Dark Lantern

This recipe is for a 25 litre batch. Probably an overly cautious approach but I always prepare 50 litres of water when brewing a 25 litre batch, just in case of mishaps. As we’re just starting out on all grain brewing, don’t worry about hitting the exact OG and FG figures I mention below – it’s really not important if you undershoot or overshoot. Instead, just enjoy the process.

Dark Lantern is an Oatmeal Stout. Sounds disgusting? Try it! Some folk reserve the drinking of stout for the Winter months but this is so good it would be a shame not to have a few bottles available all year round. As you’ll see the list of ingredients is quite long, and another departure is that there is no late addition of hops.   

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Ingredients

5630gms Maris Otter

493gms dark Crystal Malt

244gms Black Malt

250gms Roasted Barley

250gms Flaked Barley

500gms Chocolate Malt

488gms Rolled Oats

246gms Melanoidin Malt

336gms Wheat Malt

Yeast

Two sachets of Gervin English Ale Yeast

Hop Schedule

Start of boil: 27gms Whitbread Goldings @ 6.3 AA and 46gms Tettnang @ 4.7 AA

Water Treatment

Add one crushed Campden tablet per 25 litres and stir well. Then, as recommended by laboratory analysis – add to the mash 7gms Calcium Chloride Flake, 5gms Calcium Sulphate and 4gms salt.  

Mash and Sparge

Mash in 17 litres of water at 69°C. Add 7gms of Calcium Chloride Flake, 5gms of Calcium Sulphate and 4gms salt at the start of the mash. Once all the wort has been collected, pass it through the grain bed again. I sparge this one at 62°C. Sparge temperature is not crucial as long as it doesn’t exceed 77°C.

Boil

90 minutes.  No need to add Protafloc in dark beers!  

Fermentation and Gravity Readings

In case you like to use a hydrometer the OG reading I had was 1.064 and the FG 1.012, giving an ABV of 6.8%. If you don’t want to be bothered with a hydrometer you can rest assured primary fermentation will be complete in ten days, after which you should siphon off to secondary fermentation and let it condition for two weeks before kegging or bottling, as you prefer.  

Tasting Notes

After experimenting on and off over a period of about two years with various Oatmeal Stout recipes, this is the winner as far as I’m concerned. Many people who have tried this have said some very nice things about it. A large ingredients list means there is much going on, flavour wise. It’s a complex dark rich beer the like of which won’t be found in any pub. Lovely stuff that gets even better when left to mature in the bottle.

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