Oak Jaw Milk Stout


Resurrected from forgotten times and dancing around like a Thriller video zombie extra, I present the Oak Jaw Milk Stout. This was the second ever beer I brewed and one that unfortunately helped me realize I'm lactose intolerant. However, it finished exactly as I had intended and is a fantastic starter recipe, or an easy go to if you're looking to add another flavor to your fridge in these winter months.

The base is Special Dark and Pilsen LME with a full pound of lactose added in. The recipe I was basing this off of called for a half pound of lactose and a half pound of maltodextrin, but as the fella at Brew Camp said "it's a milk stout, why not just make it all milk?" So I did. Cutting out the maltodextrin definitely helped make the finish a bit more creamy and truly gave the beer its milky flavor.

Caramel 120L, Roasted Barley, and Dark Chocolate specialty grains are steeped for about 45 minutes before adding the jars of LME to provide the majority of the depth of flavor. To be entirely honest, I brewed this years ago and don't really remember the complexities all that much, but I do remember it being quite well balanced. In fact, it was the first time I was able to eliminate the "homebrew-y" flavor so many of us come up against at the beginning.

Now, let's talk a minute about the poison lactose as folks are a bit divided as to when this should be added. It simply needs to be added before bottling, so there are a few ways this can be done. You can do as I did for this recipe and add it to the boil directly after the LME, or you can mix it into the bottling water boil along with the priming sugar. You can even add it later in the boil if you want to be super fancy. In my opinion it doesn't matter much as any of the options will give you the results you want.

However, my opinion really should be rendered void because I've only made one batch of the stuff and can't digest it. So, the main thing to keep in mind is that no option will affect your overall ABV. Even though lactose is indeed a sugar, it's unfermentable by brewer’s yeast so the ABV won't be affected whether it's in there for fermentation or not. However, when you choose to add the lactose will affect the beer’s character, so toy around with different recipes and see which version you like best. The creamy texture it gives the beer will definitely leave you wanting to make more than one, so dive in.

You can find the full Oak Jaw Milk Stout recipe here. If you'd like to try your hand at a few more stouts, feel free to check out the entire Recipe page. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Happy brewing!


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