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Old 12-01-2012, 03:48 PM   #1
AbeLincoln
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Default Stout not Roasty Enough

Hi. I'm bottling a stout tomorrow. I took a FG reading today and upon sampling I found that the beer is not roasty enough. Its as if I made a sweet oatmeal porter.

I'd like to give it a little more bitterness to balance the sweet character (*I am certain it as stopped fermenting). Are either of these viable options?
  • Could I steep a few ounces of roasted barley and add during bottling?
  • Could I add a pint of really strong black coffee?

I'm leaning more toward option one and hoping the collective wisdom of this forum can help guide me.

Thanks.


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Old 12-01-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AbeLincoln View Post
Hi. I'm bottling a stout tomorrow. I took a FG reading today and upon sampling I found that the beer is not roasty enough. Its as if I made a sweet oatmeal porter.

I'd like to give it a little more bitterness to balance the sweet character (*I am certain it as stopped fermenting). Are either of these viable options?
  • Could I steep a few ounces of roasted barley and add during bottling?
  • Could I add a pint of really strong black coffee?

I'm leaning more toward option one and hoping the collective wisdom of this forum can help guide me.

Thanks.
If you're going to add the steeped roasted barley, you'll have to bring the liquid up to a boil first and then cool it, as grain has tons of lactobacillus on it, so it needs to boil to kill it before adding to finished beer.

Remember that carbonation can help change the amount of sweetness of the beer, as flat beer is almost always sweeter tasting than the carbed version.


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Old 12-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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I would add the coffee like this.

Make a pot of coffee, and when it's cool make a small "sample" of the beer. Add coffee to it a bit at a time, and taste, until you have the proportions you like. Then add the coffee to the bottling bucket along with your priming sugar, at the correct proportions and temp.

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Old 12-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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+1 on adding coffee.

Or you could rename it a porter.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
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If it were me, I'd let it ride. It may become me balanced with age, and the more you play with it, the more chance you have of screwing it up.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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If it were me, I'd let it ride. It may become me balanced with age, and the more you play with it, the more chance you have of screwing it up.
+1

Next time, you'll have the experience from this brew to be able to adjust your recipe for a more pronounced "roasty" flavor.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
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I wouldn't make any changes based on how it tastes flat. The carbonation will help bring out some of the acrid roasty character.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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+1 on adding coffee.

Or you could rename it a porter.
actually, +1 on leave it alone and rename it a porter, unless you just want a coffee flavored porter
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
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How much roasted barley did you use? All the stouts I have made call for about 8 oz in 5 gallons. I have never had one that has the same roastiness as a commercial stout. I am thinking on my next stout brew, I may up it to 10 or 12 oz to get the flavor I am looking for...
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for your input guys. I've decided to let it be for now. After refrigerating some of my sample I found the roasted character to come through after the sensations of mouthfeel and sweetness faded away. It appears much better balanced now and will probably do wonderfully with age and carbonation.

D Nyholm: I used 8 oz roasted barley, 2 oz black patent, 13 oz chocolate malt, 3 oz coffee wheat malt, and 2 oz debittered black malt, along with some caramel malts and toasted oatmeal.

I'm probably just stressing because tomorrow is bottling day and I put a lot of planning and energy into this batch.


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