Despite all the crazy homebrew recipes I tell you about, I’ve actually been making an effort over the last year to come back to basics a bit. This stout recipe is a delicious outcome of that goal: simple and lovely.
There are lots of different versions of stouts. You’ve got your sweet stout, milk stout (a sub style of sweet stout which is brewed with lactose sugar ), oatmeal stout, American stout, foreign extra stout and of course the big boozy delight that is Russian imperial stout. And those are just the BJCP recognized varieties. There are truly endless options. If you’re crazy like us, you can also make spiced stouts like our “Chai Latte Milk Stout,” or a delicious fruit stout like our award winning blackberry stout we call “the Bearded Lady.”
All are great, but on an average day, nothing is more satisfying than a simple, dry Irish stout.
Dry stouts are more drinkable than your hoppier, boozier stouts – a true session ale. At around 4.5 – 5% abv you can sip on a few of these and remain a totally reasonable person.
As compared to Guinness, the most well known dry Irish stout, ours is a bit more chocolatey and roasty, with a tad more mouthfeel too. We still took a pretty classic approach to the malt bill, with plenty of traditional roasted barley and flaked barley, then some biscuit malt for a somewhat bready, toast-like flavor and a smattering of different dark malts like chocolate and black patent. We used American two row since we had it on hand, but Maris Otter, a British heirloom variety would be even better. It’ll contribute a more grainy and bready character than American two row. That’s why we included some biscuit malt in ours to add some complexity.
Our Emerald stout is the only “green” beer I’ll be drinking this St. Patrick’s Day. Also, how fantastic are these free printable St. Patrick’s day beer labels??
These are so happening.
“Emerald” Dry Irish Stout
- 1 liter yeast starter using a packet of Wyeast 1028
- 5.5 lbs two row malt or Maris Otter
- 12 oz biscuit malt
- 5 oz chocolate malt
- 5 oz black patent malt
- 14 oz roasted barley
- 1 lb flaked barley
- 3 oz Kent Golding hops (AA ~7.2%) – 1 oz @ 60 minutes (use a hop bag if you have one), 1 oz @ 45 minutes, .5 oz @ 30 minutes and .5 oz @ 15 minutes
- 1/2 Whirlfloc tablet at 5 minutes before end of boil
This recipe will produce a 5 gallon batch of beer. Mash in with everything except your dark grains (roasted barley, chocolate malt and black patent) at 120 degrees for 30 minutes, then step up to 150 for one hour. Add your dark grains and mash out. These don’t contribute much, if any fermentable sugars and adding them later in the mash will make sure those roasted flavors don’t become astringent.
Boil for 60 minutes. Cool down, and pitch yeast, making sure to aerate the wort well. We don’t usually do a yeast starter for such a low ABV beer, but because this yeast sometimes does not attenuate well, we went with a starter.
Here are the specs:
- Original gravity: 1.047
- Final gravity: 1.011
- ABV: 4.7% ABV
- IBU: 44
- SRM: 38
As usual, we fermented in plastic bucket, for ~1 1/2 weeks then transferred, or “racked” to a 5 or 6 Gallon Glass Carboy for another week or two. This step helps take the beer off of the dead yeast cells that sink to the bottom, which can cause yeasty, even meaty off flavors from autolysis where the yeast cells break open over time and gross flavors leak out.
We kept our beer at ~66 degrees Fahrenheit throughout primary and secondary. After remaining in secondary for 1 – 2 weeks, we cold crash to 38 degrees for 24-48 hours before kegging. Cold crashing helps to improve the clarity of the beer. You can also add a natural clarifier like isinglass, or recently we’ve also used gelatin.
As part of the dry stout awesomeness, we recently purchased a nitrogen dispensing system. There will be a whole post coming up about those shenanigans, so stay tuned for that.
In the mean time, go make yourself some Irish stout!