Reviewing my Guinness Irish Stout…

Albeit, it’s not a Guinness, this is a damn fine stout if I do say so myself.

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…



6 Responses to Reviewing my Guinness Irish Stout…

  1. Pingback: Channelling the ghost of Sir Arthur Guinness: Brewing a Guinness Irish Stout… | Hoptomology

  2. Nice work!

    Acid malt will drive down your mash pH. The roasted and dark malts will also drive down the mash pH. If you’re going to use the acid malt for a twang, Weyermann suggests 8% in a Berliner Weisse (alot). You need to take care to buffer the mash appropriately. A large amount of Chalk may help. This would also serve to up the hardness/Alkalinity as you noted.

    Add Chalk to your mash and not the strike water. The chalk needs the acid from the malt to dissolved properly.

    Good Luck!

    • Thanks! I’m really happy with it actually. Has a great balance and smoothness to it. I even get some cascading of the foam, just not for as long as through a stout tap…

      Yes, I will definitely have to keep an eye on the pH levels. Going to work out some numbers best I can on Bru’n water and possibly make some adjustments on the fly if I have to.
      8%, yeah, that seems like a lot, I was thinking more like 3-4%. Guess I’ll just have to give it a go and see…
      and yep, chalk in the mash. Will let you know how it goes……Thanks!
      btw, keep it up on the blog!

  3. Good work… sounds like you had the same FG issues as I did. It’d be interesting to compare the two and see what the differences are, taste-wise.

    I still plan on sending one of the last few to you, once I get around to it!

    • Thanks! I’m quite enjoying this one to be honest. Not as “Guinness” per se, but a very tasty stout. I’ll include one of those in it.
      I’ll see if I can get something sent out to you this week. No rush on yours, I know you must be crazy busy, and with more important things. So do what you gotta do first! Cheers!

  4. There’s ALWAYS time for beer!

    I’ll send mine out soon as well, now that I can include a revamped-NHC 2nd Round beer in there, along with the Epic Pale Ale clone.

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