A Stout as Black as my Heart


Today I decided to use up the 6 pounds of dark spray malt I had laying around (don’t ask me how I ended up with so much). I steeped a 1/2 pound of chocolate malt which in hindsight maybe wasn’t the best idea as the charred flavor might take over everything. It did make the wort blacker than black. \m/

It’s in the fermenter now. I remembered to take a gravity reading this time. Wooo. 1.049. Hopefully this is OK. The recipe says the gravity should be at 1.054. I was pretty fast and lose with this recipe which I found in How to Brew. It will be curious to see how it turns out.

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23 Responses

  1. Sounds great. I steeped some chocolate malt for one of the beers I made and it turned out really well. There’s no stopping you with the brewing now.

    • That’s good to know that the chocolate malt might add something. It seemed really strong when I was steeping it.

      Brewing is totally addictive. My only problem is gathering enough bottles!

      • I agree brewing is really addictive. The biggest drag for me was the bottling (collecting bottles, keeping them, cleaning them, and then finally filling them). The solution is kegging. Kegging has turned homebrewing for me into a total pleasure from start to finish.

        • Hi Mark. That makes a lot of sense. The bottles are so annoying– I have to keep them in sealed boxes because I have a cat and his hair gets everywhere. It’s fiddly too– I need to get a better capper.

          My friend in LA uses kegs. When I move into a bigger flat, I would definitely consider it. (Right now I only have room for a tiny office style fridge– very sad!)

  2. I did a smoked stout recently and thought I had used too much roasted barley and chocolate malt (1kg between them), but the comments from fellow ICBers who tasted some last weekend were pretty positive. And boy, is this stuff black. The head is a dirty brown.

    • Good to know that it might work! Yeah– on this, before it boiled even the foam on the top was a dark brown!

  3. Woah! That’s a lot of spray malt!

    I only ever used a little bit of the stuff; and made up the bulk with liquid malt extract – I wonder how yours will turn out? I wouldn’t worry about the half pound of chocolate; with that much malt in there it should be fine – in fact, it should notably improve it 🙂

    What yeast do you use?

  4. Hi Jack– I was using a recipe in the one book I have. Who knows! The last two beers I made I also used spraymalt and at least the first was OK. I haven’t tried the second batch yet.

    I used Safale 04 (it’s what i had laying around, and I haven’t found a good shop that consistently has what I need in stock so I’ve resigned to making due with what I have).

    If the mild is any good I’ll bring a bottle of it to Whitby!

  5. On the spraymalt side, when I did extract brewing it was all spray malt, as it stores better than liquid. Used to use up to 3kg per batch and some steeping grains. Never had a problem. In fact, the beers went down pretty well with others. DME all the way I say 😀

    • Hi Adeptus– the first beer I made was 3 lbs spraymalt plus steeping grains and it was awesome. I have another brewer friend who only uses DME. If either of these beers are half as good as my first I’ll be happy!

      Now are you doing all grain brewing?

  6. Yeah, I did extract for about two years, mainly because of time and space considerations. I switched to all grain last year after making a coolerbox mash tun. It’s alot more straightforward than I thought, so no duds yet 😀

    I still keep some DME/Spraymalt in reserve, just in case I get the urge to do a quick brew, or to use in bumping up the OG of big beers, like a barley wine I did before Christmas (which I must bottle in the next month or two). I still believe you can make DME-based beers indistinguishable from AG, based on comments from fellow brewers at tasting events. The thing I like about doing the AG now is that little bit more control over the process, and a broader palette of malts you can use. It’s all good beer though! 🙂

    • Hey, Adeptus– I’ve heard a lot of people talk about AG as an obsession. I realized that I missed the smell of the crystal malt I used for steeping in the last batch. It’s nice to know that after I learn the basics with DME, there is a new frontier– but that in the meantime the beer will taste OK!

  7. Ah- boiling down body parts once more. Once you’ve mastered the fine art of brewing you can take up my life’s mission (beerwise) and brew something called Veronicale. It would have to be sweet but tomboyish like my widdo daughter. Yeah, it’s all about me. Sorry.

    • Wortwurst, I like the sound of Veronicale– perhaps I shall try to brew it. Though I will omit the inclusion of any noticeable body parts.

  8. I wouldn’t worry about the roast too much. I recently made a porter with 6# LME and 1# DME, all dark. 1/2# Chocolate and 1/2# Crystal 120L, and there is hardly a roast character at all. Really tasty and really dark

    • Thanks, synicalkaos– this is good to know. I’m very pleased with the color–hopefully the taste will mellow with fermenting, etc.

  9. I hope it turns out good for you.

    Also love the Mastodon shirt.

    • Thanks, Mike! I hope it lives up to my hairy metal dreams.

  10. …I too must also give kudos for the shirt…Saw Mastodon supporting Tool a couple of years ago and they were ace. Brewing and music, i love it. In fact, I find it hard to work without something on in the background. Not usually prog metal, though!!

    • Hi Leigh!

      I saw them at All Tomorrows Parties and they blew me away with their sonic caveman headtrip! I enjoy brewing to metal. What do you listen to while you brew?

  11. to be honest, totally mellow stuff. Recently I brewed a single-hop (Goldings) pale ale to the strains of John Martyn, as he had passed away that month. Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Bruce Springsteen and Calexico have all recently provided the tunes…I ave my metal for the Ipod-soundtracked rush hour commute!!

    • I understand the wisdom of metal-commute. Some days The Hidden Hand was the only thing that got me through an hour on a packed tube car.

  12. yep – it needs to be loud to cut out the inane chatter!!

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