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Old 12-26-2010, 03:51 AM   #1
jfr1111
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Default Dry stout - A few questions

I brewed a dry stout a few weeks ago and it came out very good, but I want to make a few tweaks. I used black barley (500 SRM) because I can't get the lighter colored roasted barley (350 SRM). The resulting beer was a tad too roasty for my taste. Especially well chilled, the first few sips are like munching on burnt toast. No astringency or charcoal, but the burnt notes are overpowering at first.

I thought about using pale chocolate in the grist. My old girst was:
7,00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (2,5 SRM) Grain 68,29 %
2,50 lb Barley, Flaked (1,7 SRM) Grain 24,39 %
0,75 lb Black Barley (Stout) (500,0 SRM) Grain 7,32 %

For 1.042 hopped to 36 IBU.

I'm thinking about chaning that to:
7,00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (2,5 SRM) Grain 68,43 %
2,50 lb Barley, Flaked (1,7 SRM) Grain 24,44 %
0,40 lb Black Barley (Stout) (500,0 SRM) Grain 3,91 %
0,33 lb Pale Chocolate Malt (250,0 SRM) Grain 3,23 %

For 1.042 hopped to 36 IBU.

Anybody has experience using pale chocolate malt ? I heard it was smoother than its darker cousins. The coffee character was there in spades in the original recipe, I'm just looking to smooth things out a little bit with the burnt toast. Also, this comes out at 23 SRM. Will it be too light for a stout ? I'm bottle conditionning this, so I guess the added fizzyness from the elevated CO2 levels also plays a role in the sharp burnt character I'm looking to avoid.

I fermented with S04 by the way, but will use Wyeast Thames Valley I next time.

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Old 12-26-2010, 06:29 AM   #2
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A little offtopic, but I use Carafa III Speical (make sure its SPECIAL because the dehusked stuff is less bitter!) in my Schwartezbier to get the dark colour without the roast taste. Also you can add it in the mash at the end to cut most of the roasty taste.

My recipe is:
7lb 2 row
1 1/2 lb Flaked Barley
1/2 lb Black Barley
1/2 lb Roast Barley

I don't think its TOO roasty, but you could switch the black barley to Carafa III special and see what you think.

Also the biggest cheating ever is Sinamar if you are still unsatisfyed with the taste.
http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shoppingc...52d-4-oz..html

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Old 12-26-2010, 06:55 AM   #3
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I think if you are going for a classic dry stout, roasted barley is critical. Try to find the lower srm barley (350) and it will take that roastiness down a level. If you use that then you have almost my exact irish stout recipe

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Old 12-26-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
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Sounds like you used Black Patent. 7% Black Roasted Barley in a 1.042 beer shouldn't have been that intense. The norm is 10% and I've never found it to be burnt.

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Old 12-26-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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I used Bairds Black Barley with is unmalted barley, so not black patent. I'm starting to suspect my water chemistry had a role to play along with a tad too much carbonation (I shot for 1.8, will shoot for 1.5 next time). Again, it wasn't intense or unpleasant, but the burnt notes were masking some of the chocolate and coffee, especially for the first third of the pint.

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Old 12-26-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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I've used pale chocolate in a few beers this year and I like it. One of them was a simple stout with extract, RB, carawheat and pale chocolate. nice roasted grain flavor, not burnt-tasting. I also used it in a nut brown that's very tasty too. It's a "keep some on hand" grain for me now, but unfortunately my nearest LHBS doesn't carry it so I try to remember to get some whenever I order from Northern Brewer.

I think ultimately you're going to have to track down some regular roasted barley, though.

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Old 12-26-2010, 07:01 PM   #7
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The thing is, I like what the Black Barley brings to the table: once the beer has warmed a bit and the carbonation mellowed, it has a nice italian espresso aroma and taste, along with dark chocolate. I get astringency from Guinness and a couple of other beers that I know are brewed with regular RB: I don't get that from Black Barley.

Plus, I like to experiment.

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Old 12-26-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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Maybe you are mashing out too high? Astringency leads me to believe that your mash got too hot.

Or perhaps a water chemistry thing. Do you have a high PH water? Perhaps substatute a gallon or two of distilled in your mash.

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