Friday, February 22, 2008

Raisin Toast Stout

As a yeast starter for an upcoming Fresh/New Old Ale, this will be one gallon of jet black stout. Since I haven't brewed any in a long time, I've been enjoying a lot of commercial stouts during this exceptionally long and cold Winter season. Two that I've become particularly fond of are North Coast Old #38 and Left Hand Milk Stout. They both have opened up my imagination, and here I want to play around with some ideas all at once.

The pronounced dry & toasted quality in Old #38 is great, so there's lots of biscuit malt. The intense roasted flavor in the Milk Stout is just that...intense! I've added enough roasted barley to create a good roasted edge. I also hope a generous portion of Special B will offer a deep, dark raisin-like taste, so there's a bunch of that too. A hand-full of flaked barley should help build some body. All of these grains were strung up in a cheese cloth teabag, and steeped in hot water slowly rising to 170°F, then rinsed and squeezed with the remaining hot water from a tea kettle. Half way through the boil, one pound of pale DME stirred in.

There's a bunch of left-over hops in the frig, so this is a good place for it. Centennial seems to really want to go in this one. Cascade on the finish might be nice. Bitterness may be a bit high at a level close to 40 IBU's. Both solid bittering and late additions should support the malt's intense flavors.

I've found that brewing 1 gallon starters, as test batches, is the perfect use of time and old ingredients. I'd like to know if any one else is doing this as a way to make larger yeast slurries for full batches. Please, feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.

Raisin Toast Stout

1.0 lb Briess Pale DME
.45 lb Biscuit Malt
.25 lb Special B
.25 lb Roast Barley
.20 lb Flaked Barley

.15 oz Centennial, 9.5%, pellet, 90min
.10 oz Centennial, 9.5%, pellet, 10min
.20 oz Cascade, 7.6%, whole, KO

Wyeast 1099: Whitbread Ale

After only one week in primary, and still looking only mildly active, it got bottled instead of transfered into a secondary. Also, I revisited 3 bottles a few hours later to pour in freshly pulled espresso (cooled). One with 10mL, one with 20mL, and the 3rd (¾ filled bottle) with about 30mL. The stout beer came out quite sweet, and the espresso came out fairly bitter, so it might be a good addition. Never added any coffee to beer before, so I'm looking forward to these.

Tasting Notes & Photo

Appearance: Pours black, some cloudiness makes it pitch black, with a full & deep tan head that hangs around, and later diminishes to a nice ring around the glass wall
Aroma: Rich and classic stout roast aromas, with a mild hop scent within (spiked version has mild coffee scent), overall a balancing of aromas and very inviting
Taste: Full flavored stout with good roast edge and light biscuit quality and light supporting sweetness, hop taste is also nicely sharp/accurate and balanced (spiked version has a wonderful dark espresso taste that is balanced at both 10 & 20 mL per 12oz.)
Mouthfeel: Moderately full bodied, and the carbonation came out great at a medium level
Aftertaste: Overall it has a clean finish, some toasty flavors with a roast and hop bitterness that lingers, but its not at all overwhelming
Drinkability: Very drinkable, and satisfying. Considering that it was a 1 gallon test batch, I am very pleased. In fact, it may be my best stout yet, and I now see that more roasted barley needs support with toasted and dark crystal malts. The spiked version is a definite candidate for my brothers wedding.

Click here to see a full list of one gallon batches.
And here to see the Mint Stout.


Travis said...

I love raisin toast.

Kevin LaVoy said...

So basically you are brewing the test batch and then just keeping the yeast from it and drinking the brew? It's somehow more fun than making a starter, because you get to drink it too.

I have thus far only pitched on to a yeast cake once. That batch is basically ready to rack right now, so I'm not sure yet how that will finish, but the airlock started popping after about 3 hours.

I'll be trying out washing that yeast tomorrow for a batch I'll brew next weekend. But I read some good stuff on that and it doesn't seem terribly difficult.

Anonymous said...

I have been making 1 gallon batches lately using yeast collected from the bottom of bottle conditioned ales, which I worry wont be lively enough for a 5 gallon batch. It is a convenient and inexpensive way to test the quality of a mysterious strain, and bulk up the quantity, before throwing it into a big batch.

Only recently have I been brewing in 1 gallon batches. Quite a sense of liberation, not having to worry about ingredient costs.

By the way, how are your 4 gruits coming along?


Brian said...

I've been doing the same, making a 1 gallon test batch (usually dry extract based..but I have done a mini mash for a couple in the past). I do this primarily to entertain myself because each batch I do anymore is a bit experimental since I never follow the exact procedure as when I do the 1 gallon starter batch. in other words I guess I get an interesting small batch on my way to making a different 5 gallon batch :)


Anonymous said...

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Ted Danyluk said...

Thanks for all your comments.

Kevin... Yeah I just brew up a one gallon batch, siphon into bottles on brewday, and then pour some new wort into the jug to get all the yeast out and into the full batch fermenter.

Ian... That sounds great. I haven't tried using yeast from commercial bottles. But I may start that as a way to take the cost of brewing down a notch. Any recommendations for good commercial yeasts in the bottle? Keep it up with those one gallon batches, and I'd like to hear about some of them sometime.

The gruits all came out pretty good. I will get around to posting detailed notes from an herbal beer tasting party I hosted, so check back for that.

Brian... Have your one gallon starter batches come out good? They are also great for styles that you aren't brewing (this stout is great cause I wont brew one for a long time). Any styles that you've preferred at this size?

Its great to hear what is being done by others. Thanks for contributing your experiences here. Keep it up, and I look forward to hearing more in the future.

phlyingpenguin said...

The name and small batch reminds me of a bit of brew I put off of the porter I just made. I used a 64oz growler to try out the addition of bacon during secondary fermentation. The beer came out WONDERFUL, and now everybody is begging me to make a full batch. I'm now thinking of porter recipes to make an official "baconated" porter out of.

Ted Danyluk said...


Bacon beer. That is the perfect use for a small jug secondary. I would imaging it could have a resemblance to beers with smoked malt added.

Interesting. Glad to hear about your good experience. Thanks for sharing.

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Dick Brubaker said...

interesting post. thank you for sharing. I look forward to trying this recipe