Date Style IBU Boil Target OG Actual OG FG ABV %
2/23/2013 Pale Stout/ESB 29.3 90 min. 1.057 1.048 1.002 6%

The Stout Month finale took an extra couple of weeks to get going, but it was damn well worth it. I’d read about this theoretical style called a ‘Pale Stout’, and just had to give it a shot. The idea comes from the fact that the word ‘stout’, as it relates to beer, used to mean simply a beer with a high ABV. Some folks on the HomeBrewTalk forum theorized that a beer could be developed that was as big as a modern stout, with a similar flavor profile, but without the dark grains that give modern stouts and porters their flavor. So, what we’re talking about is a pale, golden beer but with an ABV above 6% and still lightly hopped like a stout. I devised this recipe by tweaking grain bills in BeerSmith until I landed firmly in all of the statistic tolerances for a ‘stout’, excepting the color profile. What I didn’t realize at the time is that what was being described as a ‘pale stout’ is really just a kick-ass Extra Special Bitter, and also one of my new favorite beers.


Grain Qty %
Maris Otter pale malt 6 lb 60.0%
Flaked Barley (toasted) 1 lb. 10.0%
Crystal 30L 1 lb. 10.0%
Flaked Oats 1 lb. 10.0%
Dark Brown Sugar 1 lb. 10.0%
Hops/Additions Qty Time IBU
Goldings East Kent 1.5 oz 60 min. 25.1
Goldings East Kent .5 oz 15 min. 4.2
Irish Moss .25 tsp. 10 min.
Yeast/Fermentor additions Qty
Wyeast 1728: Scottish Ale 2 pkg.

Brewing Notes

Feb. 23: Spread the pound of flaked barley on a cookie sheet, sprinkled it with water to help caramelize the sugars, and toasted it in a 275° oven for 45 minutes, stirring often. Raised temp to 350° for about 10 minutes before adding the grains to the mash. In the future, 350° for 10-15 minutes should be enough to get a nice golden toastiness.

Mashed at a steady 155° for 60 minutes. Collected a total of 6 gallons of wort, but the gravity is a bit lower than I’d like so I’m going to boil for an extra 30 minutes for a total 90 minute boil. Gravity reached 1.046 after 85 minutes, so I’ll let it go for another 15 minutes (total 105 minutes). Ended with a FG of 1.048, not much of an improvement, but still a respectable FG.

Pitched yeast at 70°, 4.75 gallons of wort collected in the fermenter.
Feb. 25: Fermentation is vigorous in this one, and has been increasing all weekend. I can actually see the beer swirling around inside the carboy, like someone’s stirring it up in there.
Mar. 3: Gravity at 1.002! Color is a nice warm golden shade, nice and pale as I’d hoped it would be. Flavor is strong, without much bite. Not sure if it’s really much like a stout from the flavor, but still rich and fruity, though.
Mar. 9:

label_008Tasting Notes

Nov. 18: Laser Brain (as I ended up calling it) proved to be one of my most popular beers so far. At the Stout Party, it came in second of the three beers, and a number of folks said they would have voted it the best stout of the bunch if it had actually been more like a typical stout. As is, this is a good strong bitter that’s going to have to become one of my regular brews.