Kill The Flame! An American Stout

by Robert French | Last Updated: December 28, 2016

Homebrewing is about inspiration. It’s not hard to find great beer anymore, so I need be challenged.

Building the recipe can be just as much fun as the brew day itself. This beer name, Kill the Flame, came to me on a drive home a few month back.

I just heard the new CD from Leonard Cohen, and the song “You Want It Darker” struck me as both an ominous and beautiful.  The line in the song “we kill the flame” has stayed with me.

On a sad note, we lost Mr Cohen on 11/7/16, only a few short weeks from the release of his last album.

Using the song as my muse, I wanted a dark beer that was both smooth and a little imposing. Blackprinz malt from Briess looked like a great way to add color, a light roast without making it bitter from the malt. The Northern Brewer hops add a little minty touch and the Denali hops adds the citrus. Both hop flavors work really well with chocolate.

img_5101

American Stout Recipe

Brew Method: All Grain

Style Name: American Stout
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons (fermenter volume)
Boil Size: 7.9 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.046
Efficiency: 71% (brew house)

Stats:

Original Gravity: 1.060
Final Gravity: 1.015

ABV (standard): 5.9%
IBU (tinseth): 46.21
SRM (morey): 33.43

pH 5.45 Post Boil
pH 4.2 Post Fermentation

Fermentables:

9 lbs American – 2-Row (77.4%)
1 lb American – Blackprinz (8.6%)
10 oz Belgian – Caramel Pils (5.4%)
8 oz UK – Pale Chocolate (4.3%)
8 0z Rolled Oats (4.3%)

Hops:

1 oz Northern Brewer, Pellet, AA 9.6%. Use 60 min, IBU: 40.63
2.2 oz Denali, Pellet, AA 13.9%. Use 1 min, IBU: 5.58

Water:

909 Dark
Glacier Vending Reverse Osmosis

Added:
Gypsum 4g
Calcium Chloride 2g
Table Salt 2g
Chalk 12g
Baking Soda 2g
All added to the mash

Yeast:

Fermentis/Safale – English Ale Yeast US-04

Yeast Pitch Rate .79M cells /mL / °P
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation 74%
Fermentation Temp: 67F & allowed to free rise to 72F. Hold at 72F

Brewing Notes:

10/16/16 – Brew day
10/22/16 – Hit 1.015
11/5/26 – Bottled using brown sugar to 2.3 vol

img_5109

Stout Tasting Notes:

Color – Dark brown to black with a mocha head. Great head retention.

Aroma – Light chocolate aroma with a hint of coffee.  In the background there this a touch of citrus sweetness.

Taste – It starts off with a dark unsweetened cocoa, and turns roasty with little coffee notes. The hop bitterness is present, and works well with the roast qualities. But there is no competition: the roast wins. The hops give a bit of orange, which works well with the chocolate flavors. As the beer warms up, light minty flavor start to appear.

Overall Impression – This drinks very smooth. The beer is dry enough, but still leaves enough body so it doesn’t come off as thin. I like it!

The beer hits the BJCP guidelines light down the middle, with the only exception that it’s a bit darker. This is the second beer I brewed using reverse osmosis water and building my own profile. I’m extremely happy with the finished product. I’m not sure I would change too much, it really hits the sweet spots of an American Stout for my taste.

This beer might make a great base beer to add more chocolate and a touch of lactose sugar

Cheers!

img_5113

Native to Southern California, Robert brewed his first homebrew with a good friend back in 1995 and has been brewing ever since. One of the driving forces that keeps him homebrewing is the sharing of beers. He gets far more enjoyment from sharing one of his brews than from just having a pint at home.