A little over a year ago, I brewed a batch of Irish stout based on a recipe in Jennifer Talley’s wonderful book, Brewing Session Beers. The result was pretty enjoyable, so I wanted to revisit the recipe. The main changes from the previous version was a different base malt (Maris Otter instead of American two-row) and using pale chocolate instead of full-on chocolate malt.
The end result was something that is almost there, but in need of a few last tweaks. I love it as a low-alcohol session beer, but feel it still needs a bit more body. I’ll certainly be coming back to this in the future!
Session Stout II
- 6 lbs. Maris Otter Malt (Bairds)
- 1 lb. flaked barley
- 12 oz. roasted barley (Bairds)
- 7.5 oz. pale chocolate malt (Crisp)
- 4 oz. black barley (Briess)
- 2 oz. rice hulls
- 1 oz. Helga hop pellets (5.6% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1.09 oz. East Kent Goldings (6.0% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet
- 1 pkg. Safale American ale yeast (US-05)
- 1.042 s.g, 1.009 f.g., 4.4% abv, 31 IBU, 42 SRM
- Infusion mash with batch sparge
- Water built from Claremont tap water with Campden tablet.
- I mashed in with 166° strike water to hit a target temperature of 152°. After 60 minutes, I added 1.4 gallons of water at 185°, waited 10 minutes, vorlaufed and collected the first runnings. Next, I added 3.3 gallons of water at 185°, waited 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
- In total, I collected 6.25 gallons of water with a gravity of 1.035, for 71% efficiency.
- I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and finings per the schedule. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and cooled down to yeast pitching temperature (combination of cooling coil and time in fermentation chamber after transfer).
- I transferred the beer to the fermenter and pitched the yeast. I brewed this beer on 4 December 2018, and fermented at 66°. Starting gravity was 1.042.
- I kegged the beer on 4 Janaury 2019, when it had a final gravity of 1.014. This equates to a measured abv of 3.7%.
- Chocolatey, roasty, very clean
- Deep deep brown, black in the glass; very fine light brown head with excellent persistance; brilliantly clear
- Deceptively light flavor, that tilts towards the roasted side with a hint of chocolate. Not a terrible amount of malt backbone. The roastiness is balanced well against the hoppiness. Moderately bitter beer.
- Dry, light-bodied beer, with moderately high carbonation as perceived in the mouth.
- Would I brew this again?
- This is a pretty tasty, very drinkable beer. I feel like it is just a touch lighter on base malt character and mouthfeel than I like, although this is a pretty easy fix (a bit more base malt or perhaps use full octane chocolate malt instead of pale chocolate). The base recipe itself is pretty solid.