Session Stout (is that even a thing?)

20130316_145259I’ve been meaning to make a stout this season but keep getting caught up in other random beer styles I want to experiment with. Now that I’m finally getting around to it, I’m gonna try and make a mild stout/porter – something you can sling back a few of, but with still a fair amount of complexity and body to make for an enjoyable beer. This is a 5 gallon recipe with 8.25 lb of grain, assumed around 80% efficiency.

  • 5 lb Marris Otter (Muntons)
  • 1 lb Flaked oats
  • 0.5 lb Crystal 40L
  • 0.25 lb Crystal 80L
  • 0.5 lb Roasted barley (Briess, 300L)
  • 0.25 lb Chocolate malt (Muntons, 400L)
  • 0.25 lb Amber malt
  • 0.5 lb Carapils
  • 0.5 oz UK Kent Goldings, 5.8 % a.a. (FWH)
  • 1 oz UK Kent Goldings, 5.8 % a.a. (60 min)
  • 0.5 oz UK Kent Goldings, 5.8 % a.a. (10 min)
  • WYeast London ESB

// Strike w/ 16.5 qt 162F water (2 qt/lb), and rest at 154/155F for 50 minutes.   Added 5.5 qt boiling water, raised to 165F, rest for 10 minutes. Sparge w/ 168F water to collect ~6.2 gal 1.032 gravity wort. Boil 60 minutes. During the boil, steep the roasted grains in ~2 qt water at 155F for 5 minutes in a side pot. Rinse with more 160F water to collect around 3 qt of roasted grain extract.  Add this to the boil with about 5 minutes left.  Collect around 6 gallons 1.038 wort.  Chill to 90F.  Pitch a 2qt starter made the night before. //


Snow chiller

It snowed the past couple days and I stupidly left my wort-chiller hoses outside. They totally froze solid with whatever water was left in them. Then, smart old me thought “Well, there’s snow everywhere, it’s 35 degrees out, so that should be enough to cool the pot just fine, right?”  Wrong. This took forever. Like, almost 2 hours to chill to 80F.  I usually cool a batch with the wort chiller in about 20 minutes. Do not attempt to cool a 5 gallon batch by burying it in snow unless you have some time to kill.

UPDATE (1/31/13): Racked after 4 days in primary ~40s per bubble in airlock. Initially activity was going within an hour, subsided after about 2 days. Pretty happy with where this beer is, it’s very much how I pictured it. Light on alcohol, but with some great flavor and character. Nose is very malty, with a little sweetness – like a graham cracker with some notes of coffee and chocolate.  Color is much lighter than I anticipated, a medium to dark brown, maybe even lighter than my last brown ale. The roasted barley is nice – subtle, a little acidic, sort of like a Guinness, but not over the top.  Surely a session-slammer in the making! Gravity @ 1.014.

UPDATE (2/2/13): Gave it a quick 2 days in the secondary to let the last bit of yeast settle.  Man, this tastes good. Again, not a TON of flavor, but that was to be expected.  The nose is great.


In the end I really enjoyed the way this came out. It is light, but not super water-y. The malt profile is really on point, but I could see it benefitting from just a little more chocolate malt to darken the beer and give it more of a stout feeling than a darker brown ale.  You do get a nice subtle hoppyness as well, which is pretty refreshing. Overall, I dig it, but I think next time I’ll start my OG higher, and then add some non-fermentables to just keep a higher FG – that way I’ll have the same alcohol content, but it’ll feel a little more full.

SIDE NOTE:  I combined 1/2 and 1/2 of my funky wit with this beer. Whoa. Game changer. It reminded me something of a Belgian Amber/Brown, like a Leffe brun, but with a slight funkiness that is awesome. I think I may have found my next recipe to make!


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Filed under Stout / Porter

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