Craft The Perfect Draft - Hazy Daze Stout

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As the Fall season approaches here in the Northeastern United States it brings with it the shorter days and cooler temperatures that signal the end of summer. In a few weeks the leaves of the deciduous trees in my neighborhood will start to change color. The same green leaves that provided cooling shade throughout the hot summer months will soon change their colors to yellow, orange, red and gold as they prepare to fall to the ground.

Fall Brewing Weather Is Just Around The Corner
With the coming of the fall season and its cooler more comfortable brewing weather also comes a change in the styles of beer to brew. In my mind there's few things more enjoyable than the combination of crisp cool fall air and the delicious fragrance produced by a batch of stout boiling in the kettle. As the signature aromas of the Dry Irish Stout develop in the wort the air inside the brew room grows thick with the deep rich smell of roasted coffee signalling the start of the fall brewing season.
A Little Bit About Stout
Over time the meaning of the word stout was revised many times taking on several meanings and interpretations. In the world of beer today the word stout refers to a dark roasty flavored ale. The stout beer style includes related sub styles like 'Dry Stout', 'Sweet Stout', 'Oatmeal Stout', 'American Stout', Foreign Stout' or 'Russian Imperial Stout' that continue to grow in popularity. Just about every brewery or brewpub has at least one stout on tap and to make things more interesting some brewers have even created light colored stouts.
As I talk beer with people today some still refer to a stout as being a heavy beer as opposed to being a lighter beer. In some instances they were put off by the dark color of a stout more than mouth feel or alcohol content. Their reason for preferring a lighter beer over drinking a stout must of had more to do with the coffee like flavor of dark roasted Barley more than anything else. When I pointed out that a glass of Guinness Stout had only 15 more calories in it than a glass of Bud Light they were really equally surprised.

Enjoy Your Stout Straight Or With Ice Cream
About The Stout Recipe
My personal favorite style of stout to brew and drink is the classic Dry Irish Stout. To me no other style of beer smells quite as warm and inviting on brew day as it boils in the kettle. My time tested recipe for brewing the Hazy Daze Stout has evolved over the years to use a mixture of just three grains. Seventy percent Pale Malt, twenty percent Flaked Barley and ten percent Roasted Barley are all the grains that are required. At just under 5% alcohol by volume this recipe produces a very drinkable stout that I've enjoyed by itself or as a dessert with the addition of a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Fill Your Brew Room With Coffee-like Aroma
About The Brewing Water
Not all brewing water is created equal, that's why I installed a reverse osmosis filter in the brew room. Not having the patience to understand the chemical makeup of my local tap water I took the somewhat easier way out. The water output of my RO filter is consistent year round making the amount of salt and minerals needed to adjust my brewing water much simpler. The pH of the RO water is also consistent and can be easily adjusted downward using 88% Lactic Acid or upward with Baking Soda if needed.
The dark roasted barley used in a stout recipe will add a lot of acid to the mash which will push the mash pH reading downward. The ideal pH range I try to stay within for mashing and sparging is between 5.4 and 5.6 when measured at room temperature. In addition to adjusting the pH of the brewing water salts and minerals are added to flavor it and increase the water's buffering capacity to resist changes in pH. Traditional stout brewing water is very alkaline that is to say it is high in bicarbonates and very resistant to changes in pH. Using RO or distilled water and ingredients that are readily available at any LHBS allows you to modify your brewing water to closely replicate the traditional stout brewing water profile quite easily.
Hazy Daze Stout Water Profile 15.0 Gallons
07.00 g - Gypsum (calcium sulfate)
18.00 g - Calcium Chloride
03.00 g - Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate)
02.00 g - Baking Soda
02.00 ml - Lactic Acid 88%
pH = 5.43 @ 75F (calculated)
Chloride/Sulfate ratio = 1.71
Residual Alkalinity = 105
114 ppm - calcium
005 ppm - magnesium
010 ppm - sodium
153 ppm - chloride
089 ppm - sulfate
Bittering Unit To Gravity Unit Ratio
When trying to determine the perceived bitterness level of a batch of beer it's important to look not only at the International Bittering Unit, or IBU, value alone to get that information. In fact a recipe's IBU value has to be weighed against the recipe's original gravity units, or GU, to get the complete picture. The overall balance between bitterness and the sweetness of the malt in the recipe is a great indicator of perceived bitterness in the finished beer. The Dry Stout weighs in at the upper end of the BU:GU scale at a little bit under 0.90 with Wheat beer coming in at around 0.50 followed by Weissbier at 0.25.
The math involved in calculating the BU:GU value for any recipe is pretty simple although I still rely on a calculator to keep my answers honest. The bitterness value of the Hazy Daze Stout recipe is 41 IBU and is plugged directly into our calculation. The original gravity of the recipe is 1.047 and by multiplying it by 1000 we get the number 47, which we also plug into our calculation.
BU:GU Ratio : 41 / 47 = .872 (Ratio Of Popular Beer Styles)
The Grain Bill (10 Gallons Packaged Beer)
16.25 pounds Pale Ale (70% of grist)
04.50 pounds Flaked Barley (20% of grist)
02.25 pounds Roasted Barley (10% of grist)
23.00 pounds total grain bill
The Hop Bill
5.00 ounces Kent Goldings (U.K.) pellets
5.00 ounces Total Hop bill
The Yeast
White Labs WLP004 - Irish Ale Yeast"
2 Vials in a 4 liters of 1.040 wort (starter made in flask on a stir plate)
Before pitching the liquid yeast used for this recipe I brew up a one gallon unhopped batch of 1.040 gravity beer to use in the yeast starter. After cooling the wort down to room temperature I pour the contents of two vials of room temperature liquid yeast into a four liter Erlenmeyer flask. Next I add the starter wort, drop in a stir bar and let it spin on a stir plate until the krausen rises and then falls in on itself. At that point I cover the flask opening and set it in the refrigerator for a few days to cold crash so the yeast can settle out to the bottom of the flask.

The Freshest Yeast And A Good Sized Starter
Putting It All Together
I set my brew house efficiency at 70% when developing recipes and the beer brewed using eBIAB has consistently come in very close to the calculated numbers. The percentage of hop alpha acid will vary from batch to batch of UK Kent Golding or any type of hops for that matter. I make sure to adjust my brewing software accordingly by entering the alpha acid percentages listed for the current batch of hops I buy. The closer your brewing software is to matching the actual numbers of your brewing system and the ingredients used the better the chances are that your finished beer will come out as expected.
With BIAB brewing all of the water and grain used in the mash goes into the kettle at the same time. During the mash grain is put inside a fine mesh bag so that sugars can be extracted into the wort without any of the grain getting into the kettle. At the end of the mash the grain and bag are then removed and the wort remaining in the kettle is brought to a boil. The trick to all of this is to prevent the kettle from overflowing with too much mash volume while being able to hit your preboil wort volume after the grain has been removed.
11.75 gallons: Pre-boil Volume
10.00 gallons: Packaged Volume
Brew. Efficiency: 70%
Estimated Wort : IBU=41, OG=1.047, SRM=26, FG=1.012, ABV= 4.6%
BU:SG Ratio : 41 / 47 = .872 Range: 0.25 (sweet) to 1.0 (bitter)
Mash at 152 F for 90 minutes
Mashout at at 168 F for 10 minutes
Sparge at 168 F until 11.75 gallons of wort has collected in the kettle
Summing It All Up
I like fermenting my Ales on the low side and for my stout I initially set the fermentation temperature to 66F and hold it there before raising the temperature one degree a day after the first three days of fermentation. After the temperature of the wort has been raised to 70F its then held there for one week before cold crashing the fermented beer to 36F for another week.
After a week of force carbonation the beer is ready to serve or package in 12 or 22 ounce bottles if needed. For filling bottles or mini-kegs I use the Blichmann BeerGun" to do the job because it allows me to get clearer beer with more consistent carbonation, into the smaller packaging sizes than when using priming sugar for carbonation, and more quickly to. Well that about wraps it up cooler weather, a brewroom filled with delicious coffee-like aromas on brewday and a rich warming session beer that's pretty hard to beat. Do yourself a favor this Fall brewing season and brew up a batch of Hazy Daze Stout and be the envy of all your friends.
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Sounds good, but that does seem like a mighty huge starter for only a 10 gallon batch of 1.047OG beer. Mine are typically 1/4th that size (1 vial, 1800ml starter and shaved off a bit to refill the vial. So it is closer to the equivalent of a 1000ml starter with 1 vial for cell counts and a 5 gallon batch).
@azazel1024 the calculated pitching rate I use with this yeast being rated at 72% apparent attenuation, comes out to about 350 billion cells and it gives great results.
When I plug those numbers into Brewer's Friend, my preferred calculator, assuming decent cell viability (80 Billion cells per vial) I get 799 billion cells.
@brewmeister13 I'm not at all familiar with that calculator my pitching rate calculations were taken from Screwy Calc based on the OG and FG of the recipe.
The yeast starter propagation rate is directly based on the page 143 grid in Chris and Jamil's book Yeast.
I just checked the book and I don't see where it mentions whether or not that chart is for a stir plate.
On Jamil's calculator at mrmalty.com using 1.047 and 10 gallons it says yeast cells needed are 330 billion, 1 "yeast pack" of liquid yeast with 2.36L of wort.
I checked yeastcalculator.com and it also gives similar results.
I am really a fan of a well made stout! One of my favorite styles of beer. Enjoyed your article.
Think about it: if we had to make starters this large with that much yeast for 1.047 beer, the starters would basically cost as much as the grain and hops. That's... screwy. :) If that were the liquid yeast option, I would just go with US-04, hands down. Fortunately, though, it isn't. I bet a single vial would be fine for an OG this low... http://brulosophy.com/2015/04/20/yeast-pitch-rate-single-vial-vs-yeast-starter-exbeeriment-results/
It's true, yeast can be a big part of the brewing expenses. Fortunately, it's really easy to pour off the yeast/trub from the bottom of a fermentor into a mason jar, refrigerate, and use on your next batch. 6 months is when I dump these jars. They might be viable after that, haven't tested.
So, if you want to pitch a LOT of yeast in a beer, just save all the yeast from the last one.
@fredfoodphilly I just plug "Roasted Barley - [Burnt, Coffee, Grainy, Nutty, Roasted]" into my recipe software and order from my LHBS as Roasted Barley.
@passedpawn I pitched fl 8oz of 8 month old 2nd generation ECY20, it took 2 weeks to fire up. Luckily I avoided any mold growth before it started up.
@Teromous the reference to a stirplate is mentioned on the following page 144, "if you are using a stirplate, shaking, or aeration, the yield will be higher".
I referred to pages 104-105 and 121 of the same book regarding over pitching using fresh yeast, not yeast harvested from a previous fermentation.
Other than reducing the amount of esters the yeast will produce during fermentation, which is perfect for a stout, the only other thing mentioned was it greatly reduces an chances of a stuck fermentation.
Maybe you can point out which section of the book cites the definition of over pitching?