Monday, April 5, 2010

Republican Stout

Over the last few years I have been conducting a great deal of experimentation with home craft brewing.  As you would expect, there has been some spectacular successes (Belgian Trippel, Double Bock/Dunkel, Chocolate Stout, American Lagers, Czech Pilseners, and many more) as well as some incredible failures (Rasberry Ale, double strength ginger beer, Honey Ale).  It was suggested to me recently, after a tasting of my latest Belgian Trippel which, after a couple of hours ended being a bit ga-ga, I should start posting my recipes on my blog.  So here it is.  The first blog-brew.

Republican Stout (approx. 8.4% alc)


1x Coopers stout kit
500g chocolate malt grain
250g dextrose
500g dark malt extract
1000g light malt extract
250g honey
100g golden syrup
5ml liquorice extract
10g Fuggles hops (5 minute boil)
10g Hersbrucker hops (1 minute boil)
Safale 04  yeast (11.5g)


  • In a large steel pot (at least 10L), steep grain in 3L of water heated to 70degC for 60 minutes, then strain and rinse grain with 1L of 70degC water.  
  • Add another litre of (cold is okay) water, add kit malt, and other sugars, liquorice and syrups, stir to dissolve, then boil for 30 minutes.  Usually as the wort starts to boil there will be a large amount of foamy build-up on top of the mixture.  Stir regularly, as this will help dissipate this froth, which should go by around the 10-15 minute mark of the boil (this moment is referred to as 'boil-over').
  • After 30 minutes, add the Fuggles and stir in wort.  Fuggles add a lovely flavour to the stout, with only a mild bitterness which complements darker styles.
  • After 5 minutes add Hersbrucker and stir in wort.  Hersbrucker is a European hop variety usually reserved for lighter-style lagers and pilseners, but as we are only boiling for one minute, we are looking more for aroma than bitterness here.  Hersbrucker is spicy and flavoursome, and this little addition will add a fantastic but subtle complexity to the astringency (after-taste) of the stout.
  • After boiling with Hersbrucker for 1 minute, remove from heat and put pot in very cold (icy) water for 20 minutes.  This will rapidly reduce the temperature of the the wort to a much more yeast-friendly level.
  • Next strain wort into fementer, and top up with cold water to 20L.
  • Pitch rehydrated yeast when wort is at 18-20degC and gently stir.

When ready to bottle, a little hint:  only add half of the regular amount of priming sugar to bottles.  This will help create a terrific body to your Republican Stout!

Allow to condition for 6-8 weeks (12 weeks is ideal!).  The wait will be well worth it!

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