Video Tip: Pitfalls to Avoid When You Want Your Pastry Stout to Go Nuts

And pistachios seemed like such a good idea. Great Notion lead brewer Lara Hargrave shares some tips on things to look out for when flavoring and finishing dessert-inspired stouts.

Lara Hargrave May 9, 2024 - 2 min read

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At Great Notion Brewing in in Portland, Oregon, the philosophy when it comes to flavor is "go big, or go home." Founded 2016, Great Notion has won a strong following among beer enthusiasts on the West Coast and across the country for its characterful hazy IPAs, fruit beers, and dessert stouts. Subtlety is rarely part of the equation, and the Great Notion team has long been proud of how far they can push the envelope in the pursuit of crowd-pleasing, culinary-inspired flavors.

In this 39-minute video course, lead brewer Lara Hargrave walks us through each step of Great Notion’s production of dessert-driven stouts—beers such as Double Stack, their imperial breakfast stout with coffee and maple syrup. Along the way, she discusses:

  • recipe development, from grist to adjuncts
  • selecting dark malts that support and balance flavor adjuncts without clashing
  • how to ensure a smooth lauter
  • long boils, dark sugars, and malt extracts for flavor and body
  • using slaked lime to balance acidic ingredients
  • managing fermentation in a hostile environment for yeast
  • using an adjunct tank for ingredients such as coconut and peanuts
  • tips on working with coffee, nuts, marshmallow, coconut, and more
  • the careful use of flavor extracts
  • experimenting with different flavor adjuncts
  • adding flavor adjuncts to barrel-aged stouts
  • oily ingredients, volatile aromas, and other pitfalls

And more.

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