Thick first stout
I understand that a stout can be a tough first beer, but I still dont want to be dissapointed. One of my favorites is the Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island. I'm pretty sure I can't do that on a first brew but I do want a thick and still high alcohol stout... Sooo... My question is how do I finish with a thick stout? I'm brewing Monday
For a thick mouth feel oatmeal helps, but sanitization is crucial. Bacteria have a propensity to thin out a beer.
Loads of Oats!! You also need to start BIG and reduce it alot in the boil.
Are you brewing All Grain or Extract? If extract you can add lactose or dextrin to the boil. If you're doing all grain increase your mash temperature. This will produce a wort that has far more unfermentable sugars in it. As for the difficulty of stout, I find it one of the easiest to make, because if you go dark enough you don't have to worry so much about clarity and the roast grains hide a lot of flavor errors. It can be easy to ruin a pale ale or IPA but I find stouts pretty bullet proof.
Stouts are easy in the sense that they hide mistakes but as a new brewer I do remember being slightly disappointed with the body of my homebrewed stouts. The advice above is good with oats, lactose and a higher mash temp if all grain. I'd also through one in there which is yeast. You could pick a lower attenuating yeast to leave behind some more sugars which aid to body. I have a friend who brewed an oatmeal stout kit with US-05 for yeast and it chewed through everything possible leaving a tasty but lighter bodied oatmeal stout than they wanted.
So when do I use the oatmeal, do I steep it or just throw it in when I boil the extracts.
For my first batch I was going to try an all extract, but I'm coming to the realization that its almost impossible to get what I really want from extracts...
Yeah, you have to mash oatmeal with some base grains for the enzymes. You could do a mini-mash, but since this is your first brew I would just leave the oatmeal out and stick with steeping specialty grains. If you want a thicker and higher alcohol finished beer, just increase your OG. Extracts have plenty of unfermentables in them so they will leave you with a thicker and sweeter beer whether you want it or not (luckily you do for this beer). I would say an OG anywhere between 1.070 and 1.090 would get you what you want. You could always add lactose in the last minutes of the boil and make it a milk stout. Yeast can't ferment lactose so by adding it you are solely adding thickness and gravity points to the finished beer. Good luck on your first brew! :mug:
Here's a pretty basic recipe from Jamil. I converted to extract and steeping grains:
HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: Jamil's Triple-X Sweet Stout
Brew Method: Extract
Style Name: Sweet Stout
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3 gallons
Efficiency: 35% (steeping grains only)
Original Gravity: 1.074
Final Gravity: 1.021
ABV (standard): 6.95%
IBU (rager): 29.46
SRM (morey): 40
9.9 lb - Liquid Malt Extract - Light (75.3%)
1 lb - Milk Sugar (7.6%)
1 lb - United Kingdom - Black Patent (7.6%)
0.5 lb - American - Chocolate (3.8%)
0.75 lb - American - Caramel / Crystal 80L (5.7%)
2 oz - East Kent Goldings for 60 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 5, IBU: 29.46)
Fermentis / Safale - Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
Attenuation (avg): 72%
Optimum Temperature: 59 F - 75 F
Hope this helps!
EDIT: Changed hops from 3 oz to 2 oz. Copied it down wrong, sorry!
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