16C - Tropical Stout - TROPIC THUNDER

Tropic Thunder

BJCP Style: 16C - Tropical Stout

From BJCP style comparison:
Tastes like a scaled-up sweet stout with higher fruitiness. Similar to some Imperial Stouts without the high bitterness, strong/burnt roastiness, and late hops, and with lower alcohol. Much more sweet and less hoppy than American Stouts. Much sweeter and less bitter than the similar-gravity Export Stouts.
I started with a standard imperial stout grain bill: Maris Otter, crystal 120, and some dark roasted malt. 500g of sugar was added for a gravity boost and Nugget hops for bittering as that has been my go-to for stouts. None of that is too different from a standard stout. The wacky part is the yeast choice: I went with WLP 833 "Bock" which I have used in the past for a Dunkels Bock and more recently a Czech Lager.

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend, but here's the TL;DR:
  • Brew day: 2020-2-9
  • Malts: Maris Otter, C120, Chocolate, Black Barley
  • Hop: Nugget
  • Yeast: WLP 833 Bock 
  • OG: 15.8°P (converted from brix); FG: 3.5°P (hydro 1.014); ABV: 6.7%
  • Kegged: 2020-2-25
Kettle fill

C120, Chocolate, Black Barley (Maris Otter under)

Into the mill

Brew session beer: Local hazy from New Image

Since having so many issues getting my mill to mill, I opened the gap a bit so this crush is a bit more chunky than I would like but at least it goes through. Efficiency hasn't changed much; maybe a couple of points but it's worth it for a working mill.

Looks like it's time to put in a new order for some specialty grains

Floor Manager Steve watching for squirrels

Mash temp - right on at 67.2°C

Bag out, hops in

Nugget is such a good match with stout. I've been using it for everything on the Dark Side

500g sugar for OG BOOST

Saved yeast from the Dunkels/Doppel bock - with a bit from a recent Czech lager which is why it's generation 1.5

Away we go. Had some airlock activity in a couple of hours - usually 833 is a slow starter but this time it took off right away.

2020-2-26 (+17): Kegged sample. Mostly carbonated and a bit murky. Added gelatin so it should get darker and cleaner over the next few days.

2020-2-28 (+19): post gelatin, chill, carbonation, and sitting in the keg a couple of days. Poured off about a pint of mud after kegging and it's running mostly clear now. Tasting in line for the style. Clean and "sweet" but not sticky. Nice smooth dark chocolate character.

2020-3-15 (+35): commercial comparison: Lion Stout. Lion is much more light and fruity - I'm not sure how they got that unique character but it's something to try for next time. Super smooth and delicious for an 8% stout. The homebrew by comparison just tastes somewhere between standard sweet and imperial stouts. It is a bit different from any stout I've made before but has a ways to go before it could be picked out as a "Tropical Stout" in a lineup.

2020-9-8 (+212): Cracked into a crowler I had stashed in the fridge. This held up exceptionally well! It might even be better: slightly more dry and 'lager-like'. Light chocolate and slightly fruity; this is closer than before to what I expect from a Tropical Stout.