View Full Version : Stout

02-25-2008, 09:11 AM
I want to brew a low-gravity, easy-drinking stout that will be nitro-dispensed through a Guiness-type faucet. I want to avoid or at least minimize the burnt/ashy/acrid flavor you can get from using too much of the highly kilned malts, but obviously I need enough of them to get the right color.

I have available to use: Simpsons Maris Otter, Black Malt, Chocolate Malt and Roasted Barley; Pauls Mild Malt; Weyermann de-husked Carafa I; Dingemans Cara 45; I even have some Sinamar if needed.

What percentages of (any or all) of these can anyone recommend to get my desired result?



02-25-2008, 10:31 AM

I use about 6% roast barley and 3% carafa with good results.
Berwick's water should be pretty soft, which helps.


02-25-2008, 11:23 AM
you can also try using 3~6% caramel/crystal malt to add sweetness to balance the roastedness. I have found crystal malt really helps to reduce the acridness.

02-26-2008, 01:45 AM
Oh boy...get ready for some headaches on trying to get your gas right on the nitro server! We lost 6 accounts trying to do nitro, and I think it contributed a bit to the company closing shop at the end of the month! Too much inconsistency unfortunately...

I agree with the sentiment that a crystal can balance out the aggressive roasty and bitter notes of black patent, roasted, carafa, and chocolate malts, but it adds mouthfeel, which will make the beer ultimately less drinkable/sessionable.

You can go another route and go with wheat malt or wheat flakes to add smoothness and take off some of that roasted edge, but that makes the beer a touch thicker, again making it precieved as less drinkable...

Come to think of it, just make a schwartzbier with ale yeast, scale down the roasted barley a bit and do a little crystal and carafa for a little extra 'stouty' pizazz! It's pretty hard to get more easy drinking than that!


02-26-2008, 06:54 AM
I'd use some of that Mild malt to give it some complexity. I use toasted malts (Munich, Aromatic or Vienna) in almost everything to enhance malt flavor. I would stay away from Black Malt, as well, it can be very bitter/burnt. I use very small amounts of it in my stouts (usually less than 3%) and customers rave about the smoothness of my stouts (a big compliment to me is "I've never liked a dark beer before").

Oh and I agree about the wheat malt helping to smooth a beer out as well.

Good Luck!

Captain Mullet
02-26-2008, 09:39 AM
This is my recipe of a dry irish scaled down to 5 gallons. I have used the same percentage for the different stouts I have produced over the years from this dry Irish to an Imperial, just upping the amount of malt. It is not acidic and very drinkable. Mmmm Stout :) Recently it was voted the best stout in the midwest 2008 by the USBTC.


Diamond Knot
04-11-2008, 11:20 PM
I'ld try reading Dr. Michael Lewis's book on "Stout". This was invaluable to me and I recommend it to everyone. It discusses heavy stouts as much as Irish Dry Stout, which we make at DK today.

An Irish Dry Stout uses (3) grains: 2 Row Pale; Flaked Barley; Roasted Barley. An added plus is that the hops are very low for this style!

As far as Nitrogenation, we do this in the keg, and you can run anywhere from 46 - 50 psi of N75%-CO@25% gas to gas it. It tastes great!!! Mother's Milk (my knickname for it since I drink it so much).

Annecdote: I read this on an airplane to Wichita, KS, and went into a Brewpub down there where I worked with a Brewer who had just brewed the style. After I met and we workedout a small problem, he shared this "prototype" with me of his dry Stout. I was hooked!!!!

An easy beer to make since the gravity is so small, and the hop expenditure is quite low.

Run the above pressure into a 1/2 Bbl keg and let it Nitrogenate for about 2 to 3 days or so. It's quite forgiving using that gas. Do this only in kegs!

When dispensing, serve on a creamer faucet at 30+ psi. It will require its own regulator.

Been doing it since Moby was a minnow!


04-12-2008, 05:48 AM
God bless stout and the people that love it. Less roast and bitterness per Plato depending on what you are looking for. It doesnt take much roast when you are making a 3.5-4% beer compared to a higher grav. I found that it very much depends on the maltster because all chocolates,roast, and black malts are not the same! As always the answer is "it depends". Yum yum stout!

04-13-2008, 06:06 AM
Diamond Knot hit the nail right on the head, and stole my thunder. Dr. Lewis' book contains everything you wanted to know about stout, but was afraid to ask, and it's an easy read. Also, set your regulators to 30 psi (I've set mine at 32, NO HIGHER) and your stout is as good as gold? Or is it black?

04-23-2008, 05:01 PM
The recipe is easier than the gas. Pale, crystal, cara,roasted b, black, choc, and torrified wheat. The wheat gives some body, but not as much as flaked oats. 5% roasted is ample and 1.5% black and choc for complexity.

Gassing is tricky. I use 100% nitro on mine. It takes alot of time and pressure. My tanks are good for 35psi, that helps alot. Start at 8psi head pressure, then set your regulator at 12 and connect to your carb stone and allow the tank to build to 10 and let sit for 15 mins.. Next set regulator to 14 and build tank to 12. continue this process untill you reach your tanks threshhold. Make sure your beer is as cold as you can get it. Bellow 35 is best. Once your at your max psi, keep nitro running into the tank overnight.
This has been working for me for years.