First crack at a Vanilla Milk Stout

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Hi Team

I am keen to have a crack at brewing a Vanilla Milk Stout similar to the one produced by Thirsty Crow Brewery in Wagga Wagga. Their website lists the malts as:
English Pale, Light Crystal, Pale Chocolate & Black Patent with the featured ingredient being Vanilla from Tonga.

My draft recipe to attempt to create something similar in style and flavour is outlined below:

Title: Jolls Vanilla Milk Stout
Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Sweet Stout
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 23 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 30.38 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.041
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

Hop Utilization Multiplier: 0.94

Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 4.82%
IBU (tinseth): 22.4
SRM (morey): 37.21
Mash pH: 0

4 kg - Copeland English Pale (75.5%)
0.5 kg - Light Crystal Malt (9.4%)
0.5 kg - Pale Chocolate (9.4%)
0.3 kg - Black Patent (5.7%)

1) Strike, Temp: 67 C, Time: 60 min, Amount: 13.5 L
2) Sparge, Temp: 75 C, Time: 15 min, Amount: 18 L
Starting Mash Thickness: 2.5 L/kg

2 each - Vanilla Bean, Time: 7200 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Primary
150 g - Lactose, Time: 60 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
150 g - Lactose, Time: 0 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Kegging
1 each - Whirlfloc tablet, Time: 15 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Boil

Fermentis / Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (avg): 75%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 12.22 - 25 C
Pitch Rate: 0.35 (M cells / ml / deg P)

CO2 Level: 1.65 Volumes

Lactose to taste prior to kegging (150g planning figure)

This recipe has been published online at:
Generated by Brewer's Friend - Brewer's Friend | Homebrew Beer Recipes, Calculators & Forum
Date: 2022-01-25 10:31 UTC
Recipe Last Updated: 2022-01-25 10:31 UTC

If you have the time and inclination it would be appreciated if you could have a look at my proposed recipe and let me know if I am in the ballpark or have completely missed the mark. Your suggestions and advice are very welcome.

Cheers n Beers
Last edited:
I made a few chages as I pondereed this recipe, asked questions and then found my LHBS didn't have the ingredients. In the end it looks like this:

4 kg - Maris Otter Extra Pale (79.2%)
0.25 kg - Light Crystal Malt (5%)
0.5 kg - Chocolate Malt (9.9%)
0.3 kg - Black Malt (5.9%)

30 g - East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 16.93
30 g - East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 13.01

50 ml - vanilla extract, Time: 14400 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Primary
150 g - Lactose, Time: 60 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
1 each - Whirlfloc tablet, Time: 15 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Boil

Fermentis / Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04

I will add lactose to taste at kegging and see what the outrcomes are.

Tasted a little watery to me after cubing it - but the numbers are only 2 points down on the calculated OG so we will just have to see what comes out at the other end.

Cheers n Beers
I'll let you know in about six weeks. I plan on 2 weeks in the fermenter and 4 weeks conditioning (if I can hold out that long).
I enjoy this beer myself. Never used lactose in my beers before. Are you thinking of boiling the lactose in water to sanitise it before kegging? Or just letting the alcohol take care of it for you?
Hi Red racer

My plan is to mix it with boiling water. I added 150g to the boil so that is already in the fermenter. I will add an addtional 150g to 500ml of boiled water and cool it the night before. Then take 100ml of the finished product and add lactose to taste. When I have it where I want it I will scale it up to 19 litres and crack on. Unless you or otheres have a better way - if so I'm all ears.

Cheers n Beers
I kegged the Vanilla Milk Stout. The additional loctose mixed with boiling water didn't do much at all. I had great flavour but a little bitter compared to the original. Cetainly not as sweet as that produced in Wagga. I went with a little exeperiment and backsweetened it to taste with caster sugar and boiling water then kegged it an threw it in the Keezer at 1.5 degrees. We will see what the end result is - never done this before but the taste as it was kegged was just about right. A hint of vanilla coffee. Looking forward to next weekend to see what comes out the other side. Worst case I end up with higher alcohol content - but I trust 1.5 degrees prevents any residual yeast from doing anything but sleeping.
Cheers n Beers
Hello Jolls
After nearly thirty kegs of Chocolate/coffee/vanilla/cream porter (my wife only drinks dark beer!) over the last few years, I'm at this stage:
The lactose, currently 450g, goes in at 15 mins. This obviously bumps up the final gravity to 1.020. I've tried vanilla pods, chocolate, oak chips and coffee in lots of ways but found the simplest method was to put a Top Shelf Creme de Cacao spirits flavour bottle in once 1.030 passes. This is conveniently when the fermenter goes under pressure as well. This has worked well with the last five kegs. This is a 5.5%/90 EBC/42 IBU brew with 200g of Saaz and Nottingham starter. Grain bill = 2.75 Simpsons Golden Promise/2.5 Munich1/0.5 Chocolate Malt/0.35 Pale Wheat/0.3 Carafa1/0.25 Caramunich2/.05 chocolate wheat. I found that the vanilla pods (2) didn't give much flavour whether put in chopped at 15 mins or added after fermentation soaked in spirit. If I wanted that flavour now, I'd look at essence. Hope some of this helps and good luck with current effort. H

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