I recently set out to brew a pale stout with traditional stout ingredients. I failed a couple of times in accomplishing the "pale" portion of the stout but finally seem to have made progress using nitrogen infusion and iced gelatin filtration (sounds so nerdy).
I used JZ's Dry Stout recipe from BCS but treated the black roasted barley in the following way (I brew 1 gallon BIAB):
- Add 2 oz milled black roasted barley into ISI whip (whip cream machine) and fill with room temp water to .5 liter. Charge with one nitrogen canister and empty after 1 minute into Chemex coffee maker with paper coffee filter. Heat liquid in microwave until hot then mix into prepped gelatin (.5% by weight of liquid).
The results were very interesting and the resulting liquid could be described as: Dry astringency and roast both present. More chocolaty than astringent. Much lighter than normal steeped grains.
After tasting the mixture I began phase II which was the iced gelatin filtration process. The liquid was frozen solid then thawed on a cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl in the refrigerator. The whole process took about 4.5 days from infusion to thaw. It was so much fun that I did it twice to get a nice light colored liquid!
After completing a 2nd round of gelatin filtration the liquid looked like the photo below:
Now that I had a nice looking black roasted barley extract it was time to brew. The brew was a normal BIAB with a cereal mash and 60 minute rest at 150F. The black roasted barley was added with 1 minute left in the boil to minimize added color. Once cooled the resulting beer's appearance blew my mind. Almost pale ale in color and nothing like a stout. I didn't get a good taste so I'm flying blind but hopefully it will have some roast character and will provide a starting point for further exploration. I'm pretty excited! Here's a pic of the fermentation vessel with the pale stout inside:
I believe that using the quick infusion with the ISI whip allowed me to get the flavor from the grains without extracting color. I probably should have used unmilled grain (I'm going to try it soon) to see if the roast character could come out without milling. For more info on my process check out my signature. For more info on quick infusions check out Dave Arnold's post and for more info on my inspiration for iced gelatin filtration check out the jimseven blog post from 2007.