crowdsourcing a stout

A few days ago, blog reader Joe J. asked:

I am gearing up to get a nice dry stout going for Patty’s Day. Do you have a tried and true recipe that you stick by?

I’m going to invite y’all to help me answer in the comments section. I’ll go first:

What I brew, when I brew a dry Irish stout, isn’t mine by any means – it’s pretty much the standard modern Dublin DIS formulation: 65% pale malt, 25% flaked barley, 10% roast barley. I like a bitter dry stout, so I aim to get low-mid 30s for IBUs with one bittering charge. Then 1084 Irish Ale yeast and Erin go bragh … nitro serve is nice if you can do it, but the texture is nice regardless with the flaked barley.

So … what say you, citizens?

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32 thoughts on “crowdsourcing a stout

  1. I like to throw some flaked oatmeal in there, some lactose, and about an ounce of English black malt per gallon. I also like to use Nottingham yeast.

  2. We are pretty close on the recipes Dawson. I go 70% Maris Otter, 20% Flaked Barley and 10% Roasted Barley. I go with a mid to upper 30’s charge of EKG, or even the red-headed stepchild that is Fuggles for a single bittering charge. As far as yeast I have used WLP004 primarily, but have found a new love for WLP028 in this brew.
    This is one of those brews that every brewer should know. Such a classic style that is so easy to make. Gotta go drink one now. Cheers!

  3. I made a DIS in late november – incidentally, I’m drinking it right now. 67% Pale malt (I used Pearl from Munton’s), 18% flaked oats, 12% roast barley, and finally, diverging from tradition, 3% pale chocolate malt (I used CM Café Light). Mash at around 150°F, boil 60 minutes with a single bittering charge of circa 35 IBUs, hit 1.044-ish OG. WLP 004/Wyeast 1084 in the low 60s. Serve on nitro if you’ve got the swag like Dawson – if you’re more like me, bottle condition to a low level of CO2 and serve at room temperature (or slightly cooler).

    Though it is possibly considered sacrilege, I do think that the small amount of pale chocolate adds a bit of coffee/bitter chocolate complexity to the aroma. Regarding hops, I’ve found that using a low cohumulone hop greatly improves the smoothness of the beer, and especially so when consumed young.

  4. Maris otter, flaked oatmeal, a little chocolate malt and heavier on Blackprinz – hopped with EKG at around 30 IBU’s, then either WLP 004 or S-04 in a pinch – if I am going for a breakfast stout, I’ll go chocolate heavy and a little Blackprinz and add some lactose.

    I think I’m going out to the garage for an after dinner breakfast stout I made with my son this past autumn before he went back to college.

  5. For those who like a nice quick extract, this is one that I adapted from a friend, and it’s amazingly good and really simple.

    9lbs Pale/Gold Liquid Extract
    1lb Munton’s Dark DME
    1lb Roasted Barley
    1.75 oz Galena at 45 minutes
    1028 London Ale

  6. For a traditional Irish dry stout I do 70% pale malt, 20% flaked barley and 10% roasted barley. Add some lactic acid to the mash to get a bit of “twang” and EKG/Fuggle to ~30 IBU at 60 minutes. Add some Irish ale yeast and your good to go.
    For a more modern type stout I use 65% pale malt, 20% flaked barley, 10% roasted barley, and 5% chocolate malt. Usualy mash a bit higher than the dry stout, and hop according to my taste at the time, but usually use a lot of earthy, floral, typical european hops at the end of the boil.

  7. 5 gal batch
    6.5 lbs UK 2 row
    2.25 lbs Barley Flaked
    1 lb. Roasted Barley 500 SRM
    .125 lb. acidulated malt
    2 oz, East goldings Kent
    wlp004
    Smooth, mellow, sweet, nice.

    Good Call Dawson!

  8. My tap water is too soft and not alkaline enough to brew a DIS w/o some kind of treatment. My brewing liquor is dosed with gypsum, Epsom salt, sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride to bring all the requisite players up to their respective ideal concentrations. Haters will continue to hate WY1084, but, IMHO, all is well if you just pitch and ferment cool (low 60’s).

    • I agree with Dan on water adjustments. If you are going to make an all-grain dry stout know your water and adjust properly. I don’t think it is a concern with extract recipes.

  9. Recipe: Skeeter Davis Mayan Death Camp Stout
    Brewer: Alan Taylor
    Asst Brewer:
    Style: American Stout
    TYPE: All Grain
    Taste: (35.0)

    Recipe Specifications
    ————————–
    Boil Size: 8.41 gal
    Post Boil Volume: 7.28 gal
    Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal
    Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
    Estimated OG: 1.077 SG
    Estimated Color: 39.2 SRM
    Estimated IBU: 41.7 IBUs
    Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
    Est Mash Efficiency: 87.5 %
    Boil Time: 60 Minutes

    Ingredients:
    ————
    Amt Name Type # %/IBU
    15 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 85.7 %
    1 lbs Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 2 5.7 %
    12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.3 %
    12.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.3 %
    1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 20.2 IBUs
    1.00 oz Cluster [7.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 16.7 IBUs
    1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 –
    1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 4.7 IBUs
    1.0 pkg Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728) [124.21 Yeast 9 –

    Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
    Total Grain Weight: 17 lbs 8.0 oz
    —————————-
    Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
    Mash In Add 6.27 gal of water at 168.5 F 154.0 F 60 min

    Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.44gal, 4.61gal) of 168.0 F water
    Notes: Hops were just what I had on hand. But it turned out great.
    ——

  10. I use that same DIS formula but I use wyeast 1272 American Ale II for my Irish beers. I couldn’t really explain why other than they always turn out great so I don’t mess with it.

  11. I’m only doing extract right now. I brewed the irish stout from NB and I was dissapointed. I plan on going all grain soon, but until then I have to find a kit from a supplier that I like. Gonna try Midwest’s to see if i like it.

  12. I’m brewing up a smoked imperial stout for the spring…

    14 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 64.0 %
    2 lbs Briess Smoked Malt (5.0 SRM) Grain 2 9.0 %
    2 lbs Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 3 9.0 %
    1 lbs 4.0 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.6 %
    1 lbs 4.0 oz Chocolate Rye Malt (250.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.6 %
    12.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.4 %
    12.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.4 %
    2.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 8 46.0 IBUs
    1.00 oz Legacy [8.40 %] – Boil 45.0 min Hop 9 15.1 IBUs
    1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 –
    1.00 oz Belma [12.10 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 11 11.7 IBUs
    2.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) [124.21 ml] Yeast 12 –
    1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days)

    Forgive the beersmith listing…

    This is for a 5gal (final volume) batch. Need to get this going…yesterday…..

  13. Brewing this for St.Patty’s

    SIS (Smoked Imperial Stout)

    Boil Size: 8.97 gal
    Post Boil Volume: 7.28 gal
    Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal
    Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
    Estimated OG: 1.097 SG
    Estimated Color: 61.3 SRM
    Estimated IBU: 72.8 IBUs
    Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
    Est Mash Efficiency: 87.5 %
    Boil Time: 90 Minutes

    Ingredients:
    ————
    Amt Name Type # %/IBU
    14 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 64.0 %
    2 lbs Briess Smoked Malt (5.0 SRM) Grain 2 9.0 %
    2 lbs Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 3 9.0 %
    1 lbs 4.0 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.6 %
    1 lbs 4.0 oz Chocolate Rye Malt (250.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.6 %
    12.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.4 %
    12.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.4 %
    2.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 8 46.0 IBUs
    1.00 oz Legacy [8.40 %] – Boil 45.0 min Hop 9 15.1 IBUs
    1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 –
    1.00 oz Belma [12.10 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 11 11.7 IBUs
    2.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) [124.21 ml Yeast 12 –
    1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 13 –

    Just hoping to hit my temps and efficiencies 🙂 I would like to finish around 1.015 – 1.018 (Come on 1084!!)

  14. …additional props for participating in “getting the band back together” with Chip and Jake @ chopandbrew.com

    looking forward to chop sessions as well as the occasional brew sessions…

  15. 70% Pale Malt (I Like MO)
    20% Flaked Barley
    5% UK Roasted Barley
    5% Pale Chocolate
    30ish IBUS of German Perle
    US-05

    I think the Pale Chocolate makes this stand out for me. It provides a nice toffee, cocoa character that complements the more aggressive notes of the roasted barley. I also like the smooth bitterness of Perle, and think US-05 allows the aggressive character of the roasted malts to come through.

  16. So this is probably more of a Porter, but I don’t care. Brew it, drink it, thank me later.

    8.5# Golden Promise
    .5# Flaked Oats
    .5# Chocolate
    .25# English Black

    Mash @ 154 degrees

    1 oz. Willamette 60 min (mmmm Willamette)
    .5ish oz. of something 15 min (I mix this addition up with whatever extra i have on hand)

    Hold back a pint of wort before you boil. Put it in a loosely covered container. Let it sit and funk up real nice. Boil and add back to beer in 2-3 weeks or until you can’t stand the smell.

    I usually ferment this around 60 degrees with Nottingham. Though maybe some 1084 would be more fitting for the season.

    Keep up the good fight.

    • Oh yea, and a handful of some oatmeal. Not measured, just instinct like raiders of the lost ark kinda’ instincts. Usually wish for a little more to go even more creamy.

  17. I have an irish red fermenting and planning on reusing the WLP004 cake for a DIS this weekend. Being the lazy arse that I am, what is the risk of dropping the stout right into the carboy after racking out the red? Obviously not a highly hopped beer, but will the trub throw off too much off-flavors? Never done the yeast harvest/cleaning thing. Thoughts?

  18. Is there a MZA take on replicating the slightly sour zing to Guinness? Lactic acid and the soured pint both show up in posts above. Any insight on that?

    • Thanks for the question, Chris – I’ve done both lactic acid (dosed into the fermented beer) and sterilized, soured wort (inoculated with wild whatever floating in my kitchen, as a previous commenter; or with a Brett or lactic bacteria strain) blended back in. Both worked pretty well for me – lactic acid is easier, soured wort is more involved but (in my experience at least) gives a more complex result.

      Replicating (or at least approximating) Guinness was a holy grail for me in my early days of homebrewing, but honestly, these days I skip “twanging” my dry stouts – not that that should influence anybody else’s stout one way or another. I’ve become much more interested in simplicity and repeatability, and less interested in cloning a beer I can walk my dog two blocks and buy. I love the tradition and history behind the sour fraction in Guinness, but dry stout on nitro is one of those beautiful multi-pint experiences that doesn’t strictly require a lot of dressing up.

      So there’s $0.02 and a lot of parentheses. Cheers!

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