Stout/ porter suggestions

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

431brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
174
Reaction score
10
Location
South Alabama
Hi gang. I love porters and stouts in the winter, but those around me think they are too bitter. (IPA’s are bitter to me - not these!) What I’m wanting to brew is a rich coffee flavor that my friends who think dark beers are bitter may like.

I’m not sure if this should be something like Blue Moon’s Coffee Blond (can’t find them where I live to sample), or something like a milk stout that may be a little sweeter. The description of Sixpoint’s C.R.E.A.M. Ale sounds perfect, but can’t get them here either.

This will be an AG, and probably only two gallons. Do you have any recommendations?

I’ve visited, but haven’t been active in a long time due to a health challenge. I brewed about a month ago for the first time in years, and want to brew again soon. I’m glad to be back and happy to see some names I recognize.
 

Velnerj

Simul justus et potator
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
419
Reaction score
667
Location
Czech Republic
I just made a chocolate stout that people tell me tastes like a sweetened iced coffee. I'm not a stout fan (but definitely wouldn't turn one down either) but I like this one quite a bit. I'd share the recipe if you're interested.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,089
Reaction score
1,276
Location
Living free in the 603
I have both a chocolate and breakfast stout on tap (and in rotation) that are big hits. The breakfast stout has more coffee flavor (plus "bacon" flavor/aroma) to it with just a little chocolate flavor.

If you want the coffee flavor without too much bitterness (from grain), brew a sweet stout and use kiln coffee and coffee malt (more kiln coffee) and no black malt. Mash at the right temp to leave the FG high enough to make it in the sweet range (for FG) and you'll be set.
 

Spundit

Insert Witty Comment Here
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
62
Reaction score
67
Location
Western NY
Baltic Porter or schwarzbier are nice beers for people who are suspicious of of dark brews. Good examples of these styles have restrained roast and no "burnt" flavor.
 

Falstaff

A Bad Influence
Joined
Jul 14, 2021
Messages
223
Reaction score
404
Roasted wheat, I've read, isn't very bitter. I'm gonna test this on my next brew, myself.
 

AlexKay

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
202
Reaction score
152
Location
South Bend
Try some malt flavor from Maris and Munich, add one of the Carafa specials for color, and then get some subdued roast with either or both of pale chocolate and chocolate rye. (And with a lager yeast, that sounds like a schwarzbier to me, so I think I agree with Spundit.)
 

Steveruch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
1,721
Reaction score
933
Location
Fort Wayne
Hi gang. I love porters and stouts in the winter, but those around me think they are too bitter. (IPA’s are bitter to me - not these!) What I’m wanting to brew is a rich coffee flavor that my friends who think dark beers are bitter may like.

This will be an AG, and probably only two gallons. Do you have any recommendations?
What recipes have you brewed that are too bitter? Bitterness should be in the background in porters and stouts. Is it possible that roastiness is being mistaken for bitterness?
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
4,606
Reaction score
3,002
Location
Bremen
Easy is stout King.

10% roasted and dehusked barley or carafa 2, 10% medium crystal, rest pale ale, bittering hops magnum or similar to 25 ibus, 60 minute mash @65C, yeast S04 at about 20c. Target 5% abv max.
 

Kickass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
757
Reaction score
388
Location
Tehachapi
Dehusked dark wheat (midnight wheat), carafa special II or III and roasted barley tend to be much softer that roasted malts. Also, a dose of strong cold brewed coffee adds a ton of flavor without the acrid bitterness. Adding oats and lactose also shift sensory elements.
 
OP
4

431brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
174
Reaction score
10
Location
South Alabama
I just made a chocolate stout that people tell me tastes like a sweetened iced coffee. I'm not a stout fan (but definitely wouldn't turn one down either) but I like this one quite a bit. I'd share the recipe if you're interested.
This sounds like a good flavor, Velner. I’d like to add it to my personal brew list if you don’t mind.

I have both a chocolate and breakfast stout on tap (and in rotation) that are big hits. The breakfast stout has more coffee flavor (plus "bacon" flavor/aroma) to it with just a little chocolate flavor.

If you want the coffee flavor without too much bitterness (from grain), brew a sweet stout and use kiln coffee and coffee malt (more kiln coffee) and no black malt. Mash at the right temp to leave the FG high enough to make it in the sweet range (for FG) and you'll be set.
Thanks, Golddiggie. I read a thread on it the other day and was intrigued by the bacon! Want to try it at some point.

Baltic Porter or schwarzbier are nice beers for people who are suspicious of of dark brews. Good examples of these styles have restrained roast and no "burnt" flavor.
Thanks, Spundit. It sounds like a good one for my buddies.
 
OP
4

431brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
174
Reaction score
10
Location
South Alabama
Roasted wheat, I've read, isn't very bitter. I'm gonna test this on my next brew, myself.
I haven’t used it, so would be interested to see how it tests for you.

Try some malt flavor from Maris and Munich, add one of the Carafa specials for color, and then get some subdued roast with either or both of pale chocolate and chocolate rye. (And with a lager yeast, that sounds like a schwarzbier to me, so I think I agree with Spundit.)
Thanks for your input, Alex.

What recipes have you brewed that are too bitter? Bitterness should be in the background in porters and stouts. Is it possible that roastiness is being mistaken for bitterness?
Hi, Steve. I haven’t brewed any that were too bitter....wanting to brew a “coffee” beer for friends who think porters and stouts are bitter. It is very likely that the roastiness is being mistaken, but they are BMC drinkers and don’t understand. So, I’m usually brewing light beer for them, but want to help them change!😎

I’d rather brew than drink, so I like to brew something different each time, but something they’ll drink so I can brew soon afterwards! Right now, I’m wanting to try a few dark recipe, but want the first one to be something they might like. If they do, they’ll be more likely to acquire a taste for something a little bolder.

Easy is stout King.

10% roasted and dehusked barley or carafa 2, 10% medium crystal, rest pale ale, bittering hops magnum or similar to 25 ibus, 60 minute mash @65C, yeast S04 at about 20c. Target 5% abv max.
Miraculix, thanks for sharing this. I think the 25 IBUs is a good target.
 
OP
4

431brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
174
Reaction score
10
Location
South Alabama
I just made a batch of Yooper's Oatmeal Stout, but it's still aging so I haven't gotten a chance to try it yet.
But It might just fit your bill.
Brew It! - Yooper's Oatmeal Stout
I have looked at that recipe SO many time, AZ Maverick! It seems like it would be just right for my buddies. How long before it ready?


Dehusked dark wheat (midnight wheat), carafa special II or III and roasted barley tend to be much softer that roasted malts. Also, a dose of strong cold brewed coffee adds a ton of flavor without the acrid bitterness. Adding oats and lactose also shift sensory elements.
Thanks, Kickass - good info for a starting point.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,089
Reaction score
1,276
Location
Living free in the 603
This sounds like a good flavor, Velner. I’d like to add it to my personal brew list if you don’t mind.



Thanks, Golddiggie. I read a thread on it the other day and was intrigued by the bacon! Want to try it at some point.



Thanks, Spundit. It sounds like a good one for my buddies.
First brewing of my breakfast stout had 13.3% of the grist as the cherrywood smoked malt. Increasing it a bit to 15.4% for the coming brewing of it. Thinking about adding some maple syrup to the batch after some comments.
 

AZ Maverick

Active Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
40
Reaction score
205
Location
Prescott, AZ
I have looked at that recipe SO many time, AZ Maverick! It seems like it would be just right for my buddies. How long before it ready?
I pitched yeast on 8/19, I'm going to fine and cold crash it for a few days starting tomorrow (even though it's a stout) then transfer to a keg.
I'll do a sample taste when I transfer, but I'll still want to let it go another couple of weeks before I tap it. :)
 

Shenanigans

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
181
Might not be exactly what you are looking for but the best porter I ever made was the Can You Brew It recipe for Meantime Porter.


I used WLP007 instead of Notti though.
Turned out great and is drinkable after 2 weeks in the bottle but after about 6 weeks it really come together.
 

Shenanigans

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
181
not a problem with tannins is it?
Was that a question for me?

There is a significant amount of smoked and brown malt and a handful of black patent so just takes a bit longer to mature than a pale beer.
I find that normal for most dark beers.
It was actually quite smooth after 3 or 4 weeks, nothing like some imperial stouts that taste like a wet ashtray smells for the first few months :)

It's definitely on my "to brew soon again" list so I have a nice porter for the Winter.
I just hope I can revive the harvested WLP007 I have in a jar in the fridge for the last 6 months due to the Summer brewing break.
 
Last edited:
OP
4

431brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
174
Reaction score
10
Location
South Alabama
Might not be exactly what you are looking for but the best porter I ever made was the Can You Brew It recipe for Meantime Porter.


I used WLP007 instead of Notti though.
Turned out great and is drinkable after 2 weeks in the bottle but after about 6 weeks it really come together.
Thank you, Shenanigans.
 

tracer bullet

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
695
Reaction score
562
Location
Minnesota
I just brewed this yesterday for the 4th time, I love it that much:


The brown malt is abundant and yummy, Munich gives a fullness and maltiness, biscuit (I use victory) balances that with some cracker notes, and the chocolate and black patent round it out.

I've actually tweaked it slightly to my own tastes by adding a quarter pound each of caramel 120 and coffee malt. I like the flavors those give and for me it made it even more tasty, but FYI it really isn't lacking anything at all as the recipe stands now, it's just me being me. This beer is easy to add an ounce or two of coffee beans to a few days before you keg (or bottle), and you could sub the black patent for one of the debittered malts if nervous there. Otherwise I'm still brewing basically the same recipe and it's just fantastic. I've actually been trying different yeasts but I don't think there's been a difference, the other flavors are just too dominant so I'd stick with the ESB yeast in the recipe. Whirpooling hops for a porter sounds odd but it's delicious, after a month or so the hop flavor fades and I'm actually disappointed I didn't do a better transfer job to keep it around even longer.

I mention this recipe because - it might actually work for you. It's got some rather low L and high L malts in it both, without roasted barley and others in between (it's getting the lower and upper ends of the roast range, and skipping the mid ones. I've read (but can't confirm) that some malts in the 200 - 3XX L range or so can be too strong flavored (bitter perhaps, or acrid) for some palates. So maybe this idea would work?

Shout out to @TheMadKing if he hasn't tired of me praising this recipe.
 
OP
4

431brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
174
Reaction score
10
Location
South Alabama
I just brewed this yesterday for the 4th time, I love it that much:


The brown malt is abundant and yummy, Munich gives a fullness and maltiness, biscuit (I use victory) balances that with some cracker notes, and the chocolate and black patent round it out.

I've actually tweaked it slightly to my own tastes by adding a quarter pound each of caramel 120 and coffee malt. I like the flavors those give and for me it made it even more tasty, but FYI it really isn't lacking anything at all as the recipe stands now, it's just me being me. This beer is easy to add an ounce or two of coffee beans to a few days before you keg (or bottle), and you could sub the black patent for one of the debittered malts if nervous there. Otherwise I'm still brewing basically the same recipe and it's just fantastic. I've actually been trying different yeasts but I don't think there's been a difference, the other flavors are just too dominant so I'd stick with the ESB yeast in the recipe. Whirpooling hops for a porter sounds odd but it's delicious, after a month or so the hop flavor fades and I'm actually disappointed I didn't do a better transfer job to keep it around even longer.

I mention this recipe because - it might actually work for you. It's got some rather low L and high L malts in it both, without roasted barley and others in between (it's getting the lower and upper ends of the roast range, and skipping the mid ones. I've read (but can't confirm) that some malts in the 200 - 3XX L range or so can be too strong flavored (bitter perhaps, or acrid) for some palates. So maybe this idea would work?

Shout out to @TheMadKing if he hasn't tired of me praising this recipe.
tracer, I appreciate the effort you put into that post. That sounds like it would be a good one for my buddies to try. The mods you made to it sound good to me. I appreciate the info on the malt ranges also. I think I'm going to brew a gallon of a few different ones you guys have mentioned and see how it goes with the friends. I know I'll drink them if they won't - I love dark beers in the winter. Then, I can brew a larger batch for myself or them, if they like one.
 

tracer bullet

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
695
Reaction score
562
Location
Minnesota
I found the article, look for BYO.com and "Avoiding the harsh zone". I definitely remembered it wrong, they are indicating 70 - 200L. Oops.

The idea might still hold, if they just don't like roasted barley for example. But.... it's not on account of it being harsh, according to that article at least.

If you do try the recipe you might consider trying it as is. It was the original and the award winner.
 

lumbergh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
133
Reaction score
131

Minus the cinnamon and licorice.
I made it once with chocolate malt over 400L instead of 350L (and Us-05) and it tasted like coffee for the first few months. After 4 months the coffee flavor subsided and it was the best stout I have ever made.
 

Velnerj

Simul justus et potator
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
419
Reaction score
667
Location
Czech Republic
This sounds like a good flavor, Velner. I’d like to add it to my personal brew list if you don’t mind.
Here you go!

Recipe for 23L
Fermentables:
Pale ale malt 3kg
Flaked barley 500g
Flaked Oats 500g
Caramunich 1 300g
Chocolate Rye 200g
Chocolate wheat 150g

Other boil additions:
Cocoa (dutch process) 200g
Lactose 400g

Hops:
Goldings (4.8% Alpha) 25g at 60 min
Goldings 25g at Flameout
Total IBU: 20

Yeast:
US-05 (one packet 11g)

Tincture
Cocoa nibs 200g
Caribbean rum 250ml (enough to cover the nibs in a sanitized jar)
Store in the fermentation chamber for 5-7 days, then put in freezer for 3 days; add liquid only to keg or bottling bucket and rack beer on top of it

Mash schedule:
60 min at 67C

Fermentation:
14 days at 16C

OG: 1.057
FG: 1.016
ABV: 5.4%
 
Last edited:
OP
4

431brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
174
Reaction score
10
Location
South Alabama
Thank you, Velner! I ordered ingredients last week for a couple of small batches, but will definitely give this a try. It looks delicious!

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback. I decided to brew a gallon each of Deception Cream Stout and Yooper’s Oatmeal Stout.

I wasn’t very smart or efficient when ordering the yeast. I probably should have used one pack of liquid yeast for both, but i wanted to follow the recipes. So, I’ve got about $16 in the two yeast types! I’m thinking of using a small portion of each yeast for the one gallon sample batches, and storing the remainder in a mason jar to use with a later full batch.
 
Top