Vanilla Cream Stout

My second attempt at high-altitude brewing. I know the physics behind it, but I'm still amazed that water boils at 204 in Albuquerque, and it takes 90 minutes to get there, at that.

In any case, this is a straightforward stout with real vanilla beans and lactose added for creaminess.

I don't know if I'm getting better at brewing, or if the water is different "Out West", but this batch is truly a pleasure to drink. Chocolate and coffee tones dominate, with the hops providing good balance. There is definitely vanilla in these, but it's not cloying like some commercial brands. The characteristic chalky aftertaste does not distract from the fact that these turned out really, really well.

Special thanks to Christy for allowing this to be my first beer available via kegerator. Enjoy.

Gravities:

Initial 1.048
Transfer 1.016
Final 1.010
4.99% ABV How is this calculated?

Ingredients:

6.6 lbs light LME
.5 lb crystal malt
.5 lb chocolate malt
.5 lb roasted unmalted barley
1 lb lactose
2 vanilla beans
1 oz. Northern Brewer bittering hops
Wyeast 1318 London Ale III yeast

Directions:

Heat 5.5 gallons water to 150
Steep barley, chocolate and crystal malts for 45 minutes
Add LME and bring to a boil
Boil 30 minutes, then add hops
Cool to 80 and pitch yeast
Ferment 2 weeks, then rack into secondary
Boil lactose and (split) vanilla beans in 2 cups water. Add to secondary
Ferment for 4 weeks, then KEG!
Force carbonate at 10psi and 40 for 10 days, or until you have company come over.
Serve on tap at 40 between 8 and 10psi.

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