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Ghost Stout

Style: Sweet Stout

An experimental concept, Ghost Stout is based on BJCP's sweet stout guidelines with a ghost pepper in primary to impart a smokey pepper flavor and spiciness. The concept is based on sweet+spicy combinations like chipotle chocolate bars and jalapeño ice cream.

The first batch was a 1-gallon extract batch to prove the concept. The flavor was well received by friends, but the stout base was weak, thin, and flavorless. The second batch was a 5.5 gallon partial mash with focus on increased mouthfeel and flavor dimensions.

Partial Mash

Brewed: 11/06/2010
Target Boil SG: 1.039
Target OG: 1.060
Boil SG: 1.047
OG: 1.075
FG: 1.028
ABV: 6.3%


5.0 lb Extra light DME
3.5 lb Maris Otter
1.0 lb Crystal Malt 60L
1.0 lb Chocolate Malt
0.5 lb Flaked barley
0.5 lb Roasted barley
0.5 lb Lactose powder
0.5 lb Maltodextrin powder
1.0 tsp Yeast nutrient
1.0 tsp whirlfloc
1.0 oz Rehydrated ghost chile
4.0 oz Cocoa powder
1.0 packet Danstar Nottingham dry yeast


0:15: Warm cooler with 3 gallons water @ 165F
1:15: Mash grain in 2.275 gallons water @ 173F (strike: 158F)
0:15: Batch sparge in 1.82 gallons water @ 182F (strike 165.2F)


60 minutes: 0.7 oz Chinook
15 minutes: 5 lb DME
10 minutes: 8 oz maltodextrin
10 minutes: 8 oz lactose
10 minutes: 4 oz cocoa powder
10 minutes: whirlfloc
5 minutes: yeast nutrient


Primary on 1 oz ghost chile
Expected FG: 1.014 (calculated lie - will be much higher because of unfermentables)

Brew Notes:

Jacket over the top of the cooler to keep it insulated.

Stirred grain bed fairly rigorously for a couple of minutes.

Mash temp was 164F for the first few minutes, dropped to 157.5F for most of mash. 153F at end of 1:15.

Cooled in tub with yard water flowing throw at slow rate.

Pitched rehydrated dry yeast @80F

Wear gloves while working with ghost pepper.

Rehydrate ghost pepper in warm water for 30 min, pitched it at ~24 hours after start of fermentation.

11/07/10 - @24 hours: very active fermentation, ~75F on the fermenter

11/20/10 - SG 1.028, med-full body, sweet, and long, pretty strong pepper spicy finish. Film and small bubbles on surface of fermenter, probably oil from chocolate and CO2 bubbles, but I'm going to wait to see if it's an infection.

11/28/10 - Wanted to bottle, but bottling bucket spigot snapped.

12/12/10 - Primed with 4.282 oz corn sugar & bottled. Pepper heat noticeable in each sip, not just aftertaste. Still cloudly bubbles on top of fermenter, but assuming they're CO2 and lactose film. FG: 1.028. 47 12oz and 4 22oz = 652oz in bottles.


Brewed: 06/28/2010
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.020


1 lb Light DME
10 oz Crystal Malt 60
10 oz Chocolate Malt
0.2 oz Cluster hops
0.25 oz Fuggles hops
2 oz Maltodextrin
1 tsp Yeast nutrient
Harvested yeast

Steep: Crystal Malt, Chocolate Malt


60 minutes: 12 oz DME
60 minutes: 0.2 oz Cluster
10 minutes: 4 oz DME
5 minutes: 0.25 oz Fuggles
5 minutes: 2 oz maltodextrin
5 minutes: yeast nutrient


Primary on .25 oz ghost chile
Expected FG: 1.014

Brew Notes:

Harvested yeast from Weyerbacher Twelve barley wine. Two step harvest, second was half a gallon. Fermented for two weeks, then refrigerated, decanted, and pitched.

07/08/2010 - SG unchanged, yeast dead. Pitched 11g Danstar Nottingham dry yeast without rehydrating.

07/26/2010 - SG 1.020. Stout is thin and average, nice low spiciness though.

08/17/2010 - Put in fridge to drop yeast

08/22/2010 - Bottled with 0.8 oz corn sugar. Attempted to mix, might not have worked well.

Used 5L water

Steeped grains in bag for 30 mins @ 160F

Squeezed grains (bad), removed bag, added 1L water

Ended up with perfect amount in fermenter, filled to right under the neck.

Rehydrated ghost pepper in warm water for 2 hours, cut off bottom 3rd (towards small end), cut off tiny bit of tip, quartered, and dropped into primary.

Taste Notes:

Weak stout, light hints of chocolate malt, but pretty bland. Thin mouthfeel, no aroma. All around weak base. Ghost pepper heat comes through in an excellent way, though, and everyone loved it. You can't taste the pepper, but a spicy heat grows in the back of your throat as you drink it. By the end of a 12oz bottle you have a moderate burn present, but at no point is it excessive or painful, even for the tasters who dislike spicy foods. Very unique.

recipes/ghost_stout.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/11 12:10 by