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Milk Stout Recipe Critique

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tennesseean_87

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Let me know what the recipe below looks like. The thing I'm not sure about is the lack of any caramel malt. I could easily add some, some carapils, or some honey malt. Jamil's episode on the style says caramel malt is needed.

I started with a dry stout I brewed a few months back where I really liked this mix of roasted malts. It's a lot of dark stuff, but the pale chocolate isn't that dark, which is why I think it worked well in the dry stout. I scaled the gravity up, dropped a lb of flaked wheat I used before, added lactose.

Milk Oat Stout

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Mash temp: 154

Ingredients
Amt
Name
Type
#
%/IBU
8 lbs​
Maris Otter Malt (Muntons) (3.0 SRM)​
Grain​
1​
69.2 %​
1 lbs​
Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)​
Grain​
2​
8.7 %​
9.0 oz​
Pale Chocolate (200.0 SRM)​
Grain​
3​
4.9 %​
9.0 oz​
Roasted Barley (Bairds) (600.0 SRM)​
Grain​
4​
4.9 %​
7.0 oz​
Chocolate Malt (400.0 SRM)​
Grain​
5​
3.8 %​
1 lbs​
Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)​
Sugar​
6​
8.7 %​
0.65 oz​
Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min​
Hop​
7​
28.4 IBUs​
0.50 oz​
Fuggle [4.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min​
Hop​
8​
1.4 IBUs​
1.0 pkg​
West Yorkshire Ale (Wyeast Labs #1469)​
Yeast​
9​
-​
Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color
Est Original Gravity: 1.058 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.023 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.6 %
Bitterness: 29.8 IBUs
Est Color: 35.0 SRM
 

dmtaylor

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Sorry for the delayed response (where the frick is everybody?!).

Your recipe looks good. Might even have just a hair too much lactose for my liking, I might trim that back to 13 oz or so, personal preference, but you can use the full pound if you want. Either way, with the lactose in there, you really don't need any caramel malt, it will be sweet and interesting enough on its own. But of course it's YOUR beer. If you agree you think it will turn out well without caramel, which I think is true, then skip it. I think it will be great whether you brew it as is, or make tiny tweaks. Good recipe.
 
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tennesseean_87

tennesseean_87

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THanks, guys. I think there's not much use hanging on to 3 oz of lactose, and I see a few recipes with the full pound, so I'll do it. Makes me feel better about leaving out the caramalt.
 

deuc224

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Damn now that you mention it, I just brewed a milk stout this weekend and i used both caramel malt and lactose. Wonder will it be too sweet now, damn it.
 

3 Dawg Night

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I just bottled a milk stout based on Jamil's recipe. I used: 1 lb lactose and 0.75 lb C80. The recipe also includes some black patent and pale chocolate. I tasted the gravity sample, and it was quite yummy. It was like drinking sweetened (but not too sweet) coffee!
 
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tennesseean_87

tennesseean_87

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Damn now that you mention it, I just brewed a milk stout this weekend and i used both caramel malt and lactose. Wonder will it be too sweet now, damn it.
I'm actually wondering if mine won't be sweet enough.

I was already planning to use the pale chocolate like JZ. I loved it in a dry stout (bumped up the % since it's lighter in color).

I'll also be brewing Jamil's brown porter around the same time, and that'll have plenty of caramel malt.
 
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tennesseean_87

tennesseean_87

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Let me know how yours turns out, should be kegging mine today.
I will. It'll probably be a while. I am brewing a Brown/London Porter soon, and will probably do a Dubbel and blonde the next brew day. Milkstout should be up after that.
 

deuc224

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Update, my yeast was probably hungry af because it ripped thru the wort in 3 days! dropped the final gravity below where i wanted it so it isnt sweet at all. I wanted a sweet beer but it sure is tasty, chocolate flavor but no sweetness.
 

3 Dawg Night

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Update, my yeast was probably hungry af because it ripped thru the wort in 3 days! dropped the final gravity below where i wanted it so it isnt sweet at all. I wanted a sweet beer but it sure is tasty, chocolate flavor but no sweetness.
I don't see it in the thread: how much lactose did you use?
 

Northern_Brewer

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A little late but just FWIW, this is the 1936 recipe for Mackeson, the original milk stout : Let's Brew Wednesday - 1936 Mackeson Stout

By that stage they had been bought by Whitbread so would have been using a Whitbread yeast most likely.
 
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tennesseean_87

tennesseean_87

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A little late but just FWIW, this is the 1936 recipe for Mackeson, the original milk stout : Let's Brew Wednesday - 1936 Mackeson Stout

By that stage they had been bought by Whitbread so would have been using a Whitbread yeast most likely.
I actually haven't brewed this yet. I'm working on a keg of porter, and this will replace it, hopefully being brewed before it kicks so it's ready for direct swapping. I'll take a look.

I'm not experienced with invert 3, so I don't know what it'll add. I'm guessing thats why this is listed as 44 srm, but beersmith is giving me 40, even with bumping the roast malts up a couple oz each (a tweak I'm considering). I think the malty yeast and lactose addition should be able to balance a bit more assertive roast element.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I'm not experienced with invert 3, so I don't know what it'll add. I'm guessing thats why this is listed as 44 srm, but beersmith is giving me 40, even with bumping the roast malts up a couple oz each
Never start messing with the flavour ingredients of British beers just to hit a colour target, they always brew them a bit pale and then adjust the colour darker with brewer's caramel for consistency. British beers are all about balance, and while there's nothing wrong with playing with recipes I'd always start with the original recipe as it is. Also not every dark beer has to taste like Guinness - brown malt is the defining ingredient of English stouts and porters, you should be letting that come through.

Yep, invert #3 is the standard darker sugar - see eg Making Brewers Invert | half a cat for more details. It's pretty much the key to darker British beers, particularly the weaker ones.
 
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tennesseean_87

tennesseean_87

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Never start messing with the flavour ingredients of British beers just to hit a colour target, they always brew them a bit pale and then adjust the colour darker with brewer's caramel for consistency. British beers are all about balance, and while there's nothing wrong with playing with recipes I'd always start with the original recipe as it is. Also not every dark beer has to taste like Guinness - brown malt is the defining ingredient of English stouts and porters, you should be letting that come through.

Yep, invert #3 is the standard darker sugar - see eg Making Brewers Invert | half a cat for more details. It's pretty much the key to darker British beers, particularly the weaker ones.
Well, I'm not necessarily going for authentic to original with this one. I just did an English porter with prominent brown malt (I do think it is a really underrated ingredient--I made a Pennsylvania Porter using a bunch with a bit of black patent that was great), so I'm shooting for a different roast profile for variety's sake. I am using a chunk of lighter chocolate malt, though, which I've found has a distinct but somewhat analogous effect. It was really good in the last stout I brewed.
 

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I just kegged a milk chocolate stout yesterday and I think it's what youre going for. It's based off the left hand milk stout.

5 gallons

7 lb 2 row
1 lb roasted barley
.75 lb crystal 60
.75 lb chocolate malt
2.5 oz caramunich III
1 lb flaked oats
1 lb lactose

.34 oz Simcoe (11.5% aa) fwh @ 90 mins
.15 oz loral @ 5 mins

Sa05

Mash @ 151 degrees for 90 mins @ 1.50 qt x grist

OG:1.070
FG: 1.021
IBU: 20~
Abv: 6.4%
SRM: super black
 
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tennesseean_87

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Brewed this up and I've really been enjoying it. I love the roast profile with the pale chocolate mixed in.

I ended up having some mash recirculation issues which meant that my mash temps ended up being lower than planned. I did a 90 Min mash that spent most time in the upper 140s, but got to 156-58 for the last 30 min. IIRC, it ended up about 1.018 FG, but I forgot to note that.

Also had fermentation issues--I pitched cool at 62 and let it rise overnight. It rose too much and ended up really hot in the first 48 hours. I thought the garage was cold enough, so I didn't plug my fridge in to the temp controller. I guess my chamber was insulated enough to keep it really warm and let it get away. Fortunately, I think most of the growth occurred before it got too warm.

Final issue--head retention is really poor. Is that a lactose thing? When I do this again I'll add some flaked wheat or something to help with that.

Otherwise, I didn't miss the crystal malt and thought the flavors were really good--nice creaminess and great roast profile that was assertive without being overbearing. If you've never used 200 pale chocolate or the brown malt mentioned above, give them a try some time. I really like what they bring to the table.
 

dmtaylor

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Also had fermentation issues--I pitched cool at 62 and let it rise overnight. It rose too much and ended up really hot in the first 48 hours. I thought the garage was cold enough, so I didn't plug my fridge in to the temp controller. I guess my chamber was insulated enough to keep it really warm and let it get away. Fortunately, I think most of the growth occurred before it got too warm.

Final issue--head retention is really poor. Is that a lactose thing? When I do this again I'll add some flaked wheat or something to help with that.
Poor head retention does not have anything to do with lactose. Define "really hot" from the first 48 hours. Fermentations up towards the mid-70s or higher will result in generation of excessive fusel alcohols which can really kill your head retention. If the temperature did not get much hotter than about 70 F, then I'm not sure what caused it. A ~10% portion of wheat or rye will fix that next time.
 

3 Dawg Night

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Final issue--head retention is really poor. Is that a lactose thing? When I do this again I'll add some flaked wheat or something to help with that.
I've only brewed one milk stout. I was really pleased with how it turned out, but I was surprised at the low head retention. It's already a low-carbonated style anyway, so maybe that's just part of it? I'm definitely going to brew it again, and I was thinking along the same lines: flaked wheat or flaked oats.

I think I read above that you kegged it? How many volumes of CO2? I'm a bottler, and I carbed mine to ~2 vols. That results in a low-to-medium head when I pour, but the head disappears within minutes. However, if I carbed it any higher, I think it would clash with the smoothness/creaminess of the style.
 

Northern_Brewer

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head retention is really poor.
Bear in mind that British malts tend to have lower protein levels than in other countries, and the oats will further dilute the protein content, you tend to get less head with oats >10%.

But I'd also say that if you regard Mackeson as the benchmark for milk stout then that's a beer from southern England where big heads are not expected - you don't get sparklers on handpulls in the south and historically a lot of it would have just been served on gravity.

And Mackeson was historically no more than 4.5% and is currently 2.8%, it's not a strong beer so too much CO2 would just completely screw the balance of the beer.

So - don't sweat it, it's not a style that should have a big fluffy head, it's not a hefe.
 
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tennesseean_87

tennesseean_87

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Poor head retention does not have anything to do with lactose. Define "really hot" from the first 48 hours. Fermentations up towards the mid-70s or higher will result in generation of excessive fusel alcohols which can really kill your head retention. If the temperature did not get much hotter than about 70 F, then I'm not sure what caused it. A ~10% portion of wheat or rye will fix that next time.
I didn't take great notes, but I think it was upper 60s to low 70s. I was planning a slow ramp up to 70 over a week or so.
 
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tennesseean_87

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Bear in mind that British malts tend to have lower protein levels than in other countries, and the oats will further dilute the protein content, you tend to get less head with oats >10%.

But I'd also say that if you regard Mackeson as the benchmark for milk stout then that's a beer from southern England where big heads are not expected - you don't get sparklers on handpulls in the south and historically a lot of it would have just been served on gravity.

And Mackeson was historically no more than 4.5% and is currently 2.8%, it's not a strong beer so too much CO2 would just completely screw the balance of the beer.

So - don't sweat it, it's not a style that should have a big fluffy head, it's not a hefe.
I haven't had that beer, so just going for a smooth, creamy version of stout. The head issue isn't a dealbreaker, just the only tweak I can think of for next time.

Also, don't oats have high protein? I thought they were a bit oily and that's what kills the head.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I haven't had that beer, so just going for a smooth, creamy version of stout.
But define "stout" - British stouts are historically rather different to a certain nitro stout from Dublin...

Also, don't oats have high protein? I thought they were a bit oily and that's what kills the head.
That's the conventional wisdom but they're surprisingly low in soluble nitrogen and yeast eats up all the extra fatty acids :
 
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