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Brewing a White Stout – The Recipe

White Stout Recipe - Brewing a White Stout

After being inspired by Track 7’s White Stout, the discussion about how to create a white stout got much more serious. We began researching an formulating our recipe.

Luckily, my buddy from Sacramento was able to reach out to someone who was intimately involved with the Track 7 brewing process that was able to give us this bit of knowledge:

A white stout is created as a result of omitting dark, roasted malts from the grain bill and replacing them with cold-steeped coffee, cacao nibs, and/or vanilla beans.  The coffee, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans are added to the beer (post fermentation in the case of Track 7) to impart the bitterness and roasted character that the dark, roasted malts impart, but without the color.  From what I’ve seen, brewers also add oats for a fuller mouthfeel as well.

By no means was this a recipe, but it was a great starting point. This also shed light on how the white stout had so much coffee and roasted flavor but non of the inherent color that come with those types of malts and additives.

Then we came across this post at The Single Hop. This didn’t come up in our initial search as we had been looking primarily for the term ‘white stout’, not ‘pale stout’. We reached out to the author and were able to get some good info from him. He seemed to think that adding a cold brew coffee concentrate to our beer would definitely darken it up considerably. We took this advice to heart and ended up adding whole coffee beans after primary fermentation.

We found a few other recipes for white stout which we took into consideration in developing our own.

Then we came across this post on BrewDog.com that references this video that James Watt of BrewDog and Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Co had put together as an April Fool’s joke. The joke at the time was that BrewDog and Stone were collaborating on a Golden Imperial Stout called Luciferin. Come to find out, BrewDog actually brewed and released this beer as AB:08 about a year and a half after the April Fool’s video was released.

Taking all of these ingredients, recipes and suggestions into mind, we came up with the following recipe.

The Lightness

By Keg Outlet
Method: All Grain Style: American Stout
Boil Time: 60 min Batch Size: 10 gallons (fermentor volume)
Fermentables
Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %
20 lb United Kingdom – Maris Otter Pale 38 3.75 69%
3 lb Flaked Oats 33 2.2 10.3%
2 lb American – Caramel / Crystal 20L 35 20 6.9%
2 lb Flaked Barley 32 2.2 6.9%
2 lb American – Smoked Malt 37 5 6.9%
Hops
Amount Variety Time AA IBU Type Use
1.25 oz Columbus Pellet 15 Boil 60 min 32.26
0.5 oz Kent Goldings Pellet 5 Boil 30 min 3.31
0.5 oz Kent Goldings Pellet 5 Boil 10 min 1.56
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
10.125 gal Fly Sparge 155 F 60 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.5 qt/lb
Other Ingredients
Amount Name Type Use Time
16 oz Coffee Extract
Whole Coffee Beans
Flavor Secondary 2 days
6 oz Cacao Nibs Flavor Secondary 7 days
Yeast
Wyeast 1187 – Ringwood Ale Yeast
Attenuation (avg): 70% Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 64-74 °F Starter: Yes
Fermentation Temp: 69 °F Pitch Rate: 1.0 (M cells / ml / ° P)
Notes
At start of fermentation, begin soaking 4-8oz of cacao nibs in vodka. After primary fermentation is complete, add cacao nibs and vodka to fermenter during secondary (for the remainder of fermentation).We used 4oz of Ecuadorian cacao nibs along with 2oz of Dominican cacao nibs from Ethereal Confections.Cold brew a coffee concentrate with a light/blonde roast. Add 6-16oz of coffee concentrate into fermenter during secondary fermentation.We replaced the idea of using cold brew coffee concentrate with using whole beans.

Our Grain Selection

We generally use 2-row as our base malt, but since we were doing an experimental beer (or exBEERimental if you follow the Brulosopher though we didn’t have a control), we decided to experiment with everything. In this batch, we used Maris Otter as our base.

We decided to use 3lbs of flaked oats despite the hint from the BrewDog blog, “Add mountains of oats to the malt bill to give the beer a thick, dense mouth-feel.” The idea behind the outs was to give a smooth, silky mouthfeel while still contributing some body to the beer.

We used 2lbs of flaked barley to help with head retention and body and we added 2lb of crystal 20 to help import more body and and a little sweetness.

Lastly, we decided to add 2lbs of smoked malt. At 5 lovibond, the goal was to add some smokey/roasty flavor to the beer without imparting any color.

White Stout Brewing Process

The brewing process for this beer was no different than most beers. Mash, boil, add hops, chill, transfer to fermenter. It was during the fermentation process that many of the qualities and flavor characteristics were added to the beer.

White Stout Fermentation Process

After brewing, the wort was transferred into our 14G Chronical Fermenter and set to rest at a cool 68F with Wyeast Ringwood ale yeast.

Adding the cacao nibs to the fermenter after primary fermentation had completed was in essence our way of dry hopping the beer with chocolate. In addition to the smokey/roasty flavor we were trying to obtain from the smoked malt, we wanted to impart a bit of chocolate as well.

Same goes for the coffee. Initially, we had planned on adding a pint or so of cold brew coffee concentrate to the fermenter, but after further thought and research, decided that it would contribute too much color to the beer. We settled on adding whole beans to the fermenter for 48 hours. After the first 24 hours, we cold crashed for 24 hours prior to kegging. We had never used whole beans and were unsure as to how much flavor would actually come across into the beer, but after doing a bit of research, we were fairly confident that adding whole beans would infuse enough coffee flavor into the final product.

Recipe Feedback?

We’re curious to hear what you think. Let us know if you’ve brewed something similar, or if you just have a general critique/comment/suggestion, we’d love to hear from you. We went into this brew day not entirely knowing what to expect, but as you’ll read in the next post, we were pleasantly surprised and will definitely be brewing this again with some minor tweaks.

About Brendan

A self employed e-commerce developer, Brendan co-created PartsLogix. In his "free time", he coaches volleyball, enjoys homebrewing, mountain biking and hacking up golf courses. Connect with him on Google+ or Twitter.

  • Scott Linden

    This recipe looks awesome! If you don’t mind I think I am going to replicate a 5 gallon batch.

    • Hey Scott – Please do and let us know how it turns out!

      Stay tuned for our 3rd post in this series – The Results.

  • kellers brew supply

    How did this turn out?

    • It turned out great. The final post has been delayed because the home computer decided to crash. Stay tuned!

  • Dave Green

    Brendan, is it on tap yet? Interested to hear how your white stout came out…
    No issues with the sparge? That is a pretty big dose of flaked grains!

    • Hey Dave –

      This is on tap and is luxurious! Haven’t had any beer judges try it, but all the friends and family who have had it love it and are usually quite surprised by it.

      I plan on writing a follow-up/results post, but my home computer crashed… haven’t spent the time to get it back up and running. Might be my weekend project since we aren’t brewing this weekend.

      And no problems with the sparge, came out clean and easy.

      Will keep you posted and let you know when I put the final post up.

      Cheers!

  • Buffalo Bill

    I looked at making this recipe, but I wonder about the gravity.

    You don’t list an OG, but I calculate the OG out at 1.070 based on a 72% extraction rate. You start with 29 lbs of grain, which is a lot for a 10-11 gallon batch. With a 70% attenuation, this will come out in the Imperial Stout range. Did you really get this OG? What was your final gravity?

    • Hey Buffalo Bill –

      Off the top of my head, I think that was about where we finished. I think we had an OG of 1.072 and an FG of 1.015. 7.5% ABV, but you wouldn’t know it when you tried it.

      Cheers!

  • Brian

    I am glad to hear this turned out well. I just brewed this last night and it is fermenting away. When you put in the coffee beans did you just put them in or soak turn on vodka as well? Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hey Brian –

      Your comment just reminded me that I need to finish the 3rd and final post (computer problems had put a wrench in the final post).

      As far as adding the beans, we just bagged some whole beans in a sanitized mesh bag and put them into the fermenter 36 hours prior to kegging. At over 8%, we figured there was enough alcohol to combat any problems. 😉

  • ustserv

    To make 5 gallons of this stout, would it require that the recipe be cut in half or are there other implications. Thanks!

    • Keg Outlet

      Hey there, cutting the ingredients in half would be fine unless you’re looking to hit our IBU spot on, then you might have to adjust for the AA in your hops. To be honest though, with all the other flavor in this beer, there’s quite a bit of wiggle room with the hops. IMO.

  • Roadie

    So how did it turn out. Doing something very similar on Saturday sans the smoked malt.

  • The Great Brew-dini

    Hello, I was wondering what would be used if you were to extract brew this recipe? Same batch size.

    • Keg Outlet

      We haven’t tried converting this to extract. If we hear from any of our customers who have tried this as an extract batch, we’ll be sure to let you know!

  • Johann

    Did you use raw or roasted cacao nibs?

    • Keg Outlet

      We didn’t, but that might be something that we try next time we brew this!

      • Frank Price

        Great idea and thanks for the recipe. Did you use a specific water profile for this beer?

        • Keg Outlet

          Not this time… just used purified water.

  • John Fuduric

    Do you add the cacao nibs as well or strain them out and just add the tincture?

  • Tito Goldstein

    What type of bean/roast would you suggest for the whole coffee beans?

  • rafiki23

    What kind of smoked malts did you use. The ones I found have either a bacon or a bar-b-q flavor/smell. Nothing just smoky.