Believe it or not, this is not our first time making a s’more beer. Last year, Tim’s girlfriend requested it, and, always up for a challenge, we gave it a go. It turned amazingly well considering our experience and the all the flavorings we introduced.
When thinking about s’mores, we tried to abstract the elements away to their essential flavors. For the chocolate, we used baking cocoa powder mixed with lactose. For the graham cracker, we used some biscuit malt for a breadiness and cinnamon. Finally, the marshmallow is kind of tough. We just figured most marshmallow’s have a vanilla flavor, so we used extract. We decided on the base of a stout because that malt profile can stand up to those flavors and keep it a beer as well as the acrid flavors being appropriate for a s’more made over a campfire.
Like I mentioned, the biggest problem was a grittiness from the cocoa powder. This year we tried to fix that. We made a tea out of the cocoa, lactose and cinnamon stick. We brought this up to a boil, stirring almost constantly. We tasted it on the way through, and by the end, most of the grittiness was gone. Hopefully, it will stay that way through fermentation. One final change is that we had some honey left over from our mead, and we used about half a pound added in at the tail end of our boil to add into that graham cracker profile.
- 6lbs Maris Otter
- 1.5lbs Biscuit Malt
- 1lb 60L Crystal
- 1lb CarafaII
- 1/2lb Special B
- 1/2lb Flaked Oats
We mashed at a higher temperature (between about 156-160ºF). It mashed for quite a while as we took the free time to head out for a run.
- 1oz Fuggles (60 minutes)
- 1oz Fuggles (30 minutes)
- 1/2lb Honey (15 minutes)
- Irish Moss (15 minutes)
In a second pot we mixed a bit of wort, half a pound of lactose, cocoa to taste and a cinnamon stick. We let that boil down as our main boil went. Original gravity: 1.058.
We used Wyeast 1335 (British Ale Yeast II). We don’t want it to ferment too low, so it will stay a sweeter, desert stout. We’re looking for a Final Gravity between 1.017-1.020. We’ll let it set in secondary for a few weeks before we keg.