The International Homebrew Project was to create, or re-create a 1933 Barclay Perkins Milk Stout.
Brewday was not without a few hiccups but mostly everything was fine. The beer produced tasted great after fermentation was complete. I was looking forward to it.
Yesterday I tapped my keg and there was no beer. Hmmmm Possible leak so I topped up the co2 and got a trickle of beer. I changed beer lines and the tap I used to dispense from with the same results.
Now it was just not making much sense, why is the beer coming out so slowly? Unless.... There must be something blocking the beer inside the keg. Interestingly I opened up the Corny to take a look and it all looked fine. I even took off my poppets and tightened them again. The only oddity I came across was when I was finished. There was a crusty white substance on my fingers.
Here is my theory. The extra lactose that I added in at priming time is the culprit. It has either crystalised and clogged up my dispensing tube, or it never disolved and there is a big sludge of the stuff at the bottom.
My mistake? Perhaps I should be disolved the lactose in to the priming sugar/hot water solution. I didn't because there is so much lactose and so little water being added.
The experiment was not a waste however. I did pour the beer from the keg. I also had a bottle conditioned bottle without the extra lactose to compare with. I also had a bottle of Left Hand brewery Milk stout to see how it compares to a modern commercial milk stout.
From left to right we have Kegged (flat), Bottle conditioned, Commercial.
As you can see the bottle conditioned version was a large fluffy head, even though the left hand stout was more carbonated.
I took a gravity reading of the kegged stout out of curiosity since it is pretty much flat. It was about 1.032 which is higher than its finishing gravity before I added the lactose and priming sugar. My TG had been 1.022 before priming.
The bottle conditioned version had all the lovely milk chocolate and coffee that I was expecting and was very drinkable.
The Left Hand Milk Stout was thinner than the other two, more carbonated and had a slightly sour finish mixed in with the chocolate and coffee.
Left Hand makes a fine milk stout but if the bottle conditioned one I did was anything to go by, the original Barclay Perkins milk stout would have been mind blowing.
Any thoughts by anyone on what might have gone wrong? My thought now is to take the beer out of the keg and either transfer it to another keg, or maybe bottle the lot of it. I might even put back in a fermenter and add some yeast to see if I can get the gravity down. I will see at the weekend what I can do. I would drink the beer as it is but it only trickles out. It would actually take about 10 minutes to fill a pint glass.