I do admit I was intrigued by a recipe for DuClaw Vanilla Bean Oatmeal Stout. I like oatmeal stouts, and I like vanilla. It seems like this should be an easy gap to bridge. When talking about it with some friends, someone said "put chocolate in it - vanilla and chocolate are always separate". Not always, but it sounded like a good idea, so I borrowed some tips from a clone recipe of Young's Double Chocolate Stout and threw in a little lactose and cocoa powder. In the end, this might be more like drinking a milk shake, mouthfeelwise, anyway. The cocoa is of course unsweetened, and the vanilla should just add aroma.
Chocolate DuClaw Vanilla Bean Oatmeal Stout
--9 lbs 2-Row American Pale Ale Malt
--17 oz Black Roasted Malt
--1.25 lbs Flaked Oats
--6 oz German Chocolate Wheat
--6 oz Crystal 60L
--8 oz Lactose
--4 oz Cocoa Powder (15min)
--3 vanilla beans (secondary)
--2 oz Kent Goldings 4.5% AA (60min)
--White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast
Calc. IBU: 24
Mash all the grains for one hour at 152°F. I added 1 tsp gypsum to the mash water. Collect 6.5 gallons of wort. My efficiency was around 72%, giving me a gravity of 1.048. Add the lactose and boil. Add the hops. At 20 minutes remaining, add the clarifier and dissolve the cocoa in hot water. Add the cocoa to the boil with 15 minutes left. Flame out, hops out, start chillin'. I pitched the yeast slurry from a 1 pint starter. Dry English wasn't my first choice, but it'll do. Spent 1 week in primary. Three beans added at secondary, kegged after 5 days (a little rushed on everything because I was juggling with brew 17).