up the quantities over the last 4 or 5 days I did manage to impart a noticeable meaty, slightly smoky flavor to the beer. It was good, but I felt that the coffee addition would really bridge the gap between the flavors of the stout and the flavor of the meat.
In fact, I decided to take an extra step at this point. On a whim I added a few scoops of chocolate-dusted beans to the coffee brew to add what I hoped would be a touch of sweetness that would round the beer out.
At that point I gave it one final taste before bottling and noticed the profound impact the coffee had on the flavor and aroma—especially the chocolate. It did seem to have the effect that I was going for, but there was a concern that less coffee should have been used so as not to run the risk of drowning out the delicate bacon flavors. Still, I’m betting that all of the complex components will get along properly in the bottle.
In about two weeks I should have my answer.