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Old 03-18-2010, 02:37 AM   #1
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Default Board Stout Recomendation - Bastardized Every Stout I've Brewed :(

Well, i am tired of being a failure. It ticks me off to no end. I have brewed three stouts and all of them have turned out terrible. I dont know what my deal is but I just dont get it right.

My first stout - was an extract one and I didnt realize the supreme importance of temp control and didnt use a hydrometer.

My second stout - well actually a porter - was still extract i still didnt realize temp control and it finished so high. I added more yeast, roused it, everything.. nothing worked. I came to the conclusion that i was out of fermentables.

My third stout -reindeer fuel without the fuel - was all-grain and I had very poor efficiency and if that was not good enough I still finished high. I dont know what the hell my deal is and how i am being left with all of these unfermentables, but I am sick of it.

I need a great stout to brew - so recommend the one to be. I want a thick robust stout that is drinkable - nothing crazy high alcohol. I would prefer it not be a coffee stout and if it is I may just leave the coffee out of it. They tend to be too much and overpower the beer.

Wish me luck. If I dont brew a decent stout this time, im going to lose it!

I am going to double check my thermometer against a couple others. I am wondering if that is causing me some issues or something. I am also going to check my wort chiller for leaks, although if it were leaking i am positive that I would have more wort than I end up with.

Thanks for your input guys.

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Old 03-18-2010, 03:28 AM   #2
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Here's my tried and true stout recipe http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/sing...-stout-149551/ Its all grain, but I also converted it to extract with steeping grains, if you want to look further down the thread. Its a cream or sweet stout.

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Old 03-18-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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Well, I don't understand your fermentables problem but until I figured that out I would use the KISS method. I force this on myself when I encounter problems (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Maybe try a dry stout with nothing more than base grain and black malt or one of the carafas, mash it mid range or low 150s. When you get a baseline stout, then try adding some chewyness to it( the next batch, etc) slowly until you get up to what you like.

Keep on a brewing my friend

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Old 03-18-2010, 02:09 PM   #4
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It sounds like your problems are with your procedures and not the recipes.

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Old 03-18-2010, 02:14 PM   #5
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Give http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/dece...-stout-141483/ a shot. It's very good, just look at the replies in the thread. Be sure to watch fermentation temperatures and if you're not already, adjust your water for the beer you're brewing. John Palmer's spreadsheet is a good place to start.

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Old 03-18-2010, 02:52 PM   #6
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Don't be too hard on yourself! It took me a while to start getting procedures down to a point where I know what to expect from my system. +1 to trying something simple. When you say your temps were off, do you mean fermentation temp or mash...everything if your thermo is off?

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Old 03-18-2010, 04:49 PM   #7
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Do you check your pH during the mash? That could be your problem. You might need to adjust your water to raise the pH, because the darker grains will drive your pH down.

You'll want to be in the 5.2-5.6 pH range. I err high on stouts to produce a generally thicker beer (5.4 or 5.5).

A lot of times I've heard of people having problems brewing very pale or very dark beers, it's because of their water.

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Old 03-19-2010, 02:08 AM   #8
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thanks for the replies.

Quote:
It sounds like your problems are with your procedures and not the recipes.
Oh i completely agree. Not blaming recipies at all. Just want a great stout recipe as i want to be very happy with my next one - i better get it right this time!

Quote:
Don't be too hard on yourself! It took me a while to start getting procedures down to a point where I know what to expect from my system.
It is just really frustrating. I am tired of drinking commercial beer because i am not happy with my own especially when i have waited so long to be able to try it. In addition, i dont drink much beer and my kegs last months. So getting to actually drink my beers takes forever even though i dont brew often at all.

Quote:
When you say your temps were off, do you mean fermentation temp or mash...everything if your thermo is off?
my initial temps i was referring to in my first two beers were fermentation temps. Now i am concerned about mash temps especially with the the high amount of unfermentables (finished high, def not yeast crapping out) recently in my last few beers as well as low OG on the last stout.

Quote:
You'll want to be in the 5.2-5.6 pH range. I err high on stouts to produce a generally thicker beer (5.4 or 5.5).
my water doesnt taste strong in any way when i drink it, but never tested it before. I may have to look into this. what do you use to adjust PH in your water profile?
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NNatic View Post
what do you use to adjust PH in your water profile?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingBrianI View Post
John Palmer's spreadsheet is a good place to start.
http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-3.html

Do yourself a favor and readall the stuff on that site about adjusting water. Then download the spreadsheet and once you've contacted your utilities company and gotten a water report, use it to adjust your water properly.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NNatic View Post
My second stout - well actually a porter - was still extract i still didnt realize temp control and it finished so high. I added more yeast, roused it, everything.. nothing worked. I came to the conclusion that i was out of fermentables.
There can be many different things causing your beer to finish high.
What is your apparent attenuation?
How are you providing aeration for your wort?
If you are shaking the wort needs about 4 minutes of vigurous shaking.
If using pure oxygen you need 2 minutes. Just splashing into the carboy may not be enough. Hope this helps. This coming from a guy who is still learning and have just made the switch to all grain.
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