Traditional recipes

6 Brews for Your Beer-Loving Sweetheart

6 Brews for Your Beer-Loving Sweetheart

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Sweet Stout and Milk Stout Recipes

Sweet stout and milk stouts are increasingly popular beers that form a counterpoint to Dry Irish Stouts. This week we take a look at the history of Sweet Stout, how to brew it and recipes for making it.

History of Sweet and Milk Stout

Milk Stout (also called Cream or Sweet Stout) traces its origins back to Porters. Strong Porters which were widely popular in the 1700’s were often labeled as Stout Porter. Eventually the Porter name was dropped in the 1800’s to become simply Stout. A number of variations of stout emerged. Dry Irish stouts (like Guinness) pushed the limits of using heavily roasted malts to create a dry coffee-like flavor. Other stout variations such as Russian Imperial Stout pushed the limits on the malty or sweet end. Still others, like Oatmeal stout pushed in other directions.

Milk stout and Sweet stouts push the sweet end of the spectrum by using lactose – which is unfermentable. The iconic example of milk stout, Makeson’s stout, was first brewed in 1801 in the Southern United Kingdom. Milk stouts were widely marketed in the 1800’s as nutritious – even to nursing mothers. After World War II, the UK outlawed the use of the word and imagery for milk in association with beer, so many modern examples are labeled as Sweet stouts.

The Sweet Stout Style

Sweet stouts use dark roasted malts to create the dominant flavor which is a malty, dark, roasted chocolate character. Like Dry Irish Stout, they may have roast coffee-like flavors. Unlike Dry Stout, Sweet stouts have a medium to high sweetness (malt or lactose) that provides a counterpoint to the bitterness of hops and roast malt. Some (though not all) sweet stouts include lactose, an unfermentable sugar that enhances sweetness and body.

These stouts are full bodied and creamy, and have low levels of carbonation. Original gravity starts at 1.044-1.060 and finishes at 1.012-1.024 for a 4-6% alcohol by volume. Many English examples use a relatively low starting gravity, while US examples tend to be brewed at a higher starting gravity. They have low to medium esters and little to no diacytl.

They are moderatly hopped at 20-40 IBUs for a bitterness ratio of around 0.6. The hops should balance the malt, but hops is not a major flavor in this style. The color should be dark brown to black (30-40 SRM).

Brewing a Sweet Stout

Sweet stouts start with an English Pale Malt base which makes up 60-80% of the grain bill. To that, we add a mix of crystal/caramel malts (roughly 10-15%), and chocolate, black and roasted malts (10% or more in total) to provide color and flavor. Corn, treacle, wheat or other off-beat malts are sometimes (though rarely) used.

For a true milk stout, lactose is often added. Since Lactose is unfermentable it provides a distinctive sweetness as well as body for the finished beer.

Sweet stouts traditionally use Southern English ale yeast as this is where the beer was originally brewed. A relatively low attenuation English ale yeast with moderate esters such as White Labs WLP002 or Wyeast 1092 would be appropriate.

English hop varieties such as Fuggles, East Kent Goldings, or Columbia are appropriate, though many US variations also use popular American hops. The hops should primarily be added as bitterness hops since hop aroma and flavor is not dominant. Hops should balance the sweetness of the beer.

Mashing an all grain sweet stout should be done at the higher end of the temperature range to enhance body and residual sweetness. I will typically mash this style in the 153-156 F range. Fermentation is done at normal ale temperatures and the beer is conditioned as any other English Porter or Stout.

Sweet Stout and Milk Stout Recipes

Here are some recipes from the BeerSmith recipe archive:

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2. Dusty Mud

Irish-Style Dry Stout

Charlie Papazian’s dry stout homebrew recipe is all about simplicity.

Expect notes of caramel, roasted barley, cocoa, and maybe even a hint of fruitiness. Weighing in at 3.7% ABV, this is one smooth and easy-drinking dry stout recipe.


Hops & gruit rivalry

T he story of how hopped beer came to replace gruited ale is a complex and convoluted one, with origins in both the Protestant Reformation and the Industrial Revolution. An anti-gruit campaign, similar in scope and absurdity to our contemporary War On Drugs, fed off the anti-clerical and anti-pleasure hysteria of the Protestant Reformation, and coincided with the violent persecution of herbalists as witches and herbs as dangerous substitutes for “scientific” medicine in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It didn’t help that gruit blends in many parts of northern Europe were exclusive monopolies of the Church. All brewers in those areas were forced to purchase their gruits from specially licensed monastic houses at highly inflated prices, which probably did more to enflame anti-clerical feelings than anything Martin Luther ever said.

It’s also important to remember that most brewers throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance were women. In England, at least, the competition between “modern” beer brewers and makers of old-fashioned ale took on aspects of a war between the sexes, though it was also about urban vs. rural and large-scale vs. small-scale production. Studies of tax records from the period suggest that, in more rural areas, the vast majority of commercially produced gruit ale was made by part-time brewsters or “alewives”–female homebrewers who sold their surplus ale, typically advertising a new batch by sticking a broom out the window. As long as brewing remained a minor, local activity–a source of seasonal, supplemental income for farmers’ and tradesmen’s wives–nobody cared. But when it became obvious that there was serious money to be made, men began elbowing in. The fact that hopped German “bier” was exempted from the regulations protecting the brewsters’ guilds simply provided the fulcrum. A vicious propaganda campaign stereotyped alewives as filthy, slatternly cheats who never missed a chance to adulterate their brew.

T he much-lauded German Beer Purity Laws have their inception in anti-gruit and anti-homebrew regulations of this period, and formed part of the same irrational phobia toward the (darker) Other that culminated in the Nazi holocaust. To this day, many beer purists insist that any addition of non-grain-derived sugars–much less herbs and spices–makes a brew fit only for the ignorant, unwashed masses. And of course the wave of Protestant-instigated intolerance peaked in the temperance movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The resulting prohibitions were the nail in the coffin for most local brewing traditions. Nowhere was the intolerance as strong as in the Prohibition-era United States our modern centralized, homogenized corporate brewing landscape is the result.

Fortunately, the tradition of homebrewing was never completely eradicated from the farmstead, especially in the more remote corners of Scotland (where heather ale was the persecuted national drink) and in parts of Scandinavia. But on this side of the Atlantic, contemporary homebrewers have learned (or relearned) quite a bit since the days of Prohibition, when exploding bottles and “off” batches were regarded as normal, occupational hazards of brewing at home.

There’s no simple explanation for why hops won the war in Britain, where malting and ale-brewing traditions were so elaborated and so firmly entrenched in the culture. I suspect that the sedative properties of hopped beer were a big part of the answer, however. Working people had long been in the habit of drinking weak ale–“small drink” in the parlance of the day–from the second running of the grain (4). The prolonged boiling meant it was much safer to drink than water. Alcohol content typically ranged from 1-3%, and given the heavy grain bills common with less efficiently sprouted malt, this weak ale would have been highly nutritious–a major source of B vitamins, among other things.

German-style hopped beer was introduced specifically to fill that niche. (Coffee and tea came in a little later. The British tradition of High Tea is simply a transmogrified version of the peasant’s traditional, ale-centered supper.) The big operations of these urban, male brewers made them the natural choice for supplying the rapidly growing English navy in the 16th and 17th centuries. And it’s my feeling that the much longer hours and unprecedented drudgery imposed upon the industrializing workforce would’ve proved intolerable without a cheap, readily available, state-supported sedative. In any event, the near-total loss of homebrewing traditions, including the making of gruits, coincided with the destruction of rural life by the Enclosure Acts and the Industrial Revolution.


Beer + Beer

The Snakebite, the Black and Tan, the Half and Half—no matter the name, these drinks are all varieties of beer-on-beer action. They work well when combining two very different styles: think dark lager plus pale ales, or stouts plus lambics.

Raspberry lambic gives porter a fruity twist, while a pilsner can help lighten up a hoppy double Indian pale ale. Plus you can layer the different colored beers to create a presentation that looks much harder to create than it is.


7 chocolate beers to show your sudsy affection this Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day just a few days away, it's time to think about romancing your beer-loving sweetheart. Flowers are nice. A box of chocolates will do. But what they really want is beer. A mix-and-match six-pack of chocolate beers — brewed with actual chocolate — is the best way to express your sudsy affection.

Stouts and porters tend to be the favored styles for chocolate beer. The bitter chocolate and coffee flavors of dark roasted grains naturally complement the smooth tones of chocolate. The deep brown and black colors, along with the creamy texture, can make these luxurious brews almost seem like you're drinking melted ganache.

Chocolate stouts offer a range of flavor profiles. Some are dry and roasty with just a touch of bitter, dark chocolate. Others are velvety-rich and sweet with chocolate as the dominant note. Many are of moderate strength, and a few push into the double digits of alcohol percentage.

On the dry and roasty end is the classic example of the style, Young's Double Chocolate Stout. For fans of those bitter, high-cocoa chocolate bars, this English beer is the one. It's light-bodied and very dry, which accentuates the interplay of dark chocolate and coffee-like, black-malt roast. The nitrogen gas widget gives this beer a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that tempers the bitterness.

Another one on the dry and roasty side is Nevermore Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Rush River Brewing Co. across the St. Croix in River Falls, Wis. At 8% alcohol, it swings to the stronger end, but without additional sweetness. The actual chocolate flavor is lower, with a dry, chocolate-cookie character. The underlying beer is a solid oatmeal stout. Roasted malts bring bitter chocolate and coffee notes without tasting burnt. The mouthfeel is silky-smooth from the addition of oats.

Similar, but with less alcohol is Chocolate Oatmeal Milk Stout from Fulton Beer in Minneapolis. The chocolate starts light but intensifies as the beer warms up. There is a crispness to it like a high-cocoa chocolate bar. The oatmeal brings bready notes and that characteristic creaminess.

Moving a touch toward the sweeter side is another old-school classic from England, Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout. This one has loads of chocolate, joined by a touch of drying, bitter roast that gives it a chocolate cookie impression similar to Nevermore. Samuel Smith's makes an excellent non-chocolate oatmeal stout. A slight oatiness and smooth mouthfeel suggests there may be some oats in this beer, as well. It finishes fairly dry with some lingering roast.

Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout from Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colo., is all about chocolate from the moment you pour it in the glass. Dark chocolate aromas lead the way and carry through into the flavor, lingering long after you swallow. A drizzle of caramel and a faint hint of herbal hops complete the picture. Lugene leans sweet, but a counterpoint of subtle roast bitterness keeps it from being cloying. Drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream in your glass for a delicious chocolate stout float. Try it. You'll like it.

If you want to go big, Odell's Buried Treasure — an 11% alcohol imperial stout made with coconut and dark chocolate — is a great place to start. This bourbon and wheat whiskey barrel-aged beer is luxuriously smooth and dripping with deep, dark chocolate. Coconut comes in as a side note, blending with undertones of vanilla and caramel. Flavors of dark fruits like plums and dates develop as the beer warms.

At 14% alcohol, Bombon de la Muerte from Odd Side Ales in Michigan is actually a Day of the Dead-themed beer. But it smells and tastes like melted ganache, so it will do for Valentine's Day, as well. It is brewed with sea salt, but the salt is not apparent. What is apparent are fruity notes like black cherries and tangerines that become more intense as the beer warms in the glass. Bourbon-barrel aging makes its presence known in the form of subtle caramel and vanilla flavors.

Beer cocktail will melt hearts

If you really want to sweep your loved one off their feet, make them a Belgian Truffle — a blended-beer cocktail incorporating chocolate beer and Lindemans Framboise.

Lindemans Framboise is a sweetened Belgian lambic beer that is bursting with raspberries. This tart/sweet gem makes a perfect bonbon of a beverage when combined with chocolate stout. Sweetness offers a better contrast to tart than bitterness, so steer toward the sweeter, richer examples and blend to taste. Start with a little Framboise and build from there.

Of the beers described above, Samuel Smith's Organic Oatmeal Stout made the best blend. It's sweet enough to balance the acidity, chocolaty enough to balance the berries and has no extraneous flavors or excessive roast to get in the way.

Bombon de la Muerta also works surprisingly well. Big, bold and rich, it can stand up to a 50-50 blend. The beer's fruitiness complements the raspberry. I expected the barrel aging to interfere, but the caramel and vanilla just make it that much better.


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Review

&mdashShiva Rose, actress and founder/writer of www.thelocalrose.com
 
&ldquoThe Beer Chicks&rsquo unique approach to homebrewing is a breath of fresh air. They make it simple, accessible, and fun&mdashas beer and brewing should be.&rdquo

&mdashJoel Elliott, co-owner and brewmaster at Strand Brewing Company
 
&ldquoIt is almost impossible not to have fun when you&rsquore hanging out with the Beer Chicks. Leave it to Hallie and Christina to take the intimidation out of the brewing process and inject that sense of mischievous adventure that seems to follow them everywhere. Whether you&rsquore a curious newbie or a stone-cold veteran brewer, you will find it almost impossible not to have fun with this book.&rdquo

&mdashJeremy Raub, cofounder and head brewer at Eagle Rock Brewery
 
&ldquoAs with cooking, learning to make great homebrew requires finding mentors whose palates you can trust. Christina and Hallie know beer and know how to help you find your own palate and turn your desires into a frothy beverage you can be proud to serve as your own. How fantastic that their zest for sharing a passion for the world&rsquos most accessible drink now reaches into your own kitchen!&rdquo

&mdashEvan Kleiman, host of KCRW&rsquos &ldquoGood Food&rdquo
 
"About 9 years ago, I was under the mistaken impression that beer was one-note and boring. Christina and Hallie opened my eyes, introducing me not only to my favourite beer in the world, but also to the notion that real chicks drink (good) beer.  And now it's pretty clear that real chicks also brew it. There's no one I'd trust more to walk me through the art and science of brewing a cold one!"


Milk Stout: It Does a Body Good

While that answer may be obvious, what actually remains a mystery is exactly who first came up with the idea of adding milk to beer. This was actually a common practice — adding whole milk to beer and stouts in particular — that began in the United Kingdom during the 1800s, back when stouts were actually called “stout porters.” Milk beers were served at lunchtime to laborers for added strength to get through the day. As strange as it seems, it actually makes perfect sense as many cultures, such as the Maasai in Kenya, rely on milk as a staple food. The beer in this case was an added bonus.

In time, brewers began experimenting by adding milk directly to the fermentation stage and began touting these “milk stouts” as restorative beverages. Many claimed that every glass contained “the energizing carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk,” according to British historical records. By the turn of the 20th century, doctors even went so far to prescribe milk stouts as the cure for various ailments including to nursing mothers to increase their milk production.

However, the British government banned use of the term milk stout in 1946 to stem such unproven claims and to prevent any chance of the sweet beer finding its way into children’s hands. By that time there was not actually any milk in milk stouts as brewers had discovered how to produce and use lactose — or milk sugar — in the beer. One of the few survivors of that era is Mackeson’s XXX Stout, which has been produced since 1907. Mackeson’s XXX Stout was originally called Mackeson’s Milk Stout before regulations were enacted. A milk churn still adorns the label.

A simple definition

The characteristics of milk stouts, also called cream stouts, are only subtly different from a more traditional dry stout, such as Guinness. There are the rich, chocolate roasted essences with hints of coffee and caramel present in both styles, but the milk sugar also balances the hoppy, and sometimes, roasted bitterness inherent in stouts. Since lactose is unfermentable by brewers yeast, it is used primarily to create a fuller-bodied product with heightened mouthfeel as well as add sweetness. The result is a silky smooth, creamy and slightly sweet — depending on the lactose content — brew that is very palatable, even for non-stout drinkers.

“It is an easier drinking beer than a dry stout,” says Lancaster (Pa.) Brewing Company Brewmaster Christian Heim of his brewery’s award-wining Milk Stout. “Use Guinness as an example. A lot of people are afraid of Guinness because it is dry, a little bit astringent. We’ve had a lot of success with women drinking the beer. We ask: ‘Do you drink coffee? Then think of this as a new coffee flavor sensation.’ I mean, if you like coffee, you’d like stout, and if you put milk or sugar in your coffee you’re going to really like milk stout. The flavors are similar and are going to appeal to similar people.”

Scott Christoffel, brewmaster at Lefthand Brewery in Longmont Colorado agrees, noting their milk stout began as a seasonal experiment, but has become one of the brewery’s best selling products.

“A lot of people get scared when they see a beer that dark,” he says, “but milk stout is an exceptionally smooth version of stout. It has to do with that lactose thing that adds body to the beer. It also takes the bitter edge off because with roasted barley a lot of people who don’t like a real big stout will definitely like this beer because it is rounder and not too bitter.”

Milk stouts are not too common in the United States, or the world really, with only a couple handfuls being produced. It takes a sharp eye to spot them among the hundreds of beers being marketed these days. Some examples of this traditional English-style sweet stout available in the United States include Watney’s Cream Stout, Samuel Adams Cream Stout, Tennent’s Milk Stout, Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout, Castle Milk Stout, Saranac Mocha Stout, Hitachino Nest Beer Sweet Milk Stout and, of course, those stouts mentioned above.

Make it yourself

But don’t worry about finding it on store shelves. Creating milk stouts at home is “about as easy as it gets,” says Christoffel. He recommends beginning with a sweet stout recipe, though a dry stout could also be used. The lactose will add body, but with an even more pronounced palate and fullness.

“(Milk stouts) are typically not very bitter, so you need to put in a portion of roasted barley, but make sure the portion of chocolate malt is twice as big,” he explains. “The roast will be subtle and you’ll get plenty of color. If you go heavy on the barley, it will actually be bittersweet. It is better to have more chocolate malt and just a nuance of roasted barley. I also think it works out really well when there is a decent amount of caramel in the beer which is probably going to lead you to this
style anyway.”

As for the lactose — which is a fine, granulated sugar — Christoffel is hesitant to say exactly how much Lefthand adds to their brew, but recommends a range between 5% and 13%. “I find it is best to stay within 5–13% lactose. Thirteen percent is extreme and 5% is a nuance,” he says. “But I don’t want to stop anyone from experimenting … you could still use 2% and it would create an interesting nuance. It really is an interesting ingredient that could be an interesting additive, but I’d shoot for somewhere more to center.”

Heim also recommends going easy on the lactose, at least at the beginning. While there is not a specific amount of lactose that would “ruin” a brew, too much sweetness can make any beer a little difficult to drink.

“I would caution about using too much lactose, which is easy to do,” he says, noting that at Lancaster he adds approximately 5.5% lactose to his batches. “Lactose is one-sixth the sweetness of sucrose, which is table sugar, so it’s not real sweet, but it definitely can overpower if you put in too much. The lactose is subtle, but it might become a little over the top in sweetness.”

There are two schools of thought for adding the lactose, adding to the boil or during the primary fermentation. While both brewers agree that adding at either stage should provide the needed results, both add their lactose in the later stages of the boil. However, as with any homebrew, experimentation is in order. Some homebrew recipes add the lactose for the entire boil or just before the end of the boil. A few even add the lactose right before bottling.

Low in alcohol

The common misconception is that if a beer is a stout, it must be high in alcohol. Yet most, with the exception of imperial stouts, are actually in the 4–6% alcohol by volume (ABV) range. (Lancaster Milk Stout is 5.2% Lefthand Milk Stout lands at 5.3% while Samuel Adams Cream Stout falls to 4.7%.) Higher gravity beers might not work well with the lactose, Christoffel says. Adding lactose will not change the alcohol content, only the beer’s character and “I wouldn’t recommend using it in an imperial stout recipe,” he says. “There will be a conflict of flavors. The imperial stout has a rich body to begin with. The Plato is high already so there will be some residual extract. It would make the beer a little too sweetish because of the starting gravity. I’d say your really good results are going to be with a stout that has a gravity between 14–16 °Plato (SG 1.056–1.064). I wouldn’t go much higher.”

As mentioned, the lactose — though a sugar — is unfermentable by brewer’s yeast, but can be consumed by certain strains of bacteria. Good hygiene and cleanliness of fermenters and equipment is essential to prevent contamination. The bacteria will certainly consume the lactose, drive up the alcohol content and eliminate most of the benefits to be gained by adding the lactose in the first place — plus it just might ruin the beer anyway.

Of course, the original question doesn’t need to be answered, and we are no closer with the second, but one thing is clear — the combination of the milk and stout makes for a fine beer that is rich and creamy, easy on the palate and low enough in alcohol content to enjoy more than one.

And it just might be the cure for what ails you.

Cactus Milk Stout

5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains OG = 1.065 FG = 1.022 IBU = 30 SRM = 53 ABV = 5.5%

Ingredients

  • 5.6 lbs. (2.5 kg) amber liquid malt extract
  • 1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) dark liquid malt extract
  • 0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) wheat malt
  • 0.50 lb. (0.22 kg) flaked barley
  • 0.50 lb. (0.22 kg) flaked oats
  • 0.75 lb (0.34 kg) Paul’s stout malt
  • 0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) American crystal malt (90 °L)
  • 0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) Carapils malt
  • 0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) Belgian Special B
  • 0.50 lb. (0.11 kg) chocolate malt
  • 0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) roasted barley
  • 0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) black patent malt
  • 1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) lactose
  • 10 AAU Phoenix hops (1 oz./28 g of 10% alpha acids)
  • 5 AAU Willamette hops (1 oz./28 g of 5% alpha acids)
  • 1 tsp. gypsum
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss
  • White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast
  • 0.75 cup corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step

Put crushed grains in grain bag. Heat 2 gallons of water with gypsum to 165 °F (74 °C). Turn off heat and add grain bag. (Do not add grains to water above 165 °F (74 °C). Let temperature rest down to 155 °F (68 °C) stirring grain bag gently from time to time. Leave pot uncovered during this time and rest for 25 minutes. Slowly heat back up to 165–170 °F (74–77 °C) degrees and hold 5 minutes.

Turn off heat. Remove grain bag and let drain. Do not squeeze grain bag! Rinse grains by slowly pouring 1 quart of hot tap water over top of grain bag. Add 1.5 gallons (5.7 L) of water, or 3.5 gallons (13 L0 if you are doing a 5-gallon (19-L) boil. Add malt extracts, including lactose and bring to boil. Add 0.5 oz. (14 g) Phoenix hops. After 30 minutes add second 0.5 oz. (14 g) of Phoenix hops and Irish Moss.

After 50 minutes add Willamette hops. Boil for a final 10 minutes. Cool wort to 80 °F (27 °C) or cooler and pitch yeast. Ferment 10–14 days at 68–72 °F (20–22 °C). You can also go from primary to secondary after four days and leave in secondary 10 days.

Watney’s Cream Stout clone

5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains OG = 1.063 FG = 1.020 IBU = 37 SRM = 39 ABV = 5.5%

Ingredients

  • 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) unhopped dark extract syrup
  • 3.0 lbs. (1.4 kg) Light dried malt extract
  • 0.5 lbs. (0.22 kg) Belgian Special B malt
  • 0.5 lbs. (0.22 kg) Belgian CaraMunich malt
  • 0.5 lbs. (0.22 kg) Belgian roasted barley
  • 0.5 lbs. (0.22 kg) Belgian roasted malt
  • 0.5 lb. lactose (at bottling)
  • 0.25 tsp. Burton water salts
  • 9 AAU Cascade hops (2.25 oz./64 g of 4% alpha acids)
  • 4.6 AAU BC Goldings hops (1.15 oz./33 g of 4% alpha acids)
  • Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) yeast
  • 0.5 cup corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step

Crush the grains, place in a grain bag and steep them in 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of 168 °F (76 °C) water for 20 minutes. Remove grain bag and bring grain tea to a boil. Stir in malt extract and resume boil, add Cascades hops once boil resumes. After 45 minutes, add the Goldings hops. (60 minute total boil.) Ferment at 68 °F (20 °C)

Mackeson’s XXX Stout clone

5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains OG = 1.068 FG = 1.022 IBU = 36 SRM = 65 ABV = 5.9%

Ingredients

  • 7.0 lbs. (3.2 kg) Coopers light syrup
  • 1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) chocolate malt
  • 1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) black patent malt (uncracked)
  • 12 oz. (0.34 kg) crystal malt
  • 12 oz. (0.34 kg) lactose
  • 10 AAU Kent Goldings hops (leaf) (2 oz./57 g at 5% alpha acids)
  • 1 tsp. salt (15 mins)
  • 1 tsp. citric acid (15 mins)
  • 2.5 tsp. yeast nutrient (15 mins)
  • English Ale yeast
  • 0.75 cup dried malt extract (for priming)

Step by Step

Place crushed crystal and chocolate malt — and uncrushed black patent malt — in a grain bag. Steep grains at 150 °F (66 °C) for 30 minutes. Add water and malt extract to the grain tea to make 3 gallons (11 L) and bring to a boil. Add bittering hops and boil for 60 minutes. Add lactose at knockout. Chill wort and pitch yeast. When fermented, prime with 3/4 cup of dried malt extract and bottle.

Simply Sweet Stout

5 gallons/19 L, all-grain OG = 1.041 FG = 1.015 IBU = 27 SRM = 29 ABV = 3.4%

Ingredients

  • 6.5 lbs. (2.9 kg) pale malt
  • 8 oz. (0.22 kg) crystal malt (80 °L)
  • 6 oz. (0.17 kg) roasted black unmalted barley
  • 7 AAU Kent Goldings hops (1.4 oz./40 g of 5% alpha acids)
  • 12 oz. lactose (boiled for 10 minutes, added at kegging)
  • Wyeast 1028 (London Ale) yeast

Step by Step

Mash in with 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of 170 °F (77 °C) water, aiming for 152 °F (67 °C) strike temperature. Hold 2 hours for conversion.Raise to 168 °F (76 °C) for mashout. Hold 10 minutes. Sparge with about 5 gallons (19 L) of water. Boil 1.5 hours. Add hops at 45 minutes. Ferment at 65 °F (18 °C), rack to secondary then age for several weeks. Keg with lactose.

Doug Rhoades’ Milk Stout

5 gallons/19 L, all-grain OG = 1.072 FG = 1.023 IBU = 47 SRM = 30 ABV = 6.3%

Ingredients

  • 7.9 lbs. (3.6 kg) 2-row pale malt
  • 1.1 lbs. (0.5 kg) wheat malt
  • 1.5 lbs. (0.91 kg) crystal malt (90 ° L)
  • 1.0 lbs. (0.45 kg) Carapils malt
  • 5 oz. (0.14 kg) black patent malt
  • 0.75 lbs. (0.34 kg) roasted barley
  • 1.0 lbs. (0.45 kg) flaked oats
  • 0.5 lb. (0.22 kg) flaked rye
  • 1 lbs. (0.45 kg) lactose (30 min.)
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (15 min.)
  • 11 AAU Galena hops (90 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 11% alpha acids)
  • 2 AAU Willamette hops (10 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g of 4% alpha acids)
  • Irish Ale yeast
  • 0.75 cups corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step

Mash at 122 °F (50 °C) for 20 minutes, 152 °F (67 °C) 60 minutes and 167 °F (75 °C) for 10 minutes. Boil for 90 minutes. Ferment at 68 °F (20 °C). Bottle with corn sugar.


2020 “Holidays” That Give Us An Excuse To Drink Beer

January 1: National Hangover Day

New Years’ Day is dubbed national hangover day, because we know you spent the night before drinking your weight in craft beer. (We don’t condone this.) But we do hear the best way to get over a hangover is to (moderately) drink more. So, grab another beer. (If you want some actual remedies for your hangover, click here.)

January 24: Beer Can Appreciation Day

Beer Can Appreciation Day is all about appreciating your favourite beer can designs (duh). Head over to your local liquor store, pub, or brewery and pick up a few of your favourite beers that come in cans! Check out these beautiful beer can designs to help you celebrate!

January 25: Burns Night

January 25 is the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. Robert Burns is known as Scotland’s national bard. Burns Night celebrations are all about eating Scottish food, drinking Scottish beer, and listening to Scottish verses.

February 2: Groundhog Day

You might be thinking, “What does Groundhog Day have to do with beer?”. It doesn’t! But grab some beer and drink it anyways! Check out these beer hogs to give you some inspiration on what to drink this Groundhog Day.

February 2: Super Bowl Sunday

What pairs better together than beer and football? … We couldn’t think of an answer either. We know you’ll be drinking your favourite brews this Super Bowl Sunday, but what will you be eating? Here are some beer snacks for the big game so that you can drink your beer and eat it too!

February 14: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about love…ing beer! Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with a sweetheart or not, here are some great beers to drink while celebrating the day of love.

February 24: World Bartender Day

Head over to your local pub and grab a beer from your favourite bartender and make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them! If you’re a bartender yourself, then cheers to you! Are you an aspiring bartender? Here are some tips to make sure you’re the best!

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
March 23: Orval Day

The Orval legend began almost 1,000 years ago, when a princess accidentally dropped her ring into a spring and a trout returned it. It continues now, with a day to reflect on and enjoy amazing Trappist ale. To read more about Orval Day, click here.

March 27: Michael Jackson Day

No not that Michael Jackson! Michael Jackson was actually a famous beer critic who wrote many books about beer and whisky. Celebrate today by picking up your favourite beer and giving it your best review using your JustBeer App.

April 6: New Beers Eve

1920 – 1933 was the period of Prohibition in the United States. Thankfully in 1933 the government came to their senses. On this date in 1933, people lined up around the block at the doors of their favorite public house to prepare to imbibe the first legal brews in 13 years. Ever since that night, this day has been referred to as ‘New Beer’s Eve’, a precursor of ‘New Beers Day’.

April 7: National Beer Day

The anniversary of the end of Prohibition in the United States. Celebrate today and be thankful you weren’t alive in the years of 1920 – 1933!

April 11: King Gambrinus Day

King Gambrinus, A.K.A “The King of Beers”, learned how to brew beer from the Egyptian gods Iris and Osiris. The legend states that K.G. sold his soul to the devil to become the first mortal brewer, then outdrank the devil when he came to collect. King Gambrinus once drank for three days and three nights at a banquet, and everyone was so impressed, they crowned him king. He lived to be 100 years old and it was said that he was buried in a beer barrel instead of a coffin. King Gambrinus will always be remembered as an icon of beer, brewing and joviality.

April 17: Saison Day

Celebrate today buy sipping on your favourite Saisons from your favourite local breweries.

April 23: German Beer Day

Drink all of your favourite German beers today! To learn more about German beers, and German beer styles, check out JustBeer University.

May 7: National Homebrew Day

Today is all for the home-brewers. Try brewing something new, or give all your friends some of your own home-brewed beer so they can celebrate today with you.

July 18: St Arnoldus Day

St Arnoldus was the patron saint of Belgian Brewers and hop-pickers. Celebrate St Arnoldus on July 18 by drinking hoppy Belgian brews, and eating amazing Belgian beer food pairings.

July 21: Belgian National Day

Belgian National Day is like Belgium’s Independence Day. July 21 is one of Belgium’s ten public holidays and honours King Leopold I, the country’s first monarch, in 1831 after the Belgian Revolution. Celebrate today but drinking great Belgian beers!

August 6: IPA Day

Finally, a day dedicated for all you Hop Heads! Celebrate IPA Day by sipping on your favourite India Pale Ale, or try one you’ve never had!

August 7: International Beer Day

International Beer Day = The best day of the year! Celebrate alone, with friends, or with your dog. We don’t care what you do today as long as you have a cold brew in your hand!

September 19: First Day of Oktoberfest

Get out your Dirndls and Lederhosen folks! It’s the first day of Oktoberfest! Check out our many Oktoberfest articles to help you get prepared.

September 20: Sour Beer Day

Are you a sour beer lover? This day is perfect for you! Not a sour beer lover? That’s ok! Take today to try to find a sour beer you love.

September 27: Crush A Can Day

Take out all your anger and frustrations on Crush A Can Day! Spend the day drinking your favourite brews with your friends. You know what to do with the empty cans.

September 28: Drink Beer Day

Drink Beer Day? Isn’t that every day?

October 4: Last Day of Oktoberfest

The last day of Oktoberfest is always a sad one. End on a high note by drinking your favourite German beers and singing songs with your best pals.

October 9: Beer and Pizza Day

This day is perfect for anyone who commonly asks “What should I have for dinner tonight?“.

October 14: Homebrewing Legalization Day

October 14 is the anniversary of the day that homebrewing was legalized in the United States, thanks to President Jimmy Carter, in 1978.

October 27: National American Beer Day

Today’s the day to whip out all your favourite American beers. The second best American holiday besides 4th of July, of course.

October 31: Halloween

We know that Halloween doesn’t really have anything to do with beer… but let’s drink it anyways! Here are some of our favourite beers to drink on Halloween night.

November 3: Learn How To Home-brew Day

If you’ve been thinking of getting into home-brewing, today is your day!

November 5: International Stout Day

Finally a day for all you stout lovers! Not sure about stouts or don’t know anything about the beer style? That’s ok! Click here to learn more about stouts.

December 1: First Day of Your Beer Advent Calendar

If you’ve ordered a beer advent calendar, this is usually the day you get to open up your first beer and begin your 24 days of drinking! (Some calendars are only 12 days, so you would start on December 12th!)

December 5: National Repeal Day

Did you know that there was a 13-year-long nation-wide Prohibition that criminalized the consumption of alcohol in the United States? On December 5th, the Prohibition (a.k.a. the “Great Experiment”) was lifted and Americans were free to consume alcohol again.

December 10: National Lager Day

Lagers are some of the most popular beer styles in the world. Celebrate today by cracking open your favourite lager beers and reading this post to learn a little bit more about lagers.

December 31: New Years Eve

Cheers to the New Year! New Year’s is usually associated with Champagne, however, beer is so much better. Don’t believe us? Check out these beers to pop instead of Champagne on NYE!


A DIY beer mug makes a perfect gift for your beer enthusiasts in your life. Be it friends, your dad, or your life partner, this gift can certainly bring a smile to their faces. And, even if you make one for yourself, drinking beer out of your DIY beer mug, certainly hits different!

What’s more, these beer mugs are incredibly easy to make and doesn’t take up too much of your time as well. However, you must need a proper set of tools and equipment to complete this project. So, choose one and start the project right away!


You can DIY custom craft beer mugs for Father’s Day for your beer-loving father just by following simple instructions mentioned on this site. The materials needed to customize your beer mugs are also listed on this site.

You can also choose your own font and size to create art. Once you’ve decided the font and size, follow the instructions and next thing you will have is a customized beer mug for your dad.


Watch the video: Thomas Rhett - Beer Cant Fix ft. Jon Pardi (January 2022).