Speedy Stout (9 days grain to glass)

Over the past few months I’ve been brewing and bottling like crazy.  This is because I make a “Holiday 6-Pack” of beers I hand out to friends and coworkers.  While doing that I depleted my 2 kegs in my keezer.  Fast forward to 2 weeks from Thanksgiving: I realize that I need to fill a keg with beer that my guests will enjoy for the holiday.  My problem is that I only have 2 weeks (from the date I found out we were hosting) to get it in a glass.

I did some online research, notably this Maltose Falcon post and this BYO article on how to get it done in time.  Here’s what I summized:

  1. It had to be a low gravity beer (under 4.6%)
  2. I had to pitch a ton of yeast
  3. It needed to be kegged
  4. Only certain styles lend themselves to a “speedy schedule”

I settled on a stout.  I took inspiration from Chip’s Odd Winter Stout and decided to make it an all-grain recipe and turn it up a notch by adding some more specialty grains.  I also decided to do what Chip did and take a gallon of the fermented beer and “ice” it (full post on that here).  Here’s the recipe for a 6 gallon batch:


  • OG: 1.046
  • FG: 1.010
  • ABV: 4.6%
  • IBU: 42.5
  • SRM: 38
  • Calories: 151 (per 12oz)


  • 76% American 2-Row
  • 7% Chocolate Rye
  • 7% Rice hulls
  • 1,75% Roasted Barley
  • 1.75% Chocolate Wheat Malt
  • 1.75% table sugar
  • 1.75% Carafa III

Mashed at 156 for 45 minutes and batch sparged.

Brewing Salts: I also broke out my brewing salts.  I haven’t done this much, but I figured it was worth trying to match my water with that from Dublin, Ireland.

Boil additions:

  • 6 oz of unsweetened bakers chocolate (1 oz per gallon) just before boil*.
  • 3 oz East Kent Goldings (5% Alpha) @ 60
  • 1.2 oz of orange peel at flame out.


  • 2 packets of Nottingham Dried Yeast

*I place the bakers chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, nuked it for 45 seconds, stirred, and nuked again for 45 more seconds.  I then stirred it while putting the wort in my bowl.  I dumped it into the kettle.  It took a few pours and stirs to get it all cleaned up.

The timeline:

  • Saturday November 14: Brew day
  • Saturday November 21: Cold crashed
  • Sunday November 22: Keg/Ice Day (force carb at 30psi for 2 days)
  • Tuesday November 24: Drink Day
  • Thursday November 26: Thanksgiving Day

Upon reading up on articles I noticed a few authors had mentioned cold crashing. Since I have a fridge fermentor (video) I figured I’d crash that, along with another beer I had going in there.  I wanted to get it down to about 53 degrees for a day.

On keg day I noticed there was a ton of yeast in the bottle of my bucket.  That’s because I had pitched twice the amount of  yeast that I would have normally done.  I’m glad I did too…my final gravity was lower than expected.

2015-11-24 15.42.50


Tasting Notes:  Thick creamy head dissipates quickly.  The roast comes through the nose.   It has a pretty thick mouthfeel and the chocolate comes through, ever so gently.  I find very, very little orange too.  I based my amount of orange peel on a previous batch of pale ale I made, which worked out great.  My mistake was not factoring the heavy flavors from the chocolate and the malts.  Maybe nix it completely or double down or triple it.

I have also tried this with a drop of Irish Whiskey to my glass first.  That made it pop a bit more.  If you want to try this don’t be heavy handed with it.

Would I make this again? Yes, it’s a solid recipe.   On day 9 it is totally drinkable and I think with some age, it will round  out very nice.  My total cost for this 6 gallons was about $30, and $9 was on the yeast.  Since I spent double the amount on yeast than I would because I needed to get it done fast I’d give it more time to ferment.


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