Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Russian Imperial Stout-2009

Jason and I whipped through a semi-impromptu brewday yesterday. We are focusing on brewing RIS' that attempt to simplify and improve upon prior attempts, dialing in the recipe and techniques that will hopefully generate bottles that we feel compelled to paradoxically both hoard from and shove in to the hands of fellow beer nerds.

Cutting out the maltodextrin, lactose, flaked barley and carapils. Going to get the sweetness/mouthfeel by tweaking other aspects of the recipe:
Increasing the oats and not using debittered black patent this time. More high SRM grain. Using Special B to compliment the D2. Adding some crystal80 to provide a rounder caramel/ sweetness flavor profile. Using a larger bittering charge for a higher IBU, as this was lacking a bit in the last iteration, and I suspect will continue to fall too far in to the background over the years. Oh, and did all grain vs. partial mash.

Our goals for this beer: beefy viscous mouth-coating body that would easily satisfy with a ~6 ounce pour. Rich french roasty/espresso coffee with malty background of dark stewed fruits, complimented with (an american medium toasted oak cubes provided) vanilla smoothness. Thinking about adding espresso beans in the secondary with the oak. Want this to be drinking great at 1 year, even better at 2-5 years.

Used a whopping 2 3/4 lbs of steel cut oats that had been slowly cooked for 1.5 hours to proper gelatinize the starches. Allowed to cool to ~145, so as to not throw off the mash temp too wildly.

I definitely overextended the proper capacity of the 10 gallon mash tun, and got a super slow trickle out of the tun after recirculating about 1 gallon of wort. Had to remove some of the grain, add in about 2 gallons of 180F sparge water, stir, stir, stir...finally got her to open up and start flowing, but by then, I suspect that only a portion/one side of the bazooka tube was actually cleared. Once the good flow was established, and the levels dropped back down enough in the mash tun, I then added the grain back. So, not an ideal sparge, at all. Took over an hour.
Seems that the oatmeal can turn to absolute glue when the temperatures run lower than 150F.

I will stick to 5 gallon batch of higher gravity brewing with my 10 gallon tun from now on.

Given the intention of extended aging, we made only bittering additions with relatively high alpha hops from the stash in my freezer for the ~90 minute boil. Where I don't think anyone would have any qualms with the simcoe or amarillo additions, I hope hope hope that the anecdotally resilient sorachi ace lemon-y aroma/flavor will have boiled off as it really doesn't have a place in a RIS.

The Nottingham yeast has served me well in the past with the wedding oatmeal stout and hopefully will allow the malt and complimentary bitterness to stand in the foreground, provide proper and full attenuation. Used two 11 gram packets in 7.25 gallons of collected wort. The wort was chilled down to 72F, and then continued to cool to 68F in a cooling water bath overnight. We will do a mid-primary fermentation addition of the D2 (boiled in 2 quarts of water to sanitize, then cooled) in the hope that this will help assure attenuation.

Imperial Stout

Type: All Grain

Date: 10/12/2009

Batch Size: 7.50 gal

Brewer: JC
Boil Size: 9.03 gal Asst Brewer: Jason
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: My Equipment


Amount Item Type % or IBU
20 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 66.12 %
2 lbs 12.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 9.09 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz D2 Belgian Syrup (200.0 SRM) Grain 4.96 %
1 lbs Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 3.31 %
1 lbs Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 3.31 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 3.31 %
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 3.31 %
1 lbs Chocolate Wheat Malt (400.0 SRM) Grain 3.31 %
1 lbs Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 3.31 %
2.00 oz Sorachi ace [12.30 %] (90 min) Hops 38.4 IBU
1.50 oz Simcoe [12.90 %] (90 min) Hops 33.5 IBU
4.00 oz Amarillo Gold [9.30 %] (90 min) Hops 64.5 IBU

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