Thursday, March 4, 2010


alright so i'm working on putting together anothe recipe and i'm getting close to having some free time as my last quarter UW comes to a close on the 16th. my celebration brew i wanted to venture out and create my own recipe (kinda) obviously stole ideas from multiple of recipes but i wanted some suggestions and ideas on this batch from the more experience brewers here. i haven't been brewing for too long and have really yet to step out and create my own recipe so here it is let me know what you think , the idea here is for an oaky vanilla stout, suggested changes are more than welcome:

6.0 lbs. Dark malt extract
1 lb. Brown Sugar
3/4 lb. Crystal 50L
1/4 lb. Chocolate malt
1 oz. Northern Brewer bittering hops
Wyeast 1318 London Ale III yeast---suggestions please?
3/4 cup priming sugar

2 Vanilla beans added to secondary--should i use more or less?
***Oak Wood Chips***secondary/primary?--is this a good idea?

thanks in advance.....
altona's brew juice


  1. Looks like a good recipe man-I only have a few suggestions.
    -Throw in some dark Dry Malt Extract-3lbs
    -double the hops
    -yeast is a good one-I like to use white labs primarily but wyeast is good too
    -brown sugar is a great addition to a stout and lends to a higher ABV
    -Maybe throw in some black patent grains-1/4lb
    -Vanilla-I have used 2 beans before and the flavor is very subtle, if you want a bolder vanilla flavor I would go with at least 4-this is what I am doing for my next porter=vanilla porter
    -oak wood chips-soak for at least a day in some good bourbon, and put in the secondary
    Overall looks really solid in my humble opinion and what I am suggesting are just that...suggestions. Stand alone it would be a great beer with what you got, but if you want it to be a stout you just gotta bump up the malt a bit to increase the O.G. in turn increasing the ABV and making for a heavier beer. You make a beer like that I might just have to find an excuse to go to Seattle LOL.

    Looks good bro,

    Willy Blanks

  2. for the wood chips if you dont mind me asking, what does the bourbon do for flavor? does it help the wood chips or will the bourbon flavor be more apparent once chips are added to the secondary? i've read a few blogs about soaking the chips but most of them didnt really say why such tactics were used.


  3. oh and another questions if i double the hops should i only use the 2oz for bittering or should a portion be used for aroma or flavor?

  4. The bourbon is used slightly for flavor, it will lend some but goes well with the oak, but primarily you want to use it to sterilize the oak before you put it in the bourbon. It will lend some flavor, but it is not like you are dumping a whole bottle in. The secondary is a good place for flavoring because it is easier to control the flavors and allows you to have more control over taste. In reference to the hops, I would, if you are going for a very little amount of hoppy goodness, go with 1-2 oz at the 60min mark so you get the good bitterin, and put an ounce the last 10-20 minutes of a less bitter hop (lower IBU) for aroma. Like I said before this is just my humble opinion. Any other questions just fire them at me.

    Willy Blanks

  5. Sorry just seeing this. Looks like you have a good basic stout recipe. I guess you are going for a sweet/dry stout with a little woody vanilla taste. It sounds like if you stick to the above suggestions you should be pretty good. That being said let me give my 2 cents. :) Instead of adding all 3 lbs of DME, try maybe a pound or 2 of DME and then throw in .5-1.5 lbs black patent malt. I think this will give you a nice toasty taste and darken your ale. Also you could add like .5 lbs or roasted barley for a more chocolate taste. I dont think I would worry about adding any more boiling hops. Keep the IBU's low. Can't wait to see the results!

  6. i will take all suggestions, i actually just looked and i have 5 lbs dark liquid malt and i ordered 3lbs dark DME so well be shy by a 1lb but should be good, i will keep everyone posted once i have some free time to get this thing going.

  7. alright so i was reading the other day about doubling up the yeast used when brewing stouts and other heavy beers, whats the boards take on this? i mean the main reason would be to increase ABV right? is it necessary? would it be necessary for the above ideas? i have 5# dark liquid 3#dark DME 1#brown sugar and the addition of black patent to the other grains....let me know what everyone thinks.


  8. For what you got you will be fine if you use a yeast starter to insure good population of yeasties. Double pitching is a practice that is up in debate but is used primarily in beers that are very high gravities with primary yeasts that are exhausted and the secondary pitch is used to try to push past that point of ABV achieved and contribute to carbonation upon bottling. This is just what I have gleaned from reading boards and have applied it to my imperial stout in the secondary right now. It was a very high OG and the dry english ale yeast I used primarily only goes up alittle above 10%, which we passed to almost 12%. So in order to have yeast activity in a higher alcohol environment I pitched Champagne yeast, that does well up to 20% ABV, to continue on. But once again, for what you have on paper now a good 1/2-1 gallon starter would do you just nicely-in my opinion.

    Willy Blanks


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