Beer #5: OBK Irish Stout (+ a coffee experiment!)



While drinking away my previous two beers (with company) I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a stout. When it comes to really dark beers I don’t mind the occasional stout, but it isn’t really what I would consider my ‘go-to’ style. However out of all of the stouts that I have tried I think Guinness is probably my favourite and so I chose an Irish Stout recipe as the one to make.

Mmmm tasty generically named “Irish Stout”

Beer Specifications

Beer Name:Irish Stout
Beer Style:Stout
Recipe Type:All Grain
Batch Size:5.5 gallons / 20.8 litres
Estimated SRM:35°
Estimated IBU:32
Estimated OG:1.039
Estimated FG:1.009
Estimated ABV:3.9%

Grain Bill/Fermentables

LbsFermentables
6Maris Otter
1Roasted Barley
1Flaked Barley

Hops

OzMinHops
160Northern Brewer

Yeast

#Yeast
1Nottingham / Wyeast 1084 / WLP004

Fermentation Schedule

7-14 daysPrimary
7-14 daysBottle Conditioning
Optimal Fermentation Temperature: 57-70°F / 14-21°C
Place fermenter in stable temperature, out of the light.

Directions

Mash Temperature:154.4°F / 68°C
Mash Time:60 min
Strike Water Volume:3 gallons / 11.4 litres
Sparge Water Volume:3 gallons / 11.4 litres
Boil Duration:60 min

Brew day went well and fermentation kicked off about 24 hours or so afterwards.

When I went to bottle it I decided to experiment a little bit by splitting the batch into both a “pure” Irish Stout and about a gallon racked on top of coffee beans. Using the ratio of 1.9 oz / 54 g of ever so slightly crushed coffee beans to 5 gallons of beer I ended up with 0.19 oz / 5g of coffee beans, split into halves, placed into muslin bags and dropped into each of my two 0.5 gallon / 1.9 litre growlers. These sat for almost 24 hours before I bottled the result.

I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted both at the time of bottling. Usually beer at this stage is… well completely flat and not good but for these styles it actually sort of worked. The coffee one in particular gained a very nice but not overpowering flavour.

These flavours got even better once the long bottle conditioning wait was over. The regular stout tasted like a Guinness knock-off, which makes sense, although as expected it didn’t quite have the creamy C02+N2 that the real brand does. On the other hand the coffee infused beer tasted completely different.  The top half of the beer was very much like a thin, acidic, coffee which I’ll be honest had me a bit worried. Thankfully as I drank lower it into the beer it became a stronger and stronger coffee flavour in the bottom half.

The “coffee” stout doesn’t look any different to me

This makes me think that the coffee oils might be heavier than the rest of the beer and so they settle to the bottom, which in turn presents an interesting problem – do I stir the beer when serving in order to mix it up? I honestly don’t know.

Either way it was a fun experiment and both beers are very drinkable so I’d call that a success!

P.S. – we called this brew “St. James’ Gate”



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