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Friday
Mar092012

All About Stout - The Beers of BTV 55

Dry Irish Stout

 

What can I say about this? It’s classic, it’s on the nitro, and it’s an NB kit:

Target OG 1.042
5 gallons, all grain

Grist:
6 lbs Maris Otter
2 lbs flaked barley
1 lb roasted barley

Mash:
152 F for 60 minutes
170 F for 10 minutes

Boil:
1.5 oz Cluster (or equivalent … I had some Chinook pellets lying around) @ 60”

Fermentation:
Chill, O2, and pitch Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale from a 1500 mL stir-plated starter. Primary at 65F. Inhale the offgas from the airlock (you know you want to): sharply coffeeish and grainy-sweet.

Rack to secondary after 12 days, crash cool and keg after 7 days (FG 1.012).

Packaging and such:
It should be mentioned here that the keg to which the beer was racked was fitted with a diffusion stone attached to the gas-in dip tube inside the keg with a couple feet of 1/4″ ID bev tubing. The dry stout was force-carbonated to a low level with CO2, then after a few days of cold conditioning, hooked up to what in my house is known as The Nitro, which lets us do this:

 

edit 2/13: The Nitro. Since BTV #55 posted, I’ve had some requests for more info on carbonating and serving. I’ll provide the disclaimer that this is just how I do it and isn’t meant to be gospel … in a nutshell: CO2 to about 1.8 psi (beer at 35F, regulator set to 8 psi), then vent, replace the CO2 hookup with beer gas and dispense at 35 psi through a stout faucet.

Extract version:

But of course.

Sraid Dhasain Single Stout

Or, a Dublin porter circa 1880, and named (in Gaelic) for the most awesome thoroughfare in Dublin city: Dawson Street.

Before we begin – cite your source, give a disclaimer! The grist formulation, hopping rate, and other historical data were gleaned from Mr. Ron Pattinson via his blog Shut Up About Barclay Perkins; the choice of specific malts, hops, and yeast, plus the mash, boil, and fermentation schedules for this re-interpretation of an old beer are mine.

“Single Stout” is what Guinness used to call their basic porter, elided from “single stout porter.” “Stout”  in those days – like “mild” – being not a beer style in its own right, but an adjective; in this case denoting a stronger and burlier iteration. Therefore stout porter would be bigger, presumably in both gravity and hopping, than plain old “porter.” And eventually “Single Stout” itself was elided into just “stout,” which became a style and ceased being an adjective.

But if you sneak a peak at the constituents of the grist in the recipe below, you’ll see this isn’t really dry Irish stout as we understand it today. What’s different? Amber and black malt are in, unmalted flaked and roasted barley are out (brewing with unmalted grains was illegal at this point in UK brewing history – England gained revenue from its Malt Tax, so brewers weren’t permitted to use adjuncts; flaked and roast barley didn’t find their way into Irish ales until later). Higher OG. Quite a hop rate, if not significantly more bitterness.

“So it’s basically a robust porter brewed in Ireland back when Queen Victoria was breeding Volpinos.” Yeah, but … shut up. My reading of Mr. Pattinson is that what made Irish porters uniquely Irish was the eager and early adoption of highly-roasted black malt by the brewers; the omission of brown malt (English porter brewers were still in love with comparatively pale-colored and toasty-but-not-burnt-flavored brown malt); and the persistence of Irish brewers in blending new and aged beers (which English porter brewers had more or less given up on at this point in the 19th century in favor of “entire”, but which Guinness still practices today). Alas, I have no suitable aged beers in my cellar with which to blend this batch, so I’ll just have to find a way to choke it down unblended …

So then: 85% pale malt, 10% amber malt, and 5% black malt, target OG of 1.060, single infusion mash in the mid 150s F for body. A single big bittering charge of low-alpha hops to fiftysomething IBUs, fermentation with Wyeast’s Irish Ale strain … let’s get jiggy.

Sraid Dhasain Single Stout Porter
OG 1.060
5 gallons, all grain

Grist:
9 lbs Warminster Maris Otter
1 lbs Amber malt
10 oz Black patent malt

Mash:
154 F for 75 minutes
168 F for 10 minutes

Boil:
4.5 oz East Kent Goldings (whole) 3% aa @ 60”

Fermentation:
Chill, O2, and pitch Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale from a 2000 mL stir-plated starter. Primary at 65F. Inhale the offgas from the airlock (you know you want to): warm and toasty, with a strong roast component and a surprising level of herbal hop.

Rack to secondary after 12 days, crash cool and keg after 7 days (FG 1.016), carbonate to a low level (I did about 1 vol. of CO2), condition for about a week and then get on it. There you go.

Partial mash version:
Amber malt requires a mash, so my fellow stovetop extract brewers (and I still do stovetop extract batches) can grab a big mesh bag and a strainer and also get jiggy:

5 gallons, partial boil*

Grist:
2.5 lbs Warminster Maris Otter
1 lbs Amber malt
10 oz Black patent malt

Mash:
154 F for 75 minutes
168 F for 10 minutes

Boil:
6 lbs Northern Brewer Gold malt syrup
6 oz Goldings (whole) 3%aa @ 60”

* – if you do a full-volume boil, scale the hop addition back to 4.5 oz as for the all-grain version

Slainte!

Further reading and watching:
www.northernbrewer.com/brewingtv – Episode 55 includes the brew day and tasting notes
http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-many-stouts.html
http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2007/11/irish-porter-london-porter.html

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