Originally Posted by BarleyWater
carrotmalt, how did it turn out?
Well, I wish I could report back better results, but my first sweet stout didn't turn out like I'd hoped. I decided to add the full pound of lactose even though my attenuation sucked. I added it along with a half oz of chocolate flavoring extract when I transferred it to the keg. The lactose really didn't mix well at all. I added it to maybe 12 oz of the beer and heated it to 180ish degrees for 15 minutes, then cooled and racked on top of it. The first few pints were ridiculously sweet and had quite a bit of lactose in the bottom of the glass. Now, it's still a bit too sweet for my liking, but not nearly like it was early on.
My biggest complaint is the carbonation and head, or lack there of. I'm force carbing this and a pale ale I made with the same tank and guage. I've got it set to 10 psi with one line breaking into two with a "T" connector. The pale ale is perfectly carbed, but the stout just doesn't seem to have hardly any carbonation to it (over 3 weeks later). It has literally no head on it whatsoever, while the pale ale has a nice lacy foam to it.
Has anybody experienced this? I don't know if the gravity is just too high or what, but it really tastes like flat beer. If I had another keg available I might rack it off of the lactose sediment that I'm sure is sitting on the bottom, but no dice. As it is, the only way it's really even drinkable is to mix it with the pale ale at about 20% of the pale. This adds a little bitterness and makes it seem more carbonated with a little bit of head.
The flavor is fine I suppose, but if I do it again, I'll use 1/2 the lactose and not back off the IBUs. Any one have some advise for how to mow through 5 gallons of really sweet flat beer so I can free up that keg for something more drinkable?