Winter is coming! It's time to put on another stout. The one I'm doing is based on Jamil Zainasheff's "Triple-X" recipe for Sweet Stout (Brewing Classic Styles, pg 167).

Start date: 09 Apr 21

Equipment

  1. Small (~7L) stainless steel stock pot for steeping
  2. 19 litre stainless steel stockpot w/ lid
  3. Induction cooktop
  4. Snub-nosed Fermentasaurus ("Fermus") w/ pressure kit
  5. 20L nylon paint strainer
  6. Grain sock
  7. Digital thermometer
  8. Sanitiser in spray bottle
  9. 2 litre conical flask
  10. Long handle spoon
  11. Funnel w/ strainer attached
  12. 2 x 5kg Ice

Ingredients

  • 2.9kg Light Dry Malt Extract (incl. 175g for yeast starter)
  • 450g Lactose Powder
  • 450g Simpsons Black Malt (525 °L)
  • 350g Joe White Dark Crystal Malt (80 °L)
  • 250g Pale Chocolate Malt (200 °L)
  • 54g Kent Goldings hop pellets (4% AA)
  • 1x White Labs WLP002 English Ale Liquid Yeast (replacement for WLP003 London Ale)
  • Yeast nutrients

Cleaning/Sanitising

Soaked the Fermus in Sodium Percarbonate for a few days. Emptied and rinse with hot tap water, and allowed to drip dry.

Did not spray with diluted Iodophor (iodine) to sanitise this time. The risk of not sanitising appears to be lower than the risk of introducing off flavours from residual iodine.

Sprayed the funnel and filter with iodine solution, then rinsed with boiling water after 5 mins.

Yeast Starter

I accidentally bought only one yeast pack instead of two, so I'm going to make a yeast starter. This will be made 24-48 hours before brew day. This method assumes your conical flask is suitable for boiling wort in, on the stove.

  • Placed the liquid yeast in the fridge set to 21C
  • Added 175g of dry malt extract to the conical flask
  • Added boiling filtered water to bring total volume to 1.5 litres
  • Added pinch of yeast nutrient
  • Place conical flask on the gas stove and brought back to boil
  • Covered loosely with aluminium foil (to Pasteurize the foil)
  • Boiled for 10 minutes (scared the whole time it was going to explode)
  • Removed from heat
  • Placed in the temp controlled fridge and allowed to cool to 21C (the fermentation temperature)
  • Once at 21C, shook vigorously the wort to aerate
  • Pitched the liquid yeast and replaced the aluminium foil
  • Allowed to sit at 21C for ~48 hours to allow the yeast to propagate
  • Placed in a refrigerator to settle the yeast overnight
  • Started brew day that night (in preparation for the yeast being ready to pitch in the morning)

Brew Day

  • Boiled the kettle (always)
  • Added combination of boiling and cold filtered water to the small stock pot (total volume ~4 litres) and raised temp to 71°C
  • Added specialty grains to nylon paint strainer
  • Heat was off at this point
  • Immersed the strainer with grains in the stock pot and stirred to ensure all grains were immersed and wet
  • Steeped for 30 minutes
  • Added 7 litres of cold filtered water to the large stock pot (the goal is to have ~12 litres total volume after adding the DME)
  • Placed the large stock pot on induction cooktop and started to heat (target 71°C)
  • After 30 minutes, I lifted the steeping bag from the pot and allowed to drain
  • Applied very gentle pressure to get all the wort out, but did not squeeze
  • Rinsed grains in the large stockpot @ 71°C
  • Transfered wort from small to large stock pot
  • Added 500g of DME to the stock pot
  • Wasn't necessary to top the stock pot up as I already had ~12 litres total volume
  • Continued to heat the wort to boiling point (NO BOIL OVERS!)
  • Once boiling, added all the Kent Goldings hop pellets in a grain bag (19:30)
  • Boiled for 60 minutes
  • After 60 minutes, turned off heat
  • Added remaining DME (2.2kg) and all (450g) lactose powder, stirring continuously
  • Allowed to stand for 15 minutes to Pasteurize
  • In the meantime, added the two bags of ice to a laundry sink (deep) and filled to 2/3 full with cold water
  • Placed the stock pot in the ice bath to cool (20:45)
  • Stirred the wort to reduce the temp more quickly, taking care not to contaminate the wort with the ice water and to not splash the wort whilst hot
  • After ~10 mins (once the wort was <40C), poured into the Fermus through the funnel and strainer taking care to ensure the strainer is locked in place beforehand
  • Final wort volume was 17 litres
  • Added cold filtered (not boiled) water to 21 litre mark
  • Placed the wort in the fridge set to 21°C
  • The following morning, once the wort temp had stabilised, measured OG
  • Shook the wort to aerate
  • Removed the yeast from the fridge and carefully poured off the "starter beer", leaving enough liquid to swirl to suspend the yeast
  • Then pitched the yeast

OG: 1.0XX (bugger...forgot to measure before pitching)

Primary Fermentation

  • Attached the PRV/spunding valve to ensure the Fermus doesn't explode
  • Checked pressure regularly to make sure the PRV is set correctly (~10PSI)
  • The wort sat for a week fermenting and everything appeared to be 'finished' before I began cooling
  • Set temp controller to reduce temp by 0.3C every 2 hours down to 4C

Kegging

  • Place a cleaned and sanitised keg into the keezer for 24 hours to chill to ~4C
  • Pressurise to 8PSI
  • Perform closed transfer of beer from Fermus to keg (1st May 2021)

I had a sneaky taste of the beer and it was delicious. Exactly the coffee/chocolatey/roast flavours I was expecting. Maybe a bit too sweet, but I'm hoping the conditioning will dry it out a bit. Small amount of residual carbonation, but you wouldn't want this fizzy. Excited to see how this turns out after a month in the keg.

Conditioning

This stout was allowed to sit for ~4 weeks before I accidentally carbonated, thinking it was the Australian Sparkling Ale.

Anyway, tasted pretty good - some of the residual sweetness has definitely disappeared.

Will leave for another couple of weeks before and then it should be perfect!

Drinking

Started drinking this in earnest mid-July. It is DELICIOUS!! It is definitely sweet, but not sickly. Very more-ish, and the perfect beer for a chilly winter's night.

Improvements for next time

  • Using the grain sock for the hops worked really well - do that again!
  • If it's too sweet after conditioning, maybe reduce the lactose a bit - it wasn't...it is PERFECT!!!