Cider Recipe – Mega Man Milk Stout

20 Jun

Mega Man capsThe Holy Grail I’m seeking is an easy, gluten-free homebrew recipe that tastes like actual beer. Someday, I may make a beer with gluten-free grains like sorghum or rice. However, cider is so much easier to make (fewer variables, readily-available ingredients, no cooking involved) that I’d rather make a cider that tastes like beer than start over with a new, more complicated process.

The Mega Man Milk Stout is roughly 7.5% alcohol and shows some real progress towards faking beer. With a blend of coffee, honey, and vanilla, it lands somewhere on the taste spectrum between a traditional milk stout and an espresso porter. The coffee flavor jumps out at you, and the addition of lactose and maltodextrin give it some sweetness and extra body. If not for the light color of the finished product, most people would never realize this was apple cider at all.

Why Mega Man? Caffeine and alcohol usually do make me start jumping through factories and shooting robots in the face, but that’s just a coincidence. I wanted an excuse to use Mega Man’s charming mug on some cider labels. “Mega Man Milk Stout,” I said to myself, and it was catchy enough that I just had to make it.

  • 5 gallons Kirkland apple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup wildflower honey
  • 3 cups (24 oz.) brewed coffee
  • 2 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 2 Camden tablets (150 ppm)
  • 1 packet wine yeast (I used Red Star Côte des Blancs yeast)
  • Dissolved in two cups of water and added right before bottling:
    • 2/3 cup priming sugar
    • 1 cup lactose
    • ½ cup maltodextrin
  • Follow standard brewing procedures.

Painted bottles

A caffeinated alcoholic beverage endorsed by a robot seemed well-suited to my repainted Coca-Cola bottles. Capcom could make a mint selling these in Japanese vending machines.


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  1. marybeth.fedor

    06/23/2010 at 11:20 am

    I’m in love with your website! I shall promote it in my IM and Facebook :)
    See ya Friday, can’t wait for the cider!

  2. McCaul

    06/23/2010 at 1:11 pm

    Wow! Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

  3. becon776

    02/10/2011 at 8:53 pm

    O.k. you say add 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup honey then say follow standard brewing proc so my question is do I add the 4 cups sugar as prescribed in standard brewing??? Hoping you can get back to me soon hana.

  4. Drew

    02/11/2011 at 7:05 pm

    Becon776, you only need the brown sugar and honey for this recipe. If you add four more cups of sugar, the cider will have a much higher final alcohol content (around 10%). When I say “standard brewing procedures,” I just mean the step-by-step instructions in the post about the Shane Classic (below the Shane Classic recipe). I may split it into a separate post for clarity. Thanks for reading!

  5. becon776

    04/06/2011 at 3:46 pm

    haha… well i ended it adding the extra cups of dextrose… oh well mega man will have a little bit more of a stagger.. haha.. hope it comes out palatable. gonna rack for the third and final time for a few days and add a clarifying agent (isinglass) as the yeast in this batch seems to love to be suspended should be ready for bottling and the further additions within a couple weeks.

  6. Kannan

    09/12/2012 at 4:59 pm

    Since your goal is to produce something that tastes like beer, perhaps you’ll find my recent experimental recipe to be useful, since that’s exactly what it produces.

    Sor-Yum MTS (Mead Type Stuff)

    Pure Sorghum (sold here much like molasses) Use 1quart per gallon of brew.
    Spring water
    yeast (I use Red Star Côte des Blancs)
    yeast nutrient (I buy mine from a local homebrew store, but since you seem to use raisins, stick with those)
    2/3 cup of brown sugar for priming.

    Since sorghum is much like molasses and honey in its consistency, place the jars into water and bring it to a boil. this will heat the sorghum and make it easier to pour and mix.

    Pour the heated sorghum into the water and mix thoroughly (I use a paint mixer attachment for my drill, works wonders) allow to cool and pitch the yeast and add nutrient. leave it alone for about two weeks, then rack, stir in your priming sugar, and bottle. let sit for another two weeks, then refrigerate it. Should be good to drink once cold. I ended up with about 10% ABV on my attempt. I know you originally said you wanted a cider that tasted like beer, but tasting this will give you an idea of how the pure sorghum works in a brew and you can then incorporate it into your ciders until you find something perfectly to your taste.