Saturday, April 23, 2011

Screwy's Recipe #54 - Chocolate Barley Stout (Steep/Extract)

 The last Barley Stout I brewed back in November was made using DME and steeping grains. In this version of my Chocolate Barley Stout recipe I use Carapils, Crystal 10L, Chocolate and Roasted Barley Malt steeping grains added to a Golden Light DME base. The yeast I picked for this latest brew is Danstar Windsor Dry Ale Yeast and after only 4 or 5 hours both fermenters have very active fermentations going on already.

I know that Carapils and Crystal 10L will both add sweetness to this stout which is then offset by the Kent Golding 60 minute hop boil. I brewed a Chocolate Stout which used only Chocolate malt and it gave a nice full mouthfeel while desperately lacking the smoky goodness of Roasted Barley. This recipe uses all the aforementioned grains and smelled unbelievably awesome while brewing.

Carapils, Crystal 10L, Chocolate and Roasted Barley Malt
I used qBrew's default 'Sweet Stout' style guidelines to crunch the recipe's numbers. You can download the latest qBrew database below and use it to upgrade your current ingredient database. This latest ingredient database includes more yeast, fruits, extracts and other helpful entries then ever before.

 Click to download Screwy's latest qBrew database   

Click to download this recipe file for qBrew 
Size 2.13 gallons: Estimated IBU=46, SRM=42, OG=1.071, FG=1.018, ABV=6.8%

1/8 pound Carapils
1/8 pound Crystal 10L
1/4 pound Chocolate Malt (British)
1/2 pound Roasted Barley Malt (British)
3 pounds Muntons DME - Light
1.5 ounces Kent Goldings (UK) pellet hops boiled for 60 minutes

11 grams Danstar Windsor British Ale yeast
Pitched at 70F and fermented at 68F

Heat 10.5 quarts of filtered water to 160F
Add grains and steep for 30 minutes between 152-157F
Remove grain bag and add hops then boil wort for 60 minutes
Rehydrate yeast in 90F sterile water with 30 minutes left to boil
Add DME to wort with 15 minutes remaining in the boil
Add 1/8 tab of Whirlfloc with 9 minutes remaining in the boil
Remove from heat and remove hop sack
Use Screwy's Cooler until wort temperature cools to 70F
Pour cooled wort into fermenter keg and pitch yeast  
Ferment at constant 70F temperature for 5 to 7 days
Rack to secondary for 2 to 4 weeks
Cold crash at 34F for 3 to 5 days they rack to keg or bottle

Steep The Grains At Constant 152 To 157F For 30 Minutes
I rehydrated the Windsor yeast in boiled water cooled between 86 and 92 degrees and stirred the mixture occasionally. By the time my wort was chilled to 70F the yeast mixture was the same temperature as the wort and ready to pitch.

Danstar Windsor British Ale Yeast New Packaging
The yeast has only been pitched about 7 hours and the fermentation is furious already. I place the lids of plastic storage bins directly under each Mr. Beer fermenter just in case they kegs decide to overflow they won't ruin the carpeting. I had the same fermentation spillover happen last December when I brewed the Barley Stout recipe for the first time so I had a strong feeling it might happen again this time.

The Next 3 Days Will Require A Lot Of Clean Up
I woke up this morning to a potentially huge mess, luckily the fermenters were on top of drip trays and the spill was contained. I sopped up most of the beer with a washcloth and then got the rest with napkins and paper towels. One of the fermenters is still spitting Co2 and beer but the other one has seemed to calm down now, I must have pitched that one before the other.

The Mess 16 Hours After Pitching The Yeast
Yesterday I racked the Stouts to clean secondary fermenters where they'll sit for another few weeks at least before bottling them. The insides of the primaries were pretty gunked up with stuff produced during the primary fermentation so I figured it won't hurt to get the beer out of there.

After 2 weeks in the secondaries I moved the fermenters to the refrigerator to cold crash for 5 days. The idea is to let the cold temperature help drop out any suspended yeast or trub still remaining in the beer to the bottom of the Mr. Beer kegs before bottling and kegging it up. This step is important because it reduces the amount of gunk that eventually would end up in your glass.

If you've ever washed out a corny keg after killing it you'll know what I mean, even after cold crashing there is a slight layer of trub at the bottom of the keg. I've noticed that the beers I've racked to corny kegs without cold crashing first left a thicker layer of trub on the bottom than those I did take the time to cold crash. 

My final gravity hydrometer reading at room temperature showed the beer fermented out to 1.017 or about a point lower than qBrew had estimated. The beer sample I drank was clear and dark and had that nice roasted Barley taste that came through nicely even without the carbonation being present. I plan on kegging one batch and bottling the other in 12 ounce bottles today and adding 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract per gallon of stout to enhance the chocolate flavors.

I kegged 2.5 gallons of the Chocolate Barley Stout directly to a corny keg adding 2.5 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract to the keg before filling it. I purged the keg with some Co2 before transferring the Stout to it by connecting the gas ball lock to the beer out side of the keg. I filled the keg up to the dark line on the inside of the keg, locked on the lid and hooked the gas up to the gas in and purged it a few times. I'll let it sit with 15 psi for 5 days before 'sampling' it.

I had enough Stout left over to fill 17 long necks after topping off my corny keg. I primed them with a shade more than .5 teaspoon of pure cane sugar and I'll let these carbonate for 3 weeks and condition for another 3 weeks before I start drinking them. I didn't add any vanilla extract the the bottles but at almost 7% alcohol they should be very tasty.

This Chocolate Barley Stout was brewed on April 23 and kegged on May 14th and it was gone by May 29th. I still have about 8 twelve ounce bottles left and I'll drink them too soon enough. The addition of 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract per gallon of stout worked well in bringing out the chocolate flavor in this beer.

The next time I brew this recipe I will add another 1/2 pound of Roasted Barley malt to the recipe to increase the roasty flavors that balance out the chocolate flavors. The Kent Goldings hops worked well in the background for adding enough bitterness so the beer was not overly sweet. For my tastes every Stout should have a strong Roasted Barley backbone and any adjuncts added should work with and not overpower that.


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one with this type of mess. I made a Maibock and had to clean up three times. It was only after I racked to secondaries that things calmed down. I should have saved the yest, but I'm too lazy.

  2. Screwy, do you have a calculator that calculates the amount of grains needed for 2.5, 5, and 10 gallon batches? I have been trying to find this out forever. Say I want to brew a 5 gallon pale ale, but I am not sure how many pounds of grains I should use. Usually base malt to specialty malt for brewing beers would be 80/20 unless I am mistaken. Anyway, I want to brew a 5 gallon pale ale, is there a calculator that will tell me how much base malt and how much specialty malt I should be using, and a total amount of grains I should be using for a 5 gallon brew?

  3. I use qBrew to add and calculate the amounts of specialty and base malts that will get me in range of the ABV% I'm chasing. Then I adjust the recipe to get a 10% average of specialty malts or less.

    Of course the only way to tell if you nailed a recipe is to brew it and get feedback from some friends like I do.