I have made this recipe a million times (okay, more like seven or eight times), and it’s still just so enjoyable. Here’s the latest!
Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout 2021
8.5 lb. Finest Maris Otter Ale Malt (Crisp)
1.5 lb. flaked oats
1 lb. 80° caramel malt (Briess)
1 lb. Victory malt (Briess)
0.5 lb. roasted barley (Briess)
6 oz. chocolate malt (Briess)
6 oz. chocolate malt (Dingemans)
0.5 lb. rice hulls
1 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
2 pkg. Nottingham ale yeast (Lallemand)
1.059 o.g., 1.017 f.g., 5.6% abv, 34 IBU, 35 SRM
Full volume mash, no sparge, 156° mash for 60 minutes, 10 minute mash-out at 168°
Claremont tap water, treated with Campden tablet
I heated ~7.5 gallons to 164°, and then mashed in to hit a target mash rest of 156°. I added 5 mL of 88% lactic acid, to adjust pH.
I held the mash at 156° for 60 minutes, and then raised it to 168°. I held it at this temperature for 10 minutes, and then pulled the grains.
In total, I collected 6.4 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.048. This was a bit below my target (1.052).
I brought the runnings to a boil, and boiled for 15 minutes before adding the hops. I then proceeded with an additional 60 minutes on the boil, before turning off the heat and
A black, clear beer, with a somewhat persistent tan head. The beer is a very dark brown when viewed on edge.
Earthy aroma, with coffee and chocolate and roasted malt. There is a faint dried dark stonefruit aroma.
Medium-high bitterness, and a coffee/chocolate, exceptionally malty flavor. This is a wonderfully rich beer! The yeast character is pretty clean, with a very faint fruitiness. There is an earthy background, perhaps from the hops.
Very full bodied, with a somewhat slick mouthfeel as would be expected from an oatmeal stout. It is very smooth, with a slightly dry finish.
Would I Brew This Again?
It’s interesting that I pick up earthy characteristics in the aroma, given that there is only a single hop addition as a 60 minute bittering charge of Magnum. That must be produced by the malt combination, but I can’t figure out whre.
I like session beers! I like stouts! Let’s do another one!
This recipe is a minor modification of a previous session stout. The main malt change was to swap in Vienna malt for Maris Otter, and use full-octane chocolate (350 SRM) versus the pale chocolate (225 SRM) that I used last time. Because this isn’t really a hop-centered beer, I switched the hops over to just a small charge of Magnum at the beginning of the boil. I also decided to swap flaked oats for flaked barley, because why not?
Session Stout 2020
6.25 lb. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
1 lb. flaked oats (Quaker Old Fashioned Oats)
0.75 lb. roasted barley (Briess)
0.5 lb. chocolate malt (Briess)
0.25 lb. black malt – 2-row (Briess)
0.125 lb. rice hulls
0.60 oz. Magnum hop pellets (13.2% alpha), 60 minute boil
1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
1 pkg. Safale American ale yeast (US-05)
1.041 s.g, 1.011 f.g., 3.9% abv, 31 IBU, 35 SRM
Infusion mash, 156°, no sparge
Claremont tap water, with Campden tablet to remove chloramine
I mashed in with 7.25 gallons of water at 161°, to hit a mash temperature of 156°. I started recirculating after 10 minutes, for a total of 60 minutes in the mash. I neglected to do a mash-out–oops!
After draining the grain basket, I had 6.5 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.033, for 67% mash efficiency. For this batch, I’m still trying to dial in my efficiencies on the Anvil, so I was a touch on the lower side of what I intended.
I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled the wort, before transferring it to the fermenter.
Starting gravity was 1.038, a little lower than targeted (1.041). Oh well! I brewed this beer on 7 November 2020, and fermented at around 66°.
I kegged the beer on 22 November 2020, hitting 1.017 final gravity. This equates to only 2.8% abv! As is usual these days, I used keg conditioning to carbonate this batch. It took 2.7 ounces of corn sugar in 1 cup of water. After 2 weeks, I topped up the CO2 level with force carbonation.
Pours with a beautiful and highly persistent deep tan head; the beer itself is clear and deep brown, almost black.
Coffee aroma with a touch of chocolate; no hops to speak of; very clean character overall.
Coffee and roast malt notes predominate; not much for “maltiness” otherwise. Moderate, very clean bitterness.
Very light bodied, pretty dry on the finish with a lingering but not unpleasant bitterness. Moderate level of carbonation.
Would I brew this again?
Absolutely! For what it is–a dry, relatively light session beer–it’s pretty darned satisfying. The background malt body is a little light, but that’s OK. I expected a little more sweetness given the higher finishing gravity. Not sure what’s up with that.
Nearly five years ago, I made an Irish stout that tasted great and did well in competition. I gave another go this year, seeking a dark beer with lots of flavor but not a lot of booziness. It was a success!
The recipe is basically the same as last time, just with some minor ingredient adjustments.
The Celtic Elk Stout 1.1
6 lb. Maris Otter malt (Crisp)
1.5 lb. flaked barley
13.6 oz. crystal 75 malt (Great Western)
12 oz. roasted barley (Briess)
10 oz. chocolate malt (Briess)
4 oz. crystal 10 malt (Briess)
3 oz. Blackprinz malt (Briess)
3 oz. Carafa Special III malt (Weyermann)
3 oz. rice hulls
0.65 oz. Warrior hop pellets (15.8% alpha), 60 minute boil
1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
1 pkg. Irish Ale Yeast (WLP004)
1.045 o.g., 1.014 f.g., 4.1% abv, 35 IBU, 39 SRM
Infusion mash, 156° for 60 minutes, batch sparge
Claremont tap water
The night before brewing, I made a 0.75 L starter, and let it run on the stir plate.
I mashed in with 3.5 gallons of water at 168°, to hit a mash temperature of 156°.
After 60 minutes of mashing, I added 1.5 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. Next, I added 3.75 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
In total, I collected 7.5 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.045, for 87% efficiency! This was way too high, so I removed 0.5 gallons of runnings and added 0.5 gallons of tap water, to hit 1.041. This was much better. I saved 2 cups of this to use in bread (and it made tasty bread!).
I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and finings per the schedule. After 60 minutes, I turned off the flame and chilled the wort.
Once the wort was down to around 75°, I transferred to the fermenter and chilled the rest of the way down to 66°. Finally, I pitched the yeast.
I brewed this beer on 18 April 2020. Starting gravity was 1.050.
I fermented the beer at 66°, and kegged the beer on 25 April 2020. To save some CO2 and try keg conditioning, I primed the keg with 2.1 oz. of corn sugar in boiling water.
Final gravity was 1.019, for 4.1% abv.
Dark! Black in the glass, and a deep, dark brown if you get a thin sliver of beer. Thin but persistent brown head.
Rich aroma of chocolate with a touch of roasted coffee. There are hints of dried cherry behind that; I don’t think it’s esters (because the flavor of the beer is pretty clean in terms of yeast character), but a synergistic effect of the dark malts. I like it!
Roasted coffee character at the outset, with a touch of dark chocolate behind that. There is a really nice coffee-type bitterness from the malt than creeps in alongside the hop bitterness. Hop bitterness is clean. The flavor is malt forward, with hops secondary, until the finish. There is an extended, slightly bitter (but not unpleasant) finish.
Dry, medium-light body, moderate carbonation.
Would I brew this again?
This is a great recipe, and a fine interpretation of the style. I think my modifications were okay overall, although I’ll replace the Carafa III with all debittered black malt next time, and use pale chocolate instead of regular chocolate malt, because the malt was just a little too much chocolate and not enough roast. As the beer matures, it has really come into its prime. I rushed it just a touch to get it on-tap, and so it had a hint of sweetness at first from the corn sugar used for priming (at least I think that’s what I was experiencing). That’s gone away now. This recipe produces a really quaffable beer, and the low alcohol level (4.1% abv) isn’t really a flavor/mouthfeel detriment thanks to the malt character.
Summer fun doesn’t mean I have to be limited to light lagers (and I do love light lagers!). I think there is a place for dark beers in the warm weather, given the right recipe and the right mindset. So, a “tropical stout” seemed like a good ticket. I had initially thought I would make something with coconut, but realized I didn’t necessarily want a full batch of a coconut beer. Why not just a simple, clean(ish), flavorful stout? So, I checked out Gordon Strong’s Modern Homebrew Recipes book and found his Jamaican Eclipse recipe. The general concept is to take a stout recipe and ferment it with lager yeast at ale temperatures. In my reading, there seems to be a lot of lore around tropical/Caribbean stouts and yeast type, and I wonder to what extent any of it is true. Either way, even a “Fantasy Island” version of the recipe is intriguing to me.
I followed Strong’s grain bill only loosely, making many substitutions and adjustments. I had no idea how much I might like this, so I scaled it for a 3 gallon batch. The result? Pretty flavorful, and a definite re-brew candidate!
No Latitude Tropical Stout
6.25 lb. Maris Otter malt (Bairds)
8 oz. crystal 80° malt
6 oz. roasted barley
4 oz. chocolate malt (Briess)
2 oz. Blackprinz malt, 2-row (Briess)
10 oz. corn sugar (dextrose), added to kettle before boil
0.5 oz. Warrior hop pellets (15.8% alpha), 60 minute boil
1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
1 tsp. Fermax
2 pkg. Saflager (W34/70) lager yeast, Fermentis
60 minute infusion mash, 152°, batch sparge
1.064 o.g., 1.011 f.g., 7.1% abv, 39 IBU, 32 SRM
Claremont water, treated with Campden tablet
I mashed in with 2.75 gallons of water at 163°, to hit a mash temperature of 153°. It was down to 149° after 20 minutes, likely due to the smaller thermal mass involved here.
After 60 minutes, I added 0.75 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. I then added 2.5 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
In total, I collected 4.65 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.044, for 75% mash efficiency. I added the corn sugar prior to the boil.
I brought the runnings to a boil, adding hops and other ingredients per the schedule.
After 60 minutes, I turned off the flame and chilled down to 67°. I transferred to the fermenter and pitched the yeast.
I fermented the beer at 67°. Starting gravity was 1.060.
I brewed the beer on 15 April 2019 and cold crashed on 28 April 2019, kegging on 29 April 2019.
Final gravity was 1.013, which works out to 6.3% abv.
Roasty, chocolatey malt aroma, but not much in the way of hops. Really nice! As it warms up, I pick up a slight alcohol note, but this is permitted within the bounds of the BJCP style description.
Thick and persistent brown head; the beer itself is fairly clear, and brown with a faint reddish tinge
Chocolate-forward, with a bit of roast behind that. The bitterness is moderate and clean, but not over the top. Not much in the way of hop flavor. The finish is evenly balanced between hoppiness and maltiness. This is a very smooth, highly drinkable beer.
Moderate body, but not so much as to kill drinkability. Moderate carbonation.
Would I brew this again?
Yes! Maybe it’s a bit of a psychological thing, but this definitely does seem like a good warm-weather stout. It’s smooth, quite drinkable, and doesn’t taste like it is 6.3% alcohol. I don’t see much in the way of improvement needed, although I could kick the fruitiness and body up a notch. A bit of crystal 120 might help with that.
The past few months have been exceedingly packed for a variety of reasons, and so I’ve had little time to brew and even less time to blog! Here is a quick report on an Irish-like stout I brewed up around a month ago.
The intention for this recipe was to create an Irish-like stout; note that I say “Irish-like” because I didn’t go completely authentic with all ingredients. I also wanted something that was fairly low in alcohol and quite drinkable. Thus, I aimed for something <4.5% abv and fairly dry.
I mashed in with 2.83 gallons of water at 162°, to hit a target temperature of 151°.
After 60 minutes, I added 1.65 gallons of water at 185° for the first batch sparge, let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected first runnings. Then, I added 3.5 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
In total, I collected 6.5 gallons of wort at a gravity of 1.037. To this, I added 0.25 gallons of RO water to bring the volume up to 6.75 gallons.
I boiled for 60 minutes, adding hops and other ingredients at the times indicated in the recipes.
After flame-out and chilling, I aerated while transferring into the primary fermenter.
Starting gravity was 1.042, and I fermented at 67°. The beer was brewed on 9 October 2017.
I kegged this beer on 2 November 2017. The yeast had settled into a nice dense cake at the bottom of the fermenter.
Final gravity was 1.012, for 3.9% abv. This was pretty close to my target, so I’m happy. I force carbonated at high pressure with a little bit of shaking, and was drinking the beer within a day after kegging.
In my initial tasting, this beer pretty much hits all the notes I wanted. It’s a highly drinkable Irish-type stout with a good bit of flavor. I think this will be a good beer to kick off fall!