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Newbie help with strong milk stout


Jan 24, 2020
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Hello all. First post. Novice BeerSmith user. Newbie brewer.

I have taken a recipe I found online and put it into BeerSmith. I think you can see it here: https://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/2861164/3-a-slight-ache

It's a extract recipe for a milk stout around 5%.

I wish to convert this to a stronger stout with some added adjuncts that will end up at ~6.8% or more.

I know there is a button that will allow me to do this. But do I need to follow exactly what it tells me. When I tried this method it put up the values for all fermentables even though I am only steeping the grains and not mashing them. Is this correct? What is the thinking behind this?

Could I just brew short instead?

When I brewed this stout previously it was (is) good but a little light in body. I was going to add some oats (and some more lactose) to address this. Does that make sense? Is there anything else I should be thinking about?

Many thanks for any input?
If you are just looking to increase the ABV keeping the basic recipe the same, then you can click on the OG slider below the ingredient window on the design tab and plug in the desired OG.  The program will scale all the ingredients to meet this increased gravity specification.  The intent when using this feature is to keep the basic recipe the same in terms of balance of ingredients while just proportioning them to the new target.

If you want to add some other ingredient, then it is best to do that up front.  For adding oats, oat malt (in which case you will be doing a partial mash) or golden naked oats (caramelized oat malt) will work.  Flaked oats will supply starches, but you will need to mash these to convert them to sugars. 

Another way to increase the body is to use some Carapils or Carafoam with your steeping grains or find a yeast with a lower attenuation to leave more unconsumed sugars behind.

Of course, just increasing the initial amount of fermentables in the recipe will bring up the final gravity as well, so you might just want to make that change first, brew and then make further adjustments on the higher gravity version.  I find it easier to make a single adjustment that I can follow so that when comparing how the beer changed from the first brew, I know what adjustment caused that difference and can apply that understanding to the next recipe I adjust.