What follows is the recipe and brewing/tasting notes as provided to Chop & Brew by homebrewer Kent Erickson as it relates to his series of whey stouts that we sampled in Episode 75 | Whey Stout Three Ways. It should be noted that Kent’s original inspiration came from a recipe for Oatmeal Cream DoubleF Stout, originally printed online by The Growler magazine and now available in Dawson’s Mashmaker book. Buy the book with this custom link to support Chop & Brew!
Now, we turn it over to Kent – who is a big Minnesota Vikings fan, by the way.
* * * *
Whey Stout Three Ways
Brewed on January 22, 2017 (same day as the packers lost in the playoffs, I believe)
Ingredients for 3-Gallon batch
Control Batch – OG: 1.084 | FG: 1.029
- 3 lbs MCI Stout Malt
- 10.4 oz Flaked Oats
- 10 oz Blackprinz
- 9 oz Chocolate Malt
- 6.5 oz Crystal 120
60 minute mash, batch sparged to about 3-gallons, gravity was as expected at 70% efficiency. Topped off with roughly 2 quarts of leftover whey from making homemade mozzarella and some water.
- 60 minutes: 2 lbs Amber DME & Nugget Hops
- 10 minutes: 10 oz lactose
Wyeast London Ale 3
Primary fermentation lasted until mid-March due to a busy schedule; I usually try to get beer bottled or into secondary after two or three weeks. Transferred one gallon onto one chopped up vanilla bean. Transferred another gallon onto 4 ounces of cocoa nibs + approximately 10 ounces of raspberries. Bottled the last gallon as a control batch.
First of all, this had a high final gravity, like almost 1.030 on the control portion. It took a long time to carbonate, and some of the last bottles I tried still didn’t have the level of carbonation I like. I attribute this more to the long primary fermentation and low ambient temperatures after bottling than anything else. I know it wasn’t the whey, as other batches I’ve made with whey have carbonated well with good foam retention. I’m pretty happy with how the control batch turned out. It is an improvement over the last couple of stouts I’ve made and I attribute that to my rough attempts to tweak the water I use. Next time I might reduce the amount of lactose by a couple ounces as it seems that whey does increase the gravity more than I usually anticipate.
The vanilla and chocolate-raspberry portions were definitely experimental. I had never used vanilla before. I just chopped up a vanilla bean, soaked it in 190-proof, and added all that to the fermenter. The chocolate-raspberry was intentionally over-the-top because I have used nibs before, and followed the instructions I kept reading about not using too much. I was consistently disappointed with the lack of chocolate flavor that came through. I have also tried adding cocoa powder to the end of the boil, which makes the fermenting wort smell amazing during krausen, but doesn’t add much to the final product. I won’t use 4 ounces nibs per gallon again; next time maybe somewhere between 1.25 to 1.5 ounces per gallon. I like how these taste, but I feel like the stout is lost underneath the other vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry flavors.
Here’s a tip – if you do an experiment like this, try a blend of the vanilla or chocolate-raspberry with the control batch 50/50 and see what you think!