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*Groan* Another recipe feedback thread (milk stout)

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by SeaOfShells, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    Ahoy! Please see recipe below. This is a partial mash. Feel free to rip me a new one. It's my first milk stout.

    BONUS QUESTION!! I've never used dry yeast. Is it mandatory to rehydrate? Also, Mr. Malty suggests I use 1.2 packets. Will one do the job?

    OG: 1.069
    FG: 1.025
    Mash temp: 152

    Fermentables:
    4 lb Dry Malt Extract - Amber 34.8%
    3 lb American - Pale 2-Row 26.1%
    1 lb Flaked Oats 8.7%
    0.75 lb American - Chocolate 6.5%
    0.75 lb American - Roasted Barley 6.5%
    0.5 lb American - Caramel / Crystal 120L 4.3%
    0.5 lb American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) 4.3%
    1 lb Lactose (Milk Sugar)

    Hops:
    0.75 oz Chinook 60 min
    0.5 oz Mount Hood 5 min

    Yeast:
    Safale US-05
     
  2. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (800) Texas May 21, 2010

    I'm not going to offer a lot of criticism... but what's the purpose of that carapils? I would have chosen something like C60 for a little more flavor than just carapils. With extract and oatmeal, you won't be lacking any body anyway. Other than that, looks like a nice partial mash recipe.

    I rehydrate dry yeast. Usually the directions are rehydrate in 95F water. Boil it, cool it, put the water in a sanitized flask or container, then add the yeast and mix. Let it cool to pitching temperature while you're brewing. Mix/shake frequently. One pack of yeast should do fine for that beer.

    The hops seem light, but I am not sure what your aim is. What you have should come out quite sweet, especially with the high expected FG and the lactose.
     
  3. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    Yeah, the carapils was for body. I'll sub for C60.
    I don't want a ton of bitterness, just enough to balance out the sweetness. Maybe I'll bump the chinook to 1oz.
     
  4. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    Lactose isn't very sweet (More Milky/creamy), and dextrins are tasteless (taste some maltodextrin), so you can have a higher FG and have a beer not come out sweet.

    OP, I don't think I'd use Chinook as the bittering hop, as it can be a bit harsh, replace it with something mild like EKG, Mount Hood, etc. I tend to just first wort hop mine just to get a smoother bitterness and tend to keep the IBUs around 20-30, depending on the amount of roast I'm using.

    Don't think you'll need the carapils, you can ditch it and replace with more base malt. If you want the beer to be more complex, you can sub English Marris Otter, Optic, Pearl, etc. or Golden promise for the American Pale Malt.

    I've never used amber malt extract, so can't really provide much comment there, when doing extract I tend to just use Golden Light or Marris Otter DME/LME and specialty malts (I have a much better understanding of whats going into my beer this way), but if you like the amber extract, go with it.

    Also, if you want you can swap the US-05 for Windsor or S-04, as their more characterful (ester production) and less attenuative, and flocculate way better (My personal preference is for liquid WY1968/WLP002 or WY1469, but have had good luck with dry S-04 in milk stouts).
     
  5. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (800) Texas May 21, 2010

    I've used 1469 with good results.

    I've also used s-04 in stouts, also with good results.

    And as barfdiggs says, you could use base malt instead of the c-60 or the carapils. You won't be lacking body either way.
     
  6. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    This has been extraordinarily helpful.

    New malt bill:
    Fermentables:
    4 lb Dry Malt Extract - Light 34.8%
    3 lb Marris Otter Pale 26.1%
    1 lb Flaked Oats 8.7%
    0.75 lb American - Chocolate 6.5%
    0.75 lb American - Roasted Barley 6.5%
    0.5 lb American - Caramel / Crystal 120L 4.3%
    0.5 lb American - Caramel / Crystal 60L 4.3%
    1 lb Lactose (Milk Sugar)

    And I think I'll just do 2oz of EKG in the boil, because I'm unfamiliar with first wort hopping. IBUs should be around 25 or so which is right where I want it. Also, I'm going to try US-04.
     
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  7. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (715) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    Since you asked, why bother posting a thread if it makes you groan? Are you some sort of masochist who wants to have a "new one" ripped? Do you think we are just here to indulge your silly fetishes?

    There. Do you have a new one? If not, there's more where that came from, Bucko!;)

    And on to my thoughts on your stout:
    • I like to rehydrate. Many don't bother. No one is going to win that argument today, but since it is a slight underpitch according to MrMalty, I would say rehydrating is going to be your friend on this one.
    The rehydration advice is based on logic and assumptions. Assuming rehydration is important in maintaining viable cell counts, then to underpitch knowingly without rehydrating is to be doubly damned. But as I said, no one is going to win this argument today. The following pearls of wisdom are rooted in something way better than logic and assumption. They are my personal opinion!
    • I would drop the carapils. You have lactose and oats, both of which should influence body. I don't think you need extra dextrins from the carapils.
    • My last stout had 0.75 # of crystal malts in it (5.75 gallon batch). I personally like this level of sweetness and wouldn't seek more. Your mileage may vary.
    • Consider cold steeping some or all of your roasted and chocolate malts to diminish acrid flavors. Again YMMV.
    • Lower the gravity to 1.060 so it doesn't put me to sleep when you offer me the first pint. I'm a bit of a lightweight.

    Edit: This was based on the first posted recipe.
     
    inchrisin likes this.
  8. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    Ah, I assumed the seasoned contributors to this forum are sick of recipe feedback posts, so I was groaning on their behalf. I find that the BA home brewers have less of an elitist attitude than their HBT brothers, but I'm still a little gun shy.

    Thanks for the feedback, dick. ;)
     
  9. I think you're on the right path with the new recipe. Depending on how much oat character you want, you could split the flaked oats between flaked oats and flaked barley. Just an option.

    On the hops I think you're fine with EKG. You could use any neutral hop for bittering. You want around 20 IBUs in your bittering charge and another 5 or so in a flavor addition around 10 minutes. You're probably looking at 1.25oz at 60 and .75oz at 10. I don't have beersmith handy but that should be about right. You don't absolutely need the hop flavor but it's common to see a little hop flavor.

    I am a S-04 user but beware that a lot of people don't like the English ester character you can get from that yeast. If you want it to ferment clean, aim for 60-64F. Mid 60s might give you a slight yeast character but once you hit 68F and above you'll start to get more character.
     
  10. HBT users will tell you how to make your recipe taste like what they want to drink, not what you want to drink. That whole forum is 50% useless, 40% outright bad advice and 10% useful.
     
  11. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (715) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    Touche. A well-place riposte below the belt! And your welcome! Good luck with the stout.
     
  12. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    My last stout recipe was similar, I didn't like the "tannin" flavor I got from the roasted barley. I'd sub out .25lbs of the barley and up the crystal .25. But I love a sweet stout, so there ya go.

    EDIT: I actuallt used .5 lbs of roasted barley, chocolate malt, and english brown malt as well as .5 lbs of rye and crystal 60. My attenuation was low, high mini mash temp along with low diastatic power. But the flavors were spot on.
     
  13. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    I actually haven't used a whole lot of roasted barley in other beers, and I don't particulary like the acrid taste that comes from too much of it, so I will sub that out in favor of more C120. I also lowered the chocolate to .5 and upped the base malt a tad.
     
  14. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (715) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    My advice on cold steeping is another way to avoid the harsher roasted husk flavors. Another possibility is to sub in huskless roasted grains for all or part of the roasted grains in the recipe: Briess midnight wheat and Weyermann carafa specials are two I have used . My last stout could steeped about 50% of the chocolate and the roasted barley in the recipe. You get color, possibly a little more chocolate notes, but less acrid notes. And I'm currently sipping a black IPA made with about 11% midnight wheat: sliight chocolate, plenty darkness, and gentle on the palate.
     
  15. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    I'll have to try that next time. What is your water to grain ratio? Do you add your cold extract to the wort, or into your mash? I am assuming these won't be adding fermentable materials to the wort...
     
  16. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (715) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    I don't think the water to grist ratio is too important in this case. I don't have it written down, but I think I approximated that of the mash. I do it in a container in the fridge overnight, strain it with my French press coffee maker, and add it to the kettle. That probably doesn't matter though. I think the key is for the husk to not have extended contact time with mash temps. Some people add their roasted grain at the very end of the mash, right before sparging, to accomplish the same thing (I think).
     
  17. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Maybe next time I will try steeping the grains after sparging for 20 minutes instead of adding them to the mash. If thatdoesnt help I will be looking for a french press with a 2lb capacity...
     
  18. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (715) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    I end up doing it in a pot and transferring stepwise to the french press, then the wort.
     
  19. In my opinion a stout needs a hint of that acrid character to give it a little edge. Roasted barley is most commonly used for that effect. It is definitely easily overdone. If you're just looking for color you can accomplish that without the acrid character with dehusked carafa, chocolate wheat (although it will add more body than other options), or black patent malt, although black patent does have some astringency. Chocolate wheat has fantastic flavor and smoothness although as I said above it's not really the flavor profile I prefer in a stout. You can blend roasted barley and the other grains listed to keep some of that roasty/acrid character but tempered with a smoother dark grain without compromising color.

    As others have said, you can also steep or cold steep the dark grains for a smoother effect.

    I don't think C120 is necessarily the right path. It will give you color but it will also contribute sweetness as well as rummy and fruit flavors. May not necessarily be a bad beer but not common flavors in a milk stout.
     
  20. As a follow up, I do have a Belgian stout recipe that uses a lot of C120 but that's because I wanted those particular flavors in my beer.

    I also have a clone recipe for Left Hand's milk stout. The dark grains are 1lb roasted barley (300 SRM), 12oz chocolate malt, 12oz C60, 12oz munich (although not a dark grain it is there for flavor) and the rest is pale malt, flaked oats and flaked barley. Lactose too, of course.
     
  21. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (715) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    I always wonder in a grist like this if I would notice the Munich malt contribution amidst the specialty malts. I don't know the answer. The stout I have on tap used half Maris Otter and half US 2-row as base malts, and I'm not sure that Maris Otter makes a difference.
     
  22. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    Yep, I had the C120 in there for color rather than flavor. Would doubling the C60 be a better path, or should I just throw in about 4oz. of black patent?
     
  23. I wouldn't double the C60 because you'll only get a certain amount of color out of it, plus like C120 it will add more sweetness and caramel. I'd plug in the amount of black patent into a recipe calculator to make sure it's in the right SRM range. Black patent will give you a little astringency but not the roasty flavor of roasted barley. If you don't want the roast character then black patent or dehusked carafa would be fine. Dehusked carafa is very smooth but used excessively I find it adds a flavor I don't really like. Keeping it under 3% of the grain bill seems to be ok.

    In addition to the color adjustment, what kind of flavor do you want? Do you want some roast in the stout? Any astringency? Any other flavors you are trying to include or round out? Those questions will drive which path is best.
     
  24. Munich adds some bready character differently than MO or biscuit malt. It's not driving the flavor a lot in a stout but it adds some malt backbone along with whatever pale malt or 2 row you use. It's not a traditional English malt but you find it a lot in modern English-style recipes. It's not necessary in a stout but it's what Left Hand uses so I left it in the clone recipe.

    I think MO and other UK pale malts have a very different flavor profile than US two row. Definitely a deeper flavor. You might be right that some of the character gets lost in a stout. I've never made the same recipe pitting MO and 2 row against each other to see if there was a noticeable difference.
     
  25. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    At then end of the day, I'd like a super creamy milk stout, with lots of roastiness without a ton of astringency. Of course I'd like there to be some, but honestly I'm thinking of something more in line with Left Hand's beer. I don't want to make a clone however. I'm still working out the science behind creating a recipe (I'm learning the hard way after going nuts with specialty malts in an IPA). Could I go as high as 9% with the chocolate and still have a drinkable beer?
     
  26. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    If you're worried about astringency, sub Dehusked Carafa III Special or some Midnight Wheat in place of Black Patent or Roasted Barley, and keep the chocolate malt where it is. While personal opinion, Special B/C120 is fine in a milk stout, I use it at around 5% of the grist in mine, no one has ever commented on the beer being super pruney/raisiny.
     
  27. I don't think you get the roast without the roasted barley. Chocolate malt will give you some roast but when I see a lot of chocolate malt and little or no roasted barley I expect it to taste more like a porter than a stout (especially if there is a lot of crystal malt). At higher levels chocolate malt will give some roast but really the flavor will come out with cocoa and coffee. Not necessarily a bad thing for a stout but not exactly what you are looking for.

    The Left Hand recipe is 9% roasted barley and 6.5% each of chocolate, C60 and Munich (not counting lactose as part of the fermentables). It's not very astringent but it's not getting mistaken for a porter, either. You could leave out the munich and play around with the other grains. You could use more chocolate than roasted barley but if your goal is lots of roastiness I think the roasted barley has to be the biggest of the three.

    If you want to avoid a lot of astringency don't avoid the roasted barley just cold steep the dark grains. It's very easy. There's a couple options. One you can just add the dark grains at the end of the mash before you vorlauf. Two you can steep them in separate water at a rate of 2qt/pound of grain at room temperature while the mash and sparge is going on. Then when it's time to boil drain off the wort from the dark grains and add that liquid to your kettle. If you're going to do that just make sure your HBS does not bag the dark grains with anything else. You want to mash the flaked grains and base malt.
     
  28. SeaOfShells

    SeaOfShells Savant (350) California Feb 22, 2011

    Alright. After careful consideration, and feedback from you fine people, I've finalized my recipe.

    As for Grains:
    3lb Maris Otter
    1lb Flaked Oats
    .75lb Chocolate
    .5lb Roasted Barley
    .5lb Crystal 60L
    .5lb De-husked Caraf III
    1lb Lactose

    I think I have something here.
     
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.

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