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What went wrong with my stout?


New Forum Member
Dec 11, 2016
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Fairly new to brewing.  Back around Labor Day I made a batch of dry stout using the same recipe I used last year. 

Changes are that I used spring water instead of tap water this time, and this year I have a 7 gallon soup pot, so I steeped the grains with the full 5 gallons of water, rather than the previous 3 gallons, then add the 2 gallons before the first ferment.  The flavor of the wort was wonderful and intense.

Tasted a little bit after the first ferment.  It was wonderful...thick, chewy, full bodied, coffee chocolate taste.  Wonderful mouth feel.  Just the way I like it.

Same after the second ferment.  Added the priming sugar in 1 cup of water.  Tasted it just before we bottled it.  Again, it was wonderful...even better than the first ferment taste. 

It has been sitting in the bottles since October 16th.  They're in an unheated basement where the average temp is around 60.  Somewhere in this part of the process it lost the thick, chewy, full-bodied-ness.  It tastes watered down.  More like a porter, than a stout.  It has a nice head when you pour it, but the flavor is a big disappointment.  I keep thinking we should have bottled it without the priming sugar. 

I know that stouts take longer in the bottle.  I keep hoping that the flavor will improve, but so far, it hasn't.  Does anyone know what might have gone wrong?





Grandmaster Brewer
Mar 16, 2013
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New Hampshire, US
Take a bottle and open it.  Let it sit at room temperature (covered, but not sealed) to allow it to go flat.  You can also take some in another bottle and shake it to release the carbonation.  Once it is flat, check the specific gravity versus the final gravity you had when bottled. 

If it is significantly less than when bottled, you probably had an infection from a wild yeast or bacteria which gobbled up all the remaining sugars and broke down the dextrins that were giving you your body.