I have had a very successful brewing start to 2018. I decided to try my hand at an all-grain stout recipe, and now, having finally tasted it, I can truly say that I have brewed a cracking beer! This recipe was a milk and chocolate stout, with a long and complicated grain bill including oats, brown malt, and cara wheat grains. I found it interesting how stouts and porters are truly an expression of the grain profile involved, and the hops take more of a back seat- something which is unusual in today’s day and age of hoppy craft brews.
For the first time I also decided to use my local tap water for the entirety of the brewing liquor. Having ordered a lab test of it late last year, I was confident that it was good enough to brew, and for this batch the only alteration to the liquor was the use of a single Campden tablet to eliminate the chlorine. For the next batches I am planning to use dry mineral salts to alter the composition of the water to better suit the style of beer which I will be brewing, but more on that later…
I am pleased to announce that the stout turned out delicious! I have even received a comment saying that it is better than some of the stouts available commercially- which to a home brewer is one of the highest compliments. The lactose sweetness really comes out, as well as aromas of chocolate and coffee. The level of carbonation is quite low, which I feel compliments the beer perfectly. To finish it all off it has a lovely off-white head which looks really appealing in my opinion.
For the label I have decided to remove the side panel and go with a more graphic approach. The space man was really due to the dark nature of space, much like a stout, and the fact that I loved the illustration as soon as I came across it. Without further ado, here is the final version of the label:
I called the brew “Milky Nibs” as I used cacao nibs as an adjunct during the fermentation, and of course as the brew contains lactose sugar milk had to be involved in the title somehow. Overall I feel the design is quite striking, hopefully the drinkers of my beer will agree! At 4.5% it is also dangerously sessionable, and I for one will be drinking a few of these bad boys in the coming weeks.
I have just finished another brew day, so keep an eye on the blog for the write up of that coming sometime next week.