Author Topic: Critique my stout recipe?  (Read 1818 times)

Offline skyler

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Critique my stout recipe?
« on: June 16, 2010, 10:58:23 AM »
Was hoping I could get a little feedback before I brew it.

10 lbs us two-row
1 lb 40L
1 lb pale chocolate malt UK
1 lb flaked barley
8 oz roasted barley UK
8 oz Belgian kiln-coffee
4 oz special B

Bitter to about 55 ibu with some willamette I want to get rid of (60 and 30 min additions)

4 oz cocoa nibs in secondary for a week or 2

Mash at 154F for 60 min

WY1028 @ 65F

Offline richardt

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 11:41:02 AM »
Just off the top, it looks like a high amount of dark malts for what seems like a 5 gallon batch.  Might be OK if you're cold steeping (overnight) the cracked dark grains, though, and adding it to the last 15 minutes of the mash or directly to the boil kettle (since it tends to utilize less of the dark grains; and it leaves behind the unpleasant portions of the roast).

Agree with cocoa nibs in the secondary.  I used 4 oz in 5 gallons.

Offline pyrite

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 05:00:25 PM »
Just off the top, it looks like a high amount of dark malts for what seems like a 5 gallon batch.  Might be OK if you're cold steeping (overnight) the cracked dark grains, though, and adding it to the last 15 minutes of the mash or directly to the boil kettle (since it tends to utilize less of the dark grains; and it leaves behind the unpleasant portions of the roast).

Agree with cocoa nibs in the secondary.  I used 4 oz in 5 gallons.

Actually in a stout I would not cold steep any grains in an effort to try and prevent the roast from prevailing.  I would think that this style of beer calls for a bit of roasty overtones to add to the complexity of what is a stout.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 05:24:55 PM »
Fwiw, it is a 5.5 to 6 gal recipe, depending on the boil (new burner). I always do at least 5.5.

Offline richardt

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 07:31:49 PM »
Skyler,

Thanks for clarifying the batch volume.  What you currently have might be fine for a RIS, but if you're trying to emphasize the "chocolate" in chocolate stout, I stand by my advice:  I'd dial the roast grains down to around 1 lb (or less) total per 5 gallons or cold-steep the amount you are using.

I recently did a 10 gallon batch version of JZ's Black Forest Stout (Brewing Classic Styles, pg 282-283).

JZ's 5 gallon batch version called for 0.75 lbs Black Roasted Barley (500 L), 10 oz. Crystal 40, 10 oz  Crystal 80, and 0.5 lb Chocolate Malt (420 L) for the darker grains.  British Pale malt completes the grain bill.

My adaptation used 0.67 lbs each of Crystal 40, 60, and 80; and 0.5 lbs each of Chocolate Malt (350 L), dehusked Carafa I (337 L), II (412 L), and III (525 L).  I was hoping to reduce some of the bitterness/astringency associated with the use of Black Patent malt usage.  Pale malt completed the grain bill (along with 1 lb of melanoiden malt).  I mashed all the grains together at 158 F x 45min.  1 lb total of cocoa powder and 4 oz. cocoa nibs were added in secondary and left for 4 wks/2wks respectively.  Black Cherry Juice (RW Knudsen, Just Black Cherry) was added at bottling [64 oz/10 gallons].

There is no mistaking the roast character of the stout when I (or others) judge it.  Is the astringency less than it would be with the use of Black Patent malt?  Maybe.  I still think it would be "smoother tasting" if the dark grains had been cold-steeped.  The roast still nearly overpowers the cocoa flavor and aroma.  The cocoa nibs likely add bitterness of their own (taste one yourself).  The feedback I get tells me the stout base was fine, the chocolate flavor was OK, but the bitterness/astringency and the cocoa aroma was too high, and the body was too thin (probably due to dilution by the cherry juice--I did not have access to good cherry puree).  That tells me to cut back on my dark grains significantly if I am going to use the cocoa nibs again.  The temp has to be above 50 F to even pick up the cocoa or cherry flavors.  The roast predominates otherwise.

Just my 2 cents.  Good luck with your recipe.

Offline skyler

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 08:47:35 PM »
Yeah, I somewhat adapted the grain bill from an old Rasputin clone I remember seeing. I just thought I would reduce the base malt more or less. I had been shooting for just a little shy of imperial an gravity. Also planning on cold conditioning it for a while before adding nibs. The cocoa was an afterthought. I hadn't thought about the possibility of going overboard on roasted malt. I may  just increase the base malt a bit and drop the nibs and make it an ris. Does anyone else think that amount of roasted malt would be appropriate for a chocolate stout?

Offline redbeerman

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 04:13:41 AM »
I would switch the chocolate malt and roasted malt amounts around, but the overall amount is just fine for a stout IMO.
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Offline dean

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010, 04:23:02 AM »
I like the chocolate and roast portions Skyler is using.   :)

I've got to ask this because I've went to grocery stores looking and asked but nobody can tell me... What are cocoa nibs and where do I find them  ???

Edited to add:  Excellent choice for chocolate malt!  Love that Pale Chocolate!! 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 04:25:38 AM by dean »

Offline stlaleman

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 04:38:48 AM »
Skyler,

Thanks for clarifying the batch volume.  What you currently have might be fine for a RIS, but if you're trying to emphasize the "chocolate" in chocolate stout, I stand by my advice:  I'd dial the roast grains down to around 1 lb (or less) total per 5 gallons or cold-steep the amount you are using.

I recently did a 10 gallon batch version of JZ's Black Forest Stout (Brewing Classic Styles, pg 282-283).

JZ's 5 gallon batch version called for 0.75 lbs Black Roasted Barley (500 L), 10 oz. Crystal 40, 10 oz  Crystal 80, and 0.5 lb Chocolate Malt (420 L) for the darker grains.  British Pale malt completes the grain bill.

My adaptation used 0.67 lbs each of Crystal 40, 60, and 80; and 0.5 lbs each of Chocolate Malt (350 L), dehusked Carafa I (337 L), II (412 L), and III (525 L).  I was hoping to reduce some of the bitterness/astringency associated with the use of Black Patent malt usage.  Pale malt completed the grain bill (along with 1 lb of melanoiden malt).  I mashed all the grains together at 158 F x 45min.  1 lb total of cocoa powder and 4 oz. cocoa nibs were added in secondary and left for 4 wks/2wks respectively.  Black Cherry Juice (RW Knudsen, Just Black Cherry) was added at bottling [64 oz/10 gallons].

There is no mistaking the roast character of the stout when I (or others) judge it.  Is the astringency less than it would be with the use of Black Patent malt?  Maybe.  I still think it would be "smoother tasting" if the dark grains had been cold-steeped.  The roast still nearly overpowers the cocoa flavor and aroma.  The cocoa nibs likely add bitterness of their own (taste one yourself).  The feedback I get tells me the stout base was fine, the chocolate flavor was OK, but the bitterness/astringency and the cocoa aroma was too high, and the body was too thin (probably due to dilution by the cherry juice--I did not have access to good cherry puree).  That tells me to cut back on my dark grains significantly if I am going to use the cocoa nibs again.  The temp has to be above 50 F to even pick up the cocoa or cherry flavors.  The roast predominates otherwise.

Just my 2 cents.  Good luck with your recipe.

The origanal recipe called for roasted barley, a non-malted grain. The taste is different from Black Patent, more roasty coffee than acrid bitter. I think if you would have stayed with the origanal roasted grain bill you would have been fine, You substited 2 pounds of roasted grains for what should have been 1.25 pounds.

Offline richardt

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010, 05:12:10 AM »
Quote
The origanal recipe called for roasted barley, a non-malted grain. The taste is different from Black Patent, more roasty coffee than acrid bitter. I think if you would have stayed with the origanal roasted grain bill you would have been fine, You substited 2 pounds of roasted grains for what should have been 1.25 pounds.

I did. 
The batch sizes were different, however (JZ's recipe = 5 gallons, mine = 10 gallons).
I used less base malt in mine (JZ's recipe OG = 1.071; mine = 1.051).
The percentages of dark roast was slightly more in mine (JZ's recipe = about 7.5%, mine = 10.5%).
A little bit of dark malt goes a long way.  The chocolate and cherry are not as prominent as I'd like.
My beer is still only a couple of months old, so the balance may improve with time.  It is still a good roasty stout.

I've had Old Rasputin.  It is roasty, like a Bold/Full Roasted coffee. 
Skyler, I think you've probably got a good one for a RIS--in reviewing all the stout recipes in BCS, that's the closest match. 
But, iff you're wanting to emphasize the chocolate, I'd dial down the roast even more.

Offline pyrite

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2010, 08:50:36 AM »

I've got to ask this because I've went to grocery stores looking and asked but nobody can tell me... What are cocoa nibs and where do I find them  ???


This info is straight from this website.....http://breworganic.com/Catalog/new_products.htm

Certified organic and Fair Trade from Ecuador. Cacao nibs are the pure and raw form of chocolate with nothing added. The nibs are the flavorful inner part of the cacao bean that are cured after gathering and then carefully roasted to bring out the full chocolate flavor and aroma. Chocolate, cocoa and cocoa butter are made from cacao beans. They are great for brewing cocoa flavored beer, wine, mead, or liquors. Cacao nibs are also great to snack on! If you like dark, bittersweet chocolate, you might have to be careful because these can be addicting!

The nibs can also be coarsely ground and added to coffee or brewed like coffee on their own for an amazing chocolate drink. In brewing, they can be added directly to the boil, or added to the secondary fermentor and allowed to steep for 5 to 10 days. If used in the boil, some of the natural bitterness of the pure cacao will be extracted, and with a little R & D they can be used to replace some of the bittering hops in a recipe. The cacao flavor is naturally great in porters and stouts, but the possibilities are many.. try a cocoa Nut Brown or Celebration Ale, or perhaps a rustic red...

Cacao contains high levels of suffer and Magnesium plus many other trace minerals and compounds. Cacao is known to trigger feelings of love and happiness due to high levels of phenylethylamine, and to diminish appetite due to high levels of MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors). Cacao has diuretic properties and has been used as an aid for high blood pressure because it helps improve circulation and dilation of blood vessels.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2010, 08:59:29 AM »
Also, to get any real flavor from the cocoa nibs you will have to leave them aging in the secondary for way over 2 weeks.  I made a stout where I added nibs to the aging beer and it was not until after a couple months that I began to get a real decent taste from the cocoa.
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Offline dean

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2010, 08:36:33 PM »
TF&S Pale Chocolate leaves and awesome chocolate flavor imo but it also has coffee flavor, you don't have to wait an extra two weeks either but thanks for the info on the nibs.   I've looked everywhere locally for them.   :-[ 

Offline richardt

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2010, 06:35:13 AM »
A club member brought some mint leaves to last weekend's homebrew meeting.  Two of us were drinking stouts and we each added a single leaf (rubbed it a little, maybe tore it into a few pieces) and then added it to our stouts (which, by then, we had less than 8 oz left in the glass).  It took just a few moments for the strong aroma and flavor to emerge.  And it was good.

Chocolate and mint is a nice combo.   It is a powerful "spice" though.  A few leaves will go a long way.

Offline skyler

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Re: Critique my stout recipe?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2010, 05:21:41 PM »
I also have the option of bittering with Nugget - which sounds a bit less wasteful. I think I may do that.

What about switching to a British Malt? I am concerned that the "biscuit" it would impart would distract from the chocolate flavor I am shooting for. How long should I keep the nibs in secondary? And would it make a difference if I kept the beer in a ferm fridge set to 32F during the "dry nibbing?"

My sense had been that I should give it a long primary (3-4 weeks), then cold crash, rack it, keep it at lager temp., wait 2-6 weeks, and then put the nibs in for 2 weeks before kegging (thought this beer would be nice to have around Halloween/Thanksgiving).