A couple of months ago my girlfriend and I brewed up a coffee stout together. The recipe was formulated with the idea of prominently featuring coffee from our local roaster–MadCap Coffee. The malt bill was assembled with the idea of it blending with and complimenting the coffee flavors and aromatics so that the line between the coffee and the beer was blurred. While many stouts are heavy on the roast, the goal for this one was to let the coffee provide many of those flavors, and allow the malt to mingle with deeper notes in the coffee. As for hops and yeast, they play a very neutral role in this one. Here’s the recipe:
Recipe Specifications ————————–
11 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 73.3 %
1 lbs Wheat, Roasted (550.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.7 %
8.0 oz Special B (Dingemans) (147.5 SRM) Grain 6 3.3 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.7 %
1 lbs Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 3 6.7 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.3 %
1.00 oz Galena [12.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 36.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast
Mash at 154F for 60 min. Sparge with 180F water.
Before bottling, coarsely grind 6oz. of MadCap’s Oktoberfest blend and place into a sanitized muslin bag. Place in a sanitized bowl with 3 cups of water and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Remove coffee grounds and let drip, then add the liquid coffee into your bottling bucket.
Review on 12/9/11:
Appearance: Pours dark black with a tan, espresso-like head. Very few highlights here.
Aroma: Strongly of coffee, as well as notes of dates, molasses, some tobacco, raisins. Slight alcohol sweetness.
Taste: Expounds largely on the coffee, again with dark fruits and molasses, but not too sweet or cloying. It ends with a nice roastiness that cleans the palate.
Mouthfeel: Slick, and not as full as I would like. Low carbonation leaves the ale smooth.
Overall: This is one of the better beers I’ve had a hand in brewing, and one I’ve ear-marked to make again. It’s very drinkable, but also delicious. The complexities of it are subtle, but are certainly open for exploration. I am very happy with how this turned out and feel it has come very close to hitting what was originally envisioned. I can only think of a few tweaks to make, such as perhaps a higher mash temp to add a little more body.