Brew 2: ‘Stouter’

– July 2013

The first beer being such a success it was time to make a second*. This time it was my choice of recipe, and I thought I’d give making my own recipe up from scratch a go. My preferred beers are typically porters, stouts and dark milds. After many years of student-esque ideology I also now appreciate a beer with a lower percentage. So my target was something in between a stout and a porter but with a percentage of around 4.0%. Thus the concept for my first beer recipe was born and its name “Stouter” coined.

But how to create the recipe? Well, a number of brewing books I own provide a few useful equations for calculating the expected original gravity and from the final gravity** the ABV percentage. Suffice to say I messed around with numbers (it was like being at work) using typical stout and porter ingredients gleaned from some brew books, plotted some data (see the up coming Beer Maths post) and came up with the recipe you see below. I figured I’d end up with a 4% beer.

At our latest visit to the brew shop the owner had introduced me to Graham Wheeler’s beer engine. This is a free downloadable Windows program which does all of the maths for you once you decided what ingredients you want to go in your beer. Even better, if you want to make a smaller batch or increase/decrease the percentage you can change these values and the recipe will auto adjust the quantities of each ingredient accordingly. It is genius, shame its only on Windows, a free Mac/Linux equivalent would be awesome***.

I input my recipe into the Beer Engine, to see if my calculations were correct, and with a smug grin saw I was within 0.1% of what I thought. The beer engine gave an ABV of 4.1%. Perfect. So without further ado here is what went in it.

The Ingredients

The Ingredients

The Recipe:-

Malt: Weight
Pale malt/Marris Otter 3.6kg
Torrified Wheat 0.3kg
Dark Crystal Malt 0.3kg
Chocolate Malt 0.3kg

Hops: Weight Time in boil
Challenger 35.0 grams Start of boil (90 mins)
Goldings 15.0 grams 15mins
Irish Moss teaspoon 15mins

Original Gravity: 1.030
Final Gravity: 1.00…Something? Whoops, missed noting that down.

It did come out at about 3.9-4.0% I remember.

Boiling away in the electric boiler

Boiling away in the electric boiler

With the lessons learnt from the first brew we proceeded to make the Stouter. Little over 3 weeks later it was ready… And, it was good! I would remake the above again without hesitation or use this simple recipe as a base for similar beers. Maybe increase the chocolate malt amount or try some different hops**** (and *****).

It was a sad day when Stouter ran out at the Lawler Taps but alas onto the next brew!

First pint of Stouter

First pint of Stouter

The next beer will be a collaboration with Kim, expect something great!


* Because numbers work like that, you know.
** I’m planning a post on Beer maths which will cover a number of what these terms actually mean so panic not.
*** If I get suitably bored one day I might start writing one.
**** Privateer Brewery has a great 3.5% dark beer called Tarantula which uses Armarillo hops so I might give these a bash.
***** Stouter is being brewed again for Xmas 2013!

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