Problem with Brewdog Chocolate Stout

Hi all,

I've brewed the Brewdog Chocolate stout. When I came to keg it, I took a gravity reading in the usual way. After I had a taste and it was very very sweet. I realised at that point I forgot to put the hops in that came with the kit, and now the beer is barrelled. I don't know what to do. Any ideas greatly recevied.



  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Hi Marc, this is a tricky one, the problem is once it is sealed up in the barrel it is best not to disturb it and risk contamination, however for various reasons sometimes brews do have to be opened up and even transferred back to the fermenting vessel - but this is a risk. You have 3 possible options we can think of:

    1- Leave the brew in the barrel and have a taste in a few weeks - if it is nice then drink it as is and don't risk messing with it.

    2 - Put the hops in a muslin bag and then open up the barrel - put the bag of hops into the brew and leave for a few days to infuse flavour with the lid loosely fitted, then pull the bag of hops out (you need a way to get them out such as tied to a length of string perhaps,) prime the barrel with a little more sugar and seal up again.

    3 - Syphon the brew back into your fermenter and make sure it is all well cleaned, then follow the instructions and add the hops, the syphon back over into the cleaned barrel as directed. Re-prime and seal back up and leave to condition.

    It's hard to know what best to do, if you do open the barrel up the main thing is to be sure to keep contact to a minimum and ensure anything that touches the brew is nice and clean. We hope this is of some help, please let us know what you do and how it goes
  • mompessonsmompessons Member Posts: 7
    Thank you for these suggestions. I've only just seen your reply. I didn't get an email to say my post had been replied to.

    I had consulted a fellow brewer in my local, and he was unsure to, but suggested adding in the hops to the barrel. This is what I did. I have removed them now. I had them in there about a week.

    The beer still tasted a little sweet, but not as sweet. The sweetness does seem to be dissapearing over time. It is however drinkable, but still a little too sweet. I check it again in another couple of weeks and let you know here.

    Thanks for your help.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited February 2016
    THe week of hops will add some infusion, the best thing now is to do as you say and leave it for a good few weeks, this allow the full flavours to develop and as the beer conditions, any initial strong flavours will often mellow as the flavour develops, please let us know how it turns out
  • mompessonsmompessons Member Posts: 7
    I will let you know how it turns out.

    I remember actually what I did. Above is incorrect. I did add the hops to the barrell, but I didn't remove the hops, I syphoned the beer into another barrell, leaving the hops behind.

    I had another little tester a couple of days ago. The sweetness is getting less, but not that much chocolate flavour. I guess the chocolate will come out as it conditions longer.
  • mompessonsmompessons Member Posts: 7
    It's lovely now. I had a couple of friends over a couple of Fridays ago, and both loved it. You can really smell the chocolate and the sweetness has gone. Needless to say I had a few pints of it too. Mmmm.

    My dad also came round yesterday and tried a pint and a half of it and really liked it.

    I've got three in bottles too, not tried them yet. Keeping them a bit longer for longer conditioning to see how time makes it different.

    Sorry I can't make a comment of it on the shop as it was a present and so didn't come from you, but if you like, you can copy and post my comments for a review.

    I will certainly be doing it again, but next time making sure I add the hops in at the correct time.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited February 2016
    Thanks for the update, sounds like a real success story which is great, we have posted the review thank you and credited your e-wallet, Cheers
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