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11

If you don't mash the oats, you're simply adding starch to your wort. That starch can serve as food for bacteria and encourage an infection in your beer. Bottom line...don't steep oats. Mash them with a diastatic malt.


10

The ester you're experiencing is called isoamyl acetate. Esters don't contribute to hangovers. I had a banana flavor crop up in my very first batch, an extract IPA. It happened in the bottle, as best I could tell. I tasted the beer between primary and secondary, and before bottling, and there was no hint of this flavor. Everything I read pointed toward ...


9

I'm making one right now with cinnamon sticks, nutmeg shavings, peppercorns, orange zest, and vanilla bean. I actually didn't add any to the boil. Instead I'm making a spice extract (a jar with some vodka and all of the spices thrown in) and I will add at bottling time to about a quarter of my batch. I've heard from some people that adding spices during ...


9

You will need to add the right amount of priming sugar to carbonate the beer in the bottles. There are lots of online priming sugar calculators. In theory, you could bottle the beer before fermentation had completed, and let the remaining sugars carbonate the beer, but this would be very hard to do right. If you bottle with too much residual sugar, your ...


8

Seeing that you used an English Ale yeast, then the most likely answer is that you fermented too hot. Some restrained fruity esters are expected in nearly every ale, and the english ales definitely have them... banana is a bit unlikely one, and is usually only in styles like hefeweizens and tripels. Next time try lowering your fermentation temps to closer ...


8

Most "Chocolate" stouts get their flavor from a combination of roasted malts - chocolate malt, pale chocolate malt or coffee malt. There are delicious exceptions, like Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Nibs are dehusked, roasted cacao seeds. They are high in fat (relatively tasteless cocoa butter), which does not add much flavor and which might cause problems ...


8

You may notice your malt extract say something like "non-diastatic, unhopped, pure malt extract", or something similar. Diastatic power is the ability of a malt to convert starch to sugar. In an extract, you don't need it because it's already been converted for you. However, to get starch to turn into fermentable sugar, a diastatic malt is required. The ...


7

Allow me to step in as the residential "semi" expert at food & beer pairings. This is how I break down ideal pairings: BODY: Pair like with like -- as with food & wine. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, naturally. But for the most part, this is a solid rule. What does this mean? Lighter dishes (such as salads, fresh seafood, fruits & veggies, light broth ...


7

In the pubs the creamy nead is achieved through the CO2/Nitrigen gas mix as mentioned already. It is also achieved by using a stout tap. A stout tap is similar in all respects to a regular tap, however the one significant difference is that inserted into the tap is a small disk that diffuses the beer through a number of small holes around the perimeter of ...


7

Adding some wheat to the recipe can give some good body and head retention. There are a bunch of other methods as well. Check out this BrewWiki article on Head Retention. The main methods are: The use of body and head enhancing malts such as crystal, wheat, or carafoam The altering of the mash schedule to enhance head retaining proteins The use of heading ...


6

I recently did a breakfast stout and simply put some ground coffee beans into the mash. I put 1 cup of ground dunkin donuts coffee in there. The coffee flavor is definitely there without being overwhelming. You can also cold brew some coffee and add at secondary or at bottling.


6

I would make a pot of really strong coffee in a french press or whatever (or espresso if you've got a machine). Ideally, add it to the secondary, because the primary fermentation will blow off a lot of the nice aroma. I've done this in a stout before and used about 4 tablespoons of coffee in 1 pint cafetiere.


6

I am not sure about "official style guidelines", but I made a double chocolate stout with an exorbitant amount of black patent. It's awesome. Surprisingly the roasted flavor meets the chocolate very well, making it an unconventionally unsweet chocolate stout. +1 for going with what you like.


6

For how much coffee to use, check out the recent "Can You Brew It" where they tried to clone Terrapin's Wake-n-Bake stout. They worked from the exact recipe as given to them by the brewer at Terrapin. You can even buy the same blend of coffee they use commercially, if that interests you. I just listened to it this week because I also have a big stout ...


5

Go Ahead I often shake up my fermentors to keep the fermenters going. (Just learned that -or is the vessel and -er is the organism.) My technique is to swirl the whole carboy to get the yeast back in suspension. It's best done on the tail end of fermentation and I routinely shake my high-gravity beers to keep them going. Pros Much reduced risk of ...


5

Addressing your sanitation questions: Coffee: One of your questions, paraphrased: Should I worry about secondary infection from coffee in secondary? I'd say your risk, much like the risk of most things brewing, is not from the water, which you can pre-boil on the stove or in the microwave, or the coffee which will be subject to a pretty high temperature ...


5

I don't think you need a "different type" of yeast for this. In addition, I've found t hat using yeasts other than beer yeast can give you strange flavors that you don't really want. The key here is going to be to pitch a large quantity of healthy yeast. I'd make a 5 gal. batch of a 1.040-50 beer and use the entire slurry from it for your stout. Keep the ...


5

The different strains of yeast really do affect attenuation considerably. I've had split batches of 1.055 beer coming out with FGs of 1.007 and 1.014 just from different strains of yeast. (The lower one was US-05.) I've not made a beer this big, but if I did, this is what I'd be thinking. As OG increases, FG increases faster since the yeast have a harder ...


5

The problem could be from temperature, alcohol tolerance and pitching rates. While the solvent character will fade with time to some degree, it can take a many months to do so and will not completely disappear. Although I can't find published figures from Fermentis, S-04 has reportedly an alcohol tolerance of 10-11% in various forums. Your 1.111 beer gives ...


4

For a definite cherry flavor, you should be using a sour cherry which will have less simple sugars and more unfermentables. Sweet cherries will ferment out dry and will add to your ABV disproportionate to flavor. A pound of cherries can have no more than 1 pound of sugars, obviously. When using simple sugars, i.e. brown sugar or molasses, etc about a ...


4

The best advice I can give is to still wait it out. 6 days isn't all that long for a brew where you only pitched a Wyeast pack and not a larger starter of yeast. I ferment normally for 14 days. If you can raise the temp to 70-72ish that will ensure the yeast wake up and push to completion if possible. Normally fermenting at 68F is a great idea, but if your ...


4

The problem in my opinion is the heavy usage of Roasted Barley with the use of dark DME. The dark DME has roasted malts in it already. While it is typical for a Dry stout to use up to 1# of Roasted Barley, in this recipe you've added more than that because the DME brought some to the party. When using colored malts, I tend to go easy on the specialty ...


4

You need to be aware that flaked oats (or any flaked grains) can't be steeped. They need to be mashed with a diastatic malt to convert the starches into fermentable sugar. Unfortunately, the 1/4 lb. of MO you have in there isn't enough to do that. with 2 lb. of flaked oats. I'd use at least 1.5 lb. of MO or a good domestic pale malt.


4

It completely depends on your water and how you treat it. If your alkalinity isn't very high, or you take steps to reduce it, there's no problem adding them for the whole mash. I've done that for years. But if you have high alkalinity or are concerned about your pH, adding them later will reduce those effects. Either way works, but you have to find out ...


4

The most important number when trying to balance bitterness in a beer is the ratio of international bittering units to starting gravity. This is often expressed as BU:GU (bittering units to gravity units). For reference, this posting has a more detailed explanation and some example BU:GU numbers for popular styles. Some Googling will get you some BU:GU ...


3

So I thought I'd toss in my ideas... First, the recipe, for those who didn't want to Google it: 6.00 lb Dark Dry Extract   (17.5 SRM)        Dry Extract      85.71 % 1.00 lb Roasted Barley     (300.0 SRM)      Grain              14.29 % 2.00 oz Ultra Hops           [4.20 %]          (45 min)         22.1 IBU 3.00 tbsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Boil 45.0 ...


3

My take on this type of question is that you aren't going to get it right the first time, so don't over think it. If you want to make a "perfect" fruit beer on the first try I say make a great stout and add cherry extract at bottling time. If you are prepared to deal with the unpredictable, then I would not worry about the sugars in the fruit yet. Just ...


3

I'm not sure about this, but I've been operating for a long time under the impression that unwanted banana (estery) aromas in general are a sign that the yeast was stressed-- either due to a hot fermentation, lack of oxygen or just plain having to work too hard. By the latter, I mean that perhaps you didn't use enough yeast for either the volume of beer or ...


3

I made an oatmeal porter which came out really, really nicely. The mouthfeel was smooth and silky but not overdone. The only downside was that it had next to zero head retention. To get the "smooth" palate, you need to mash the oatmeal with your grains, but you really do not want to overdo the oats. I used 100g oats in a 15l batch (about 1/3 pound of oats ...


3

The lines between the two blur a bit due to historical evolution porter was a dark raosty and smokey brew. When brewers made them stronger they were referred to as Stout porters to indicate strength. In time the two have seperated slightly enough to warrant different catagories for each. Today Porters tend to be drier with a somewhat more acrid or ashy ...



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