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Old 08-27-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
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Default Wanting to "improve" the recipe

I recently brewed 5+ gallons of Vanilla Stout. It was pretty good, but I'd like it a little thicker and a bit more alcoholic. Any suggestions? I'm thinking of boosting the amount of malt extract (either liquid or dry) and maybe steeping the "specialty" grains a bit more or adding more grains (say oatmeal) to help add body.

Suggestions???

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Old 08-27-2012, 10:28 PM   #2
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maybe add some wheat extract? it'll contribute to the mouthfeel and add some more fermentables

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:03 PM   #3
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Go easy on the oatmeal. Too much can make an oily greasy slick in the beer. I think in designing great beers it says oatmeal should be no more than 6% of the total grist. Not sure how that translates into extract brewing, But going too small never hurt a beer,going too big however...

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:08 PM   #4
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More fermentables will give you more alcohol... Some wheat extract (which is normally around 50/50 wheat and barley mixture) will give more mouthfeel as will some oatmeal, but again take it easy on the oatmeal (i.e. 1/2 pound or less). You will probably want to increase the amount of hops you use as well to keep things balanced.

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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Thanks, guys. I'll give your suggestion a shot. I don't like a lot of hop flavor / bitterness, so I might consider doubling the second hops, but I'm not sure I want all the bitterness of an extra package of whatever it was we used instead of cluster (local Homebrew store didn't have that, so they sold me what was supposed to be equivalent) Might consider a second package of Kent Goldings, though. Any other suggestions?

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Old 08-31-2012, 01:44 PM   #6
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I would stick to just increasing your bittering hops. If you don't have software like beersmith, use hopville.coms beercalculus to calculate what you do. I would guess you wouldn't need more than .25 to .5 oz extra to keep things balanced unless of course you really add a bunch more fermentables.

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Old 08-31-2012, 01:50 PM   #7
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If you're going to use oatmeal or flaked barley, consider doing a mini-mash. It's not really any harder than steeping grains and will yield a better beer since you'll be converting all that starch into sugar.

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Old 08-31-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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How about posting the current recipe with the type yeast pitched? That'll give us a better idea about where you're starting from.

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Old 08-31-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCOLA View Post
How about posting the current recipe with the type yeast pitched? That'll give us a better idea about where you're starting from.
There ya go!!!
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: White Labs Irish Ale
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.015
IBU: 19.0
Boiling Time (Minutes): 70
Color: 46.4 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 days at 70
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 days at 70
Tasting Notes: Malty with a great vanilla after taste.

6 lb. Dark Liquid Malt Extract
1 lb. Dark Dry Malt Extract
.75 lb. Black Patent Malt
.25 lb. Roasted Barley
1 oz Cluster (7.00%) at 60 minutes
1 oz East Kent Goldings (4.00) at 20 minutes
1 tsp Irish moss at 15 minutes
2.5 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract (add to secondary)
1 White Labs Irish Ale Yeast

Steeped grains at 150F for 35 minutes in oven

Boil for 70 minutes

After 14 days move to secondary and rack on top of 2.5 tbsp of vanilla.
(I know I should have soaked beans in bourbon, but thought i would try this, so far so good)

Note: the original recipe called for priming with corn sugar. I'm going to be kegging, so I don't need that. I used three Bourbon vanilla beans soaked for about 3 days in the cheapest bourbon I could find, and then tossed the beans, whiskey and all, in the secondary. It was only about a half-pint of whiskey, so I don't think it affected the alcohol much.

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