Friday, March 14, 2014

Cranberry Stout

Note: Still playing catch-up with the blog, so a lot of the posts you'll be seeing for the next few weeks are from last year. Thanks.

Back in December I ended the brewing hiatus and did something I usually don't - a "normal" beer, low in alcohol, without the expense and time commitment of the barrel aged and sour beers I usually brew.

This time the idea was to take the flavors of a traditional dry stout, but replace a portion of the bitterness with cranberries - if done right, I felt the bitter, astringent, slightly sour flavor would lend itself well to the style. I set out to craft a recipe that would work with this in mind - backing up off the roasted malts a bit, as well as the IBUs.

For the cranberries I decided to use a 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, dumped straight into the boil with about 15 minutes left. In theory this was a great idea, but unfortunately, it also clogged the ball valve like you wouldn't believe - I ended up having to siphon the beer out manually.

I added another 32 ounces of unprocessed, unfiltered cranberry juice to the primary along with enough water to top it off to 5 gallons, as I had boiled off more water than I planned. Fermentation went off without a hitch - afterwards I bumped the temp up into the upper 60's and conditioned it in primary for about 6 weeks. Final gravity came out at 1.011, which puts this right at 7% - higher than I'd wanted but still drinkable, especially compared to the quad I will be brewing next for QuadFest '14.

Recipe and some more photos after the break.

Cranberry Stout
Batch Size: 5.0 gal
Style: Dry Stout

8# 2-Row
1.25# Roasted Barley
.5# Flaked Barley
.5# Munich
.5# Dark Brown Sugar
.25# Chocolate Malt

1.5oz EKG @ 60 minutes (31 IBU)
0.5oz EKG @ 15 minutes (5 IBU)

Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale Yeast

12 ounces fresh cranberries (in boil)
32 ounces cranberry juice, unsweetened (in primary)

Here are some pictures from the brew day and kegging:


Nearly 2 pounds of fresh cranberries.

Topping off with distilled water.

Starting gravity (unadjusted): 1.070. After adding water and cranberry juice it brought it down in to the low 60's.

Final gravity - 1.011. Dry, but still refreshing.

Into the keg.

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