Taylor Caron, manager of Hops & Berries Homebrew Shop, provided this recipe for an American-style stout, with a tiny bit of preboil sour wort similar to Old School Irish stouts. Feel free to substitute the dry grains in the soured portion with a shot of Good Belly, a commercial strain of Lactobacillus, or even ½ tsp of yogurt. Have some fun with it!
Brewhouse efficiency: 65%
8 oz (227 g) Maris Otter
8 oz (227 g) flaked barley
8 oz (227 g) chocolate malt
8 oz (227 g) roasted barley
3 oz (85 g) black barley
5 lb (2.3 kg) Briess Golden Light liquid malt extract (LME)
2 lb (907 g) Briess Traditional Dark LME
HOPS AND ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
1oz (28 g) Centennial [10% AA] at 60 minutes
1oz (28 g) Centennial at flameout, and then a 15-minute steep
2 packets Safale US-05
Sour a small amount of wort the day before brew day: Boil 3 oz (85 g) of the Briess Traditional Dark LME in 18 oz (532 ml) of water, then chill to between 100−120°F (38−49°C). In a clean and sanitized pint-sized Mason jar, add 1 tsp of crushed barley malt (2-row or Pilsner is fine) and then fill the jar to overflowing with the boiled wort. Set the jar lid and gently tighten the ring, leaving it almost sealed to allow any gas to escape. Put this in a warm part of the house for a day before adding to the main wort at the beginning of the boil.
On brew day, steep the Maris Otter and flaked barley in 2 qt (1 l) of 165°F (74°C) water, shooting for a rest of 152−156°F (67−69°C) for 20 minutes.
Add the remaining grains and another quart of 165°F (74°C) water for another 20 minutes before straining and adding the wort to the brew pot with the liquid malt extract. Add the soured wort from the previous day and bring to a boil as usual.
Boil for 60 minutes following the hops schedule. Ferment at 65−68°F (18−20°C) until FG is reached.
Technically, this is a very simple partial-mash recipe, but feel free to treat it like a slightly more complex specialty steeping extract recipe.
For the sour wort, the key is to keep it warm and anaerobic to promote lactic acid over acetic “malt vinegar” flavors. If you’d like to skip the souring step, you can cheat with a touch of lactic acid to taste before packaging. A little goes a long way, but it’s amazing how just a hint of sour will really sharpen a dark and bold beer like this and complement the burnt and coffee aromas.
As with any larger beer, beware of fermentation temperatures climbing out of control and be ready to let this one age for a month after packaging when it really starts to shine.
From Berliner Weisse to Gose and points in between, quick souring is rapidly becoming the time-constrained brewer’s choice for building pleasant tartness on a schedule. In Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®’s online course, Quick Souring Methods, Funkwerks Cofounder Gordon Schuck explains how to use Lactobacillus bacteria, experiment with sour mashing, test acidity levels, and more. Sign up today!