White stout is probably one of the most underrated beers in the world and is often overlooked by more popular forms, which is a crime in our minds as white stout has one of the most unique tastes.
Here’s a detailed run-through of white stout, what it is, and the best practice is for making the ultimate brew!
Where Does White Stout Beer Originate From?
White Stouts are not only from England but also from Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
The first use of the term stout can be found in 1677 which was discovered in the Egerton Manuscripts, referring to how strong the new is.
The style was brought to the UK by German brewers who were looking for a lighter beer that would be easier to drink than porters or stouts.
This led to the creation of the modern-day white stout. It’s important to note that this style is not just a light version of a stout; it is its own distinct style with a completely different taste profile.
What Is A White Stout?
A white stout is defined as having an ABV between 4% – 6%, making it a lower-alcohol beer. There are many variations on what constitutes a white stout.
Some breweries will call their version a “light ale” while others may call theirs a “pale ale”. These terms are used interchangeably depending on the brewery.
A white stout is usually made using pale malts like Pilsner malt, Caramel 40L, Crystal 60L, Munich 10L, and Vienna 5L.
These malts give off a sweeter flavor than darker malts such as crystal 120L, chocolate malt, black patent, etc.
Other ingredients that you might find in a white stout include wheat, oats, flaked barley, honey, molasses, lactose, and vanilla.
Differences Between White Stouts And Other Types Of Stout
There are some differences between a white stout and other types of stouts.
For starters, a white stout does not have any roasted grains like coffee, cocoa, espresso, or chocolate.
This gives the beer a much lighter body and a smoother mouthfeel.
Another difference is that white stouts do not contain any dark malts. As mentioned above, they are lighter-bodied and sweeter tasting.
They also tend to be less bitter than other styles of stouts.
How Do You Recognize A Good White Stout?
You should look for a clean aroma with no harsh flavors.
If your nose is assaulted by hops, then your white stout isn’t going to be very good.
In addition to smelling great, a good white stout should have a smooth mouthfeel.
You should enjoy a refreshing finish without feeling too heavy or syrupy. A good white stout should be slightly sweet, yet balanced.
When choosing a white stout, you want to avoid anything that feels overly astringent or sour.
What Are The Different Varieties Of White Stouts?
There are three main varieties of white stouts: dry, semi-sweet, and sweet. Dry stouts are the lightest in alcohol content (4%-6%).
Semi-sweet stouts are somewhere in between the two. Sweet stouts are the most alcoholic at 8%.
Dry stouts are typically brewed with 2/3rds of the total amount of grain used. This means that there is more water in the wort than usual.
Semi-sweet stouts are typically brewed using 1/2 of the total amount of grains.
This results in a higher percentage of sugar being added to the wort.
Sweet stouts are typically brewed from all of the grain used.
This allows for a lot of extra sugars to be added to the wort which makes them extremely sweet.
What Are The Differences Between Dry & Wet White Stouts?
As mentioned earlier, dry stouts are lighter bodied than wet stouts. This is because dry stouts use less grain than wet stouts.
Wet stouts are heavier-bodied due to the fact that they use more grain than dry stouts. This leads to a drier taste profile.
Wet stouts also tend to be more bitter than dry stouts.
This is due to the fact that wet stouts use more dark malts than dry stouts. Dark malts impart bitterness to the beer.
A Guide To The Ingredients Of White Stout
One of the running themes of white stout is the commonalities between ingredients, but you’ll also find a number of changes between brews that alter the end result and flavor.
Barley And Wheat
Not only are flaked oats a popular option but so are whole rolled oats. Both can add a nice texture to the finished product.
Flaked barley adds a nice crunchy texture to the beer. It’s often used as an ingredient in porters and stouts.
Whole rolled oats lend a soft texture to the beer, whilst wheat lends a mild sweetness.
White stouts are generally hopped lightly. Hops are used to balance out the malt character.
Some brewers will go as far as adding just enough hops to keep things interesting.
Others will overuse the hop character. Either way, it’s important to note that hops are one of the key components of this style.
White stouts are usually made from pale malted barley. Maltier beers such as brown ales and porters tend to use darker malts like chocolate and crystal. These give off a deeper color and richer flavor.
Many people believe that water has a huge impact on the flavor of the beer. Water can make a big difference when brewing a beer.
For example, if your water tastes flat, then you may need to adjust your recipe.
If your water tastes clean and crisp, then you’re probably going to have a great tasting beer.
Most white stouts contain some form of sugar. However, many breweries prefer to use unrefined cane sugar instead of raw sugar.
Cane sugar imparts a caramelized flavor to the beer. Raw sugar gives off a slightly sweeter taste.
Most white stouts are flavored by vanilla or cocoa powder.
Vanilla is most commonly used, however, some brewers opt for coffee or cinnamon to enhance the flavors.
Cocoa powder is sometimes used to create a chocolate finish.
Some brewers will add spices like nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Other brewers will add herbs like rosemary and sage.
Depending on the brewer, lactose (milk sugar) can be added to white stouts. Lactose can help boost the body of the beer.
Our Five Favorite White Stout Brands
Started by two owners in a shed located on a rented property, since its inception in 2002 this company has grown into a successful business with a reputation for quality craft beer.
Their golden stout is brewed using traditional methods and contains no artificial additives.
They’ve won numerous awards including gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup.
- Brewery: Australia
- Style: Australian golden stout
- ABV: 5.4%
This brewery was founded in 2005 and is based in Portland, Oregon.
Noble Ale Works produces a variety of different styles of beer including their own take on the classic English-style ale.
One of their best-selling beers is their Naughty Sauce which is a rich, malty, and smooth dark ale.
It’s available year-round and comes in both bottles and cans.
Brewery: Portland, OR
Style: Imperial IPA
Based in the US, Blue Link Brewing Company is known for producing a wide range of award-winning beers.
They also offer a limited amount of seasonal beers each year. The company’s flagship beer is their ivory white stout.
This beer is a strong, creamy, and sweet stout with hints of vanilla and chocolate. It’s available all year round.
Style: Imperial Stout
Looking for a white stout that packs a punch? Look no further than this awesome brew.
Pühaste Maskeraat is an imperial bourbon barrel-aged Belgian style ale.
It’s got a nice balance between the sweetness of the alcohol and the dryness of the hops. It’s delicious!
Style: Imperial Stout
A bit of a departure from our list, but we had to include one dessert beer.
Amundsen Dessert In a Can is a light, refreshing, and easy-drinking beer. It’s made with real white chocolate and graham crackers.
It’s great for s’more night or any time you want something tasty and simple.
Style: Wheat ale
How Do I Make My Own White Stout?
Making your own white stout is easy! All you need is some basic equipment and a few ingredients.
First, you want to get yourself a good-quality stainless steel pot.
You don’t have to go too crazy about it. Something around 8 gallons should do the trick.
Next, you’ll need a thermometer. We recommend getting a digital one because they are cheap and accurate.
Once you have these two items, you can move on to the rest of the ingredients. You’ll need 1 pound of dark roasted coffee beans.
You can buy them at any grocery store. If you’re brewing a batch, make sure you grind them up into a fine powder.
This will ensure that all the flavors come through in the end product.
You’ll also need 2 pounds of whole milk (or cream). You can buy this at any grocery store. If you’re buying a powdered form, make sure it’s nonfat.
Lastly, you’ll need 2 pounds of sugar. Again, you can buy this anywhere.
Now that you’ve got all your ingredients, you can start brewing your white stout.
To begin, add your water to your pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the stove and add your malt extract. Stir well so that there aren’t clumps.
Let the mixture sit until it starts to foam. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
After the mixture has foamed, add your ground coffee beans. Stir well again.
Let the mixture sit for another hour before adding your milk. Stir well once more. Finally, add your sugar.
Stir well and then cover the pot. Let the mixture cool overnight. In the morning, strain out the grounds and bottle your brew.
Brewing A White Stout
There are two main methods of making a white stout: using unmalted wheat and malting it yourself or buying a pre-mixed malt extract.
If you’re brewing your own, you’ll need to use about 1/3 more grain than normal.
You’ll also have to adjust the water chemistry slightly. For example, if you normally use 3 gallons per gallon of water, then you’d use 4 gallons per gallon when making a white stout.
If you buy a premixed malt extract, you don’t need to change anything except the recipe.
You can make a good white stout without adding any specialty malts, but there are some things you should consider.
First off, the color will be lighter than a regular stout. Second, you may notice a slight bitterness.
Third, the flavor profile will be very similar to a milk stout, so you might find it too thin.
White Stouts Made With Specialty Malts
You can add specialty malts to create a richer, sweeter, and darker version of a white stout.
Some examples include chocolate malt, crystal malt, black patent malt, and caramel malt.
The amount of each malt used depends on how much sweetness you want in the final beer.
Making Your Own Malt Extracts
If you want to try making your own malt extracts, you’ll need to know what type of equipment is needed.
There are three types of mashing equipment available. They are:
- A single vessel mash tun with a false bottom
- A lauter tun with a false bottom and filter
- A continuous infusion mash tun
Each one of these setups has its advantages and disadvantages.
We recommend going with a single vessel setup because it allows you to control the temperature better and gives you more flexibility when it comes to adjusting the pH.
Single Vessel Mashing Setup
If you decide to go with a single vessel setup, you’ll need to get a stainless steel kettle with a false bottom.
To do this, you’ll need to purchase a piece of PVC pipe (1″ diameter) and drill holes into both ends. Then, cut the pipe to length and attach the PVC end caps.
Next, place the false bottom inside the top cap and then screw the other cap onto the bottom of the kettle.
Finally, fill the kettle with water up to the level of the false bottom.
Lauter Tun Setup
If you decide on a lauter tun setup, you’ll need a plastic bucket with a false bottom.
Drill holes into the lid of the bucket and then put the false bottom inside.
Screw the lid back down and fill the bucket with water until it’s full.
Continuous Infusion Mash Setup
This is probably the most popular method of doing a mash. It involves putting the grains in a bag that fits inside a larger container.
A pump circulates hot water through the bag and the wort is collected at the bottom.
White Stout Fermentation Process
Once you’ve made your beer, you’ll need to ferment it for around 10 days.
During fermentation, the yeast eats sugars from the wort and converts them into alcohol.
This process takes longer than usual because the yeast needs time to eat all the sugar.
Once the fermentation is complete, you’ll transfer the beer to another vessel where it can mature for about 6 months.
When you’re ready to bottle or keg the beer, you’ll first boil the beer to kill the yeast.
You’ll then cool the beer down to room temperature before transferring it to a secondary fermentor.
After bottling or kegging, store the bottles/kegs in a dark location for 2-3 weeks to allow the flavors to develop.
The best way to make sure that you have enough storage space is to buy a few extra cases of 12oz bottles.
If you don’t have any extra space, you can always use an old refrigerator as a makeshift cooler.
We hope that this guide helped you learn everything there is to know about brewing a good white stout.
As we mentioned earlier, there are many different ways to brew a good white stout.
However, if you follow our instructions, you should be able to create a delicious batch of beer.
Have fun brewing!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Pale Ale?
Pale ale is an English style of beer that originated in England during the late 1800s.
The name pale ale comes from the color of the beer which was originally light yellow.
Today, pale ales come in various shades of amber, red, copper, brown, black, and even green. These beers tend to be very hoppy and bitter.
They also contain a lot of malt flavor due to their high hopping rate.
Because they were designed to be consumed quickly, pale ales often have low levels of alcohol. Some people refer to pale ales as “session beers.”
What Is An IPA?
An India pale ale (IPA) is one of the most well-known types of beer.
IPAs are usually very hoppy and bitter and are brewed using American hops. They tend to be darker in color than regular pales.
Many IPAs are dry-hopped, meaning that they get added hops after being fermented. Dry hopping adds a lot of aromas to the finished product.
What Is A Brown Porter?
Brown porters are similar to stouts but have less roasted malts. They tend to be sweeter and lighter in the body.
Brown porters are sometimes referred to as “mild porters” or “English milds.”
Can White Stout Be Made With Coffee?
Yes, white stouts can be made with coffee. In fact, some brewers actually prefer to add coffee to their stouts.
There’s no reason why you couldn’t do this. Just remember that adding too much coffee will result in bitterness.
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