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Old 10-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #1
NewEnglandBrewer
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Oct 2012
Springfield, MA
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So I consider myself still fairly new to brewing - still figuring a lot of stuff out...anyway, this weekend I want to brew a stout with a fairly low alcohol content (hoping not to go over 3.5%). For grains I was thinking (for a five gallon batch):

4.75 lbs two-row pale malt (60.13 %)
2 lbs flaked barley (25.32%)
1.15 lbs roast barley (14.56%)

And Irish Ale 1084 for yeast (still deciding on hops).

The calculator I've used predicts 1.036 OG, 1.009 FG, 3.4% abv

What do those of you who are more experienced think? My main concern is body - will it be horribly thin? Any other thoughts?

Thanks



 
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
TopherM
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Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
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Looks like you are an AG brewer?

Using less grain to get your low ABV means that body is going to be lower, as the grain is obviously where the body comes from. If your goal is to have more body with that low ABV, mash a little higher. That'll produce more long-chain sugars that the yeast can't digest, which will leave more body from the malt in the finished beer. Mashing around 158 or so and bumping all your grains up by about 8-10% will do the trick.


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Old 10-03-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
jfr1111
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What you've got there is near the supposed grist of Guinness. If you like Guinness, that's fine.

Now, will it taste "thin" ? In my experience, flaked barley doesn't add body as much as it adds smoothness (that probably doesn't make much sense...). Insure a good, stable middle of the road mash temp to get an appropriately dextrinous wort (ie. between 150F and 152F) and you'll be fine.

Another point: not all roasted barley is created equal. Some malsters will roast it around 300L, which is the classic roast, while others will crank that to 500L or even 600L. Quite frankly, for dry stouts, I prefer 10% of 300L. 15% is a tad high, for my tastes anyway: too roasty and it can feel thin or metallic in the mouth. Same thing for bitterness. Too bitter, and it'll feel thin.

Finally, yeast choice plays a role. US-05 might be a tad too attenuative, but it can work. I'd go with notty fermented cool, or an english wet strain with high attenuation and a propensity to showcase malt. Wy1275 comes to mind.

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
eelpout
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Apr 2006
Green bay, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM
Looks like you are an AG brewer?

Using less grain to get your low ABV means that body is going to be lower, as the grain is obviously where the body comes from. If your goal is to have more body with that low ABV, mash a little higher. That'll produce more long-chain sugars that the yeast can't digest, which will leave more body from the malt in the finished beer. Mashing around 158 or so and bumping all your grains up by about 8-10% will do the trick.
I vote for this

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
dougdecinces
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Jan 2011
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What you're making is actually more like a mild. If you want a sessionable dark beer, I'd recommend looking up Orfy's Mild-Mannered Ale. It is fantastic.

Adding to what everbody else said, making a 1.036 OG beer with no crystal malt and 14% roast barley sounds like a recipe for failure to me. Mild-Mannered Ale has 19% crystal malt. If you want a drier, more Guinness-like beer, you can definitely go with less, but I would do at least 5-10% crystal malt. Also if you're making a beer this small and with such a simple grain bill, don't be afraid to splurge and use Marris Otter or Pale Ale malt. Your beer will be much better off. And make sure you mash high. If you decide to stay with 14% roast barley, it will likely taste fairly acrid and will need time to age out. If I had to guess, you're probably looking at at least 6 weeks in bottle before it reaches its prime.

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
PapsD
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Apr 2012
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Over the summer I brewed a dry-ish stout with an og of 1.040. But I was also going for a speed brew and was drinking it in 2 weeks. And drank it in 3 weeks. It was one of the shortest lived batches I've brewed.

If I where you I'd cut the roasted barley to 1/2lb or just use the flaked barely. That seems like an aweful lot of flaked barley though. Add some crystal 45 or 60L and up the base malt. Use Maris otter for the base malt. A little chocolate malt never hurt anything. Mash @ 158 or 160 for 1 hour. I used us-05 for my beer but 1275 would also be pretty tasty. I used used whole leaf Willamette for hops.

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:23 AM   #7
jfr1111
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Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
What you're making is actually more like a mild. If you want a sessionable dark beer, I'd recommend looking up Orfy's Mild-Mannered Ale. It is fantastic.
Sorry, but that doesn't look like a mild. Dry stouts have low to medium OG. 1.036 is probably right around Guinness draught levels.

Quote:
Adding to what everbody else said, making a 1.036 OG beer with no crystal malt and 14% roast barley sounds like a recipe for failure to me. Mild-Mannered Ale has 19% crystal malt. If you want a drier, more Guinness-like beer, you can definitely go with less, but I would do at least 5-10% crystal malt. Also if you're making a beer this small and with such a simple grain bill, don't be afraid to splurge and use Marris Otter or Pale Ale malt. Your beer will be much better off. And make sure you mash high. If you decide to stay with 14% roast barley, it will likely taste fairly acrid and will need time to age out. If I had to guess, you're probably looking at at least 6 weeks in bottle before it reaches its prime.
Many dry stous are nothing more than pale malt/flaked barley or wheat malt/roast barley and or chocolate and maybe, maybe a little crystal. Not that dry stouts should absolutely mimick Guinness, but 10% crystal is most assuredly too much for the stout to finish dry.

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:19 AM   #8
iambeer
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May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfr1111 View Post
Sorry, but that doesn't look like a mild. Dry stouts have low to medium OG. 1.036 is probably right around Guinness draught levels.
Not sure what you're about, but yeah that OP does sound a whole lot like a dark mild. I love that stuff. It's the most flavorful of low abv beers I've ever tasted. I don't know about Orty's but there are several recipes from trusted sources out there.

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style11.php

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:29 AM   #9
ChessRockwell
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Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfr1111 View Post
Many dry stous are nothing more than pale malt/flaked barley or wheat malt/roast barley and or chocolate and maybe, maybe a little crystal. Not that dry stouts should absolutely mimick Guinness, but 10% crystal is most assuredly too much for the stout to finish dry.
Who said this had to be a dry stout?

I would also reduce the roasted, add a touch of crystal, and mash pretty high, but that's just me.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:56 PM   #10
dcp27
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Jan 2010
Medford, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iambeer View Post
Not sure what you're about, but yeah that OP does sound a whole lot like a dark mild.
a dark mild would never have that much roasted barley. like jfr said, its a dry stout as currently written.



 
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