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Stout clone recommendations

Greetings fellow brewers. I was considering making a stout clone and wanted to see if anyone recommends a brand style to clone. I haven’t had too many off the shelf, but I tend to prefer a more malty, chocolate style. I don’t care much for the heavy coffee overtones. Also looking for middle of the road happiness on the finish.

Thanks for your time and happy brewing.

Are you sure you’re not looking to brew a Porter instead? You can brew a very black Porter with a good amount of chocolate flavor without the roasted barley that gives stouts that astringent dry coffee flavor.

Maybe a porter. I’ve never really understood the difference between the two. I’ve had beers promoted as stouts, some as porters, and couldn’t tell much difference between them. I guess I could be happy with either.

Porters really accent the chocolate malt… very rich in flavor… Stouts run right over that… they bring out an astringency… really so full of the dark malt it tastes like an espresso without the caffeine buzz… When done right, a stout is smooth, balanced because of the chloride side of waters contribution… and I won’t even go to a milk style… I myself prefer a porter… You can still see through it… almost… Sneezles61

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Stouts developed from Porters, and the line that separates the two sometimes can be fuzzy. Try the base beer used to make Denny Conn’s Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter (just don’t add the Bourbon or Vanilla) for a nice rich Porter. Search this forum for the recipe. You could back off on the base malt a bit if it’s too high alcohol for you. I enjoy a Rye Porter. Rye adds a thicker mouthfeel and a bit of spice. I’m with sneezles in that I much prefer a Porter. It’s my favorite beer.

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Here’s at least 3 of us that prefer Porters.
I do a great Honey Porter, but have never successfully done a Stout to my satisfaction. Maybe because I’ve been trying to do a tropical stout ala ‘Lion Stout’. It’s getting better, but I still have a ways to go.

Why settle for middle of the road happiness. Try meditation and yoga for inner peace and experience real happiness. Namaste

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I prefer…both :blush: Baltic porters are delish…as are Russian imperial stouts!

I think we get too hung up on the difference between stout and porter. Go back to Victorian times, and the only difference between the two was the amount of water used. You had porter, and stout porter, meaning that it had higher gravity. Pale ales and stout pale ales. Meh. We love to classify things, and create these artificial frameworks that let us put everything in their niche.

But there were no rules that if it had a higher gravity than a certain value, it must be a stout. It was whatever the brewer called it. Meaning some places had porters that were stronger than other breweries’ stouts. Confusing? Not really, it’s a dark beer. And it was whatever the brewer called it.

Fast forward to modern definitions. There’s no requirement to use roasted barley in a stout. As @sneezles61 above mentions, the roasted barley is where you get the acrid/astringent character found in many stouts these days. But you can make a great porter or RIS from the classic combination of pale/amber/brown malt, with just enough black malt to give it the color you want. If you want to keep the astringency to a minimum, use the debittered stuff, like carafa III. Or sub the black malt for chocolate, with some crystal for sweetness on a base of pale malt.

Although I’m not a fan of the BJCP’s method of classifying beer, I do think it’s a good idea to use their style definitions for a starting point on OG, IBU, SRM, etc., as long as you don’t get hung up on their overly restrictive metrics. It’s still a good reference for where to start, so go middle of the road on their metrics for a porter or stout, and go from there.


Your on to something PorkChop… Maybe the best way to call a brew is by the color and ABV… Perhaps we are now talking about a very dark ale, even a black ale? Using the word strong for those above 5.5% ? This would “simplify the world of brews” on the simple is better… world Sneezles61

Thanks. Looking at Black Butte clone recipes, they call for English Ale yeast. Any recommendations on a specific yeast or dry substitute? I’m not keen on ordering liquid yeast this time of year.

Sometimes simple works best, sometimes lazy works best.

Brewers Association maintains an annually updated Beer Styles Guideline. Double Red Ales are a real style in these guidelines and are yummy in OR taprooms!

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Can’t go wrong with whitbread, WY1099 for liquid. S-04 is basically the same thing for dry yeast. White labs has it, too, but I’m feeling too lazy to look up the cross-reference. It should be on mrmalty.


Sorry, my bad. WY1098/WLP007/S-04. 1098 and 1099 are pretty darn close, though, and both were reportedly from Whitbread.

I used wlp007 in a barleywine recently…it’s not afraid of plowing through sugar.

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