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Old 07-30-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
ChillWill
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Default Belgian Dry Stout

So a while ago I got the mad urge to do a Belgian dry stout and I'd thought I'd share the recipe and ideas I put behind it. Haven't put it in the recipe database as it's more a point of interest and discussion (it's good, but not good enough at first attempt).

So grain bill:
7.2lb Pilsner 74.2%
1.3lb Munich 13.4%
0.3lb Special B 3.1%
0.9lb Flaked Barley 9.3%

I mashed at 150F for around 90min to get the wort nice and fermentable....

Over night I cold steeped in 0.72 gallons of room temp water:
0.6lb Roast Barley
0.6lb Chocolate malt
Although no sugars or anything get converted here this stage was to make sure no bitterness came through from the roasted husks which would conflict with the low FG I was targeting.

Next morning, the cold steeped liquid was thick, black, and had a delicious coffee with slight dark chocolate aroma. mmmm. I added the grains for the last of the batch sparges and the liquid to the last 15min of the boil.

Hops were:
1oz Goldings 5.4% First wort (for more refined bitterness)
1.1oz Goldings 5.4% 90min for majority of bittering
0.4oz Goldings 5.4% Flameout for a little flavour in there.

I used some WPL550 I had harvested. With efficiency being low probably due to effectively diluting the wort from the mash with the cold steep wort I ended up with an OG of 1.054 and a FG of 1.012 (80% attenuation) and somewhere around the 45IBU mark.

Just drinking one now that has been in bottles for a little over a month.

Pour: While pouring the beer it looks 'thinner' than most stouts. A small and creamy looking tan head forms which dissipates quite quickly. It's relatively dark with tan round the edges and at some angles (especially the end of the glass) it's more red. Is it odd to say it looks like a beer that has been 'coloured' dark and not a naturally dark liquid?

Aroma: Some light coffee notes, a bit of earthiness, some alcohol. The coffee/chocolate I was expecting hasn't really come through, I think more cold steeped grain might make it better.

Taste: Again, the flavours aren't very strong, however the light amount of coffee and bitter dark chocolate come through mostly after sitting on the palette for a while and there isn't much in the way of 'upfront' flavour. Some herbal/earthiness from the hops as well. I'm looking for yeast flavours but can't find them? Maybe a little dark berry/fruit flavour in there as well (special B most likely).

Mouthfeel: DRY!!! There is virtually no bitterness detectable but boy does this beer strip all the moisture from your mouth. At 2.2vol CO2 it's a bit flat and the head retention isn't great; maybe swapping the flaked barley for wheat would sort that out. You really feel the dryness in your cheeks and gums.

Was a fun experiment, I feel like this is one of the most 'crafted' brews I've done. I'd say the beer would need some more flavour in future and maybe a different yeast strain (the chimay yeast possibly?)

Man... it's dry. I need to drink some water.

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Old 07-30-2011, 10:23 PM   #2
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This is why I love homebrew, never would have thought of this

I think belgian yeast character is gonna have a hard time competing with roasted malts no matter what you do, maybe spice it like a wit? Hell a wit stout don't sound half bad

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Old 08-28-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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I am trying one of these today... Jamils Dry Stout from BCS, but roasted barley was not mashed (122->150). I 3x crushed the roasted barley and steeped it in 165°F water for 5 minutes and strained the grain through a fine mesh bag. and added at flameout. 5 gallons is getting British ale, and the other is getting Belgian Wit II

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Old 08-28-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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Just an update... the flavour of the roast grains has come out a lot with a bit of time, it's really tasty now, I'll do another proper review in a couple of weeks.

Head retention is poor, which is a shame as when pouring it comes out really thick and creamy. Maybe more carbonation is needed or some wheat malt? Maybe even just a different glass.

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Old 08-28-2011, 09:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChillWill View Post
Head retention is poor, which is a shame as when pouring it comes out really thick and creamy. Maybe more carbonation is needed or some wheat malt? Maybe even just a different glass.
Double up on the flaked barley (although you may have to drop some munich to make room); my understanding is that it is there for the proteins that add to the body and head retention. Jamil's recipe uses 68% Maris Otter, 21% flaked barley, and 11% black roasted barley...I was also under the impression that dry stout traditionally has low carbonation (1-1.5 volumes of CO2).
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:49 PM   #6
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Hmmm, maybe you're getting some serious tannins from somewhere, if you feel the dryness in your cheeks and gums. Sounds like sucking on tea leaves to me. Maybe that has something to do with the poor head retention too?

I'm about to do something very similar using Jolly Pumpkin's Madrugada Obscura as a guide, with the roasted grains in the mash.

Also, interesting that the esters aren't coming through much. Did you ferment cool? Or do you think the roasty flavors just cover it up?

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Old 08-29-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
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I think the roast grains just cover it up, or maybe I need a different yeast like the chimay strain.

I don't think it's tanins, it's not unpleasant, just its very dry.

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