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Old 12-29-2010, 05:04 AM   #1
KCHutch
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Default Newbie stout questions

Hi all,

New to the forum and home brewing. I've completed 3 extract batches so far. The first, a pale ale, turned out great. The second two, an oatmeal stout and Guinness type stout did not come out very good at all.

I am meticulous about sanitizing, so for now I am ruling that out as a problem, but have identified a couple areas where I think I am going wrong.

First, I am boiling the wort fairly vigorously. Should it be a rolling boil or does it matter? Am I potentially evaporating too much before adding water?

My gravity measurements, both specific and final, have come out fairly close to where they should be, but the end taste on both stout brews have not been very "stouty," to be unintentionally vague.

TIA,
KCHutch

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Old 12-29-2010, 05:23 AM   #2
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About all I do is extract. I boil about 3 1/2 gallons and end up with just under 3 gallons of wort. A good rolling boil is needed to keep the diacytal out, low boil or a lid on the pot let it get recirculated back in the wort.
The Guinness clone I made sucked as a Guiness clone or even a Stout, it was a fairly good Brown Ale tho.

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Old 12-29-2010, 06:17 AM   #3
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Diacytal is a byproduct of fermentation, when you boil you're getting rid of dimethyl sulfide. As for the lack of stoutiness, try to grind your roasted malts finer, that could help.

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Old 12-29-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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Can you post your recipes? Maybe we can help you tweak them.

Keep in mind that "clone" recipes are usually no better than close to the target brew in flavor (FME).

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Old 12-29-2010, 12:01 PM   #5
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I never had good luck with any stouts until I went to partial mash and all grain. That being said I only tried about 3 extract stout batches. The difference has been unbelievable as far as mouthfeel and texture (IE smooth and silky). Good luck and don't give up hope. Have these been box kits you have been making? I tried 2 box kits (brewers Best) before attempting my own extract recipe and I found the box kits to be sub par.

Try looking through the HBT recipe database you may find something you like.

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:12 PM   #6
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This could be very recipe related and have nothing to do with your techniques, so don't get discouraged.

I would recommend finding a highly rated extract stout recipe in the recipe section of this site. Preferably one that has tons of positive feedback. Then, you can brew that beer to see how it turns out. If a lot of folks on this site say it is good, then I am inclined to believe it. Post your recipes for critiquing.

If you are really concerned about your technique, then you might see if you can find someone locally who brews and is willing to stand-in on a brew session to make sure that you are headed down the right path.

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Old 12-29-2010, 01:26 PM   #7
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It's the kit/recipe. A good rolling boil is best.

Try moving towards a Partial Mash whee you can use different grains, and maybe some Oats for that Oatmeal stout.

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Old 12-30-2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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Thanks all. These are box kits from my local supply store. I am starting to wonder if it's their kit as I talked to a veteran brewing friend of mine that tried the stout recently and had similar results. I'll scan and post the recipes if I can find them, but doubt I will.

Thanks for the suggestions to look for recipes here. I'm also going to have another veteran sit in with my next brew.

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Old 12-30-2010, 05:40 PM   #9
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Stouts take a long time to "come together". My stout was pretty bad last year until about 3 to 4 months after brewing it. This fall I made a "robust porter" and was pretty disgusted as it just was watery, no robust to it at all. I bottled it on September 27th and it finally came together just after Christmas and it is soooo good now. Try to be a lot more patient with your stout and see if it doesn't change just like mine did.

Both of my brews were box kits too. I brewed the Brewers Best Kits "Irish Stout" last year and the "Robust Porter this fall.

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Old 12-31-2010, 04:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sreidy12 View Post
Diacytal is a byproduct of fermentation, when you boil you're getting rid of dimethyl sulfide. As for the lack of stoutiness, try to grind your roasted malts finer, that could help.
Thank You
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In Fining; White Chocolate Port, Barrollo, Muscadine
Bottled; Octoberfest Lager, SalmonFest Lager, Big Head Red, Boca Bitch Gluetin Free, Belgian Wit, Dark Knight Sweet Stout, American Pale, Boca Brown Ale

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