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Imperial milk stout recipe question?

I am trying to make an imperial milk stout that is from the Lakewood Brewing Company in Dallas, TX. It’s called the Temptress. It’s a very good imperial milk stout with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla tastes. I’m not sure if I should use caramel 80 or 60 and what the reason would be for one over the other. And if my amounts are good.

The rough draft recipe I have so far is:

12 lbs - 2 row pale malt
1 lb - flaked oats
1 lb - Caramel 80
1 lb - Briess chocolate malt
1 lb - English roasted barley
1 lb - lactose
4 tbsp vanilla extract
1 oz - northern brewer hops

[quote=“thebrewster”]I am trying to make an imperial milk stout that is from the Lakewood Brewing Company in Dallas, TX. It’s called the Temptress. It’s a very good imperial milk stout with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla tastes. I’m not sure if I should use caramel 80 or 60 and what the reason would be for one over the other. And if my amounts are good.

The rough draft recipe I have so far is:

12 lbs - 2 row pale malt
1 lb - flaked oats
1 lb - Caramel 80
1 lb - Briess chocolate malt
1 lb - English roasted barley
1 lb - lactose
4 tbsp vanilla extract
1 oz - northern brewer hops[/quote]

I would say cut the caramel down to a half # and the roasted barley and chocolate malt down to .25#. You don’t want a milk stout to be acrid. That’s a lot of vanilla extract as well. I would pull a sample when its done fermenting, add increasing doses of vanilla to the sample, scale it up, and add it @ packaging. You may want to consider using pale ale malt or MO as opposed to 2-row.

Also, check IBU’s, but I wouldn’t think you’d need a full ounce of NB (I’m assuming at 60 minutes).

I would not use extract, go with actual beans.

I think the recipe looks pretty darn good for a first draft, with a few important tweaks:

  1. Reduce roasted barley to a maximum of 6 ounces. A little goes a long way.
  2. Reduce chocolate malt to a maximum of 12 ounces. A full pound won’t hurt anything but the beer will already be black with just 12 oz.
  3. Reduce the vanilla to a maximum of 1.5 Tablespoons. I would start with just 0.5 Tablespoon then add more 0.5 Tablespoon at a time if you need more. Add the vanilla at the very end of fermentation on bottling/kegging day.

The Crystal 80 looks good to me. Hopping looks perfect to me. You might even want to throw in an ounce of Kent Goldings in the last 2 minutes of the boil for a little extra hop complexity, but of course that’s entirely up to you.

Good luck, and enjoy. :cheers:

Thanks for the advice!

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“thebrewster”]I am trying to make an imperial milk stout that is from the Lakewood Brewing Company in Dallas, TX. It’s called the Temptress. It’s a very good imperial milk stout with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla tastes. I’m not sure if I should use caramel 80 or 60 and what the reason would be for one over the other. And if my amounts are good.

The rough draft recipe I have so far is:

12 lbs - 2 row pale malt
1 lb - flaked oats
1 lb - Caramel 80
1 lb - Briess chocolate malt
1 lb - English roasted barley
1 lb - lactose
4 tbsp vanilla extract
1 oz - northern brewer hops[/quote]

I would say cut the caramel down to a half # and the roasted barley and chocolate malt down to .25#. You don’t want a milk stout to be acrid. That’s a lot of vanilla extract as well. I would pull a sample when its done fermenting, add increasing doses of vanilla to the sample, scale it up, and add it @ packaging. You may want to consider using pale ale malt or MO as opposed to 2-row.

[quote]Also, check IBU’s, but I wouldn’t think you’d need a full ounce of NB (I’m assuming at 60 minutes[/quote]).[/quote]I don’t know about that. With a high boil gravity, and with a whole pound of lactose, to dilute the bitterness of the hops, I wouldn’t think that amount of hops would be overdoing it. I don’t know what kind of OG or BU/GU ratio he’s shooting for in this recipe (since those specs were not given), but I would think you’d still want a decent amount of bitterness in a beer like this, so that it’s not overly sweet and one-dimensional. Personally, though, I’d ditch the vanilla. I’ve had porters and stouts with vanilla in them, and they never work for me. And I would think it would be pretty hard to find a variety of hop that would not clash with the vanilla. But that’s just my personal preference.

just seems like a lot of hops for a stout, even imperial. I thought NB’s were relatively high alpha as well, but if its the right IBU, its the right IBU.

My calculator spat out low 20s for IBUs. It’s fine, especially if you consider BU:GU ratio.

Low 20s? Really? For an imperial strength milk stout?? I don’t know about all that. That figure is just barely even high enough for a regular strength milk stout, by my reckoning. I think you’d get an awfully sweet and heavy beer if that’s all the bitterness you used in an imperial strength beer. I’d say you’d need to bump up the dark grain to get some bitterness from that to compensate for the lack of hop bitterness. But who knows… there are beers out there with some pretty surprising recipes that do taste good, I guess.

Low 20s? Really? For an imperial strength milk stout?? I don’t know about all that. That figure is just barely even high enough for a regular strength milk stout, by my reckoning. I think you’d get an awfully sweet and heavy beer if that’s all the bitterness you used in an imperial strength beer. I’d say you’d need to bump up the dark grain to get some bitterness from that to compensate for the lack of hop bitterness. But who knows… there are beers out there with some pretty surprising recipes that do taste good, I guess.[/quote]

This is good advice. I would say the IBUs are right in the 20’s, however, you may need some more roast bitterness to compensate for the sweetness (as opposed to more hops)

To thebrewster,

I must apologize that our advice is all over the board on this one. My last word of advice is to go with your gut, as I’m sure it will turn out great whatever you decide. :cheers:

Thanks it’s good to hear all of your opinions.

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