View Full Version : milk stouts

11-14-2005, 11:53 AM
need a little advice on brewing a milk stout using a 7 barrell system, amounts of lactose, problems etc.etc

scott isham
11-14-2005, 06:05 PM
I've always used about 50 pounds for 10 bbls for about 1.055 Stout. I think that at that amount it gives the beer the right amount of "sweetness". More than that it becomes cloying. I've never had a problem brewing it, other than it sells too quick.

12-08-2005, 02:41 PM

At what point in process do you add your lactose? I'm working on a milk stout but know absolutely zilch about lactose usage. Any tips would be appreciated.


12-08-2005, 07:41 PM
I would recommend using 5-7 lbs. lactose/ bbl. of beer produced for a milk stout. You can add it the last 10-15 min. of your boil and you'll see a gain of around 1 plato with this addition. Happy Brewing!!

scott isham
12-09-2005, 03:26 AM
JT - I think Mike got it right, about 15 minutes til the end of boil is always when I've added it. Shoot for about 5 pounds per barrel.


12-09-2005, 03:41 AM
Thanks alot Scott and Mike. The grist I'm assembling is basically a dry stout with acrid character accentuated and then lactose to provide countering sweetness. Does this sound about right???


scott isham
12-09-2005, 04:01 AM
I would go with a sweeter stout as compared to a dry stout. The lactose won't really provide a sugary sweetness. I think it's more a subtle body building sweetness, if that makes any sense.

12-10-2005, 05:33 PM
At the 5 or 7 # per BBls addition rate the sweetness of the lactose will be noticeable, even against a dark malt profile. The rule of thumb is that lactose has a perceived sweetness 50% of table sugar. If you want to taste what it will be just add try it w/ tap water to see the difference. Different lactose suppliers may produce products that differ slightly, oddly enough. If you have the option you might try a few different products. If you find that the body of the beer is still flacid after the lactose addition, and you can't really compensate w/ mash/grist alterations one alternative you can add is maltodextrin. Add it w/ the lactose (to the kettle, not the mash or the amylase enzymes will digest it) and you will see the same increase pound for pound in original gravity as the lactose itself. Maltodextrin is completely tasteless/odorless in beer, lactose is not, but it will contribute body just the same.

01-25-2006, 07:29 AM
We do a lacto stout. For a 20 bbl brew we use 34 kg (about 52 and a half lbs) of lactose. I have found that the addition of lactose detracts from the perception of the body of the beer. I would advise some way of making the body have a thicker feel to balance the lactose sweetness. It"s easy to overdo the lactose, IMHO. My personal favourite trick is to grind about 5 kg Crystal 80/90 and put it in a cloth bag. I steep this in the wort as it fills the kettle during lauter and sparge, and remove the bag before the wort boils. Much the same as adding maltodextrin, I think. In a stout you can add some black to that as well to get some extra colour without the astringency.

I add the lactose just after the wort begins to boil. Our kettle has a center well, and adding it at the T-10 mark leaves a bunch of undissolved lactose in the bottom of the well, even after vigorous stirring and whirlpool.

I also find that you get the most bang for your buck with lactose if you have a high concentration of calcium ions. Adjusting the mash tends to get a little acidic with all the dark malts, but a little bicarbonate added judiciously can balance your ph to where you want it. Again, a little acid is good, maybe approaching 5.2 or even 5.0. Makes the lactose taste a little zingier. Anyhoo, just my two cents.