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Pumpernickel Stout

Classification: stout, rye, all-grain

Source: Jeff Renner (, HBD Issue #1480, 7/20/94

There has been some interest in my "Pumpernickel Stout" that I mentioned several issues ago, so I will share the recipe. In checking my notes, I find that it was March, 1985 (not 12 years ago). I wanted to make oatmeal stout, and (remember, we didn't have many references back then in the dark ages) the best source I found was C.J.J. Berry's "Home Brewed Stouts and Ales," 4th ed., 1970, on p. 81. It used 12 oz. rye, 6 oz. oatmeal, 8 oz. pale malt, 8 oz. black malt, 4 lb. sugar, 2 oz. hops, 2 t. brewing yeast and nutrient, 1/2 t. citric acid, and 4 gal (Imp., = 5 gal US) soft water. See what miserable information we had to make do with? I knew from Dave Line and experience that you couldn't mash all that grain with a half pound of pale malt, so I threw out everything except the oatmeal and rye, and made the following recipe. Since I am a professional baker, I used coarse rye meal, aka rye chop or pumpernickel meal, hence the name. It is the same consistency as or slightly finer than we aim for with our grist. You can get rye berries from a health food store or food coop, or even a feed and seed store (don't get mercury treated seed!).

This resulted in a fine, creamy rich, bitter stout (more bitter than oatmeal style, but I liked it). Over time, it became drier and overcarbonated, but was still fine. The home roasted malt gave a fine, fresh roast coffee-like aroma and taste. This is something I often do for dark beers, and it is worth it. I use an old steel stovetop popcorn popper that has a stirrer inside with a crank. You could also oven roast it. I like to use more of a lighter roasted grain for color and flavor, so I stop roasting before it is as dark as choc. malt.

If I were to do this today, I would not bother with two pale malts (I was probably worried about not enough enzymes in pale ale malt), and would use a good liquid yeast (not Irish for this style), perhaps a fruity one like YeastLab Australian 01. As a matter of fact, I think I will brew up a batch this next season. If anyone out there does, let me know how it turns out!



I corona milled the grains. Cook the rye meal and oatmeal with 1 gal water 45 minutes, ad to 2-1/2 gal strike temp water and rest of grains to achieve mash temp of ~150^F. I believe I must have mashed higher, like 153, since I got (and would want) a dextrinous wort. I am surprised to see from my notes that I mashed for 3 hrs., longer than I do now. I do (and did) this by putting my kettle in the oven at 150^F. Sparged 7 gal, had a little trouble with it sticking, so I stirred and reset it; rye will do this, but roller milled malt should help), boiled 2 hrs to 5 gal. at 1.054 SG. Didn't note whether I boiled the hops all two hrs., probably just the last hr. Tetnanger for 10 min. steep after heat off. Counter current cooled, pitched with lots of (dry Red Star Ale) yeast from previous secondary fermenter. Open fermenter, skimmed, racked after three days, still quite active (beer filled air lock once). I continued to bubble a long time, until I finally just bottled 4 oz corn sugar a one month. No F.G. taken.