Hey gang, I know this concept has been explored countless times--I've read most (all?) the threads. But I thought I would post my planned recipe for your thoughts. Let me know if you think there are any problems with it and fill in any questions.
I'm starting with Midwest Brewing's Cream Stout recipe kit and modifying it. I'm shooting for a sweeter, creamier chocolate stout with a definite chocolate taste, more than just a hint (e.g., something like Young's Double Chocolate Stout):
0.5 lb Pale Chocolate Malt (cold steeped 24hrs, added to boil)
0.5 lb British Chocolate Malt (cold steeped 24 hrs, added to boil)
0.5 lb Black Patent Malt (steeped at 155 for 30 min, or cold steeped ??)
0.5 lb Caramel 80L Malt (steeped at 155 for 30 min)
6 lb Dark LME
1 lb Lactose (This is 2x the MW recipe)
4-8 oz (qty ???) High-end Dutch Processed Cocoa powder (to add at last 5 min of boil, or flameout)
1 oz Northern Brewer Hops (60 min)
Wyeast London Ale 1028 (or Dry: Safale S-04 ? Other ??)
Will the 0.5 lb Caramel and the 1 lb Lactose be sufficient to balance out the bitterness from the roasted malts, the cocoa, and the hops? Or should I add another 0.5 lb of Caramel malt? Or something else?
Will the 1 lb Lactose be too much? If so, would it mostly affect sweetness or mouthfeel?
I'm told the chocolate malts will add a nice chocolateyness. So how much cocoa powder will I need? I'm guessing no more than 8 oz. Thoughts?
Obviously, the flavors of this beer are not yeast-driven. Should I mess with the Wyeast and make a starter (OG here will be ~1.050) or just pitch a couple packets of a particular dry yeast?