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My stout is brown!

Brewed an11 gallon batch of oatmeal stout on 11/29 and it looked kinda light in the kettle, but I just moved forward and didn’t worry about it. Took a sample today and it is brown. Here’s the grain bill

19# M.O.
2# flaked oats
1.5 # victory
1 # c80
1.5# chocolate malt(350)
1.0# roasted barley(500)

The roasted barley and chocolate malt were added in the last 10min of the mash. Also I added 19oz of Mexican chocolate in the last 5min of the boil. This batch is also going to get some cold brewed coffee when I keg it. I was thinking of steeping 1lb roasted barley and 1lb chocolate in 1/2 gallon of water then boiling,cooling and adding when I keg it. What do you guys think? I could also add it to the fermentor but I figure there wouldn’t be any fermentable sugar so it would be best to add it to the keg? Thanks in advance for your help.

A steep of a couple more pounds of grain in a little water is a good idea I think. It should work just like you proposed. Or personally, I might just use 1.5 lb roasted barley if you’ve got enough, as your recipe looks a little low on roasted barley anyway IMHO. Either way will work. Good luck!

Did you mill your grains yourself or did they come pre-milled? Or, more importantly, was the roasted barley mixed in with the rest of the grain when it was milled?

The reason I ask, is because I’ve had the same problem in the past. The one thing I could drill down to in my situation was a poor crush of the roasted barley. If you look at that grain, it’s much smaller- presumably from the hefty kilning is goes through. Anyway, I found that when I milled the roasted along with the other grains, it was barely crushed at all and that seemed to affect the color of my stout. The beer still tasted great, but the color was a little disappointing.

For my latest Irish stout, I did the kit from Northern Brewer and had them mill it. (They don’t separate their grains in their kits in a predictable fashion.) Their crush of the roasted isn’t bad, but still not as good as when I mill it separately.

The SRM predicted by my software was >50 for that grain bill. I would have to guess that the water chemistry is to blame.

I’d leave it, personally.

Might be 50 SRM if it were only 5 gallons. But it’s 11 gallons. No?

Did you by chance use the Briess Roast Barley instead of English roast barley. Briess is only 300 L where the English is 550 L. I made this mistake once. I won’t use the Briess Roasted grains they are all lighter in color and flavor than their English counterparts. ... arley.html ... arley.html

How now brown stout? You could always drink it at night with the lights out…

And let’s not forget… about 150 years ago when this style was born, it was often known as “brown stout”. Colors ranged from brown to black. So brown is really not wrong… if we were living 150 years ago.


Might be 50 SRM if it were only 5 gallons. But it’s 11 gallons. No?[/quote]
OK, I missed that but it still comes out to an SRM of 38, which is to style. I stand by water chemistry as the cause.

Most importantly…how does it taste?

Brown is the new black after all. :cheers:

I agree with the above, that if it tastes right dont mess with it too much.

I have found that messing around post-ferment sometimes does not produce the desired results. Keep in mind the old adage, “the enemy of ‘good’ is ‘better’.”

But if I were to be steered down that road, I would consider using carafa III because I would worry about too much astringincy from all the roasted grain already in there.

But then again, you would have to go by the taste of what you already have on hand to be your guide.

If you do any experimentation at all, do yourself the favor of testing on a small volume before you commit to the whole batch.

Taste is ok it’s still very young but seems to need a little more roast. Smr per beer smith should have been 38.1. For the water I diluted my tap water 50/50 with distilled to get the minerals inline and added 85% phorsporic acid to get an est mash ph of 5.5 (room temp per bru’n water) I did not measure it because I had a friend over and we were drinking :shock: .

The finished water profile is
Calcium 57
Mag 21
Sodium 45
Sulfate 107
Chloride 47
Bicarbonate 71
3.2 ml 85% phorsporic acid added to the mash

The sparge water was a 50/50 mix also and I did not add any acid to it.

I guess I will just wait it out, maybe the coffee will help darken it up. Thanks for the help everyone.

Oh forgot to add. I milled the grain my self seemed like a good crush, but I did the roasted grains separate and did not check them. The roasted barley I got from my LHBS was in a bin that said 500l but that might be wrong cause they do use briess for some of there malts but not all.

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