Posted in Beer & Brewing, Life
November 28, 2012

Recipe: Au Lait! (Cream Coffee Stout)

My fancy new carboy filled with Au Lait!

This is a recipe that came to me from a few angles.  One of which is my wife, who rather enjoys her coffee prepared “au lait” (with milk).  Combined with the fact that we both technically mispronounce it as “olé.”  As in…bullfighting.  That explains the exclamation point on the name.  No one says “olé.”  They say “OLÉ!”

Anyway, enough with that.

I know people have made sweet/milk/cream stouts before.  And I know people have made coffee stouts before.  They’re both delicious.  And I know people have combined the two before.  But I haven’t found one to try yet, and I haven’t made one yet.  And I didn’t want to wait any longer to make it.

So I took advantage of the 20% off Black Friday Sale at the local Northern Brewer shop here in Milwaukee, picked up my first glass carboy, and got to work.

Here’s the recipe:

Specialty Grains:

  • 0.75 lbs English Roasted Barley
  • 0.5 lbs Briess Caramel 60L
  • 0.5 lbs flaked barley
  • 0.5 lbs flaked oats
  • 0.25 lbs Briess Organic Munich


  • 6 lbs Maris Otter liquid malt extract  (at 60 min)
  • 1 lbs lactose (milk sugar)  (at 15 min)


  • 1 oz Centennial (9.7% AA) hops (at 60 min)


  • 1 pkg Wyeast 1098 (British Ale)


  • 14 fl oz cold-brewed coffee (made with approx. 4 oz Victor Allen’s Kona-blend coffee) (at flameout)
  • 1/2 tablet Whirlfloc (at 15 min)

Vitals (according to the EXTRA handy Brewer’s Friend):

Brewday -1

November 24, 2012

Ground up about 4 oz (should have measured, dangit) Victor Allen’s Kona blend coffee in the coffee grinder.  They roast good coffee here in Wisconsin, and this is also a really good value when you get the 2lb bag at Costco.

Tossed that into my falling-apart French press and topped off with cold water.  I didn’t want to heat anything because I didn’t want to bring out any of the acrid tannins and other flavors that can come out when you overdo coffee.  And since it was going to be going into a recently-boiled kettle of wort, I wasn’t concerned about infection from the cold water.  I did soak the press in StarSan, though.

I’m crazy, but I’m not nuts.

Let that all sit and steep in the refrigerator overnight until brewday.


November 25, 2012

Brought the steeping water up to 174˚.  I decided, this time, to pay attention to what temperature I start the steeping process at, and what I end at.  Ultimately, over the 20-minute steeping process, the temp dropped down to 158˚.

The steeped wort smelled very chocolately, despite not using any chocolate malt.  There was a very minor coffee note from the coffee malt, but not much.  Thinking next time I’ll up that.  The little coffee aroma there is here never appears again throughout the boiling process.  But I’ll make that final decision on tasting day.

After adding the LME at the 60 minute mark, the unhopped wort smells like…the steeped wort.  But a little moreso.  No other way to really describe it.  Coffee is already almost gone.

Right after adding the hops (after bringing the wort back up to temp), the aroma is very floral, very bitter, slightly citrusy, but not much on that. Malt and chocolate have taken a back seat to the hops for the moment as I’d expected.

At the 30 minute mark (carboy cleanup time), the hop aroma is still dominant.  Hadn’t quite expected that.  But the malt aroma is returning. Most of the floral notes are gone, now just mostly bitterness and citrus.

At 15 minutes (Whirlfloc, lactose add), the hops have mostly faded, and the maltiness returns.  Back where we should be.  The lactose adds a milky, sweet aroma.  Didn’t quite expect that, but hey, that’s pleasant.

At the 0 minute mark (flamout, coffee add), the addition of the coffee brings the aroma of the wort completely into balance.  More than I would have thought.  The malt is full-on, hops are just there, coffee is just right.

What a great smell.

Got about 3.5 gallons of fully-boiled wort.  Topped off with water in the carboy, and lugged that heavy sonofagun down into the basement to bubble and burble away.

I’m really looking forward to tasting this one.

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