Dry Stout

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Like the heading this is no kitchen sink brew. Its the opposite of experimention and use of every grain you can fit in.

Looking at how full of info the net is you still find sometimes the info is not what your looking for.
For instance the guidelines for dry stout info everywhere says a yeast drier than the irish git yeast is best. Yet there is very little info to back this up in practice.
After the final taste test of JSB's stout iam gunna go with london ale and really dry it out and at the same time go right back to basic's and do the very simpliest of recipe's.

Like i said the net is full of over done recipe's which to me are not a real craft brew approach but more like kitchen sink brewing. ie add some of this, some of that and some of this then some of that....oh yeah and a bit of this...you get the idea.

Heres' the malt bill i'll do.
500g roast barley
500g flaked barley
4.5 JWM trad.

Ok question, has anyone had experience with such brews?
It seems the mash temp could almost be irrelavant and still come up with great beer as it should be dry but if it has a slightly higher FG than it would still work just as well.
Iam gunna go with 68c. unless anyone with experience here can talk me into going lower(or higher but i doubt that would work for a dry stout).

Cheers or is that slainte, Jayse
Can't really offer any experience on stouts ... I just brewed my first stout yesterday based on the samuel smith oatmeal stout recipe from the CAMRA book.

Your brew has a lot more bark malt in it then the one I have. Is there a limit on how much roast malt/barley you can use before you end up with something tasting like charcoal? I imagine if you are going with a higher mash temp you can probably put more in as it will balance the sweetnes out.

Also using 1028 for this one, mashed @ 66deg.

4.11 kg. IMC Ale Malt
0.24 kg. JWM Chocolate Malt
0.12 kg. JWM Roasted Malt
0.35 kg. Flaked Oats

22.00 g. Wye Challenger Pellet 7.50 19.9 60 min.
36.00 g. Fuggle Pellet 5.00 21.7 60 min.
A little bit of experience. I did the Grumpys partial mash recipe which is very similar, 10% roast, 10% flaked, plus ale malt and extract. I thought it lacked a little roastiness. I entered it in the Bathurst comp and the judges thought it was an OK attempt but lacked body, which makes me wonder if it needs some crystal.

But after doing a bit of research I put together an all grain recipe with 12%roast and 20% flaked, no crystal, which I will brew in a couple of weeks.

I used to do a kit based kitchen sink stout. Dark extract, brown sugar, molasses, the lot. I used to think it was good too. But now after making a real dry Irish stout, all I can taste in that brew is syrupy extract and molasses and I cant drink it. I have half a crate left I will tip out when I need the bottles, although it does make a really good base for a brown onion beer gravy.

The weird thing is I had a Samuel Smith Imperial Stout for the first time the other night after several people raved about it. I hated it, it tasted a lot like my kitchen sink kit stouts, fruity, syrupy, almost like molasses. I guess your palate changes and for me I'm looking for that dry style of stout.
Thanx for the replies guys,
My recipe comes from a great deal of research on dry stout. Iam planning on doing quite a lot of these a I thought the best place to start would be the classic simple dry dublin stout.
I have done plenty of stouts before but iam looking at getting right down to the nity gritty with dry stout.
Its wierd the judges thought your stout didn't have enough body simon as from my findings for a dry stout so far indicate that they are not to be full bodied like most kitchen sink brewers tend to believe and that they infact have quite a low F.G.
The recipe iam starting with is said to be the same guinness use but with all the different guinness beers going around I think most of whats said on the net is simple rumors based on blanket statements.
I picked designed this recipe because of a lot more factors than its what guinness do by the way for anyone thinking iam just trying to make a clone as that is not the case. But iam sure most will see where iam coming from anyway.

I find guinness actaully tastes a little bland and watered down to be honest. I have deffintly never tasted any sourness in the aussie versions either just a plan watery taste.

To date i have never tasted any commercial stouts that stack up against my last few stouts. Including youngs double choc.....yeah yeah iam bragging away.

JasonY iam sure you can over do the roast but 500g is not over doing it at all.
Acording to the daniels book not many good stouts use very many grains all the best are quite simple.
The next stout after this will use no roast barley only roast malt.

Anyway keep the thoughts coming in guys.

Cheers Jayse
All right

Here are my thoughts....

Add 500gms of black malt
change roast barley to 250gms.
Use Nottingham Ale yeast as this is drier than london.

Hope this helps.
the recipe is not and never was up for changing sorry GMK.
It was always gunna be as is.
But thanx for the input. I was actaully after more opinions from people who have done this simple recipe and the mash temps they used and what to expect from this recipe.
Like i tried to point out above , this thread is not so much about people telling me add this, don't add that etc. But actaully hard facts about dry stout.

ps. London is a very well known yeast for dry stout notingham is not.
Believe me i have researched this suject to the bitter end.
Like i said this is the opposite of experimention. It is designed on the hard facts and writings about dry stout.

just to throw in more confusion

from my limited reasearch the grain bill for guinness should be something like this

pale malt 70%
flaked barley 20%
raosted barley 10%
the wyeast 1084
or 1028 would be suitable

goldings / target hops for bittering

tasted out of the secondary the other day, and nice and dry.

defanatly no choc or black malt.

Jayse, according to Jeff Renner on ***: A standard Guinness clone recipe is 70% base pale malt, 20% flaked barley and 10% roast barley, 35 IBU (no flavor or aroma hops), 1.038. Not unlike what you are talking about. Have a look at the attachment I've posted, it's a discussion from *** about Irish stout.

View attachment Irish_Stout_suggestions.doc

Your grain bill looks like a classic dry stout recipe, but be wary of mashing too high, in my standard porter recipe I usually mash @ 65-66c and I end up with a nice dry finish, crips and clean 1.010 fg. The last time i brewed this I upped the mash temp to 68c and the fg was 1.016 giving this beer a thicker creamier finish.

Don't get me wrong the beer tastes great but the flavor profile is totally different, it has a much more pronounced chocolate flavor and is more creamy and not as dry.


To aid in the dryness of the beer - would you not also increase the hot liquor in the mash tun - ie instead of mashing with 3 ltrs per kg of grain - would go for 4 or 5 ltrs of water?

I have heard that the more hot water in the mash tun = the dryer the beer.

All answers appreciated.
Spot on GMK,

I usually mash with 3.5lt per kilo for a thin mash and this usually results in lower fg, taken into account with a mash temp of 64-65c the fermentation can get down to 1.008 quite easily and be a fairly dry beer (but not tasteless).

If I want a malty brew then I drop the water to 2.5lt per kilo and up the mash temp to 68c. This method seems to work well for me.

the theory behind this according to what I have read, is, the thinner mash is more beneficial for the enzymes that are responsible for converting the starches to simple sugars that are highly fermentable.

I am not a rocket scientist, but this method does seem to work.

Hope this helps
Thanx guys for your input.
So far no one has mentioned anything of astringentency which was one thing i was concerned with.
But by the sounds the guys who have done this brew have not found any probs there.

For a dry beer i always use a thinner mash and either way i always mash for a full 90 mins which also helps.
With this brew with so much roasted malt in there the PH would be lower than most normal mashes which will also help in favouring the production of a wort with good attenuation.
I mashed at 66c but the last 30mins was a bit lower.
I put it down today.

Another thing that has conflicting info about dry stout is i have seen quite a lot of info that suggests hop flavour is not out of place in a classic dry stout so i used30g of ekg for 30 mins also.
Proberly won't really taste them anyway but my research so far indicates dry stouts are more hoppy than some believe.

Cheers again for repling, Jayse

what are you bittering with and to what IBUs?

Cheers - Snow
Jayse, apologies in advance, because I'm about to highjack your thread. A thinner mash will result in a drier beer, but his is based upon the principle of "ceteris paribus" (all other things being equal). This basically means that 4kgs of JW Pale Malt mashed in 16ltrs at 66C will be drier than 4kgs of JW Pale Malt mashed in 10ltrs at 66C. However the difference will be marginal. The reason for this is in a thick mash the beta amalayse, which converts starch into simple fermentable sugars, survives longer. In a thin mash the beta-amalayse is denatured quicker, therefore it has less opportunity to make simple sugars. Then there is also the influence of pH and also calcium and a whole range of other factors that impact on the stability of the enzymes, so it's pretty hard to just seperate out mash thickness and say that will make a drier or more full bodied beer.

Instead, if you want to influence the dryness of the beer by limiting residual sugars, then first pay attention to you mash temp and grain bill as these will have much more influence than liqour to grist ratios eg 4kg of JW Pale Malt mashed in 10ltrs at 64C will be drier than 4kgs of JW Pale Malt mashed in 16ltrs at 68C. The lower mash temp will make a much bigger difference than whether or not you use a thin or thick mash. Secondly limit or eliminate the use of crystal malts which will add non-fermentable sugars.


What you say is very true, however low mash temp AND high water to grain ratio TOGETHER will produce a much more attenuative wort than one or the other seperately.

And of course your right, many other factors go into play, but these two things have the greatest effect on mash fermentability.

At least that is what I have seen from my grain brewing.


I agree that a low mash temp AND high water to grain ratio TOGETHER will produce a much more attenuative wort than one or the other seperately. But the greatest impact will come from the low mash temp, the high water to grain ratio will make only a marginal difference.

It's still good to keep in the back of your mind that high water to grain ratios will lead to denaturing of beta-amalayse faster than a thin mash, particularly as you get to know your malts. Eg with Weyermann Pilsner malt, this seems to need a long sachrification rest, up to 90mins. So if you're trying to make a dry pilsner, with a low rest temp of 64C you need your beta-amalayse to go the full distance, so a liqour to grist ratio of 2.5 to 1 would be better than 4 to 1.

No apology needed MAH, as this is what i hoped would be discussed,
I have found this way of mashing does work but if your not adding anything to bring down the PH in a all pale or pilsner malt brew that it does not work really any better or much differnet at all.
So to back up what you guys have been talking about in my experience you need all things to be at the right level ie, PH and temp being the most important and if they are alright then and only then will a different mash ratio really work.

Good stuff guys. This is one of the most important topics i think in mash brewing.
I would go into it more right now but i just spent 3 hours by the side of the road with a broken down car.
Hopefully we can keep this subject going later.
Cheers MAH and andrew for posting your experience and knowledge here.

How's it going i haven't seen you here much lately. Hope your brewing is going well.
Here's the jist of my recipe.

classic dry stout

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (L): 25.00 Wort Size (L): 25.00
Total Grain (kg): 5.00
Anticipated OG: 1.045 Plato: 11.09
Anticipated EBC: 80.0
Anticipated IBU: 42.8
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 120 Minutes

Hop IBU Formula Used: Rager


% Amount Name Origin Potential EBC
80.0 4.00 kg. JWM Traditional Ale Malt Australia 317.42 7
10.0 0.50 kg. JWM Roast Barley Australia 300.71 1400
10.0 0.50 kg. Flaked Barley America 267.30 4

Potential represented as IOB- HWE ( L / kg ).


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
30.00 g. Wye Challenger Pellet 7.50 31.6 80 min.
28.00 g. Goldings - E.K. Pellet 6.00 11.3 30 min.


WYeast 1028 London Ale...slurry.
G'day Jayse

How's this coming along? I'm doing a stout in a few weeks and will use this grain bill or something close to it. Perhaps 15% Flaked Barley... we'll see.

Do you have any thoughts on using Challenger at 30mins in place of Goldings?

Hi steve,

It went well i'll keg as soon as i have a free keg, that might mean a hard nite or two on the beers'. I have five beers conditioning right now and pretty well ready only thing is all almost all kegs are full so plenty of keg draining going on here.
I found that 'mysterious' evaporation doen'st happen as fast when all kegs are full at the same time and all just as good as each other.
The yakima chief though seems to have lost about 2 litres to evaporation ;) still in the fermentor. :p

anyway the stout is not what you would make if your were going all out to make the very best stout you could as i was not really trying to do that but just make a stout to the very basic guidelines.

It come up very well. So far it doesn't have any real stand out flavours its just like a nice dark session ale.
You could easily use more flaked barley up to 20%. You could also easily still use more roast barley as well in a 25 litre batch.
I would say that 30-15min flavour hops are a good idea in this type of stout any UK hops would work no probs so go with the challenger. I reckon I could have used even more towards the end but not right on the end as you want the aroma to be of malts not hops.

I'll have it on tap in june along with some other creations.
How's stout through 'randall' sound? :D
Anyway if you want a real knock out stout have a look at the oatmeal stout thread as that is much more complex. Also try get hold of a grand ridge hat lifter stout for a taste, that is one nice beer.
But if your thinking along the same lines as I was making this for bettering your craft brewing knowledge while still making a awesome beer then do something like this.
Also i think it will be dry enough and maybe even have a extra dimesion if you use the irish git yeast.

Cheers Jayse