I wanted to make a session-strength stout for the winter. Being a coffee fan I decided to introduce coffee in 2 ways. First I added 3 ounces of whole beans directly to the fermenter after fermentation for 4 days. Then I cold-brewed coffee for 24 hours and added it to the keg before racking the beer on top.
In addition to the coffee, I wanted to add a little bit of vanilla flavoring. For this I used a single vanilla bean that was slit open with it’s contents scraped into the primary fermenter post fermentation. I also threw in the outer shell of the bean and let it sit for 4 days before kegging.
Recipe for this post can be found here.
The beer pours a nice tan head that dissipates pretty quickly (this may be caused by the oils oils from the beans effecting head retention). It appears black with just a tinge of light coming through just below the head.
The aroma has a heavy coffee presence with some roasted malts. Mixed in with the coffee are notes of cola and a hint of vanilla.
The beer is medium in body with some delicate carbonation. It doesn’t feel too thin or too thick for the style. The taste has multiple waves of coffee. The vanilla plays a minor background character and the coffee shines as the main component. After the initial wave of coffee there is a cola taste followed by more coffee flavor in the finish. There are some roasty notes interweaved as well.
Overall, I’m very pleased with how this turned out. I really enjoy it as is, but if I had to make a change next time, I might increase the vanilla flavoring. I would either let the beer be exposed to the vanilla for a slightly longer period of time or perhaps use an additional vanilla bean. While the vanilla was present, it was very much in the background. I wouldn’t want the beer to be a vanilla bomb, but it would be nice to have a touch more vanilla flavoring.