I just placed another order with Austin Homebrew for the ingredients for my next beer. I decided that I wanted to take the next step in my brewing and create my own recipe. Using John Palmer’s book ‘How To Brew’ as a guide I ordered roughly what I think should make a decent stout. I’m not sure what the final recipe will look like but here are the grains that I got:
Brewer’s 2-row malt
Black roasted barley
Crystal 60L roasted malt
So, the majority of the grain bill is going to be a basic 2-row malt, which is pretty typical. The black roasted barley should impart a bitter dryness to the final beer. I’m aiming for a pretty dark and crisp stout, so hopefully this fits the bill. The chocolate malt should give the beer a nice color and hopefully some complex roasted coffee/chocolate notes. I’m not sure about the Crystal right now. I probably won’t use it on the first batch, but if the bitterness of the black barley is too much, I’ll try to temper things with the Crystal. From what I’ve read it should give me a bit of a caramel flavor, which should offset the bitterness without taking the dry, crisp edge off that I’m looking for.
I went with high alpha-acid hops for this recipe. Palmer recommended a high-alpha hop in the base recipe in the book, but I went off and chose different hops. I’m planning on using Nugget hops for bittering and Cascade for flavor/aroma. Cascade is the variety that gives American IPAs their distinctive grapefruit/citrus flavor, so I though that this would be a pretty wild twist on a stout recipe. Mind you, I have no idea what I’m doing, so this could be a terrible idea.
The yeast is the Fermentis Safbrew S-33 Dry Ale Yeast. I’m sticking with dry yeast for now, even though I’m coming to understand from talking to other brewers that the yeast is an incredibly key choice in the recipe. However, there are only so many hours in the day, and I can only experiment with so many variables at once. So, yeast experimentation will have to wait.