Add Molassis to Stout

Hey folks, I thinking of getting a stout or imperial stout recipe kit from N.B., and adding some molasses for flavor and also for a little extra fermentable to boost the ABV a bit. Has anyone tried this? Does it work, either for the flavor or the ABV? About how much would be right for a 5 gal. batch?

Molasses will add flavor and boost ABV. I haven’t used it in years, though. Personally, I would start with 4-8 oz.
If memory serves 16 oz came through pretty strong. I’ll try to find some old notes.

I used 12 oz twice in the same recipe, it was Charlie P’s Goat Scrotum Ale. I did omit ginger the second time.

There are different types. If using a “blackstrap” strength, I recommend about 2 oz to 5 gal. Very strong flavor.

I’d start with about an ounce or two of blackstrap to see how you like it and how much to use next time.
Personally, blackstrap is the only type I use because I like the character (especially in my house Porter)…but a little does indeed go a long way.
I also use it in varying ratios to make my home made #2 and #3 invert syrup for some of my other ales.

Last season I made a robust Porter that was stout like but less sweet. It was called rum ball Porter. . It had 12 or 16 oz of dark molasses in it. It didn’t taste like molasses. But it also had 16 oz of black seal rum and oak. Actually I think I have a couple bottles left I’ll dust one off and taste it again tonight. One ounce mentioned above really won’t do anything IMO.

I guess it just depends what you’re looking for in terms of the molasses’ presence. But a couple ounces of good blackstrap molasses or treacle syrup will make it’s presence known in the brew albeit in a subtle way, but it’s a good place to start. You can always add more in a subsequent batch, whereas if you use too much initially and don’t like it, you can’t really tone it down (unless of course you blend it with another brew).
Of course, the best course of action is always to experiment for one’s self and take notes in order to dial in the proper procedure for anything.

As I said before…there are several types of molasses. Blackstrap being the stoutest. Use 2 oz of it in 5 gal. Use more at your own risk.

brew cat WUT type did you use?

I used dark to get some sugar and flavor. Light will ferment out more because if has more sugar. Blackstrap has had the most sugar extracted and is the most bitter so maybe that’s why some people say not to use much. I looked it up and I used 12 oz. I have a bottle of my Porter sitting on the counter warming up now I will update my post shortly.

Holy Porter. I forgot how tasty this Porter turned out. I keged this one and then bottled. It must have had a little left because if was more carbonated than when I bottled it. Tastes and smells good. I don’t really taste much molasses I smell and taste the black seal more.

I still say that if you are brewing a kit for the first time, just follow the instructions and ingredients to the letter before trying to tweak it. This way you will be able to see if you like the kit. Changing it could make it better or worse. No way to tell if you did not try the original recipe.


Your probably right but what fun is that. I only brewed two kits in my short career and I tweaked both. Rarely meet a commercial beer or clone I don’t think I could improve on or at least make my own.

Well that’s cool. Just don’t judge the kit poorly if it doesn’t come out right. If it comes out great then good job! I do 20 gallon AG and rarely kits but got a deal on 3 a couple of months ago. The first one turned out great so no AG snob here. If it tastes good to you then mission accomplished.

Hey Brewers, thanks for all the great answers. When I try it I’ll let you know how it goes.