Irish Stout Recipe

Learn how to brew the classic, creamy Irish stout. This recipe gives you everything you need for a base with instructions on how to experiment.

| May 2019

stout-glass
Getty Images/Silberkorn

In terms of technique nothing here will look unfamiliar, especially if you’ve already brewed some of the English styles: a single-infusion mash, simple hopping regime, standard ale fermentation. The key points to note involve ingredients. Mosley advises: “The roast barley/roast malt balance is important. Roast malt lends a high degree of astringency to the beer so should be controlled, though a little is good for that point. Beware when you go above a ratio of 3:1 barley to malt, though.”

You may have read something about the peculiarities of water and their effect on Dublin’s stouts, and Mosley verifies this point, though perhaps not in the manner you expect: “Liquor quality is vital to stouts to emphasize the malt character; generally soft water should be used with low chloride and sulphate levels.” (Water is a funny and misleading topic in beer. The idea that cities have uniform water profiles is not entirely accurate. Dig a 100-meter well there, and you’re liable to get much harder water than a shallow well a mile or two over here. And in any case, modern breweries almost always treat their water.) So follow Mosley’s advice here, not whatever you may have read elsewhere about hard, alkaline water being ideal for stout.

Malt Bill

  • 6.75 pounds pale malt (75%)
  • 8 ounces roasted barley (6%)
  • 1.5 ounces black malt (1%)
  • 21 ounces flaked barley (14%)
  • 5 ounces crystal malt (4%)

Single-Infusion Mash

  • 151 to 153 degrees Fahrenheit (66–67 degrees Celsius) for 90 minutes

60-Minute Boil

  • 0.75 ounce Galena, 60 minutes (13% AA, contribution of 35 IBU)
  • 1 ounce East Kent Goldings at very end of boil (5% AA, contribution of 1 IBU)

Fermentation and Conditioning

Ferment with a fairly neutral ale strain, such as Wyeast 1728 or White Labs WLP028. Mosley observes, “We use a flocculent ale yeast strain; we do not look for a tremendous ester profile, as it distracts from the malt character. Many English ale yeasts should suffice.” Ferment cool, around 65 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit (18–19 degrees Celsius), to inhibit ester production.



Package

Bottle or keg, or if you’re feeling adventuresome, keg on nitrogen. It requires a separate draft system, and if you buy one over the Internet, you’ll have to find a place to fill it where you live (federal law prohibits shipping full canisters). Like so many things in homebrewing, the initial investment isn’t cheap. If you regularly brew beers that work well on nitro, though, it can be a worthwhile expense.

Expected OG: 11° P/1.044






Umansky

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