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I've just worked up this (extract, specialty grains) recipe from glancing at clone recipes for old Rasputin imperial stout and black butte porter--they both have a smooth, chocolaty thing I'm going for as a base. But my goal is to bring the dark fruity flavors of a dubbel to the stout.

My question is about the grain bill. Does this seem balanced? I abhor too much coffee, bitter roast flavor in a stout, and I don't think it would go well with the dark fruit character. That said, I'm worried that I might be going overboard on the special B or chocolate malt, and am also wondering what folks think of the brown malt as a gentle base here.

If it matters, I'm doing some aroma hopping with Willamett, and fermenting with Irish yeast (and if this works out, I'll do a second batch with a belgian strain).

1 lbs Crisp Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 2 8.3 %
1 lbs Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 3 8.3 %
12.0 oz Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.3 %
8.0 oz Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 5 4.2 %
8.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.2 %
8 lbs 4.0 oz Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 7 68.8 %

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A pound of Special B is a LOT, but I've never used it in a stout. Perhaps its just the right amount to let a little raisin/prune flavor come through the roast. – Graham Dec 10 '12 at 13:15
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are looking to minimize the roast character and are looking get that smooth, chocolaty thing you may want to use pale chocolate malt. It is much smoother than regular chocolate malt. However, if you up the fruit and reduce the roast, you may get a better reception by calling the beer a black ale vs. a stout. It sounds balanced based on your desired outcome, but not for the stout style.


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Thanks, this was very helpful. – jflournoy Dec 11 '12 at 19:08

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