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The Stout Brewer’s Control Panel

When it comes to building a recipe—and then making adjustments to get exactly the flavors you want—there is no family of beers as complex and as rewarding as stouts. Here are the levers and dials you need to know.

Josh Weikert Dec 5, 2022 - 15 min read

The Stout Brewer’s Control Panel Primary Image

Photos: Matt Graves

Stouts are complicated.

I’m not talking about the seemingly endless (and equally pointless) debate over the differences between stout and porter. I’m also not talking about the myriad combinations of baking-aisle adjuncts that can be added to a recipe. No, I’m talking about stouts themselves: Even with just grain, water, yeast, and hops, they are complicated flavor machines that push beer to its limits.

First, consider the many varieties of stout, and how they run the gamut from low to ultra-high ABV, sweet to acridly dry, light on the palate to thick and chewy, and malt bombs to hop-forward American varieties.

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