There’s nothing better than a good ole pastry stout after dinner – and when it’s homemade, it’s even better. If you love homebrewing and haven’t yet tried to make a delicious pastry stout infused with toffee and chocolate malts, this simple step-by-step recipe guide will have you brewing a batch up in no time!
Pastry Stout Recipe Guide
Pastry stouts are the newest trend in the dark stout category, characterized by their rich, dessert-like flavors and malty base.
Many craft breweries nowadays are producing their own drinkable versions of classic dessert flavors, like apple crumble, Reece’s Pie, banana bread, vanilla cheese, caramel tart, and tiramisu. These drinkable desserts fall under the craft beer style known as pastry stouts.
Though brewing such decadent sweet stouts may appeal to homebrewers with a passion for craft beer and desserts, there are some brewing techniques to follow to get the recipe just right – and luckily for you, we have the perfect recipe to get you started.
From understanding the right ingredients used to create a variety of flavors to choosing the brewing techniques that enhance the stout’s signature sweetness and body, this guide will provide everything you need to explore and master the world of best Pastry Stouts.
How to Make Pastry Stout Beer
Although there is no set dessert beer recipe for everyone, it’s best to start with a step-by-step recipe when you make it for the first time. You can follow our recipe below and start experimenting the next time you make your dessert stout.
- 15 pounds of toasted toffee barley malt
- 4 pounds of Vienna-style rye malt
- 2 pounds of graham and cocoa malt
- 1.5 pounds of brown sugar
- 1 pound of candi syrup D-240
- 1 pound of candi syrup D-180
- 8 ounces of milk sugar (lactose)
- Substitute 8oz of Maltodextrin sugar if you are lactose intolerant
- 15 grams of Hallertau Magnum at 60 minutes
- Imperial Yeast or Fermentis US-05
- Half teaspoon of cinnamon powder at Whirlpool
- 9 ounces of cacao nibs at seven days
- 2 items of vanilla beans at seven days
- Batch size: 6 gallons
- Boil time: 60 minutes
- IBU: 15.5
- ABV: 8.9 to 10 percent, depending on mash temperature
Steps to Pastry Stout Recipe
Here is the step-by-step guide to making this recipe:
- Make a starter yeast a day ahead of brew day with your Imperial Yeast. You should also collect the water and mill the grain.
- Warm up the strike water and add the grains while checking the mash temperature.
- After a 60-minute mash rest, carry out a vorlauf, which means recirculate the wort through the mash bed.
- Sparge the wort and boil it for 60 minutes while following the hops schedule.
- When ten minutes are remaining in the boil, add the lactose and D-240 syrup.
- Chill the wort after the boil.
- Put the wort in your fermenter at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pitch the yeast starter and leave it to ferment for two days.
- After two days, dissolve the brown sugar in boiling water and let it chill.
- Add the brown sugar and D-180 to the wort.
- Roast the cacao nibs and chopped vanilla beans, and soak it in vodka.
- After one day, add cinnamon to the mix and shake it with the mixture. Add it to the beer and leave it to ferment for four days.
- Put the beer in a keg and leave it for a couple of weeks to condition.
- Bottle it and serve.
Making Your Base for Pastry Stout
If you don’t want to use the adjuncts mentioned in the recipe above, we have provided a recipe for the base of stout. You can follow this and add whichever flavors you want to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- 20 pounds of pale ale malt
- 6 pounds of flaked oats
- 6 pounds of Munich malt
- 1 pound of CaraBohemian
- 1 pound of Castle Chocolate
- 1 pound of chocolate rye
- 1 pound of midnight wheat
- 1 pound of carafa 1 special
- Half pound of roasted barley
- 2 ounces of Magnum at 60 minutes
- Dry yeast
- Batch size: 6 gallons
- Boil time: 90 minutes
- IBU: 42
- ABV: 11.4 percent
What the experts are saying about pastry stouts
Now that you have a delicious pastry stout recipe, perfect for any beginner to get started, let’s see what the master brewers are saying about this indulgent craft beer trend.
Diego Cardini, Founder of The Drum Ninja thinks that local bakeries and microbreweries will have a future partnership, creating sweet pastry stouts that taste just like the desserts at the local bakery.
“As someone who lives and breathes craft beer, my gut says pastry stouts are going to get even more personal. Picture this: Microbreweries working with local bakers, maybe even crowdsourcing ideas from regulars, to create stouts that taste like the community—like a stout with hints of the corner bakery’s famous cherry pie. They’ll be cozy, quirky, and full of heart, making each sip feel like a story or an inside joke for locals. It’s not just beer; it’s a reflection of the neighborhood in a bottle.”
Ivan Dedek, Brewmaster, Food Scientist at Meier’s Creek Brewing Company is very upbeat about pastry stouts and says they’re the perfect drink for beer lovers that like their beer Sweet, Balanced, Bursting Flavors
“As the name suggests, a pastry stout is the ultimate dessert for beer lovers. The ideal pastry stout should be sweet, balanced, and bursting with flavors so that you can taste every individual aspect. A velvety-rich mouthfeel, coupled with well-executed adjuncts that burst with flavor, is what sets apart the exceptional dessert beer from the rest.”
Food Pairing With Dessert Stouts
There are different types of food you can pair with your delicious dessert stout. To match the roasted malt character, you can try out barbecued meats and other spicy foods. If you’re interested in cheese, the creamy-aged Cheddar will balance the sweetness in the beer. Alternatively, you can also go for desserts like cream puffs, chocolate espresso cake, or dark chocolate truffles.
It’s also a great idea to pair your dessert stout with the type of dessert that inspired it. Although this might be too sweet, you should ensure that the beer is always sweeter than the dish.
Other delicious food pairings include roasted, smoked, grilled and salty foods, rich stews, oysters, braised dishes, chocolate and desserts. Dessert stouts also go with everyday foods like French fries, burgers, pizzas, tacos and the like. If you’re unsure what to have, you can get some brownies or even something more formal like a shawarma-spiced braised lamb leg.
Serving and Storing Dessert Stouts
A dessert stout should be served at a warm, wine cellar temperature. The darker the beer is, the warmer the temperature should be. You can go for temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, the ideal glass for a stout is a pint glass. Use the standard 16-ounce pint glass for your beer as this gives room for the foamy head to form and enhances the aroma.
The storage temperature of stouts is also similar to their serving temperature. You should keep them at cellar temperature in a cool, dark and dry place. Avoid storing your stout with the bottles bent to the side. Instead, you should keep them standing upright.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some expert answers to pastry beer questions.
How long does it take to brew a pastry stout?
There is no exact time for brewing a pastry stout. However, after the initial brewing, fermentation typically takes around 10-12 days, then the conditioning takes a minimum of 2 weeks before it can be bottled, kegged, and served.
What if I can’t reach the desired mash temperature of 155-158 degrees?
If you can’t reach a mash temperature of 155-158 degrees, don’t worry – your stout will still be delicious. It just won’t be as sweet due to the lower temperature not extracting as many sugars from the malt.
What kind of fermentation vessel should I use?
A food-grade plastic bucket or a glass carboy are common fermentation vessels among homebrewers. Stainless steel fermenters are also a good option because they’re easy to clean and sterilize.
Related Stout Beers
We hope that this guide has inspired you to make your first batch of pastry stout. Feel free to try the base recipe and incorporate your favorite sweet ingredients to your preference. Once you’ve brewed your first batch, don’t forget to share your experience and unique recipe twists with us.