About This Course

This course includes 98+ minutes of video

In the 98-minute video course, Maplewood’s founding brewer and CEO Adam Cieslak joins head brewer Roger Cuzelis and special projects lead Adam Smith to detail their approach to building these stouts, including: 

  • desiging grists for stouts of varying strengths
  • different base malts for smaller or barrel-aged stouts
  • dialing in water and mash pH to buffer the acidity of dark malts
  • mash temperatures that balance big body with fermentability
  • long boils for stouts small and large
  • layering flavors into smaller stouts
  • balancing higher-gravity and barrel-aged stouts
  • adjusting base stout recipes to balance flavor adjuncts
  • aiming for very high starting gravities and getting more from a massive mash
  • adding malt extracts and sugars for even more gravity
  • managing fermentation to ensure adequate attenuation in big stouts
  • barrel-aging, from sourcing barrels to adjusting recipes to aging and blending
  • considerations for coffee, vanilla, and various other flavor adjuncts
  • ensuring flavor extraction from adjuncts

And more.


Chicago’s Maplewood Brewery & Distillery has earned a strong reputation among its peers for all its beers, including IPAs and lagers, but perhaps especially for its award-winning stout program. Whether it’s the mid-strength core beer Fat Pug, a milk stout of 5.9 percent ABV, or a higher-gravity entry in the Cuppa series—adjuncted and/or barrel-aged—Maplewood has a knack for building in loads of flavor without losing balance.

Adam Cieslak, Roger Cuzelis & Adam Smith

Brewing Team, Maplewood

Course Curriculum

  • 01


    Show Content
    • Introduction

    • About Maplewood: Telling Stories Through Beer

    • Why Do We Like Stouts?

  • 02

    Building Flavorful Small & Mid-Strength Stouts

    Show Content
    • Selecting Grains for Different Stouts

    • Learning Lab: Exploring Dark Malts

    • Dialing in Water and Mash pH for Drinkability

    • John Palmer on Brewing Water

    • Mash Temps and Boil Times

    • The Stout Brewer’s Control Panel

  • 03

    Building Higher-Gravity Stouts

    Show Content
    • Considerations for Higher-Gravity Stouts

    • Achieving that Higher Gravity

    • Gearhead: Monster Mashes & Tuns of Fun

    • Mashing, Fermentability, and Flavors

    • More Perspectives: Bulking Up on Body with Brad Clark of Private Press

  • 04

    Barrel-Aging & Flavor Adjuncts

    Show Content
    • Planning for Barrel-Aging

    • Considerations for Flavor Adjuncts and Extraction

  • 05

    Conclusion, Recipes & Further Reading/Listening

    Show Content
    • Thank You, That’s a Wrap!

    • Beer Review: Maplewood Barrel Aged Cuppa Vanilla Rye (100/100)

    • CB&B Podcast Episode 193: Adam Cieslak of Maplewood Puts a Gentle Spin on Classic Styles

    • Recipe: Maplewood Fat Puggish

    • Recipe: Maplewood Cuppa

    • Bonus Recipe: Maplewood Son of Juice IPA

    • Session Stouts: Big Flavor in Small Packages

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