I have been working on ‘the perfect stout’ for a long time. In fact one of the first batches I ever brewed was a stout.
A while back I create “The Stout Experiment” in an effort to try multiple additions in a single batch. Oddly enough the control (without any additions) ended up being the best.
I have since done three other bathes (including this one) that has tweaked the recipe slightly each time, based on my tasting notes.
Appearance: Dark, no light gets through. Tan (khaki) head with tight bubbles. Alcohol clings to the side of the glass with lacing from the head. Mouthfeel: silky smooth, but not thick or heavy. The rolled oats contributed to this. Flavor: Sweet Carmel at first gives way to burnt coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of grapefruit from the cascade hops. Aroma: Carmel and noble hops.
All in all it’s the best stout I have ever had but I can identify at least two or three places that show room for improvement.
Next batch I think I will add more roasted barley to turn up that burnt coffee flavor a little and possibly change the aroma hop.
I have made a number of stout recipes since I started home brewing. I beleive I have finaly refined my recipe down to perfectly suite my tastes. This one falls under the BJCP category of 13b. Sweet Stout. This is sometimes called a milk stout, cream stout or breakfast stout.
My base recipe I beleive is sound, but I’m not 100% sure what I want to do with it after I transfer it to the secondary firmentation vessel. Because of this I will be transfering into 5 x 1gal secondaries instead of 1 5gal. At that point I can do whatever additives I like and compare. So far I beleive this is the plan.
1. Control. Leave it as is with no additives
2. Cherry Extract (Organic)
3. Hazelnut Extract (Organic)
4. Chocolate Bar or Extract (Organic)
5. Either dry hopped with American Cascade hops or float oak chips for the “oak barrel aged” flavor.