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Stout - how to brew it at home.

Stout - how to brew it at home.

Stay toasty this winter with a homebrewed stout.

Stout, with its rich, dark colour and robust flavours, is a great choice for winter home brews - the toasty flavour will keep you toasty warm. 

Originating from England, this beer style has evolved into various sub-styles, including Dry Stout, Milk Stout, and Imperial Stout, each with its unique characteristics.  

For homebrewers, creating a stout can be pretty straight forward by simply using one of the many extract kits. There’s lots of ways you can experiment with hops, yeast, fermentables and by adding some grains to make a partial mash. 

What is Stout?

Stout is a dark beer known for its complex flavours that can include coffee, chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt - sometimes more like a dessert than a beer.  The high roasted malt content gives stout its characteristic deep colour and robust taste. The body of a stout can range from light to full, and the bitterness can vary depending on the specific type of stout being brewed.

What are the types of Stout?

  • Dry Stout: Known for its dry, roasted flavour with a slight bitterness. Guinness or Coopers Best Extra Stout is a classic example
  • Milk Stout: Contains lactose (milk sugar), which adds sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel Batch’s Elsie the Milk Stout is a favourite.
  • Oatmeal Stout: Uses oats to add smoothness and body try a Grifter Omen Oatmeal Stout to get a taste for this style
  • Imperial Stout: High in alcohol content and rich in flavours, often with notes of dark fruits and chocolate. Often these are barrel aged for a bit of extra kick  like Welders Do Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
  • Pastry or Dessert Stout: uses culinary ingredients to provide sweet flavours that mimic desserts or pastries. Big Shed Brewing Golden Stout Time or Coastal Brewings Smiths Lamington Dessert Stout are some crackers to try.

How do you brew stout beers at home?

Extract cans are the perfect base  for beginners and experienced homebrewers alike. They simplify the brewing process by providing pre-prepared malt extract, which reduces the time and effort needed for mashing grains. 

There are extract cans to use as a base for whatever type of stout you want to brew including:

What other ingredients do you need?

You can just use the can on its own, it’s a great way to start to understand traditional stout flavours. 

If you want to experiment with other ingredients here’s some good place to start:

Malt Extract: Dark malt extract for that rich, roasted flavour. Try dark dry malt extract, liquid dark malt extract or Morgans Master Malt - Roasted Dark or Caramalt

Specialty Grains:  Adding roasted barley, black malt or chocolate malt can enhance flavour and add complexity to your brew.

Hops: Typically varieties like East Kent Goldings or Fuggles are used in dark beers including stout. You could also try Chinook, Crystal or Magnum

Yeast: An ale yeast suitable for stouts, such as Safale S-04, New World Strong Ale Yeast, Empire Ale Yeast or Nottingham Yeast

Lactose: for milk stout, lactose adds sweetness and a creamier mouth feel

What about recipes? 

While experimenting can be fun, sometimes you want to go with a tried and tested recipe - something that you know will taste good. We've got you covered there with our recipes like Black Heifer Milk Stout and Record Breaker (our version of Guinness)

Tips for Brewing Stout

The process for brewing stout is like any other beer from an extract can. The cardinal rules apply:

Cleaning and Sanitising: is super important, take your time and do it properly. You know the mantra -  dirty gear = dirty beer

Temperature Control: Maintain consistent fermentation temperatures to avoid off-flavours.

Patience: We know it’s hard, but with stouts its important to allow some time for the beer to condition properly. They will improve with age. If you are really patient, bottle some and store them away for a year or two and see how the flavour change over time (trust us, your patience will be rewarded.

So what are you waiting for, gather your ingredients and start brewing your own stout at home. 

Cheers to great beer and happy brewing!


If you need more tips, visit our store and have a chat with our expert team, drop us an email or join the Barons Brew Club facebook group.

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