A super thick, creamy head due to the large amount of flaked barley, and a very smooth roast character that comes through the middle. I think Jamil’s tip from “Brewing Classic Styles” of crushing the roasted barley to a fine powder really did the trick. All this with a nice dry finish and enough East Kent Goldings to balance it out, makes me a very happy brewer.
The only thing that fell short on this beer, literally, was my final gravity. According to BeerSmith, my estimated F.G. was to be 1.008, but it instead finished at 1.015. I tried to rouse the yeast and let it sit a little longer in primary, but it didn’t attenuate any lower. I’ve been having some issues lately with my beers not reaching their expected final gravity, so I need to look into my process and see if I can figure out the cause. Regardless, I don’t taste any residual sweetness in the beer.
I honestly don’t have much else to say about this beer, it’s simply delicious, even with such a low gravity.
Having said that, if we are going for a “Guinness” clone, then there’s a couple of things I’d like to adjust. Having mentioned the high alkalinity of Dublin water in my original post, I’d like to make some mineral additions to the water to reach the target profile. The second tweak I’d like to try is getting that signature ‘twang’ which Guinness is known for. Instead of doing a traditional sour mash, I’m going to add a small percentage of acid malt to the grain bill. I’ve never used it before, so I don’t really know what amount will be appropriate, but I’m not afraid, I’m just going to pick an amount and go for it. If need be, I will adjust it in the future.
Unfortunately the one thing I will not be able to simulate is dispensing it through a proper stout tap. Using a mix of CO2/Nitrogen through a stout tap is the only way to get that truly creamy Guinness head. But no worries, there are many ways to enjoy a Dry Irish Stout!!!
Once I make the above modifications, I’ll do a side by side comparison with a bottled Guinness to see how it compares…