Chocolate Stout

Chocolate Stout Recipe

Ditch the box of chocolates for that special someone. Make this instead! This is a good starter recipe. Play around with the cocoa levels to make this your own amazing stout.

Recipe Profile

  • Method: 1 gallon BIAB (Brew-in-a-bag), single stage
  • Target OG (Original Gravity): 1.054
  • Target FG (Final Gravity): 1.015
  • Bitterness (IBUs): 39
  • Estimated ABV: 5.1%
  • Boil: 90 minutes


  • 1.75 lbs Maris Otter
  • 3 oz Chocolate Malt
  • 2 oz Torrified Wheat
  • 1.5 oz Caramunich Malt
  • 1.5 oz Roasted Barley
  • 0.2 oz Northern Brewer Hops at 90 minutes
  • 10g cocoa powder  at 15 minutes
  • American Ale Yeast (Wyeast 1056)

The Mash

  1. Bring 10.7 litres of water to a temperature of 162°F. Add your grains and give everything a good stir until the whole thing looks a bit like oatmeal. Shut off the heat, cover with a lid, and let it steep at 156°F for 60 minutes.
  2. Then you need to “mash out.” You put the heat back on, and raise the temperature to 168°F (75.6°C) and keep stirring for 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the grains and prepare for the boil. If you’re using a bag, just pull it out and let it drip near-dry above the pot. If you’re using a colander, strain to remove the grains, preserving the wort, which you’ll add back to the pot.
  4. Check that your gravity is on track and correct it, if needed. You need 70 gravity points for this recipe, and our target post-boil volume is 1.3 gallons.

The Boil

  1. Start the boil by bringing your wort up to a boil. Once boiling, start your timer. Add your bittering hops, as prescribed above.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your sanitizer solution.
  3. Just before the boil is complete, make an ice bath in your kitchen sink. Load it up with as much ice and cold water as you can. Once the boil is over, transfer your pot to the sink to cool your wort to pitching temperature, as prescribed on the yeast pack. Remember to sanitize your thermometer every time you check the temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, thoroughly clean and sanitize your carboy, screw cap, airlock, funnel, and strainer/colander. You want everything to be ready to go once the wort is at the right temperature.
  5. Once the wort is at pitching temperature, transfer it to the carboy by passing it through a strainer overtop the funnel. Do not fill the carboy higher than the one-gallon mark.
  6. Aerate the wort.  Cover the fermenter with a screw cap and gently rock the carboy back and forth for a few minutes to mix in some air.
  7. Pitch the yeast! Use sanitized scissors to cut open the package and pour in only half of the yeast.
  8. Seal the carboy by filling the airlock with sanitizer. Fit it in the screw cap. Move the carboy to a dark spot, free of the home’s daily commotion for at least 14 days (but ideally not more than 21).

Bottling Day

  1. Move the carboy to the countertop, if it wasn’t already there. If the wort got lots of movement during transfer, let it sit so that any stirred-up yeast has a chance to re-settle.
  2. Sanitize everything that will come in contact with the beer: bottling bucket, auto-siphon, tubing, filler, bottles, and bottle caps.
  3. Dissolve 0.59 oz (17g) corn sugar in enough boiling water to dissolve it. Add the dissolved sugar solution to your sanitized bottling bucket.
  4. Fill your auto-siphon and hose with sanitizer before submerging in the carboy. Transfer the solution to a spare container until the beer has completely replaced all the sanitizer in the tubes. Now you can place the end with the bottle filler in the bottling bucket, which should also be on the floor and gently transfer the beer from the carboy to the bucket.
  5. Transfer all the liquid up and the point where it reaches the sediment. Leave the sediment in the carboy.
  6. Now, move the bottling bucket to the counter and siphon the beer quietly into each bottle. When the liquid gets to the very top of the bottle, remove the bottle filler, which will leave the perfect amount of headspace at the top of the bottle.
  7. Cover each bottle with the sanitized caps and cap them into place, or secure your sanitized swing-top caps if using those.
  8. Store the bottles upright in a quiet, dark corner at 65F (18.5C) or so.
  9. Wait 30 days, if you can. If you’re way too curious (I can’t blame you!) try and hold out for 14 days. If you absolutely can’t wait, you can try after 7 days, but the beer really needs at least 14 days to condition.


36 responses to “Chocolate Stout”

  1. Bryant

    Do you add the brewer hops at the very beginning?

    1. Yes, at the beginning of the boil (90 minute boil on this one).

  2. Bryant

    Oh my gosh I’m sorry man I worked over night and totally missed a super obvious direction. Thanks for getting back to me so soon! I’m so excited to have found this site. It’s so tough to find 1 gallon recipes!

  3. Tyler

    No sparGe?

    1. Hi Tyler,

      No, my recipes are all Brew-In-A-Bag.

  4. Bill

    What size kettle do you use?

    1. Hi Bill,

      I use a 14-litre stock pot.

  5. Paul Clarkson


    First of all, thanks for this website and inspiration.

    I tried this method and am almost ready for bottling.

    I followed this exactly and only achieved an OG of 1.037, as opposed to the 1.054 stated in the Recipe Profile.

    I initially thought this was my procedures and I hadn’t achieved a good extraction efficiency. However, even when I put the recipe into a grain calculator ( it only gives an OG of around 1.045. This is based on a final volume of 4.5L (UK Gallon).

    A couple of questions:

    Is your final volume based on the US Gallon?
    If not, how did you get such a decent OG?
    Or do we need to increase the quantity of Maris Otter?


    1. Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the kind note and thanks for writing in.

      Yes, my metrics are based on US Gallons. It’s also possible that my kettle evaporates water at a greater rate than yours. That would play a huge role on the OG. I would have ended up with 4.2 litres.

      And yes, your best bet would be to boost the base malt to see if you can hit that target. Of course, sometimes, you don’t hit the target and the beer still tastes good. I personally don’t get too hung up on targets. Bottle the beer, and see how you like it. If you think it needs that extra ABV, then by all means, boost the pale malts!

      Cheers! – JL

  6. Mark

    Hi JOseth
    Wow,IHave now made quite a few recipes of yours to date,as i am restricted to 1 gallon recipes,the first week i did your ESB and IPA,TASTED A BOTTLE OF EACH AFTER 2 WEEKS AND AS YOU RECOMMEND LEAVE FOR 6 WEEKS,THEY TASTED GOOD BUT I KNEW THEY GOING TO GET BETTER.THE FOLLOWING WEEK I BREWED YOU CHOCOLATE STOUT AND Belgium blonde which was 2 weeks ago.
    Today i opened up a 2 thirds full bottle of the chocolate stout to see where its heading and,wow,what a brew,absolutely perfect,lovely mouthfeel nice bittering and chocolate flavour,i brewed a chocolate orange 1 gallon the following week so will see how thats coming on next week.thanks for your straight forward,non complicated and easy to follow recipes,and all of your other valuable information throughout your site.😊

  7. Dave

    Looking to make a decadent double chocolate stout. starting with this base recipe, any advice on how which ingredients to increase and by what amounts ?

    1. Hi Dave, boost the chocolate powder levels and take it from there. I’d be careful not to play too much with the malts, so you don’t adversely impact the balance of the beer.

  8. Dave

    New to brewing and I’m finding most recipes seem to be lacking in flavor when scaled down to 1 gallon. Glad to find your site . For a intense chocolate flavor, would you recommend boosted the chocolate malt, cocoa powder, or both ?

    1. Hi Dave, I’d start with a touch more of both and work your way up from there. Thanks for writing in!

  9. David Chang-Sang

    Hey Joseph,
    Fellow Torontonian here!
    Found your site and decided to start back into brewing again after 25+ years. Things have changed!! I never did an all grain brew back in the day but I was eager to try and am currently giving this recipe a go.

    My target og (before the boil after mash out) was stupidly low – I don’t know where I went wrong but after calculating I figured I needed to add a full pound of dme.

    I think there are only two reasons for the low og:
    1) I somehow added “more” water than required initially (11.7L instead of 10.7L)
    2) The grains weren’t milled enough for brew in bag (but I bought the grains from the same place you do and I told Nick I was using your recipe so I doubt that was the problem)

    Any thoughts on this?

    By the way.. love the site and the recipes and they’re perfect for an older guy like myself who is the only one in the house that drinks beer *LOL*


    1. Hey David! Thanks for writing in. I’m delighted you could connect with Nick — he runs a great shop. If you milled your grains with Nick, he would have done them perfectly. The extra water wouldn’t have helped either, and it would also have had an impact on your mash pH (a separate matter altogether!)

      The size of your grain bag would also have an impact, as would your mash temperatures. Did you check in on the mash steep temperatures every 20 min or so, just to see if your system was working? If the temperature dipped below the minimum steep temp, you wouldn’t have extracted the sufficient levels of sugars. As for the grain bag, if it is too small, it’ll keep the grains too tight, preventing them from making full contact with the water.

      Just a couple thoughts on this cold Saturday night in the East End!

      And thank you for the kind words re: the site. I appreciate it a great deal.

      1. David chang-sang

        Thanks for replying to my comment Joseph!

        Pot I’m using is a 21L Strauss (got it from kitchen stuff plus) and the bag was more than big enough (heck, that bag could have done for a 15 Gallon kettle! 🙂 )

        The steep temp on the mash was ok too – I put the pot in the oven and it only dropped to like 156 by the end of the hour.

        My end volume was actually a little bit more than 1.5 gallon (give or take) so i do suspect I erred in the water. That said, i measured the gravity after the boil (at pitching temp) but before I pitched the yeast and it was stupid high… 1.070

        This is going to be interesting !! LOL

        Again, thank you for the recipes (can’t wait to try others) and all the hard work in putting this site together – it’s been a godsend for a 1 gallon brewer and wonderful to have so many all grain options


        1. David chang-sang

          Coming to this just to say “THANK YOU” Joseph!!

          I waited 14 days… and I couldn’t wait any longer – turned out wonderful!! Even with my error in calculations this recipe is a winner. 6.54% (due to my error), rich mouthfeel, slight coffee notes and just enough “chocolate” from the cocoa….

          Thanks again Joseph!


          1. Thanks for much for those kind words David. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Vince

    Hi, I HAVE Some good quality cocoa nibs, maybe 2 oz. Can I somehow use them in this recipe, maybe instead of the cocoa powder, or in ADDItion to?

    1. For sure! I would grind them up into a powder to get more flavour extraction.

      1. Jon

        A lot of folks are steeping cocoa nibs in a separate jar in enough vodka to cover them while the wort ferment. Add the resulting tincture to the bottling bucket before bottling. The vodka extracts the flavor and sanitizes the nibs. Add a little and taste to get the flavor you want. This also works with other spices like cinnamon and chili.

        1. Indeed, that would make for a lovely adaptation of this recipe.

  11. Nick

    Could I add Lactose to this to up the ABV and make it more of a milk stout? If so, how much would you add and would I need to up the chocolate to not hide it?

    1. You could absolutely try that. Sounds like a delicious addition. Have you brewed it yet? How did it turn out?

  12. Bastian Havers

    Hej Joseph,

    something strange with the textbox, displaying all caps text…

    Anyways, thank you very much for those nice recipes on the site. I brewed the chocolate stout yesterday, and ended up with about 50% too much water… I was already surprised by the large amount of water (10.7l) in comparison to the final amount of 1.3 gallons. I lost some water during the cook, naturally, but nowhere near half the amount, more like ten percent. The OG at pitch temperature was 32 pts only, which I figure is quite low (and that was after taking the liberty of adding 50ml of maple syrup towards the end of the boil).

    I was now wondering, in which step do you wager should the large reduction in water volume take place?

    Thanks again very much from Sweden for this recipe and the rest of your lovely site! It is very well written and designed, no-nonsense, and one of the few sources of good BIAB recipes I have seen on the net.

    Cheers, Bastian

    1. Thanks so much for the kind note Bastian. I confess, my recipes are designed based on my own brewing setup. My kettle is wide and evaporates aggressively. You’ll want to adjust the recipe to meet your own brewing experience. Next time, use less water and note what the ideal water volume is for your brewhouse.

  13. MAtt JUrkoic

    by grains, do you mean the malt and barley in the ingredients list?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Matt, indeed, yes!

  14. Bastian

    First, lovely site!
    Tried this recipe, but doubled everything to brew two gallons.
    I endeD up with an OG of 1.32 and an FG of 1.20, so too low and too high.
    What could have gone wrong? I also have about 3 gallons of beer now instead of two. Would love some aDvice for my next brew!
    Thanks in advance!


  15. john

    Thanks for your recipe! I tried to follow it but my local brewshop (overseas now) gave me 1.75KG instead of 1.75lbs of maris otter. didn’t realize till i got home. b/c all the grains were mixed up i couldn’t try to separate out the maris otter to the right ratio. anyhow said the heck with it and tried to brew a gallon anyways. pretty chaotic but still fun. appreciate the recipes. will try again next time! ended with a post boil of 1.077 – guess i’ll just have a higher alcohol content. i wasn’t sure how this batch was gonna turn out so for fun i just doubled the hops to 0.4oz and increased the cocoa to 25g. just went into primary today. will see how it goes!





  17. Kris

    Hi. Your page about adjusting or low or high OG talks about how you design your recipes to have 1.3 gallons so that your 1 gallon recipes can be adjusted on the fly, which I get. However, when I plug your recipe into Beersmith, things do not look right when I set it up for 1.3 gallons, but they look a bit better when i aim for 1 gallon post boil/into the fermenter. With that, can you tell me a bit more about what you mean by designing your beers for a 1.3 gallon post boil volume? Are you just adding more water, or are you actually creating an actual recipe around 1.3 gallons?


  18. Jacob

    I’m making this recipe for a second time tonight, the first time I added lactose sugar and vanilla, this time I’m going to add some raspberries and more cocoa nibs in a secondary. Overall a great versatile recipe, thank you!

  19. Colin D

    I’ve got a 2 gallon set up right now. If i just double everything can i expect SIMILAR results?

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