Date Style IBU Boil Target OG Actual OG FG ABV %
1/12/2013 Dry Stout 31.6 60 min. 1.051 1.048 1.018 3.9%

Stouts have been my favorite style of beer since my first pint of locally-brewed McMenamin’s Terminator stout in 1997. In an attempt to do some serious exploration into this style, I’m doing a whole month of only stout brews, starting here! A few years ago there was a brand of imported irish stout available called Beamish, but it disappeared from U.S. shelves before I realized I even liked stouts. My girlfriend, however, did have the good fortune to try this fabled brew, and she spoke more highly of it than any other beer. I knew I had to try to make some for her, so I scoured the web for clone recipes. I found this one on HomeBrewTalk (this thread, reply #17), and whipped up a batch with almost no modifications at all. The grain balance is a bit different, to make the measurements a bit simpler at the scale, and I used a different yeast since the Pacman strain the recipe called for was unavailable at the time. The consensus from my girlfriend was Success! And I think it’s become my new favorite stout.

Ingredients

Grain Qty %
Maris Otter pale malt 8.75 lb 77.8%
Caramel wheat 1 lb. 4 oz. 11.1%
Roasted Barley .75 lb. 6.7%
Chocolate Malt .5 lb. 4.4%
Hops/Additions Qty Time IBU
Goldings East Kent 1.55 oz 60 min. 28.3
Goldings East Kent .5 oz 10 min. 3.3
Irish Moss 1/2 tsp. 5 min.
Yeast/Fermentor additions Qty
Wyeast 1968 London ESB 1 pkg.

Brewing Notes

Jan 12: mashed the grains at 160° for 45 minutes. New insulating sleeve for my mash tun works brilliantly! Mash tun now holds its temperature well. Mash-in temp. was 175° — a little bit high, should have been 168°. Lost 5 degrees over the 45 minute mash.

Sparged with 4 gallons of 170° water and began the boil. All additions were made on schedule. Managed to cool the wort to 70° in about 40 minutes before pitching the yeast. The gravity sample has a nice burnt but sweet flavor and excellent color.
Jan. 20: Flavor of the gravity test has developed a bit of roastiness. The gravity is still higher than expected (1.024, target is 1.011). Might add some amylase to bring it down all the way. Very nice color!
Jan. 21: To get up to the 5% ABV I’m shooting for I’ll add 1.5 tsp of amylase over the next 3 days – 1.2 tsp per day.
Jan. 23: Added 1 tsp. of amylase over the last two days to no effect. Think I’ll just have to call this one done and just bottle the sucker.
Jan. 29: Decided to move the beer to a secondary fermenter and pitch a second pack of the same yeast to try to kickstart the fermentation. It might really just be done.
Jan. 31: Gravity is down to 1.018, and is not visibly active anymore. Has a really excellent taste. Not as high an ABV as I’d hoped, but still better than it could have been. Will bottle soon.

label_006Tasting Notes

Nov. 17 2013: Drinking the last bottle! Recently discovered a few bottles of these in the closet, forgot how wonderfully rich this beer is. Dark chocolate profile, with a light aroma and no overpowering hop flavor. This batch got a gusher infection (possibly related to my multiple attempts to kickstart the fermentation), which cost me a few bottles. Will need to do better sanitizing my bottling equipment in the future. But a great stout nonetheless, and definitely bears repeating.