Sweet stout additions

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brandon0418

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Good morning everyone!

I purchased a sweet stout extract kit from northern brewers. The projected OG is 1.042. The kit contains:

.5 lbs Black malt
.5 lbs chocolate malt
6 lbs amber liquid malt extract
1 lbs lactose
1 oz. willamette

I want to boost the gravity and thicken the body. I was thinking of adding about 1 lbs of light brown sugar to the boil and some oats to the specialty grains. What do you all think? Good idea?

:mug:
 

vespa2t

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I would definitely do the oats, but leave out the brown sugar, which will not give more body but will dry it out more. Add some DME instead.

Another nice addition to a sweet style stout is to add 1/8tsp vanilla to each bottle when bottling. Dont add the vanilla to the fermenter because the CO2 will carry away all that tasty vanilla flavor...
 

sjlammer

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If you are going to add more DME, make sure you do it at the end of the boil. otherwise you will kill your hop utilization.

I personally wouldn't add vanilla to each bottle. I would rack it again, then add the full dose of vanilla, give a stir, and then bottle.

as for body, I would add a pound of 60L crystal malt. add a little sweetness, and body.
 

Shawn Hargreaves

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Sugar will boost the alcohol, but thin the body. It is 100% fermentable so there will be nothing left but alcohol when the yeast are finished with it.

More DME will boost alcohol, and add some extra body. For more body and sweetness, add crystal malt. To boost the body with more subtle sweetness and without affecting the alcohol, add lactose.

But here's the thing: you already have a significant amount of lactose, plus a large amount of amber extract (which usually includes crystal malt). So are you sure you need to increase the body at all? Amber extract plus a pound of lactose should give you a pretty chewy beer already.

Oats (or flaked barley) are good in stouts, but (unlike crystal, chocolate, and black malt) you can't use those just by steeping. They need to be mashed along with some amount of base malt.
 
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brandon0418

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Sugar will boost the alcohol, but thin the body. It is 100% fermentable so there will be nothing left but alcohol when the yeast are finished with it.

More DME will boost alcohol, and add some extra body. For more body and sweetness, add crystal malt. To boost the body with more subtle sweetness and without affecting the alcohol, add lactose.

But here's the thing: you already have a significant amount of lactose, plus a large amount of amber extract (which usually includes crystal malt). So are you sure you need to increase the body at all? Amber extract plus a pound of lactose should give you a pretty chewy beer already.

Oats (or flaked barley) are good in stouts, but (unlike crystal, chocolate, and black malt) you can't use those just by steeping. They need to be mashed along with some amount of base malt.
If I decide to do a mini mash with the oats what malts and how much should I use? Also, what temps and how much water?
 

Shawn Hargreaves

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As a rule of thumb, you need at least as much base malt as you have other types of grain. Base malt means something like 2 row, 6 row, or pale ale malt. If you have a high proportion of other grains compared to base malt, I would normally go with 6 row because that has more power to convert the other grains.

You want 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain. Hold this at 150 degrees for an hour, then remove the grains and rinse them with water at 168 degrees to rinse out all the sugars.

One trick to getting the temperatures exactly right is instead of mixing grains with cold water, then gradually heating up to 150 degrees, you can heat the water alone to a higher temperature, then mix this too-hot water with the grains so the combination will average out to exactly 150 degrees right from the start. The hard part is knowing exactly how hot your water needs to be to achieve this. A great tool for working out such things is Beer Smith. Enter your ingredients, set the recipe type to partial mash, choose one of the mash schedules (Medium Body, No Mash Out is good for starters), open up the brew sheet view, and it will tell you exactly how much water you need for those grains and what temperature it should be at.

I wrote up how I do my mashes here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/praise-partial-mash-96183/#post1044575
 

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