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Old 04-04-2012, 04:02 AM   #1
Renato-BR
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Default Brewing a really creamy stout

Hi folks,

I'm a brazilian homebrewer and this is my first post here, so, sorry for any inconvenience!

I'm planing to make a very creamy english stout and I'm needing some help to finalize my recipe. The most important characteristic of this beer I want to highlight is the "creaminess" so this is my starting point. I've read that oats and flaked barley can give the beer this creamy characteristic I'm looking for and lactose will give a residual sweetness and improve the beer's body.

This is the recipe I'm working on, can you guys give some advice on that? It's looking like a Russian Imperial Oat-Milk Sweet Stout, I'm kind afraid of it! I want it to be roasty, creamy, full-bodied and with a balanced sweetness. Can this be accomplished or I'm asking too much?

All-grain recipe for a 5 gallon batch:

OG: 1074 (7.5 ABV)

8 lb Belgian Pale Ale Malt
2 lb Chocolate Malt
0.66 lb Wheat Malt
0.44 lb Caramel/Crystal 60
0.44 lb Flaked Barley
0.44 lb Flaked Oats
0.33 lb Roasted Barley
0.66 lb Lactose

0.1 lb Fuggles (60 min)
0.05 lb East Kent Goldings (5 min)

My main questions are:

- Is this a good and balanced recipe or I'm going crazy?

- Which yeast strain should I use? Here in Brazil I have White Labs liquid yeasts, Notthinghan, US-05 and S-33 as available choices. I was thinking on WLP-013 or WLP-023

- What's the best mash schedule to use? Should I put more lactose and make a low temp single mash, go for a 154F single mash or make a step mash? I want alcohol, body and residual sweetness on the beer but I don't have enough experience to successfully complete this recipe!

- May I add more hops?

Thank you very much for your help, guys!

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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I'm assuming you mean 13 lbs of Pale malt not 13 oz. I really like WLP004 for my stouts, if you didn't like that one I would go with the WLP013 - WLP023 isn't bad but it produces a pretty sweet/fruity beer in my personal opinion.

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
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The recipe looks pretty good. I assume you meant 13 lbs, not oz, of pale malt. If you can do a step mesh, then I have been having good luck mashing in around 122F and then immediately ramping it up to 155F (takes about 15 min. on my system). I've got a lovely oatmeal stout on tap right now that is very smooth (~ 5% abv).

The hops look good. Keep in mind that as you add more bittering hops this will counteract the smoothness of the beer, so if that is your goal, don't go too high

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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I can't speak to the rest of the recipe, but with both flaked barley and oats in there, you should definitely get the texture you are looking for in your body. With the roasty toasty thing you have going on, I would consider toasting your oats for a little bit of added complexity. I usually put them on a cookie sheet at 325F, and stirring occasionally until they start smelling like oatmeal cookies.

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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Hi folks,

Sorry for the units mistake, I meant lb not oz, I messed up converting from kilograms.

jays: I'm looking for a flavored beer not a dry one, that's why I had not considered WLP-004.. I'll read a little bit more on 013/023 since this will be my first time working with liquid yeasts. Thank you for the thoughts!

pjj2ba: Good idea on the mashing temps, I think I'll take the same 15 minutes to get to 155F on my system too.

acidrain23: Man, I never thought about that, it looks like a very nice thing to add more flavorfull roastiness on the beer! I'll definitely try it, thank you!

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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Guys, Hopville messed up all my measures, this is the correct recipe for a 5 gallon batch:

8 lb Belgian Pale Ale Malt
2 lb Chocolate Malt
0.66 lb Wheat Malt
0.44 lb Caramel/Crystal 60
0.44 lb Flaked Barley
0.44 lb Flaked Oats
0.33 lb Roasted Barley
0.66 lb Lactose

0.1 lb Fuggles (60 min)
0.05 lb East Kent Goldings (5 min)

Sorry for that!

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Old 04-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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The best stout I have made yet had very simple ingredients:
Maris Otter - 65%
Flaked Barley - 25%
Roasted Barley - 10%
Hops - EKG @ 60 min for 30ish IBU's
Yeast - WLP004

The secret was that I fermented under pressure (~5 psi) at 66F. This stopped fermentation a couple points higher than otherwise, I think.
The creamy mouth-feel, even just on CO2 is amazing.

The caramel and toffee flavors really blew me away. A friend who's a BJCP judge was slightly speechless upon tasting (a rarity for him). He thinks it's a multiple award candidate.

I fermented the other 5 gallons normally, and it was really good, but the typical drier/coffee/dark chocolate stout that everyone does.

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Old 04-05-2012, 12:49 AM   #8
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wolfman, I'm curious about your method, the fact that CO2 does not escape during fermentation will not let off-flavors on the beer? I read about it somewhere, the CO2 expelled during fermentation would carry some harmful components to the flavor and aroma of beer. I'm guessing this didn't happened to your beer, right?

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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CO2 does escape, anything over 5psi is expelled (which during early fermentation is a lot).
But no off tastes at all. Quite the opposite in fact, it is the most delicious stout I've ever drunk. Homebrew or commercial.
Some of the sulphur producing yeasts might indeed add off flavors, but I have no direct experience with using them in a pressure ferment so cannot say.

I will say that WLP004 was a resounding success that I'm going to be doing again. Soon.

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