I've brewed up what the recipe calls a Stout, and from the samples I've taken, its quite good I think. There is a local competition coming up, and I was thinking about entering it, but I'm not sure what category to put it under. I think its the regular BJCP categories, the competition is [here].

The recipe is [here] and below, and my question is, what category would this fall under (hopefully a stout, like the name says), and further, what characteristics define a stout?

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: US-05 Cake
Yeast Starter: No
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: no
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.071
Final Gravity: 1.023
IBU: 29.9
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 34.84

Grain Bill
10 lbs. American 2-row 
.5 lbs. English Chocolate Malt 
1.5 lbs. CaraMunich III® 
1 lbs. Carafa III® 
1 lbs. Lactose 
1 oz. Saaz (Pellets, 4.5 %AA) boiled 60 min.
1 oz. Saaz (Pellets, 4.5 %AA) boiled 30 min. 
Yeast : US-05 Cake

After initial 14 days, rack onto 1/2 gallon of Cold Brewed Coffee. 

My changes:
  Instead of cold brewed coffee, after 14 days, dry "hopped" 6 ounces of coffee grounds
  It has a strong coffee flavor, amid the malts and lactose, I like it

2 Answers 2


With that much caramel malt, I really doubt you could pass it off as a "dry stout" with a straight face. I would guess "sweet stout" would be the best fit, or possibly "foreign extra stout" (which is, frankly, a catchall style) if there's too much bitterness to put it under "sweet stout".

And as Codehopper mentioned above, if it tastes like you added coffee, consider "specialty beer" instead. Judges can get grumpy about non-standard ingredients in the main styles, and given that it sounds like you're new to competitions, you probably won't care that much about the crap-shoot nature of "specialty beer" judging (better to get useful comments than a ribbon).

Just realized I never really answered your question. Historically, stout and porter had a great deal in common, referring to a dark, roasty ale. "Stout" was originally short for "stout porter", and simply referred to a particularly strong porter. More recently, "stout" became the better-known and more widely available style, and gradually lost the strength connotations. The revival of "porter" as a style was fairly recent, and entirely due to craft brewers. As a result, "porter" tends to be richer and more complex simply because it's a craft beer; and, ironically, tends to be stronger than stout.

  • Nice summary of the stout/porter continuum. Nov 7, 2014 at 17:38

Other special beer, since you added coffee.

  • The recipe called for cold brewed coffee, the comments on the post many people just dry hopped the coffee grounds instead. I didn't add coffee, it was called for in one form or another... edited to include original coffee in recipe
    – CDspace
    Nov 7, 2014 at 7:29
  • 2
    I don't think it matters how coffee flavour has been infused into beer. My point is that a coffee-flavored stout should not be submitted in the "stout" category.
    – Codehopper
    Nov 7, 2014 at 9:31
  • The BJCP isn't the Reinheitsgebot. If there's a noticeable coffee flavor/aroma, to the extent that it tastes weird for a non-coffee-containing stout, probably best for "Specialty"... but if it just makes it taste better (or, rather, more like a BJCP Standard Stout), no reason not to put it in the main category.
    – Sneftel
    Nov 7, 2014 at 15:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.