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southernhomebrewer 06-15-2012 12:55 AM

Oyster Stout
Any advice out there on adding Oyster shells to my stout? I have found a few recipes and I know it has some to do with the water you use.

Stauffbier 06-15-2012 02:06 AM

I've never made one, but my friend made a very good one. I believe he boiled the oysters and shells after shucking. I'm not sure about this, but I believe he added them in the last 15 minutes. I'm not sure if he did anything special to the water, though...

bucfanmike 06-15-2012 02:47 PM

i watched an episode of drinking made easy and the brewery they visited made an oyster stout. They washed them good and threw then entire oyster shell in, unopened in the boil. They said although they didnt get oyster flavor, it did add calcium carbonate to make their water more appropriate for a stout as they had really soft water. Not sure about the chemistry side of it, but that was their approach.

southernhomebrewer 06-15-2012 08:46 PM

I have a great stout recipe I put together. I saw that episode as well and it got me thinking. Apparently the calcium in the water is what gives Guinness it's characteristic, I think that is why they are putting the oysters in it. I'm just curious who has experience with this and at what point in the process they put them in. There are many different recipes that call for them at different times.

bucfanmike 06-16-2012 03:14 AM

one big difference on Guinness that sets it apart from other stouts is the sour component. Ive read that up to 10% of the wort is soured and then pasteurized and added back in.

emjay 06-16-2012 03:17 AM


Originally Posted by bucfanmike
one big difference on Guinness that sets it apart from other stouts is the sour component. Ive read that up to 10% of the wort is soured and then pasteurized and added back in.

That's only with the Foreign Extra Stout.

messersc 06-25-2012 07:57 PM

I can only give you advice as a drinker, not as a brewer. I've never brewed an oyster stout, though I'd like to.

First of all, the phrase "oyster stout" in commercial beers can be misleading because not all all of them contain oysters (I think Marston's Oyster Stout, which is pretty easy to come by, is just water, yeast, hops, and malt. In any case it has no oyster component). So if you're interested in the style because of something you've had in a pub or from the store, then you might want to make sure that it actually had oysters. Even if a beer has (like in the case of Marston's) a sea-themed label, it doesn't necessarily have to have oysters in it.

There is a history of brewing with oysters in beer, though. I know that Dogfish Head has done it (but I don't know when and I think it was just for a festival - I just read about this in the founder's autobiography). I think the Porterhouse, originally from Dublin and now with a location in London (which I got to a year ago) actually uses oysters in the great beer they call Oyster Stout.

I can offer even less help on the actual process side, but I would be surprised if the actual meat were left in the boil for whole minutes. This is just a hunch given the fact that they're usually eaten raw and, if cooked, just cooked for seconds. The shells, I would guess, would be another story. I would think that whatever salts/minerals would come off the shell would be the main flavor imparted from those, and it might take more time to get a serious impression from them.

southernhomebrewer 06-25-2012 09:10 PM

Thanks Messersc,

I got the idea after watching an episode from Drinking Made Easy (formerly known as Three Sheets) in Ashville NC when he visited the Oyster House Brewing Co.

McGarnigle 06-25-2012 09:38 PM

Harpoon's Oyster Stout is the easiest one to find (at least for me). They use actual oysters. They give it a very mineral-y taste.


Geohound 06-26-2012 12:52 PM


Northern brewer guys on brewing TV cover a brewery making an oyster stout. Looks kinda like disgusting to me.

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