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Old 04-19-2008, 02:19 AM   #1
Finn
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Default Pilsner malt in a not-so-dry stout

Hi guys! So I'm homing in on my perfect recipe for dry Irish stout. One of the things that my stout lacks is that white head that Guinness has. It's tan in my stuff. I ditched the chocolate malt; no diff. Now I'm thinking maybe it's my base malt.

So I just went and filled what might be my weirdest grainbill yet : Four pounds of flaked barley, a pound and a half of roast barley ... and six pounds of pilsner malt.

Anybody tried this? Does it produce the coveted white head? I plan to boil it an extra 30 minutes to minimize the bad-lager flavor -- read the thread from the fellow who's making an APA with it -- any other advice?

Cheers!

--Finn

p.s. I got excited and added a pound of Crystal 10 as well. Now that I did, I'm kicking myself. There goes my white head! Damn it!

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Old 04-19-2008, 02:56 AM   #2
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do you have a nitro tap? i think that's the only way you are going to get that kind of head.

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Old 04-19-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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Nah, it doesn't need to be creamy, just white. The ones I'm getting now are light brown.

Not that it makes much diff ... it's the taste that matters ...

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Old 04-19-2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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i've had the same experience with the head color, and i second the opinion that nitro=white head

i think the pilsner malt would be fine, i don't think its going to taste like black urquell or anything, all that roasted barely will have plenty of masking power. I actually used pilsner DME in my dry stout, but it was only about 25% of the bill, and for what it is worth, i couldn't taste it at all.

how will boiling the wort longer reduce the "lager flavor"?

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Old 04-19-2008, 06:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pherball

how will boiling the wort longer reduce the "lager flavor"?
I've been told that pilsner malt generates more of some chemical called DME or something, which tastes like the liquid left in the can after you remove and eat the canned corn. Boiling it for an extra half hour to try and get rid of it seems like cheap insurance.

cheers!

--Finn
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Nah, it doesn't need to be creamy, just white. The ones I'm getting now are light brown.

Not that it makes much diff ... it's the taste that matters ...
Without the nitro tap I think you are going to keep on having the light brown heads. It's a matter of bubble size iirc.
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Old 06-17-2008, 06:20 AM   #7
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Well, I brewed the stout and it's one of the best I've ever done but I think the Pilsner malt had nothing to do with that. Next time around, I'll use basic two-row. Mostly, it had to do with the four pounds of barley flake and 1.5 pounds of roasted barley! And only five and a half pounds of base malt to grease it. I had to let it lauter all night and start the boil the next day.

Verdict? Rich, thick, low in alcohol -- damn, I could drink this all day. I spiked the grainbill with a pound of Crystal 10, so it's got a little bit of a sweetness too.

Next time around, I'll up the base malt to 6 pounds; up the flaked barley to 5; and leave the roast at a pound and a half and the C-10 at a pound. And I'll plan on mashing it out at 170 to stop the enzyme activity and lautering it over a 24-hour period ... it's worth it! (The hops are Fuggles, two ounces of 'em at :60, and the yeast is WLP002.)

Cheers!

--Finn

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Old 06-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #8
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write up the recipe and show us a photo!

"pics or it didn't happen!"

Did you get your white head? BTW, is a white head coveted by anyone other than you? I'm actually semi serious here. I know we brewers get ideas in our heads and fixate on them, but that's one I've never heard of. I've always figured stout heads are brown cause they came out of dark beer and never thought more about it.

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Old 06-17-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn View Post
I've been told that pilsner malt generates more of some chemical called DME or something, which tastes like the liquid left in the can after you remove and eat the canned corn. Boiling it for an extra half hour to try and get rid of it seems like cheap insurance.

cheers!

--Finn
The chemical is DMS (dimethyl sulfide). I thought that DMS was produced throughout the boil, but was volatilized because the wort was hot. I also thought that the two best things you can do to reduce DMS in your beer is to boil your wort uncovered and to chill it quickly.

That said, does pilsener malt produce more DMS than other malts? My last batch had a significant portion of pilsener malt and I haven't tried it yet because it's still in the secondary. Now I'm all worried and stuff.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #10
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dms is created from I think smm, which is found more in pilsner malts than in darker malts, thus the longer boils. dms is indeed volatolized at boiling, a long uncovered boil will reduce it, as well as a rapid cooling so it doesn't continue to be produced while chilling and not hot enough to be cooked out.

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