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Old 06-04-2012, 06:29 AM   #1
CLMCHENRY
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Default Chocolate Milk Stout with an OG at 1.08.

I'm brewing a milk stout extract brew that I picked up from my brew shop.
I was aiming to make it a bigger beer with more body to it. The shop guy recommended steeping the specialty grains an extra 15 minutes (from 30 to 45) and to add 1lb of Briess light malt dry extract. He also changed the yeast to White Labs Cali Ale WLP001. Here is a link to the base recipe http://brewersconnection.com/recipes...sMilkStout.htm.
They recommend racking to the secondary after 5 days, and bottle 7 days later... I'm assuming since the og is so high that this beer is going to be bigger then I expected to plan on leaving it for much longer then this.

When should I rack to the secondary?

How long should I plan on leaving it in there? I know not to bottle till the fg is the same for 3 days, but if this thing is going to take 60 days I don't want to start checking it after a week.

Since the og is at 1.08 is there anything I need to add to the batch to help fermentation? Ive never brew a beer that was this high to start.

Playing around on Beersmith (don't know it all that well yet) my estimated og was 1.067, and my estimated fg should be 1.012. Is this what I should plan for? It also says my estimated abv is going to be over 9% which is way more then I had planed on (was shooting for 6% based on the shopguy)

Lastly I was planning on racking on to 8oz of cacao nibs for a little chocolate kick. Any recommendations on how and when to add these to the beer?

Thank you for any input!

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Old 06-04-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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For my beers I let most of them ferment for 3 weeks and then check FG for a day or two. The yeast should be able to handle that OG but you should make a starter if possible or pitch several vials which can be $$$. As far as the cacao nibs you could rack onto them after a couple weeks or after the gravity has stabilized and then just taste it each week until you like the flavor.

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Old 06-04-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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I read about the yeast starters after I had already pitched. Should I buy another vial and pitch it too to be on the safe side?

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Old 06-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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7 days to bottling seems quite quick to me.

I would let it a bit more time to let the yeast eat the diacetyl produced... Unless you want a butter stout

I've read somewhere the 2-2-6 rule when I've started brewing and it helped me quite a bit at first.

2 weeks primary
2 weeks secondary
6 weeks bottle conditionning

Enjoy!

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:00 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry about repitching as long as it's fermenting.

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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Depending on attenuation, 1.080 is going to get you an ABV somewhere between 8% and 9%. That is a pretty big beer. While it may be finished fermenting in one week, it will take several weeks (months??) for a beer that big to reach it's prime. If I were in your shoes, I would primary for about 2 to 3 weeks. Then I would rack to secondary and add the cacao nibs. Let it secondary for anywhere between one week and one month. (this part is up to you... you have to decide when you have enough chocolate flavor). Bottle it up when the flavor is right, and ignore it for at least one month. Big beers often take a little longer to carbonate, and a LOT longer to condition to maximum flavor. This beer will probably just be hitting it's stride when the weather cools off this fall...

That recipe could be "beer" in as little as one month (one week primary, one week secondary, 2 weeks carbing/conditioning), but it will be MUCH better if you can resist the urge to drink it too soon, and give it plenty of time to get really happy!

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Old 06-05-2012, 03:12 AM   #7
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I rigged up a blowoff tube and its definitely bubbling like crazy. Sounds like the plan is 2 weeks till racking, and taste tested after that, and a whole lot of patients that I don't have.
How should I sanitize the cacao nibs? I was thinking steam them for a few minutes.

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Old 06-05-2012, 03:13 PM   #8
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An overnight soak in a small amount of Vodka will sanitize the nibs before adding to the secondary. This will also create a cup or so of "cocoa extract" (the now-chocolate-flavored vodka) that you can add with the beans, or leave out...

With big stouts, I like to sanitize additions with Makers Mark Bourbon. I feel that the Bourbon adds another complexity to the finished beer.

The choice is really up to you... Vodka will not alter the finished flavor much at all, but Bourbon will add another flavor level. Use whichever sounds better to you.

There are probably other methods (like boiling or steaming), but I have no experience with those, since I always just use some type of 80+ proof liquor for sanitizing additions...

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Old 06-13-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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Today I racked to the secondary on top of 6oz of nibs soaked for 24 hours in whiskey. The gravity at this point is 1.033 after 10days.

Should I be concerned that the SG is too high at this point?

Will it continue to drop over the next 14days in the secondary?

Since the lactose is a non fermenting sugar will this have an effect on the OG and FG that I should be aware of?

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Old 06-14-2012, 09:51 PM   #10
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1.033 is still pretty high. With a beer that big, and the dark malts, I would expect an FG somewhere around 1.020 or so. It will probably drop some in secondary, but the drop will be slower now that some of the yeast has been removed by racking to secondary. Ignore it for 2 more weeks and recheck that gravity again before bottling. It will probably continue dropping, but big beers take time. Try to be patient and let the yeast work. I know it is hard, but make sure you give it enough time. Do not bottle based on a timeline (2 weeks, one month, etc...) but rather when the beer is ready. Gravity readings will let you know when it is time.

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