English/Irish/Scottish Ales Cocoa Banana Sweet Stout - All Grain

Discussion in 'Homebrew Recipes' started by VikeMan, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Cocoa Banana Sweet Stout - Sweet Stout - All Grain
    5.1 gallons into the fermenter
    1.064 OG (including lactose contribution)
    1.032 FG (this is not a typo)
    4.4% ABV
    45 SRM
    26 IBUs (Tinseth)

    73% Mash Efficiency (No Sparge, with Mashout)

    Grain Bill (mash):
    3.2 lbs Pale Ale Malt, Briess
    3.1 lbs Munich, Schill (9 srm)
    1 lb Flaked Barley
    1 lb English Dark Crystal
    0.5 lbs Fawcett Pale Chocolate
    0.5 lbs Simpsons Chocolate (430)
    1 lb Roasted Barley, Briess Light
    0.67 lbs Carafoam

    In Boil, with 20 minutes remaining...
    1.41 lbs Lactose
    0.25 lbs Hershey's Cocoa Powder

    In Secondary...
    - 0.25 lbs Hershey's Cocoa Powder
    - 10 lbs (pre-peeled weight) bananas, ripened until nearly mushy (beyond what you'd normally eat, but not rotten...you want maximum natural conversion of starches to sugars), peeled, frozen, thawed, and chopped/smushed into small pieces.

    Hops:
    Magnum Pellets, 13% AA, 0.5 ounces at 60 mins
    EKG Pellets, 3.8% AA, 0.65 ounces at 10 minutes

    Wyeast 1968 - London ESB Ale Yeast, BrewCipher pitch rate

    Water (all built from distilled):
    Strike Water at 1.46 quarts per pound, with 2 grams CaCl2 and 5 grams NaHCO3
    Mash Out at 168F
    Add 2.1 grams CaCl2 and 1.6 grams CaSO4 to kettle
    Overall H2O Concentration (ppm): 50 Ca, 46 Na, 67 Cl, 30 SO4, 122 HCO3

    Process:
    Mash Temp: 158F
    Mash Length: 60 Minutes
    Boil Length: 70 minutes
    Add 1.41 lbs Lactose and 0.25 lbs Hershey's Cocoa Powder (half of an 8 ounce can) at 20 minutes
    After boil: chill to low 60's, oxygenate, and pitch yeast
    Allow temp to rise and ferment at 68F until attenuation is finished or nearly finished
    Rack to secondary, on top of 0.25 lbs Hershey's Cocoa Powder (the second half of the 8 ounce can) and the bananas.
    Bottle or keg when you are sure the sugars from the bananas have fermented out.
    Carbonate to 2.2-ish volumes of CO2.

    Note: If I recall correctly, the base recipe evolved from one I got from @Scumbag81 several years ago. It might still be close. The cocoa and banana insanity is nobody's fault but mine.
     
  2. Lukass

    Lukass Savant (992) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    This sounds decadent, yet session-able!
     
  3. FeDUBBELFIST

    FeDUBBELFIST Meyvn (1,084) Oct 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Is there anything you would do differently next time?
     
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    I'm pretty happy with it. If anything, I might use a little less cocoa, but only a little less.
     
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,917) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    Was the FG at all surprising to you? You have lactose and a lot of specialty malts in there and are using a high floccing yeast. But I'm not sure I would have expected it to be this high.
     
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Yeah, it was right where I (and BrewCipher) expected. I've brewed the base recipe a few times and it always finishes right about there.
     
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  7. AngryDutchman

    AngryDutchman Aspirant (231) Aug 8, 2015 Pennsylvania

    That was my thought
     
  8. AngryDutchman

    AngryDutchman Aspirant (231) Aug 8, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Can't ferment that lactose
     
  9. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,917) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    Yes, that was implicit in my question. I was still definitely surprised by the 50% apparent attenuation. My only milk stout had less lactose, less caramalts, and used a more attenuative yeast and ended up with 67% apparent attenuation, which is right where I wanted it. I would have guessed (guessed, mind you, I didn't run to beersmith and enter in the recipe) that (1) even with Vike's grist, it would have finished lower, and (2) that Vike probably would have set out to brew a beer that attenuated more. I was wrong on both counts, apparently. I think that (2) actually surprises me more than (1), as most experienced homebrewers seem to aim for lower finishing gravities. Clearly, Vikeman had a different idea for this beer, and I applaud him for having the vision to brew a crazy beer that turned out almost exactly hose he wanted it.
     
  10. drink1121

    drink1121 Aspirant (249) Mar 23, 2009 California
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    is this the best way to get banana?
     
  11. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Well, for me it was. I could have used a hefe yeast strain, but I don't think the clove phenols would do this beer any favors. And I have experimented with adding artificial banana flavor to finished beer before, and didn't like the result.
     
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  12. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,917) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    Did you consider adding bananas to the mash? Why not?
     
  13. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    I don't remember if I specifically considered it for this beer, but if I did, I dismissed it. In general I don't like to add non-grain flavor ingredients to the mash. Partly because it's inefficient, i.e. the flavor contribution is subject to grain absorption and dead space losses, just like the rest of the wort. And partly because boiling tends to driving away flavor/aroma compounds. (And in the case of fruit, sets pectin haze.)

    I wonder how 60 minutes at 158F would compare to a few days at 68F in regard to flavor extraction.
     
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  14. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,917) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    I was thinking about starch conversion. Weighing pros and cons. You identified some of the cons. I'm not sure the pros add up to much - simple sugars can be added by other means if deemed necessary.
     
  15. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    I decided to use very ripe (beyond what you'd typically eat) bananas to get as much natural conversion as possible.
     
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  16. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (749) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Did you brew/taste any without the bananas and cocoa? (like the base beer Scumbag81/Barfdiggs brewed)?...he always had something interesting to say.
     
  17. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    I have brewed the base recipe several times. It's my favorite sweet stout recipe. I'm not 100% sure it evolved from one of @Scumbag81's recipes, but IIRC it's similar to one or more of the recipes he mentioned back in the day. It's also possible we both borrowed from someone else's earlier recipe. Sometime after I posted this recipe, another (inactive) BA told me he believes the latter, based on his memory. When I see him, I'll ask him if he recalls the BA's name.
     
  18. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    The name was Bwairbany or Bwrbaney or something like that. Can't find him in the current member directory though. Oh well, Thanks anyway to Bwairbany/Bwrbaney, possible inventor of the Really Sweet Stout.
     
  19. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (11,644) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
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    How dark is the crystal? I'd think that would make a bit of a difference.
     
  20. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,958) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    75L-ish