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Willygene 07-14-2011 01:36 AM

Molasses Stout
This weekend I plan to brew an Irish Stout from a kit. I've brewed several of these before and always thought it was a little thin; without much body or weight.

In light of that, in this batch I'm going to include Granulated Dark Molasses and additional Malto-dextrin. Have any of you done this, or something similar? I have 8oz. of malto and 1LB of molasses. I'm not sure just how much to use, or how much might be too much for 5 gallons. I'm not opposed to using it all, but I don't want the molasses taste to be over powering.


Suthrncomfrt1884 07-14-2011 01:56 AM

You may want to add flaked oats or barley to your recipe also. This will help up the body a bit. Adding molasses will give you a nice flavor, but it will thin your beer because of it's high sugar content.

I like about 10-12oz. of it in a lighter stout. I would up it to a pound if it's over 1.075 with a lot of roasted grains.

Captain Damage 07-14-2011 11:43 AM

Flaked oats would need to be mashed, rather than just steeped. The maltodextrin would be a better way to add body, but I've never used it so I can't advise on the amount. Or steep 1/4 to 1/2 lb of carapils. Though I've never used dried molasses, I frequently use molasses in my English-style beers. I use 8oz of blackstrap molasses in a porter for a very pronounced molasses flavor - it's basically a Taddy Porter clone. I often use 4oz of regular (light?) molasses in stouts and 2oz in nut browns.

Willygene 07-15-2011 12:55 AM

Thanks for the comments guys, I appreciate it! I'll consider your input and see where it leads, then post a follow up in a few weeks.


Calder 07-16-2011 02:19 AM

Molasses will not add any body. The yeast will ferment it all. Result will be a beer which will appear even thinner in body since it will have more alcohol and no more residual sugars.

Malto-dextrin is mostly unfermentable to most yeasts. It has 36 gravity points per lb (if I remember correctly). Then 8 ozs will increase the FG by .0035 in 5 gallons, but it will not add any flavor.

You might want to think about steeping a little dark crystal and using extract in place of any simple sugars that might be in the recipe to help increase body.

Willygene 07-21-2011 02:36 PM

Well, I didnít get around to brewing this past weekend and with all the helpful hints, Iím glad I put it off.

It looks like molasses, while adding flavor, will thin the beer, which I want to avoid. Simple sugars such as this increase the alcohol content.

Mashing flaked oats or barley will provide addition body. I once steeped 1Lb of oat meal as an addition to a stout. It tasted fine, but didnít seem to add as much body as I was expecting. I do remember that there was about an inch of trub in the primary fermenter that looked like snot. Perhaps I didnít do it correctly.

Maltodextrin adds body. Carapils adds body. Neither adds any flavor (or very little). The kit has 4oz. of maltodextrin already. I read an opinion that more than 8oz gives an artificial feel to the beer.

Here is my plan:

Add 1/2Lb of the molasses and 2oz of the maltodextrin to the boil. I still want some of the molasses flavor but with minimal addition of simple sugars.

The 2oz maltodextrin should increase the gravity by about 1 point, but more important is the addition of a little more body to counter the molasses.

Use a dark dry malt extract rather than corn sugar for priming to reduce the addition of more simple sugars.

Sound about right? I guess the proofs in the beer eh?


Willygene 07-31-2011 03:40 PM


Okay, the beer was in the primary for 7 days. I racked the beer to the secondary this weekend. The kit called for an OG = 1.042 and FG = 1.011. I measured 1.052 and 1.015. The latter may decrease a little by bottling time.

It looks like the 1/2lb molasses upped the SG around 9 points with the MD adding 1 point by Calder's calculation. It will be intersting to see how close the FG is to the expected value of 1.011.

Taste? As was pointed out, it is still dry. And I think more so than my memory of just a straight kit at this point in the process. It seems the aroma and flavor tend towards brown sugar/toffe/caramel, but not overpowering. There is also a strong aftertaste of the steeped grains that I hope will mellow out. I have a habit (perhaps bad) of continuing to steep the grains in a separate pot during the boil and adding it to the boil as volume is lost through evaporation.


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