Back in April I brewed up a coconut cream stout after being inspired both by the version periodically offered by Bend Brewing Company, and our spring break trip to Baker City. It’s drinkable now, and I’ve had a bit and shared a bit, and I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out. So I’m sharing the recipe for anyone who wants to brew some.
This recipe is for a five gallon batch, and it’s essentially a Sweet Stout that’s extract-based with specialty grains. (If you do all-grain brewing, I’ll leave it to you to convert.) What I’m reproducing here is the recipe as I brewed it in April, though for future batches (there will be future batches), I may well tweak it.
- 7 pounds amber malt extract syrup
- 0.5 pounds 40°L Crystal malt
- 0.5 pounds Belgian Special B 130°L
- 0.5 pounds roasted barley 300°L
- 0.25 pounds Black Patent 525°L
- 0.25 pounds chocolate malt 350°L
- 1 pounds lactose (milk sugar)
- 1 pound toasted shredded coconut (for the secondary)
- 3 tsp. gypsum
- 1 oz. Galena hops (14.2% AA)
- Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast
This is a full-boil batch, that is, I boiled six gallons of wort for a five gallon result (I typically lose about a gallon to a one-hour boil).
Steep the grains in the water as it heats, and remove them before boiling. I only used the hops for the full 60-minute boil, with no finishing or aroma hops; I wanted a suitable hop bitterness (and Galena contributes sweet, floral, candy-like notes) but I didn’t want to interfere with the coconut contribution later on.
About the coconut: do not use pre-sweetened baker’s shredded coconut, it’s full of artificial preservatives and such that you do not want tainting your beer. Instead check your organic or bulk-foods store for natural shredded coconut; I found organic shredded at Whole Foods. You’ll want to toast it in the oven before adding to your secondary—I spread the coconut on a cookie sheet and put it in a 325°F oven for 10 minutes, just until it started to turn golden.
Add that to your the secondary; my beer fermented in the primary for six days, and then I racked it onto the coconut and forgot about it for two weeks. In fact, two weeks is probably the minimum you’ll want to get a good result; if you let it go longer, it’ll be even better (probably).
Bottle with ¾ cup of corn sugar for priming and you’re good.
Here were my stats:
- Original gravity: 1.062
- Final gravity: 1.026
- Approx ABV: 4.75%
- Approx IBU: 48
As far as tasting notes go… it’s good. When I tasted the base beer early on (during racking), the roasted barley gave it a noticeable coffee flavor, and it was sweet enough to remind me of Kahlua. The final coconut-infused version has those sweet coffee notes but to a lesser extent, with a delicious coconut presence. One person remarked “Almond Joy”, while my wife said it was “cola like”.
Personally, I think it’s delicious and could almost be a dessert beer. Definitely worth brewing again, and my mind is already casting ahead to variations (like an “Imperial” version). And I’m wondering what other styles I might put coconut in…