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Vietnamese coffee stout

Hi all, I’ve got a partial mash oatmeal stout kit lined up next, and I was thinking about some things I could do with it. One that came to mind is a (lower ABV) take on AleSmith’s Vietnamese Speedway Stout—one of my all-time favorites.

My girlfriend and I do Asian food pop-ups, so we have a lot of Vietnamese-style coffee on hand, plus lots of sweetened condensed milk. I really like the idea of trying this, but I’m not sure about a few things:

  1. Is there a way to incorporate sweetened condensed milk into beer? I suppose I’d have to go with fat-free to avoid the fat curdling in the beer, right?
  2. How much would I need to get a noticeable flavor from it?
  3. When should it be added? End of boil? Flameout? I assume not at bottling because the quantity you’d need to add to get the right flavor would undoubtedly overcarbonate the beer.
  4. Would it be better just to use lactose instead?

Anyway, just looking for ideas/thoughts—especially from anyone who might have used condensed milk before.

So after doing more research I decided on the lactose route. Recipe design is here:

Good call, I don’t think the condensed Milk would work.

I’m kind of digging the idea. Rather than fermenting with the sweetened condensed milk, maybe blend it in the glass. Kind of a beer version of a White Russian. Or a beer float.

You can actually ferment milk, but it helps if you start with that unnatural stuff that’s made for lactose intolerant people. The process creates cheese curds from the fats and proteins, which needs to be separated from the liquor. However, brettanomyces can ferment lactose (I think most strains of brux can, but don’t quote me on that - Edit - make that anomalus, not brux).

If I were going to attempt this, I’d probably ferment the milk separately with either brewers yeast and lactose-free milk, or throw caution to the wind and go all brett. Brew the stout separately, and blend them in secondary. Give it a good 6 months to fully attenuate and see how putrid it gets before you toss it.

Now I kind of want to try this…


I was reading about one guy who tried brewing with (fat free) sweetened condensed milk. He started off using two cans and didn’t get enough flavor, so he kept adding more and more and never got the flavor he was looking for, but ended up with a 14% ABV stout. Whoopsie. :smiley:

Brewed this today, using this recipe:

As you can see, I ended up adding 1lb of table sugar to the boil to get the ABV up a bit, plus 1lb of lactose. Plan to add ~5oz of cacao extract at the two-week mark, and ~32oz of cold brew at bottling.

I actually overshot the OG predicted by BrewToad. Had a 1.072, so I might end up with a 7%ish stout.

edit: Well, I guess more like 6-6.5%, given the lactose.

So I checked the SG after a little under a week in primary: 1.030. That puts the ABV around 5.5%, which actually makes sense given NB predicts ~4.3% for the base kit, I added 1lb of table sugar (or about 1% ABV), and the lactose doesn’t ferment.

Would be nice if it magically got down to 1.025 or 1.022, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Anyway, it tastes pretty good as-is—sweet but not overwhelming—and it’ll undoubtedly taste better with the cacao extract and coffee.

Ended up getting down to 1.026, so 6.1%. Bottled 1 gal w/o coffee and 4 gal with 32oz of mixed Vietnamese cold brew and Chameleon cold brew chocolate/vanilla flavor. Tasted pretty damn good going in. Excited to try it in a couple weeks.

After just 6 days this is all carbed up and already tasting delicious. With a few more weeks to smooth out the booze it’ll be truly great, I think. Definitely very sweet, right on par with, say, Left Hand’s milk stout.

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