Stout with roasted wheat instead of roasted barley?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by JAMC, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Has anyone tried this? In addition to the usual roasted barley, I can also get hold of roasted wheat or even roasted rye.

    Roasted wheat is supposed to have a milder flavour than roasted barley and I'm thinking it would be interesting to make a stout with it. I made a stout last year using the conventional 70-20-10 Guinness type recipe and a big helping of EKG - it was good, but I'd describe it as "robust". You could still taste it for hours after the glass was empty.

    Something more delicate using roasted wheat instead of roasted barley and pale wheat in place of flaked barley (for head retention) might be fun to try.
     
  2. Altbier bitte

    Altbier bitte New Member

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    Only one way to find out. Are you talking about roasted unmalted wheat? I haven't seen that, but I can't see why it wouldn't be good. Roast barley can definitely be overdone. I'm doing a cream stout brew after next. I'm using a fairly modest dose of rb (3 oz for a 5 gallon batch) and debittered dark malts (Briess Blackprinz and Carafa 2) to try for a moderately roasty flavor. Btw, it's my understanding that Guinness is made with only pale malt, roasted barley and a small % of soured malt - no caramel. Good luck - keep us posted.
     
  3. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    What the hell, let's do it.

    Here's a link to the roasted wheat malt in question.

    Guinness (at least here in Britain) comes in two varieties - "Original" and "Draft". The clone recipe for original is the straightforward 70% pale barley, 20% flaked barley and 10% roasted barley recipe with EKG hops - that's all there is to it. In practice this gets you into the ballpark for a Guinness-like stout, but it's not identical - not by a wide margin. Particularly not if (like I did) you stick to the proportions but overshoot the OG by miles and end up with something that's more like an imperial stout.

    If I understand the process correctly the recipe for Guinness draft is no different to original. The souring comes from taking about 3% of the total batch volume, allowing it to oxidise, then re-mixing it back into the batch. The idea I think is to replicate the partially-oxidised effect you used to experience decades ago in pubs when Guinness used to be a real ale pulled from a cask by a beer engine.

    In my experience the flaked barley is the most questionable part of the original clone recipe. I ended up with a head so thick that it wouldn't subside - it just kept growing and growing until the pint glass resembled a toadstool. I'm thinking pale wheat malt could provide a thick lasting head with plenty of lacing in it's place - hopefully without the mushrooming effect that I had so spectacularly with my previous attempt.

    Here's what I'm thinking for a 5 gallon batch of "wheat stout"';

    Grain:
    3.5 kg Pale ale malt (7lb 12oz)
    1 kg Pale wheat malt (2lb 3oz)
    500g Roasted wheat (1lb 1oz)

    Hops:
    7g Pacific Gem @ 60 mins
    14g Pacific Gem @ 10 mins

    Yeast:
    Safale S-04

    Vital Statistics:
    OG = 1.050
    FG = 1.014
    ABV = 4.7%
    IBU = 22 (moderate for a stout)
    SRM = 32
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Just do it. And let us know how it turns out.
     
  5. Altbier bitte

    Altbier bitte New Member

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    You know, if it were me, and as you know it isn't, I'd throw all of the hops in at 60 minutes. Btw, that's a New Zealand hop, isn't it? I've got several lbs of NZ varieties right now, but not that one. I actually brewed my first batch with some (Motueka) the other night. What's Pac. Gem like?
     
  6. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Will do. This one is pencilled in for the middle of February.
     
  7. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Any particular reason? I've been on a train of thought recently where I'm leaning towards later flavour/aroma additions rather than bittering. I suppose it's because I came off the back of a series of quite hoppy beers, and wanted to do tone down the IBU level but keep some of the flavours that some of the hop varieties give off.

    Yes it is a New Zealand hop. The first thing I would say about it is that a little goes a long way. AA varies between 13% and 17%. The predominant flavour it brings to the party is blackcurrant/blackberry. The secondary flavour it brings is the kind of earthy, oaken flavour you'd expect to get from Fuggle. I made a bitter a few months ago with Pacific Gem, Motueka and EKG - came out nice but needed extra time to settle down.

    In summary - It's a nice hop but use it sparingly. Less is more.

    Thinking about it now, I'm not sure it's the best choice for my Wheat stout recipe. Convention would dictate EKG (which I do have), but I'd like to try something else for this to break with tradition. I've got some Motueka left over, as well as some Progress and Whitbread Goldings. I also have a 100g of "Flyer", which is a brand new British hop (11% AA) that only became available last year in very small quantities - could use that I suppose and see whether it works... It's reckoned to be anything from "supercharged challenger" to "curry".
     
  8. Altbier bitte

    Altbier bitte New Member

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    I didn't realize how high the AA% is for Pac Gem. Seems like most of the S Hemisphere hops are high alpha dual purpose. I guess for me a stout just doesn't need much, or necessarily any, flavor or aroma. Part of it is just that I like my beer more bitter than most people generally. For me most commercial stouts are lacking in that area - just a matter of taste.
     
  9. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Stouts seem to be very style dependent when it comes to IBU. Sweet stout guidelines go as low as 20 IBU, Imperial as high as 90. Understandable when you consider the high % abv for most RIS recipes.

    I suppose with this recipe I'm leaning towards having more of a flavour/aroma presence because the roast flavour from the grain should be less than normal. If the roasted flavour isn't quite so dominant, that opens up space for other flavours to play a supporting role. I'm hoping to hit a good balance between roasted malt and hop flavours. There shouldn't be any noticable alcohol flavour at < 5% abv.

    Looking at the other thread about Hopbacks has got me thinking about whether to experiment with the Pac. Gem....
     
  10. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Finally brewed this today. Will report back in a few weeks.
     
  11. perogi

    perogi New Member

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    Very interested in how this turns out!
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm betting the difference isn't great - toasted starch is toasted starch. Still, I'd love to be wrong about this one, having encouraged its creation some time ago.
     
  13. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Looks eager in primary - just checked it now and there's plenty of airlock activity.

    In the end I went with Notty instead of S-04 - slighly greater attenuation should give 4.7% with an OG of 1.047 (which I hit dead on the mark :cool: ) and an FG of 1.011.

    Once primary looks finished I'll cold crash it.
     
  14. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Didn't fit a blow-off tube because I didn't think I'd need one but, low and behold, a small amount of beer has found it's way through the airlock and onto the lid. Wasn't a great big mess but still didn't think that would happen with an OG of 1.047 and 10 litres of headspace...
     
  15. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Id say that a small mess on the lid is fortunate. Mopping beer off the ceiling is a pain.
     
  16. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    Just finished bottling this one. Discovered just before starting that I didn't have quite enough 26mm caps left - so had to chuck the last couple of litres :oops: . That'll teach me. Managed 34 half-litre bottles.

    Taste? At this point, quite markedly different from a conventional stout. It reminds me of toasted fruit shortcake biscuits (don't know if you have those in America?). The bitterness you normally get from roasted barley is not there - it's more of a toastiness, but even then the dominant flavour is biscuit. Definite currant fruits from the Pacific Gem. Never tasted a beer quite like it.

    Anyway, experience tells me that you can't judge a beer at the point of bottling. Will report back once it's carbed up in a few weeks time.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    As I said, I'd love to be wrong.... Might be something worth a try later on!
     
  18. JAMC

    JAMC Member

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    OK, so a couple of weeks on - here's the progress report for this batch.

    4 weeks after brewing I think this is an encouraging experiment with good flavours, but not the finished article. I wanted to explore the idea of a "wheat stout" and I now have a much better idea of what that means.

    IMO, roasted wheat is much milder than roasted barley if we compare like-for-like quantities. The biscuit flavour I noted at bottling is much less pronounced now - the dominant flavours are treacle, toast and that kind of grainy/ sweet bread taste that's produced by a large quantity of wheat in the mash. As a result, it's quite sweet to the taste - especially considering it's an FG of 1.011. Definitely a sweet stout at the moment. It has a lovely smooth, viscous mouthfeel and a very pleasant finish.

    There are a couple of areas that need attention though. Problem number 1; there's no head. And I mean literally no head whatsoever. no matter how vigerously you pour it you just get bubbles popping on the surface instantly like you'd see in a glass of Coke. I suspect soap compounds may have got into the batch at the bottling phase (my own stupid fault :oops: ) - and that's disappointing because I was hoping for a bright white head from this batch.

    Problem number 2; I think this batch is significantly under-hopped. The bittering additions weren't enough to counterbalance the malt sweetness, even at 1.011. The blackcurrant aroma I got from the Pacific Gem has also faded somewhat with conditioning. I think both hop additions may need to be increased to sort those out next time.

    Any suggestions for increasing head retention, hop aroma and possibly drying this recipe out below 1.010 are appreciated. ;)
     
  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Drying out is easy: Add sugar. Any refined sugar will do this for you. With the amount of wheat, head retention shouldn't be a problem but to tweak the recipe, you might add oats.
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Also, hop aroma shouldn't be pronounced in a stout. Sounds like you're inventing something here that more has its roots in stout than is an actual stout. Were it mine and too sweet, I'd add neutral bitterness, something like Magnum, and leave the grist alone. Your head may fix itself in time-give it a bit and see what happens.
     

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