- 1 What makes stout different from beer?
- 2 What hops are used in stouts?
- 3 What makes a Russian stout?
- 4 Do all stouts have milk?
- 5 Is Guinness healthier than lager?
- 6 Why is stout not vegan?
How is stout beer made?
The Anatomy of a Stout If you’ve recently been feeling tempted to wander over to the ‘dark side’ of beer, you may be interested to find out a thing or two about stouts. This misinterpreted brew has distinct coloring and rich flavor, not to mention a fascinating history behind it.
With many different styles and characteristics, there is a lot to know about stouts, and we have all the information you need before you begin taste-testing. A Rich History In the late 1600’s, ‘stout’- was first recorded as describing a strong or heavy beer and the term became common when describing high alcohol content porters.
Porters – referred to dark ales that were typically richer than other ales, with hints of chocolate, coffee, or syrup. Soon, the two were combined to create porter stouts, or darker and heavier versions of a chocolaty coffee-like beer. As the variety of stouts grew, however, the term porter was detached allowing the stout to stand in a category of its own.
- Stouts also have a history of being used for medicinal purposes.
- Based on their high iron content, it wasn’t unusual for people to be given a stout after donating blood.
- In fact, up until the early 1900’s, doctors were known for prescribing stouts to nursing mothers.
- No More Doubts About Stouts Stouts are easily recognized by their deep brown or black coloring, smooth, chocolaty taste and thick consistency.
Although beer drinkers usually know what to expect when you offer them a stout, there are also some common misconceptions about them. Beer drinkers tend to think the darker the beer the higher the alcohol content, however this isn’t usually the case. Additionally, people assume that stouts have more carbohydrates than lagers but that too is false.
- This misunderstanding comes from the rich flavors that engulf the taste buds and trick us into thinking we’re drinking something a lot heavier.
- The Makings of a Stout So how do stouts get this rich flavor? Well, it’s all in the ingredients.
- Just like other beers stouts are comprised of the classic four ingredients: malted barley, water, hops and yeast.
However, it’s how these ingredients are brewed that differentiates a stout from other beers. The barley is what’s attributed to the defining characteristic of a stout: it’s dark coffee color. Roasted barley, in combination with chocolate malts, give the beer its appearance and rich flavor.
Can you brew stouts at home?
Irish stout is easy to brew and perfect for any weather. Irish stout is the perfect dark beer for warm weather. It’s full-flavored, low in alcohol, and has about the same number of calories as that watery “lite beer” your brother-in-law brings to your backyard barbecue.
- And speaking of grilled meat, Irish stout is a great pairing.
- If you’ve spent any time on the Emerald Isle, you know that the black stuff is the year-round staff of life, equally at home in summer as in winter.
- Served at a cool—not cold—45°F (7°C) with low carbonation (nitro is de rigueur for most commercial examples), the style is both flavorful and immensely drinkable.
It was a session beer before the term became trendy. Experience the world’s best online learning resource for homebrewers with CB&B’s online classes! Sign up for one today! Irish stout is also incredibly easy to brew. With just three grains, one hops, and a nicely attenuative dry yeast, you can turn this around in a couple of weeks if you keg your beer.
What makes stout different from beer?
A stout is typically thicker than a traditional ale due to using malt and smoked barley in its brewing process. You may have even heard a stout be referred to as a ‘meal in a glass’, due to its thick texture and rich, strong taste. However, a strong taste doesn’t mean a bitter taste.
Is Guinness technically a stout?
Editor’s Note: Get inspired by a weekly roundup on living well, made simple. Sign up for CNN’s Life, But Better newsletter for information and tools designed to improve your well-being. CNN — Guinness, like other Irish stouts, enjoys a seasonal popularity every St.
- Patrick’s Day.
- It has also been touted as being “good for you,” at least by its own advertising posters decades ago.
- But can this creamy, rich and filling beer really be added to a list of healthy beverages? Or is its reputation just good marketing? We researched the beer’s history and talked to brewing experts and break out the good, the not-so-great and the ingenuity of Guinness.
The original Guinness is a type of ale known as stout. It’s made from a grist (grain) that includes a large amount of roasted barley, which gives it its intense burnt flavor and very dark color. And though you wouldn’t rank it as healthful as a vegetable, the stouts in general, as well as other beers, may be justified in at least some of their nutritional bragging rights.
According to Charlie Bamforth, distinguished professor emeritus of brewing sciences at the University of California, Davis, most beers contain significant amounts of antioxidants, B vitamins, the mineral silicon (which may help protect against osteoporosis), soluble fiber and prebiotics, which promote the growth of “good” bacteria in your gut.
And Guinness may have a slight edge compared with other brews, even over other stouts. “We showed that Guinness contained the most folate of the imported beers we analyzed,” Bamforth said. Folate is a B vitamin that our bodies need to make DNA and other genetic material.
It’s also necessary for cells to divide. According to his research, stouts on average contain 12.8 micrograms of folate, or 3.2% of the recommended daily allowance. Because Guinness contains a lot of unmalted barley, which contains more fiber than malted grain, it is also one of the beers with the highest levels of fiber, according to Bamforth.
(Note: Though the US Department of Agriculture lists beer as containing zero grams of fiber, Bamforth said his research shows otherwise.) Bamforth has researched and coauthored studies published in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing and the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists.
- Here’s more potentially good news about Guinness: Despite its rich flavor and creamy consistency, it’s not the highest in calories compared with other beers.
- A 12-ounce serving of Guinness Draught has 125 calories.
- By comparison, the same size serving of Budweiser has 145 calories, Heineken has 142 calories, and Samuel Adams Cream Stout has 189 calories.
In the United States, Guinness Extra Stout, by the way, has 149 calories. This makes sense when you consider that alcohol is the main source of calories in beers. Guinness Draught has a lower alcohol content, at 4.2% alcohol by volume, compared with 5% for Budweiser and Heineken, and 4.9% for the Samuel Adams Cream Stout.
In general, moderate alcohol consumption – defined by the USDA’s dietary guidelines for Americans as no more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women – may protect against heart disease. So you can check off another box. Guinness is still alcohol, and consuming too much can impair judgment and contribute to weight gain.
Heavy drinking (considered more than 14 drinks a week for men or more than seven drinks a week for women) and binge drinking (five or more drinks for men, and four or more for women, in about a two-hour period) are also associated with many health problems, including liver disease, pancreatitis and high blood pressure.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.” And while moderate consumption of alcohol may have heart benefits for some, consumption of alcohol can also increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer for each drink consumed daily.
Many decades ago, in Ireland, it would not have been uncommon for a doctor to advise pregnant and nursing women to drink Guinness. But today, experts (particularly in the United States) caution of the dangers associated with consuming any alcohol while pregnant.
- Alcohol is a teratogen, which is something that causes birth defects.
- It can cause damage to the fetal brain and other organ systems,” said Dr.
- Erin Tracy, an OB/GYN at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive gynecology.
“We don’t know of any safe dose of alcohol in pregnancy. Hence we recommend abstaining entirely during this brief period of time in a woman’s life.” What about beer for breastfeeding? “In Britain, they have it in the culture that drinking Guinness is good for nursing mothers,” said Karl Siebert, professor emeritus of the food science department and previous director of the brewing program at Cornell University.
- Beer in general has been regarded as a galactagogue, or stimulant of lactation, for much of history.
- In fact, according to irishtimes.com, breastfeeding women in Ireland were once given a bottle of Guinness a day in maternity hospitals.
- According to Domhnall Marnell, the Guinness ambassador, Guinness Original (also known as Guinness Extra Stout, depending on where it was sold) debuted in 1821, and for a time, it contained live yeast, which had a high iron content, so it was given to anemic individuals or nursing mothers then, before the effects of alcohol were fully understood.
Some studies have showed evidence that ingredients in beer can increase prolactin, a hormone necessary for milk production; others have showed the opposite. Regardless of the conclusions, the alcohol in beer also appears to counter the benefits associated with increased prolactin secretion.
“The problem is that alcohol temporarily inhibits the milk ejection reflex and overall milk supply, especially when ingested in large amounts, and chronic alcohol use lowers milk supply permanently,” said Diana West, coauthor of “The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk.” “Barley can be eaten directly, or even made from commercial barley drinks, which would be less problematic than drinking beer,” West said.
If you’re still not convinced that beer is detrimental to breastfeeding, consider this fact: A nursing mother drinking any type of alcohol puts her baby in potential danger. “The fetal brain is still developing after birth – and since alcohol passes into breast milk, the baby is still at risk,” Tracy said.
- This is something we would not advocate today,” Marnell agreed.
- We would not recommend to anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding to be enjoying our products during this time in their life.” Regarding the old wives’ tale about beer’s effects on breastfeeding, Marnell added, “It’s not something that Guinness has perpetuated and if (people are still saying it), I’d like to say once and for all, it’s not something we support or recommend.” Assuming you are healthy and have the green light to drink beer, you might wonder why Guinness feels like you’ve consumed a meal, despite its lower calorie and alcohol content.
It has to do with the sophistication that goes into producing and pouring Guinness. According to Bamforth, for more than half a century, Guinness has put nitrogen gas into its beer at the packaging stage, which gives smaller, more stable bubbles and delivers a more luscious mouthfeel.
- It also tempers the harsh burnt character coming from the roasted barley.
- Guinness cans, containing a widget to control the pour, also have some nitrogen.
- Guinness is also dispensed through a special tap that uses a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
- In Ireland, Guinness had a long history of hiring the best and brightest university graduates regardless of what they were trained in,” Siebert said.
“And they put them to work on things they needed. One was a special tap for dispensing Guinness, which has 11 different nozzles in it, that helps to form the fine-bubbled foam.” The foam is remarkably long-lasting. “After you get a freshly poured Guinness, you can make a face in the foam, and by the time you finish drinking it, the face is still there,” Siebert said.
The famous advertising Guinness slogans – including “It’s a good day for a Guinness” – started through word of mouth, said Marnell. “In 1929, when we were about to do our first ad, we asked (ourselves), ‘What stance should we take?’ So we sent around a group of marketers (in Ireland and the UK) to ask Guinness drinkers why they chose Guinness, and nine out of 10 said their belief was that the beer was healthy for them.
We already had this reputation in the bars before we uttered a word about the beer. “That led to the Gilroy ads that were posted,” Marnell explained, referring to the artist John Gilroy, responsible for the Guinness ads from 1928 to the 1960s. “You’ll see the characters representing the Guinness brand – the toucan, the pelican – and slogans like ‘Guinness is good for you’ or ‘Guinness for Strength.’ But those were from the 1920s, ’30s and ‘40s.” Today, he said, the company would not claim any health benefits for its beer.
- If anyone is under the impression that there are health benefits to drinking Guinness, then unfortunately, I’m the bearer of bad news.
- Guinness is not going to build muscle or cure you of influenza.” In fact, Guinness’ parent company, Diageo, spends a lot of effort supporting responsible drinking initiatives and educating consumers about alcohol’s effects.
Its DrinkIQ page offers information such as calories in alcohol, how your body processes it and when alcohol can be dangerous, including during pregnancy. “One of the main things we focus on is that while we would love people to enjoy our beer, we want to make sure they do so as responsibly as possible,” Marnell said.
What hops are used in stouts?
Follow @BeerSmith With St Patrick’s day upon us, it seemed appropriate to discuss the beer that Ireland is most famous for: Irish Stout. We’ll review the history of Irish Stout, the design of Irish Stout recipes and finish with a selection of great Irish Stout recipes for home brewing.
- The History of Stout Irish Stout traces its heritage back to Porter.
- As described previously in our article on the Porter Beer style, Porters were first commercially sold in the early 1730s in London and became popular in both Great Britain and Ireland.
- The word Stout was first associated with beer in a 1677 manuscript, with a “stout” beer being synonymous with “strong” beer (Ref: Wikipedia ).
In the 1700’s the term “Stout Porter” was widely used to refer to a strong version of Porter. The famous Guinness brewery in Ireland started brewing “Stout Porter” in 1820, though they previously brewed both ales and Porters. Around 1820, Stout also began to emerge as a distinctive style, using more dark brown malt and additional hops over popular porters of the time.
At around the same time, black malt was invented and put to good use in Porters and Stout Porters. (Ref: Daniels ) Throughout the 1800’s Stout continued to refer to “Strong” – therefore one could have “Stout Ales” as well as “Stout Porters”. However, by the end of the 19 th century, “stout” became more closely associated only with dark Porter, eventually becoming a name for very dark beers.
Traditional stouts of the 1800’s and early 1900’s differ considerably from their modern counterparts. The characteristic Roast Barley that gives Irish stout its dry roasted taste was not widely used until the early to mid 1900’s. Some Stouts had very high gravities – 1.070 to 1.090 for many recipes from 1858 cited by Ray Daniels.
They also had very high hop rates, in some cases approaching 90 IBUs. As Pale ales and later European lagers became more popular in the 1800’s, sales of both Porter and Stout Porter declined, remaining popular in Ireland and a few other localities in the UK. The definitive modern Irish Stout is Guinness Extra Stout.
Other popular commercial stouts include Beamish Irish Stout and Murphy’s Irish Stout. Founded in 1759, Guinness brewery at St James gate in Dublin Ireland has operated continuously for over 250 years under family ownership. Guinness is a classic Irish or Dry Stout style, with a distinctive dry, almost coffee like flavor derived from Roasted Barley.
Guinness is brewed in two main forms, the domestic draft version having much lower alcohol content (3.9%) than the export bottled version (6%). (Ref: Daniels ) A number of other stout styles are popular including (Russian) Imperial Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Milk Stout, Chocolate Stout. However for today, we will stick with the classic Irish Stout style.
Designing and Brewing an Irish Stout I rish Stout has an original gravity in the 1.035-1.050 range, with domestic versions being at the low end and export versions at the high end of that range. Bitterness is moderate, but must balance the strong flavor of the dark grains used. It should be hopped at a moderate rate of 1 IBU per point of OG (so a beer with 1.040 OG should have 40 IBUs).
Color is an extremely dark brown that looks black in the glass – from 35-200 SRM. Traditionally Irish Stout is served at very low carbonation (1.6-2.0 volumes) and often served warm. The key ingredient in a classic Irish Stout is Roasted Barley. Roast Barley gives Irish Stout its classic dry coffee-like flavor, deep dark color, and white foamy head.
Unlike other dark malts, Roast Barley is made from unmalted barley grain that is roasted at high temperature while being lightly sprayed with water to prevent it from burning. Roast Barley is intensely dark, around 500-550 L, but amazingly the unmalted barley produces a white head on the beer as opposed to the darker head made by other malts.
In many commercial dry stouts, Roast Barley is the only specialty grain used. For a Dry Irish Stout, Roast Barley makes up around 10% of the grain bill. Those that don’t use Roast Barley will almost always used Black malt as a substitute. Irish Stout is famously full bodied, so the second most popular ingredient is a specialty grain to enhance the body of the beer.
Guinness uses Flaked Barley at a proportion of around 10% of the grain bill. Flaked Barley adds significant body and mouthfeel to the beer, but it must be mashed. If you are a malt extract brewer, crystal malt or Carapils would be a good substitute for Flaked Barley.
Many award winning all grain stout recipies also use oatmeal (6% of grain bill range) or wheat (6% range) either in place of flaked barley or as an addition to further enhance the body of the finished beer. Other popular specialty grains include black and chocolate malts, though these are used in small proportions primarily to add complexity to the flavor.
(Ref: Daniels) English pale malt (or Pale Malt Extract) makes up the bulk (60-70%) of the grain bill. For all-grain brewers, a medium to full bodied mash profile is desirable. A single step infusion mash is sufficient for well modified English malts. Conversion mash temperatures in the 153-156 F range are appropriate.
- The most popular Irish Stout hops by far is East Kent Goldings, though other English hops such as Fuggle, Challenger, Northdown and Target.
- American varieties such as Cascade are sometimes used by American microbreweries.
- Traditionally a single hop addition is made at the beginning of the boil for bitterness.
Hop aroma is not a significant factor, so aroma hops are rarely added to Irish Stout. Irish Ale yeast is traditionally used in Irish Stout. An ideal yeast would yield an attenuation around 76% for dryness, but many Irish ale yeasts yield a lower attenuation.
- Some brewers select neutral yeasts with a higher attenuation to achieve a drier flavor profile.
- London and Whitbread yeasts are also popular choices.
- Some Irish Stout recipes, including Guinness use a small amount of soured beer to add a little extra bite and flavor.
- To make soured beer, pull a small amount from the unfermented wort and let it naturally sour over several days by leaving it exposed to air.
Boil the sour beer sterilize it thoroughly and then cool it and add it to your fermenter well before bottling. Finally, few stout fans will forget the smooth creamy head that a draft pint of Guinness has on it. The secret is that Guinness on tap is not served under CO2 alone, but has a mix of CO2 and nitrogen.
Dry Irish Stout Culver City Stout Keep It Simple Stout
Extract Irish Stout Recipes:
Nitro Powered Stout Guinness Extra Stout (re-mixed -clone) Culver City Stout Luck O’the Irish Stout
Happy St Patrick’s Day! Hopefully you have enjoyed this article on the classic Irish Stout. Please keep your ideas and comments coming and don’t hesitate to subscribe to our blog using the subscription links on the left sidebar.
What makes a Russian stout?
Russian Imperial Stout, first brewed in England for Emperor Peter the Great of Russia, are higher in alcohol than traditional English Stouts. The best examples are full bodied, rich, and complex, and will often have flavors and aromas of dried fruit, coffee, and dark chocolate.
|Style Examples – 1 to 50 (out of 4222)|
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|Name | Brewery||ABV||Ratings >||Avg||Last Active|
|Old Rasputin North Coast Brewing Co.||9.00||13,074||4.3||07-10-2023|
|Imperial Russian Stout Stone Brewing||10.60||8,488||4.33||05-27-2023|
|Imperial Stout Founders Brewing Company||10.50||8,070||4.36||03-05-2023|
|Parabola Firestone Walker Brewing Co.||13.00||7,207||4.61||07-25-2023|
|Black Chocolate Stout Brooklyn Brewery||10.00||7,022||4.15||07-09-2023|
|Expedition Stout Bell’s Brewery – Eccentric Café & General Store||10.50||6,611||4.26||06-18-2023|
|Narwhal Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.||10.20||5,513||4.16||07-06-2023|
|Dark Lord 3 Floyds Brewing Co.||15.00||4,523||4.28||06-03-2023|
|Darkness Surly Brewing Company||12.00||4,251||4.48||07-20-2023|
|Plead The 5th Imperial Stout Dark Horse Brewing Company||11.00||4,111||4.3||07-05-2023|
|Imperial Stout Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)||7.00||4,021||4.16||07-23-2023|
|Blackout Stout Great Lakes Brewing Co.||9.90||3,689||4.2||05-04-2023|
|Plead The 5th – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Horse Brewing Company||11.00||3,371||4.52||07-23-2023|
|Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout Cigar City Brewing||11.80||3,046||4.37||07-16-2023|
|B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Hoppin’ Frog Brewery||9.40||2,843||4.23||01-14-2023|
|Black OPS Brooklyn Brewery||11.60||2,580||4.13||06-25-2023|
|Imperial Stout Lagunitas Brewing Company||9.90||2,254||3.83||06-10-2023|
|Barrel-Aged Narwhal Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.||11.90||2,157||4.33||07-01-2023|
|Siberian Night Imperial Stout Thirsty Dog Brewing Company||9.00||1,991||4.13||04-28-2023|
|Blackout Stout – Barrel-Aged Great Lakes Brewing Co.||9.50||1,875||4.35||05-04-2023|
|Black Albert De Struise Brouwers||13.00||1,846||4.26||07-11-2023|
|Marshmallow Handjee 3 Floyds Brewing Co.||15.00||1,802||4.73||07-13-2023|
|Blaecorn Unidragon Clown Shoes||11.50||1,690||4.09||05-21-2023|
|Santa’s Little Helper Port Brewing||9.90||1,581||4.01||06-01-2023|
|Peg Leg Imperial Stout Heavy Seas Beer||8.00||1,508||3.66||12-24-2021|
|Samuel Adams Imperial Stout Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)||9.20||1,505||3.8||03-08-2020|
|Sexual Chocolate Foothills Brewing Company – Downtown Brewpub||9.75||1,448||4.13||05-21-2023|
|Fyodor Stone Brewing||13.10||1,426||4.45||11-18-2022|
|D.O.R.I.S. The Destroyer Hoppin’ Frog Brewery||10.50||1,381||4.22||07-07-2023|
|Imperial Stout Trooper New England Brewing Co.||8.50||1,363||4.22||05-14-2023|
|Dino S’mores Off Color Brewing||10.50||1,358||4.13||01-24-2023|
|Imperial Stout Rogue Ales||11.00||1,288||4.03||11-26-2021|
|Sexual Chocolate – Barrel-Aged Foothills Brewing Company – Downtown Brewpub||9.60||1,287||4.36||07-02-2023|
|Imperial Stout (Big Beer Series) Smuttynose Brewing Company||10.50||1,243||4.08||03-21-2020|
|Big Black Voodoo Daddy Voodoo Brewery||12.00||1,241||4.18||05-27-2023|
|Bourbon Barrel Aged Siberian Night Imperial Stout Thirsty Dog Brewing Company||10.90||1,223||4.25||12-16-2022|
|Dark Apparition Jackie O’s Brewpub||10.50||1,123||4.21||07-23-2023|
|Wake Up Dead Left Hand Brewing Company||10.20||1,092||3.88||04-07-2023|
|Wake Up Dead Nitro Left Hand Brewing Company||10.20||1,049||4.04||01-17-2022|
|Ibex Series: Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout The Schlafly Tap Room||10.20||1,029||4.1||10-19-2022|
|Bo & Luke Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse||13.00||1,012||4.25||07-16-2023|
|Northwind Two Brothers Brewing Company||9.10||996||3.82||12-06-2021|
|Courage Imperial Russian Stout Eagle Brewery||10.00||973||4.24||01-01-2023|
|Barrel Roll No.3 Pugachev’s Cobra Hangar 24 Brewing||15.00||949||4.36||06-26-2023|
|Parabajava Firestone Walker Brewing Co.||14.00||948||4.53||07-13-2023|
|Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout Jester King Brewery||9.10||924||3.99||08-21-2022|
|Imperial Stout Nøgne Ø||9.00||922||4.13||07-08-2023|
|Luscious The Alchemist||9.20||914||4.43||06-02-2023|
|Rabid Duck The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery||10.00||912||3.94||06-19-2023|
|Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout – Barrel-Aged Big Sky Brewing Company||11.60||901||4.25||07-22-2023|
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What makes a stout thick?
Creating a Thick, Velvety Stout – One of the pillars of the style is having a beer that comes with a full mouthfeel and generally feels “thick” on the tongue. There is no one trick that will make a thick stout, but several factors that work together to achieve this:
Brew a stout of Original Gravity 1.130 or more Look for a finishing gravity upward of 1.040+ Don’t be afraid to use Calcium Chloride upward of 150 PPM Mash at 153F or higher Use English Ale yeast that helps leave more residual sugars (optional if above 1.120 OG) Use lactose and/or maltodextrin to hit those FG targets (if needed) Use 10-15% malted oats and/or flaked oats
Fair warning – brewing beer with a high OG has implications for yeast and for overall sweetness levels. Most yeast max out at 10-12% ABV. US-05 (or other Chico strain) maxes out at 11%. Scottish and Irish ale yeasts max out at 12%. Also be sure to pay attention to how sweet your beers are, the higher the ABV, the more naturally sweet your beer will occur, so use more roasted malts with those.
Why do stouts taste so good?
What does a Stout taste like? – The taste of a stout is a balance between the sweetness of roasted malt and the bitterness of the hops. The dark malts often have notes of caramel, chocolate, coffee and dried fruit. The best stouts have a velvety mouthfeel and can range from heavy and filling to light and refreshing, depending on the ingredients.
How long should stouts age?
When most people think of aging any kind of alcohol, the first thought is wine. But aging alcohol is not just limited to wine. While a majority of beer is meant to be consumed shortly after being brewed (hence the reason for expiration dates on bottles and cans) there are certain merits to aging beer as well.
Though this is a relatively new concept, as the growth and interest in craft beer is much newer than wine, aging beer can reap tremendous benefits if done correctly. When you age beer, some flavors can subside, letting others shine through for a new and different taste altogether. We hope you enjoy the following tips for aging beer so you can to next the next step in becoming a true beer connoisseur.
There is much discussion and rhetoric that flies around about the process of aging beer. Some will argue that is a fantastic way to enjoy your beer, while others eschew the mere mention of aging beer as they would argue that beer is meant to be consumed as soon as it is produced.
But the good news is that, in the end, it is a personal choice and up to the drinker whether they choose to imbibe fresh or let it mellow. Also, as different people prefer different flavors, some may truly enjoy the aged beer taste, while others may find it unpleasant. Why would you want to age beer? Or in other words, what benefit does aging have? Interesting to note that beer does not deepen or develop in flavor as it ages.
In fact, the opposite occurs. What happens is that the strong flavors tend to lessen and the more understated flavors and characteristics of the beer are brought forward as the beer ages. This interesting development process is the exact antithesis of how wine ages.
Beer is relatively inexpensive, so if you decide that you want to try aging beers, you really wouldn’t have to invest much at all. And in more good news, you don’t have to have any fancy (read: expensive) equipment or have any special space built into your home to age beer. To get started aging beer you’ll just need a cool, dark space.
Another good thing about aging beer is that you don’t have to wait an exorbitant amount of time for the beer to develop before you can enjoy it. With wine, some connoisseurs wait decades, but with beer it is just a fraction of the time – maybe a year at most. Beer does not deepen or develop in flavor as it ages. In fact, the opposite occurs. What happens is that the strong flavors tend to lessen and the more understated flavors and characteristics of the beer are brought forward as the beer ages. This interesting development process is the exact antithesis of how wine ages.
- What are the best beer styles to age? Higher-ABV beers and beers that have been aged in casks tend to do well when aged.
- Remember earlier we said that when you age beer, some flavors lighten up and the other characteristics come forward? So, when you age a beer that was previously aged in casks, like whiskey, for example, that flavor might become more prominent.
The same with sour beers that have a fruit infusion. That flavor of the fruit might come through more over time via aging. A note on stouts: “Sometimes a stout can be too “hot” meaning if it’s barrel-aged, there’s a good bit of bourbon burn in it where it needs some mellowing out to enhance the flavors.” – Brij Patel, owner, Sprayberry Bottle Shop, Marietta, GA Type of Beers Ideal for Aging
Barrel-aged beers/Stouts High-ABV beers Sour beers
If you are new to beer aging and enjoy sour beers, they are a good beer to experiment with the aging process and you will easily see how flavors can come through. HOMES Brewery in Ann Arbor, Michigan brews many IPAs as well as sour beers. According to Homes head brewer Nick Panchamé: “Sour beers are more flexible with age and temperature ranges.
- We still fruit these beers pretty heavily so fruit flavor will change over time.
- On the other hand, they are fermented with wild yeast and bacteria so funk will develop in the bottle even more over time.
- Cellar temperature is ideal for aging these beers (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit).
- These beers can develop some interesting flavors up to 4 years after bottling!” What beers should you NOT age? The general rule of thumb when it comes to aging beer is the more hoppy it is, the less you would want to age it.
So, when you get that IPA drink it sooner rather than later. The same goes for Pilsners and low-ABV beers. Don’t let them hang around for much time at all. Drink them right away as they will be best when they are the freshest. It is not recommended to age the following types of beers:
IPAs Pilsners Low ABV beers
How does aging affect beer flavor? “It’s best to remember that beer is food. So generally fresher is better, especially with lighter, hoppier styles. Aging affects beer mainly through oxidation reactions. A process very similar to other foods going stale,” said Ron Jeffries, Head Brewer at Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- Just like some people prefer their Peeps stale, some people prefer these flavors in beer,” Harper continued.
- What can these flavors be like? Well, at their best, caramel, toffee, sherry, bready, dark fruit, currants, cherries, and the like.
- At their worst, paper and wet cardboard.
- Aging beer will also darken the color.
Again, through oxidation.” Tip: When you buy a six pack, taste one right away so you have a baseline to judge how well the beer ages, Is it time to start a beer cellar? Cellar is a bit fancy for our purposes. The term cellaring beer really just refers to storing or aging beer.
- But the word “cellar” implies you have some fancy space in your basement set aside for such purchase and perhaps a smoking jacket and cigar ready for an auspicious occasion when you would enjoy the beer.
- But this is often not the case for beer enthusiasts or beer lovers that want to embark on the process of aging beer.
In fact, many will use the back of a spare closet to age their beer. “Aging at temps of 50-55 is usually ideal as well as keeping it in a cool dry area, like a pantry or a cool basement in the house,” said Brij Patel, Owner of Sprayberry Bottle Shop in Marietta, GA.
A closet wouldn’t be as ideal in south (with its high humidity and heat in the summer months). A cooler would be recommended or a cellar-controlled room just like wine.” Pro Tip: Definitely avoid changing temperatures often or at all as this will really affect (and could even ruin) the aging the process.
So, make sure that whenever you decide to start the cellaring process, the temperature you store your beer at is consistent. What is the perfect aging scenario for beer? The perfect aging scenario would include a cool, dark place for storage. Consistency is important here.
There should be no light and consistent cool temperatures throughout storage. The beer cannot be exposed to higher temperatures as this change will be a detriment to the aging process. Storing your beer for about 6 months to a year is the best, but it is important to remember that aging beer is more of an art than a science.
Also, different types of beers will age differently. For example, a stout may taste excellent after just 6 months, whereas a sour beer may require a year before those fruity flavor notes really shine through. Some experts also say to taste one of the beers (assuming you bought a six pack) at about 6 months.
- If it tastes good keep storing it.
- If after the next “taste test” it doesn’t taste as good as the time before, then it is time to drink those beers.
- Final thoughts on aging beer: Aging beer is still a relatively new concept in the beer community.
- Remember that aging beer is different than aging wine in that flavors will not intensify but rather mellow – bringing other flavor profiles forward.
While the conditions for cellaring or aging beer are the same (store in a cool, dark place) the results can vary greatly from beer to beer. And the time for aging varies as well. Some will be great in just six months while other beers could be best after a year or more.
“Given the varying amounts of oxygen present in the beer at packaging, even controlled spaces can lead to differences in the aged beer. Always best to remember aging beer is always a guess, and a risk,” Jeffries noted. The most important thing to remember is taste is subjective, and, in the end, aging beer is all about personal preference.
While one person may love the fruity flavor of a sour that develops over time, another person may like the fruit to be more in the background of the overall taste. As long as you meet the conditions of storing beer, have fun with this and treat it as trial and error. In the end, aging beer is all about personal preference. While one person may love the fruity flavor of a sour that develops over time, another person may like the fruit to be more in the background of the overall taste. (Photo Courtesy The Porter Beer Bar)
Do all stouts have milk?
Do Milks Stouts Have Milk In Them? – No, brewers are not adding actual milk into their stouts and then serving them to their customers. However, they do contain lactose. Which has given them their name and for some, a warning to avoid this style. Milk stouts have been popular for a long time.
- While a traditional stout focuses on roasted flavors and a firm bitterness that is reminiscent of dark chocolate, milk stouts have a creamy body along with a lasting sweetness.
- For many, milk stouts embody the perfect balance of sweet and roasted components.
- This can all be achieved with a lower ABV as well.
If you haven’t tried a milk stout and are able to have lactose, then make sure you pick some up. Many breweries will include a milk stout in their normal rotation and there are plenty of packaged options as well. While it seems like high ABV stouts continually to be more popular, there’s a lot to love about the milk stout.
Is Guinness healthier than lager?
Is There Research to Back Up the Touted Health Benefits of Guinness? – Bamforth says there are plenty of nutritional benefits in most beers, including antioxidants, B vitamins, fiber, silicon and prebiotics. He says Guinness is one of the richer sources of these nutrients.
A 2021 review in Nutrients found that moderate beer consumption—up to one beer per day for females and two per day for males—is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. Moderate beer consumption may also increase bone mineral density, according to this review.
And since beer is made with barley—a whole grain—it contributes some antioxidants (heart-healthy polyphenols), B vitamins, fiber and prebiotics to your beverage. The polyphenols from barley and hops have been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce your risk for heart disease and protect against free radicals, according to research like the 2020 review in Nutrition Reviews,
Is Guinness a lager or IPA?
Is Guinness An Ale Or Lager? – Guinness is an ale, not a lager. Ales have a longer fermentation period than lagers and are typically darker in color and have more complex flavor notes. Guinness has a deep brown shade and a creamy texture that come from the use of roasted barley.
What is the difference between dark beer and stout?
And Now, A Brief Bit of Brewing Science – Through numerous studies* and intensive research** we at BDRI have identified that the main cause of Stoutophobia seems to come from the stout’s characteristic thick and heavy body and mouthfeel. Those qualities are primarily derived from the presence of a larger amount of residual, unfermented sugars leftover from the shorter, higher-heat brewing process used to create ales—A meta beer style that includes stouts ( originally known as stout porters ), porters, brown ales, and a ton of other beers. Dark Lagers, by comparison, incorporate similar roasted malts but are fermented much more slowly at cooler temps. This allows for more residual sugars to be “attenuated” (converted to booze) and results in a final beer that’s far drier, crisper, and lighter-bodied than a stout, yet retains all of that desirable malt complexity.
Why is stout not vegan?
Yes, Guinness is vegan! Posted on the 15th March 2017 Guinness finally went completely vegan in April 2016. This includes all Guinness drinks. What makes alcohol not vegan? Many breweries use a product called isinglass in the production of their beer. This substance is made from the swim bladders of certain fish and is used to make the beer clear, rather than cloudy. It remains a common practice throughout the industry making many beers unsuitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
- Some beers can also have other animal ingredients added to them, such as milk stouts, which contain lactose, and oyster stouts, which really do contain shellfish.
- Other vegan stouts Isinglass is most commonly used in cask beers – i.e.
- Those dispensed from hand pumps in pubs and bars – making them far less likely to be suitable for vegans.
However, a number of mostly small-scale breweries across the UK produce cask stouts that are free from animal products. Here’s a selection to look out for:
Ginger Stout,, West Midlands Breakfast Stout,, Bristol Descent Into Madness Winter Stout,, North Yorkshire Idle Bo Stout,, East Sussex Subwoofer Stout,, West Sussex Blackjack Stout,, Manchester Spiral Stout, Norfolk. Sump Oil Stout,, Dorset Windrush Stout,, London Dandy Stout,, London Quadrant Oatmeal Stout,, London Oatmeal Stout,, London Treason Stout,, North Yorkshire Entire Stout,, Wiltshire Utopian Stout,, County Antrim London Stout,, London Moor Stout,, Bristol Outstanding Stout,, Lancashire Foreign Export Stout,, London Dance First Stout,, Kent Shoreditch Stout,, Essex 1792 Imperial Chocolate Stout,, Essex Hoxton Stout,, London Old Ford Export Stout,, London Kofra Stout,, Norfolk Extra Stout,, North Yorkshire Chopper Stout,, Aberdeenshire Sweetheart Stout,, Glasgow Old Rasputin Stout,, Derbyshire God’s Twisted Sister Stout,, West Midlands Decadence Stout,, London
Some breweries use isinglass in their cask stout, but not in the version available in bottles or cans. So here are some vegan-friendly alternatives to Guinness that you can buy off the shelf, just not at the bar:
Holy Cowbell India Stout,, London Doodle Stout,, Berkshire Hibernator Oatmeal Stout,, Highlands Imperial Russian Stout,, North Yorkshire Glencoe Wild Oat Stout,, Stirlingshire Dunham Stout,, Greater Manchester Fat Cat Stout,, Norfolk Double Stout,, Oxfordshire Swingbridge Stout,, Norfolk Dry Stout,, London Export Stout,, London Whiskey Barrel Aged Stout,, County Antrim Silkie Stout,, Dunbartonshire #150 Stout,, Essex Crème de Stout,, West Midlands (also available in keg) Oatmeal Stout,, North Yorkshire Organic Chocolate Stout,, North Yorkshire Double Stout,, Kent Mena Dhu Stout,, Cornwall Dry Stout,, Cumbria Broadwood Wassail Stout,, West Sussex Profanity Stout,, Clackmannanshire Stout Hearted,, Somerset
Please note that whilst all the beers listed above are suitable for vegans, other beers sold by these breweries may not be. Please check or with the breweries themselves for the most up-to-date information. Last week we joined the SciTech Open Day in Daresbury, for their very busy family-friendly science event, asking people to take our quiz and learn about animal experiments in the UK.