Whitbread Yeast Starter:
2 liter Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter:
N/A Batch Size (Gallons):
5.25 Original Gravity:
1.61 Final Gravity:
24 Boiling Time (Minutes):
~37 SRM Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
30 days @ Approx 66-68*F Additional Fermentation:
N/A Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
7 days @ Approx 66-68*F Tasting Notes:
Heaven in a bottle.
DC Raspberry Stout (Double Chocolate)
For a full review of the finished product, click here.
This recipe was over a month in the making. During that time, I read just about every article, write-up, technique, and formula concerning chocolate stouts and raspberry stouts. I even held correspondence with the brewers at Young's in an effort to get my grain bill down (they were very forthcoming and helpful; my thanks to them).
The fundamental philosophy behind this one was to create a high quality, complex stout that anyone can brew with just the basic equipment.
5 lbs Briess Light DME
32 oz. Belgian D2 Syrup
5 oz. British Chocolate
5 oz. Roasted Barley
12 oz. Flaked Oats
1.5 oz. Williamette (whole/leaf 6.4% AA, 60 min)
.5 oz. Williamette (whole/leaf 6.4% AA, 15 min)
1 Whirlfloc tablet (last 10 minutes/boil)
12 oz. Lactose (last 10 minutes/boil)
5 oz. Malto Dextrine (last 10 minutes/boil)
1/2 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient (last 10 minutes/boil)
3 lb, 1 oz. can Oregon Fruit Pureé, Raspberry (last 2 weeks/primary)
2 Vanilla Beans (Secondary)
2 oz. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Secondary)
: 3 gallons
: 5.25 gallons (before trub/transfer loss)
**For information regarding proper preparation of the vanilla & chocolate solutions, see the "notes" section at the bottom of this post.
***It indicates 24 IBU up top, but as brewed it works out to 30-35. This is because I added only 3 pounds of DME at the start of the boil, then added the remaining DME and D2 syrup in the last 15 minutes. I recommended you proceed in this fashion as well. It prevents the excess DME, etc, from being overcooked, and also increased your hop utilization.
After your cooled wort is in the primary, inoculate and leave it alone for two weeks. No need to obsess over SG readings or any of that. The more hands-off, the better.
After two weeks, add the 49 oz. can of raspberry pureé to the primary
. Don't add it any sooner than this, as you want to make sure primary fermentation is complete before adding the pureé. The pureé will kick the brew back into fermentation for a day or so.
Two weeks after the pureé is added, get out your vanilla solution and add it to the empty secondary, beans and all. Add your chocolate mix to the secondary at the same time. Rack your brew on top of the vanilla/chocolate.
Now then, leave it in the secondary for 1-2 weeks. The goal is two fold: clear out the refuse left over from the pureé (which takes about a week), and get the vanilla & chocolate flavor dissolved into the brew. Try to get as little of the pureé into the secondary as possible.
You'll get more sedimentation in the secondary than you're accustomed to. Again, when racking try to avoid siphoning up any of the refuse. It might cost you a beer or two of volume, but the refuse significantly increases haze and sediment in the bottles (so you're not actually gaining anything).
Bottle condition/age for a minimum
of 4 weeks. Don't forget to include 1 week of cold-conditioning in the fridge before sampling. Above all, avoid judging this beer before it's had a proper conditioning period. The SG samples will not taste good. Crash-cooled brews that are less than 4 weeks old will taste okay, but the raspberry really needs time to round out. After that, be prepared for something wonderful.
The vanilla beans you use should be of a very high quality. Check out the Vanilla Review
to help you choose the right variety/vendor. There are so many choices, all of them good, that I don't want to impose my tastes upon your selection.
If online ordering isn't a practical option, beans can generally be found in gourmet cooking shops. Nielsen-Massey has a pretty solid lock on the retail market, so checking out NielsenMassey.com
(and searching for local dealers) would be a good way to see if you have a bean peddler nearby. I've used N-M beans in the past, and they're quite good -- but the Internet vendors listed on the Vanilla Review page deal in the best of the best, and have some rather exotic offerings.
Now, onto solution preparation. Cut the beans with a sharp knife or razor blade longitudinally. You don't want to cut them in half, just expose the inside. Next, chop the beans into small sections, maybe 3/4" each, and place them into an appropriately-sized glass container or vial. Once you have your cut up beans in the container, add 2 ounces (1oz per bean) of quality, 80 proof vodka. Make sure the beans are fully submerged (if not, add more vodka and/or agitate the container), then set in a cool, dark place. The vodka soak is present for two reasons: one, to sterilize the beans, and two, to draw the flavors out. Every day or so, shake the bean container to agitate the solution. NOTE: Do not use vodka over 80 proof, as higher than 40% alcohol has a detrimental impact on the extraction process. I use Zyr vodka, as the nine filtrations and five distillations are particularly useful for this application. It also makes a fine drink.
Vanilla takes time to extract. In practice, most extracts are complete after about 5 weeks, especially for the purpose of beer (although the longer, the better -- up to 6 months before the beans are fully depleted). In general, if you get the solution started on or before brew day, it will have undergone the requisite amount of extraction by bottling time. The beans should have an absolute minimum of 4 weeks combined contact time (vodka soak [3-4 weeks] + secondary time [1-2 weeks]). Extend the 1-2 week secondary as you feel necessary, particularly if you had a short vodka soak.
There are a number of ways to add chocolate flavor and nose to a brew. My preferred method is dissolving 2 ounces (weight) of unsweetened baking cocoa into 8 ounces (volume) of quality vodka, and adding this to the secondary. Be sure to prepare this mix a few days in advance, so that the cocoa is sterilized and dissolves fully into solution. Use a glass or porcelain container with a tight-fitting lid.
*ABV & Vodka*
Because of the somewhat liberal use of vodka, your ABV will be affected. This is why I must emphasize, only use vodka that you'd gladly drink straight (ie: the good stuff). Otherwise, there's enough of it in there that bargain brands may [negatively] impact the taste. As mentioned, I think Zyr is the best for this, because it's about as pure as it gets (nine filtrations and five distillations). Mix this stuff into a good drink and you can't even detect it...it's eerily transparent. There are other good vodkas out there, of course. Even the regular fair like Stoli will do the trick; at the end of the day the vodka makes up less than 1.5% of the total volume in this recipe. Just don't go through all the trouble brewing it, then dump 10 ounces of vanilla/chocolate Banker's Club into the secondary.
In any case, my actual starting gravity on this brew was 1.066. This was due in large part to the fact that I entered the D2 into software by volume instead of weight, but either way the difference isn't huge.
Under normal circumstances this would result in an approximate 5.9% ABV when using Whitbread or similar. With the vodka, you're looking at about 6.5-6.6%. Add to that at least
another half point from the fermented raspberry, and you're looking at 7%+ easily.
I used a second-gen Whitbread for this one (Wyeast 1099). I inoculated a 1 liter starter from a sample of yeast cake. I put 2 liter down (up top) because that's more or less the required minimum for a standard, shaken starter. If you're using a stir-plate, a 1 liter will get the cell counts you require. For those that don't want to bother with a starter and/or liquid yeast, Safale S-04 is essentially the same thing as Wyeast Whitbread; properly reconstitute one 11 gram packet and pitch, simple as that.
Regarding hops, you can use anything you'd like, but ideally something with an English flair (Fuggles, Goldings, Willamette, etc). It says up top 24 IBU, but this one (as printed above) works out to 30 and change. I'd say go about 30-35 ibu max, and watch late additions, as they might overwhelm the raspberry.
With a brew this complex and dark, the merits of a full boil won't be as evident when compared to late extract additions, proper yeast cultures, etc etc etc. When I brewed this one, I didn't have the equipment for a full boil, but if you do, I'd suggest going that route (every little bit helps). You'll have to tweak the recipe a bit, particularly the hop additions.