Sunday, June 11, 2017

Brew Day - Milk Stout

Residual matter after pitching the yeast.

When a beer is destined to be malt-forward and it has a large portion of characterful malts, tasting the wort is a little bit like looking into the future. It can give you an idea of how the malt character will be perceived in the finished product.

I'll start with another one of those crazy 'perfect beer' concepts I have in my head. In order for a milk stout to be enjoyable, I think it should balance lactose sweetness with roasty bitterness. One beer that accomplishes this while maybe leaning a little more on the lactose is Left Hand Milk Stout (Nitro). Another beer that I think accomplished this same balance was a homebrew I had from a fellow homebrewer, Daryl, at a local homebrew competition this past winter. He was kind enough to share his recipe with me and sure enough, our individually designed recipes had a lot of similarities between them.

For base malt, I'm using Brewers 2-Row from Briess. Again, this malt is great for clean, American-style beers. I could have tried to work in a more "characterful" base malt like Maris Otter or Pale Ale malt, but I tend to prefer a cleaner, sweeter finish as opposed to a bready/biscuity character. I'm shooting for a somewhat simple, but more complex roasted malt character by adding three types of roasted malts. I chose Chocolate Malt for notes of dark chocolate, Roasted Barley for notes of fresh roasted coffee, and Midnight Wheat for a smooth roastiness. To help balance out some of the roast and provide additional complexity I added some medium roast caramel malt for notes of caramel and subtle raisin. Finally, I added lactose at 0.2 lb / gal. finished beer to lend an assertive, but not overwhelming, creamy sweetness.

I goofed up when designing this recipe and found out after the fact that Beersmith defaulted lactose to being a fermentable sugar, which it is not. Therefore, my original intent of a 5.5% ABV beer turned out to be a 4.5% ABV beer. I don't mind this, given how much I've been enjoying sessionable beers as of late.

Recipe Specifications:
Estimated O.G.: 1.054
Estimated F.G.: 1.020
Estimated ABV: 4.4%
Great 60's blues album.
Estimated IBU: 31
Estimated SRM: 37

Brewing Liquor:
100% Reverse Osmosis
1.0 g CaCl2/gal finished beer
0.2 g CaSO4/gal finished beer

72.3% Brewers 2-Row (Briess)
6.4% Caramel Malt 60L (Briess)
6.4% Chocolate (Briess)
3.2% Midnight Wheat (Briess)
3.2% Roasted Barley (Briess)

8.5% Lactose

0.11 oz. / gal finished beer Apollo @ 60 min

50 mL White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale in a 2 L Starter - 1 day stirred (split this in half for pitching)

The last bottle of homebrewed oatmeal stout.
0.75 hr @ 156 F

Batch Sparge:
5 mins @ 170 F

75 mins
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 mins
1/2 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient @ 10 mins

Cooled to ~65 F

1 min Pure O2

Pitched 1 L White Lab WLP007 Dry English Ale Starter
Controlling temperature at ~66 F

That tail.

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