Two years ago my wife decided to plan an anniversary getaway for us driving the back roads of eastern Pennsylvania. One of my favorite towns of the trip was Selinsgrove where we stayed at the small Selinsgrove Inn. It was right across the street from the Selin’s Grove Brewing Co. and it was here that I found my all-time favorite beer for winter: Shade Mountain Stout. I haven’t had another stout that compares to that one, and with winter coming I am hoping you can help me with a recipe.
Syracuse, New York
My call to the Selin’s Grove Brewing Company was answered by Heather McNabb who, together with her husband, Steve Leason, make up the backbone of the business. This is one of those stories of grassroots homebrewers fulfilling their dream of brewing on a commercial scale. The first beer that they can recall brewing was in college in the mid 1980s, which was a lagered stout. Stout is one of their favorite styles and this could well have been the precursor to the present Shade Mountain Stout.
Their love of beer and a trip to Colorado landed them on the steps of the burgeoning New Belgium brewery. Looking for new adventure, they both accepted jobs at New Belgium. Steve held several positions and advanced from bottling all the way up to brewing. Meanwhile, Heather worked in both the final filtering and cellering departments.
In 1996, armed with more than just homebrewing experience, the opportunity to move back east and open a brewpub presented itself. Heather’s parents owned a property in the heart of Selinsgrove. The almost 200-year-old stone building, which is on the National Historic Registry, had originally been the governor’s mansion for Pennsylvania’s third governor, Simon Snyder. The basement served as a perfect location for the original brewery and a tiny kitchen supplied a limited menu.
Steve produces his beers on a commercial 8.5 barrel system housed in a 1930s four bay block garage on the property. Sometimes he has to brew two times per week to satisfy the demand. He reports that total output this year should top 400 barrels.
Shade Mountain Stout, which is 100% organic, definitely meets the style guidelines for a true oatmeal stout. The aroma exhibits roasted grain characters followed by coffee and chocolate notes. A rich, light brown head tops the nearly opaque liquid and holds all the way to the bottom of the glass. The flavor exhibits a smooth roast grainy profile combined with chocolate and a slight nuttiness. The high percentage of oats contributes to a full bodied mouthfeel and silky smoothness. A higher temperature and somewhat thick mash produces a slightly sweet finish. The one hop addition serves to be just enough to balance the residual sugars.
Now David, you can satisfy your thirst for this excellent stout because you can “Brew Your Own.” For further information about the brewery, visit the website www.selinsgrovebrewing.com or call them at 570-374-7308.
Selin’s Grove Brewing
Shade Mountain Stout clone
(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.054 FG = 1.015
IBU = 33 SRM = 39
ABV = 5.1%
3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg) Briess light, unhopped, malt extract
1.5 lbs. (.68 kg) light dried malt extract
5 oz. (.14 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
7 oz. (.19 kg) chocolate malt (350 °L)
13 oz. (.36 kg) roast barley (450 °L)
1 lb.10 oz. (0.73 kg) flaked oats
11 oz. (.31 kg) crystal malt (20 °L)
3 oz. (85 g) Carapils® malt
9.9 AAU Challenger pellet hops
(1.2 oz./34 g of 8.25% alpha acid) (60 min.)
1⁄2 tsp. yeast nutrient
(last 15 minutes of the boil)
White Labs WLP 013 (London Ale) or Wyeast 1028 (London Ale) yeast
0.75 cup (150g) of corn sugar for priming (if bottling)
Step by Step
Steep the crushed grain in 1.5 gallons (5.6 L) of water at 156 ºF (69 ºC) for 30 minutes. Remove grains from the wort and rinse with 2 quarts (1.8 L) of hot water. Add the liquid and dry malt extracts and bring to a boil. While boiling, add the hops, yeast nutrient as per the schedule. Now add the wort to 2 gallons (7.6 L) of cold water in the sanitized fermenter and top off with cold water up to 5 gallons (19 L).
Cool the wort to 75 ºF (24 ºC). Pitch your yeast and aerate the wort heavily. Allow the beer to cool to 68 ºF (20 ºC). Hold at that temperature until fermentation is complete. Transfer to a carboy, avoiding any splashing to prevent aerating the beer. Allow the beer to condition for one week and then bottle or keg. Allow the
beer to carbonate and age for two weeks.
This is a single step infusion mash using 8 lbs. (3.6 kg) of 2-row pale malt to replace the malt extracts. Mix the crushed grains with 3.75 gallons (14 L) of 172 °F (78 °C) water to stabilize at 156 ºF (69 ºC) for 60 minutes. Sparge slowly with 175 ºF (79 ºC) water. Collect approximately 6 gallons (23 L) of wort runoff to boil for 60 minutes. Reduce the 60-minute hop addition to 1 oz. (28 g) Challenger hop pellets to allow for the higher utilization factor of a full wort boil. The remainder of this recipe and procedures are the same as the extract with grain recipe.