Author Topic: Making it smooth  (Read 1322 times)

S. cerevisiae

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Making it smooth
« on: May 14, 2015, 03:11:38 PM »
I recently brewed a batch of dry stout after not having brewed any kind of stout since 1993. The beer is balanced, but it does not have that Guiness silky smooth roast character. Guiness is to stout what Gevalia is coffee.  There's no bitter edge to the roast.  Does anyone know how Guiness accomplishes this feat?  Is it just their water composition?  Or do they have a proprietary roasted barley?  I need to check my notes, but I believe that I used around 10% Thomas Fawcett roasted barley in the grist, which is right at the threshold were roasted barley starts to add that smoky, burnt note to a beer.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 06:37:08 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 03:33:19 PM »
Water plays a huge role in how the roast character comes across in dark beers, pH in particular. If you haven't read Martin's article on Ireland's brewing water in Zymurgy Nov/Dec 2013, I'd highly recommend it.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2015, 04:54:23 PM »
Guinness is partially soured so Guinness goes away from the conventional wisdom of higher pH being better in stouts. I subscribe to the conventional wisdom here even though I like sours.  Flaked barley and low carbonation  contribute significantly to the silky smooth character of Guinness.

Offline beersk

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2015, 04:55:44 PM »
Hear ya, Mark. I don't like that smokey roast flavor and I seem to get it even at less than 10% in the grist. Like Eric mentioned, I think a pH around 5.5 is ideal. But Guinness goes for a lower pH I think to get a little bit of that lactic twang.. I certainly wouldn't say Guinness is the best dry stout example. Murphy's is a mighty fine example and Beamish (when we could get it).
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 05:44:55 PM by beersk »
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2015, 05:02:01 PM »
Guinness is partially soured so Guinness goes away from the conventional wisdom of higher pH being better in stouts. I subscribe to the conventional wisdom here even though I like sours.  Flaked barley and low carbonation  contribute significantly to the silky smooth character of Guinness.

+1.  Flaked barley gives a ton of silky mouthfeel to Irish stout.  I like ~ 10%.
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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2015, 05:02:45 PM »
Did you mash the roasted grains?  Adding them at vorlauf seems to do the trick for me.
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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2015, 05:18:13 PM »
Is Guinness REALLY partially soured?  Anybody got documentation of this?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 05:24:04 PM »
Is Guinness REALLY partially soured?  Anybody got documentation of this?
+1 - I trust Martin's article and assessment of the brewing water in Dublin. His recommendation is to target a relatively low kettle pH (5.0-5.2) through a combination of soft water and dark, roasted grains (added separately from the main mash if that will bring your mash pH below the optimal range). So, while the pH of the beer will certainly end up lower than a typical stout/porter, and should have a bit of a tart finish, that doesn't necessarily equate to a sour mash being needed.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 05:51:44 PM »
Is Guinness REALLY partially soured?  Anybody got documentation of this?

when i took the tour, they did confirm two things- they use a "content of lactic acid" in the mash that is mashed separate from the roasted malts, then all wort is blended back together.
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rabeb25

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2015, 05:57:00 PM »
Is Guinness REALLY partially soured?  Anybody got documentation of this?

when i took the tour, they did confirm two things- they use a "content of lactic acid" in the mash that is mashed separate from the roasted malts, then all wort is blended back together.

Which makes sense because it would just be the pale malts and the pH would be high. Interesting though on the separate mashes.

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2015, 06:01:24 PM »
Is Guinness REALLY partially soured?  Anybody got documentation of this?

when i took the tour, they did confirm two things- they use a "content of lactic acid" in the mash that is mashed separate from the roasted malts, then all wort is blended back together.

Which makes sense because it would just be the pale malts and the pH would be high. Interesting though on the separate mashes.

nobody specified but im presuming cold steep of the roasted grains...just conjecture
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Dort
Mead                 
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Ger'merican Blonde
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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2015, 06:06:59 PM »
If I remember the article, I thought Martin said that, to duplicate the tang, you 'mash' the dark grains separately in RO with no water adjustments, which given the acidity of dark grains, gives that mash a pretty low pH. Then blend into the pH controlled base wort. Could be wrong.
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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2015, 06:20:04 PM »
If I remember the article, I thought Martin said that, to duplicate the tang, you 'mash' the dark grains separately in RO with no water adjustments, which given the acidity of dark grains, gives that mash a pretty low pH. Then blend into the pH controlled base wort. Could be wrong.
Correct. Plus you will need to acidify the pale malt mash to get it in the proper pH range. But I would hardly call this "souring" the way we would typically think of it (like for a Berliner Weisse or something of that nature).
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rabeb25

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2015, 06:21:39 PM »
I had always heard as well that it was soured with soured guiness as well... obviously with nothing to back it up.

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Re: Making it smooth
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2015, 06:29:17 PM »
I had always heard as well that it was soured with soured guiness as well... obviously with nothing to back it up.

I read that for years, too. Kind of takes liberties with the idea of souring a beer by today's standards, like Eric mentioned.
Jon H.