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Coffee and Cream Stout

Attempting this recipe from Sam Calagione’s book “Extreme Brewing”. It calls for 1 pound of lactose. After reading another thread about lactose, I’m concerned about the sweetness of this beer. Has anyone tried this recipe before. Does lactose ferment completely(or not at all). I can post the recipe if needed. Thanks!

I haven’t tried the recipe but lactose is a non-fermentable sugar and will add sweetness and some mouth feel. I just used some in a dry Irish stout that had coffee and coca nibs in it. 8oz is the max I would recommend for a 5 gal batch depending on how sweet you are looking for.

Hate to be a naysayer but I think people should make the recipe the first time as is, unless they have a great deal of experience with what they want to change. If you change it and it doesn’t turn out how you like how do you know if is the recipe, the change, or a procedure? If you made these before with lactose and you know that you don’t like it real sweet then by all means, change it. But remember, taste is subjective. I like hops, you may not. I don’t like sweet, you may.

I read somewhere on this forum a discussion on lactose and sweetness. I don’t like sweet beer. Just asking for opinions from folks with experience with lactose. I’ve never brewed with lactose and never brewed a stout. I don’t want 5 gallons of (in my opinion) undrinkable beer. Thanks for your input guys.

Is there a commercial milk stout you like to give us an idea of how much sweetness you’re after? I personally perceive lactose as a sour/bitter taste, so avoid milk stouts like the plague, but giving us an example might get you some good input.

Nothing to pull from. Just starting my stout journey. I think I’ll just stick to the recipe and go from there. Thus far, I have not found an undrinkable beer

A couple of thoughts:

Can you brew a smaller size (2.5 gal, 1.7 gal :slight_smile: , or 1.0 gal :sunglasses: ) batch?

The BJCP guidelines ( have a list of commercial examples with each of the styles. If one can find a (fresh, in-date) single bottle, it’s an interesting way to explore a style for less that $10.

Sweet stout:

American Stout:

Imperial Stout:

Agree with Loopie. I’d do the recipe as is. That being said, I enjoy a very lightly sweet stout, so I don’t go over about 4 oz of lactose per 5 gallons. Just enough to knock some of the bitter edge off.



You can brew the beer without lactose or with a minimal amount of lactose, then add more after fermentation. I’d recommend tasting the beer after fermentation is complete. Add measured amounts of lactose to a measured volume of beer until you reach the level of sweetness you want. Then scale the ratio of lactose to beer by volume and add lactose in the same ratio to the measured volume of beer.

Don’t add lactose to carbonated beer! The small crystals will become nucleation sites. Bubbles will form around each crystal and your beer will foam out of the container.

Yes, I did. And, I cleaned it up.


I agree with Loopie, THEN, Old Dawg weighs in with yet another alternative to yer question. Sneezles61

I really appreciate the great input from you guys. No strings attached; free and easy advice. I love this forum.

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