Homebrew Session: 2013 BetterBeerBlog Christmas Ale – Mocha Milk Stout

It’s Christmas Eve Day, and if you’ve been following along, I’ve missed several days worth of posts for the current 12 Beers of Christmas review series. I do have a good reason though; I came down with a cold that pretty much ruined my ability to taste well, or at least as well as I’m able. So instead of drinking while sick, and possibly providing a horrible description of what could be fantastic beers, I decided to take a few days off to get well. My younger self would’ve just powered through, but with age comes wisdom, or so I’ve been told.

The final packaged bottles. Hand drawn labels this year.

The final packaged bottles. Hand drawn labels this year.

Instead of a review, I will be sharing my recipe for my homebrewed Mocha Milk Stout. Every year, I brew up a milk stout. It’s a style I first fell in love with when I visited Left Hand Brewing Company during a trip to GABF. I traditionally brew this beer during late fall so that I can give bottles away as Christmas presents to friends and family. I design my own labels, print them out, and affix them to the bottles as a personal touch. I think it makes for a much more memorable gift than anything I can purchase at the store and it’s a way to share my love of beer with those I love.


Ingredients for my Mocha Milk Stout.

Ingredients for my Mocha Milk Stout.


  • 8 lbs – pale 2-row malt
  • 1 lbs – Bamburg Munich (5.1 – 6.9L)
  • 1 lbs – Simpson Crystal 80 (75 – 85L)
  • .5 lbs – Simpson Chocolate (375 – 450L)
  • .5 lbs – Simpson Roast (500 – 600L)
  • 1 lbs – Flaked Barley


  • 1 oz – Hallertau-Perle (6.8%)
  • 1 oz – Kent Golding (7.1%)


  • 1 vial – British Ale Yeast (WLP005)


  • 1 lbs – Lactose powder
  • 8 oz – Whole roasted coffee bean
  • 2 pods -Whole Madagascar vanilla beans
  • ~4 oz – Cacao nibs


Measuring out the cacao nibs.

Measuring out the cacao nibs.

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