Question about brewing a stout in 3 weeks!?!

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gERgMan

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So, here is my dilema. There is a stout contest in my area in 3 weeks, starting this weekend. I really would like to make a chocolate-vanilla stout I have drawn up (partial grain/DME). I know stouts will get better with age, but time is not of the essence for the contest and I have heard of some people pulling off a stout for a contest in such short time, and winning. My first question is can this turn out good and is it worth doing on such short time frame? If I brew Saturday, I have to bottle it either the Wednesday, March 7th (week & half before contest) or bottle on Sunday, March 11th (6 days before the contest). Which day would be best to bottle? Since I don't need much carbonation, should I spike it with some fresh, rehydrated yeast at bottling time?
If this venture seems worth going for, should I only bottle half of a 5 gal. batch and allow the remaining to rest in the secondary and then bottle and age as normal? Any and all suggestions on this plan are welcome. I am not a beginning brewer, but I am not an expert by any means. This would be my first contest with many more in the future, so not pulling it off wouldn't devastate me too much.
 

The Pol

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3 weeks... that seems awfully short, it will be awfully green beer. Brew it for YOU, take some to the competition, but I wouldnt JUST brew it to compete, I have serious questions about how good it will taste. My stout is now 4 weeks old and will age another month or more before I bottle it I am sure.
 
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gERgMan

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Yes, I am aware the time constraint is a huge aspect, and with a stout, it can only get better with age. However, I was hoping to go with a sweeter stout that would taste good from the beginning, and continue to mature with age. I know some stouts don't lend themselves to that, but I thought a sweeter stout might.

Either way, I think I am going to put the brakes on this. I need to bottle an IPA and make a lauter tun this weekend, so I might be busy enough. I see Samual Adams Homebrew Contest is beginning soon, maybe I will shoot for that. Thanks for your reply.
 

zoebisch01

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I would say there is no way for a Stout to be good in three weeks, and definitely not for a competition. Not trying to be rude or anything, but when people are putting your brew under the microscope they would easily pick up on any signs of it being underconditioned. I have noticed it is really hard even with really low gravity styles to get it to the right point in under a month. It is just not long enough imo. I have an Oatmeal Stout and am on the second batch. The first batch reached full flavor development in about almost 3 months.
 

Brewing Clamper

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I've been slowly "testing" my oatmeal stout that I brewed over a month ago and it's still taste kinda green. It's still yummy, but it'll be much better in another month or so...
 
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