Golden Java Chocolate Milk Stout

>> Saturday, February 07, 2015

A while back on one of The Sunday Session shows they were talking about Anomaly Milk Stout from Faction Brewing. It sounded like a really interesting beer and considering it's closer in color to a pale ale, it definitely defies the style guidelines. I haven't had a chance to try Anomaly, but right after Christmas we traveled to SoCal and I got to try Naughty Sauce from Noble Ale Works. I loved this beer and it was the inspiration to try to brew something similar.

For this recipe I'm using a blend of coffee from Jack Mormon Coffee Co (JMCC), one of our local roasters. By the way, the name of this company has always made me laugh. If you don't know what a Jack Mormon is, google it. I'll be using equal parts La Providencia and CuarenteƱo from JMCC, per the cold steeping process found on the AHA website. I'm also using TCHO Roasted Cacao Nibs and a vanilla bean to create a tincture, The Drew Way, that will also be used in this beer. The end goal is a beer that will taste roasty with some residual sweetness, but that maintains a much lighter golden color compared to a traditional milk stout.

Since I may pick up some bitterness from the coffee and the nibs, I'm keeping the IBUs fairly low on this beer. Also, since my water is fairly hard, I'm using about three gallons of RO water in the HLT (10.5 gallons total to begin with). This is something I always do when I'm brewing a lighter colored beer. Here's the recipe as I'm making it:

8.5# Fawcett Pearl Malt
10 oz Flaked Oats
0.5# Dingemans Crystal 45
14g Magnum (60 min)
1.0# Lactose (10 min)
14g US Goldings (10 min)
28g US Goldings (0 min)
0.5 Whirlfloc
Yeast nutrient
WLP001 Cali Ale

Mash at 154F for 80 minutes, 90 minute boil, ferment at 65F.

Make tincture and coffee toddy and dose to taste at packaging time.

Brewing Notes
No issues to speak of. The color was pretty light. That's good because it will definitely pick up some color from the toddy and the tincture.

Update 2/11/2015
Fermentation is progressing as expected. I started on the tincture with the vanilla bean. This will go for about a week before adding the cacoa nibs to the tincture. I got an email from the AHA last night indicating I got all three NHC entries that I requested. If this one turns out as expected, I'll be submitting it to the competition.

Update 2/15/2015
I added the TCHO Roasted Nibs to the tincture yesterday. It smells awesome today. I can't believe I haven't tried this process sooner.

Update 2/25/2015
I went ahead and kegged this beer tonight. I went with the full volume coffee toddy (2 oz by weight of coffee into 16 oz RO water) as described in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue of Zymurgy. Based on the aroma coming out of the keg, I think it's safe to say this was a good starting point. For the chocolate tincture, I decided to start with 2 oz. I'll let this beer carb up and give it a taste test.

Update 3/27/2015
This beer turned out really well and is in the running for a club collaboration brew with Epic Brewing's The Annex. It didn't have quite as much chocolate character as I thought it would, but the coffee flavors and aroma are just about perfect; definitely noticeable, but the base beer comes through. I was thinking about entering this beer for NHC, but it wasn't quite ready in time to ship.

Update 5/9/2015
Went to Cali this past week and stopped by Noble. The Noble version is definitely less sweet than this one. I'm going to try tweaking this recipe a bit...for starters I'd scale back the lactose to somewhere between .5 and .75 # and the crystal to about .25#. The coffee character is about right. And just to reiterate, this won't be an exact clone, but it's pretty similar.

Update 11/22/2015
I re-brewed this recipe on 11/6/2015. A couple differences, I used Rahr base malt, cut back the lactose to .75#, and used Sierra Juarez and CuarenteƱo from JMC.

Update 11/24/2015
Just stumbled across some updates to this thread on HBT with info from the brewers at Noble:
Good morning! For Naughty Sauce, no the coffee beans are not golden in color. If you use 2-4oz of fresh roasted ground coffee per 5 gallons, after fermentation, you'll get some deliciousness without a huge color pickup. You'll want to make the beer as light as possible because there is a little bit of a color pick up. For recipe tips, keep the IBU's in the 20's, add a bit of honey malt for flavor, use lots of oats and lactose to fill out the body. Our starting gravity is in the 1.050's. Good luck!