Small batch imperial stout

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Small batch imperial stout

Postby Brycey » Fri Aug 19, 2016 21:42

I would like to try an imperial stout. I've only ever brewed pales,pilsners and wheats. I've come up with this and would appreciate some feedback. It's for a 10 litre batch assuming 65% efficiency.

3kg marris otter
150g chocolate malt
100g roasted barley
100g flaked oats
100g wheat
500g brown sugar
According to beersmith this should come out at 9.36%.
The only hops I've got are all fruity American or sazz and tettnang. I've got loads of magnum that i use for bittering if this is any good. Preferably one hop would be good to keep the cost down. Yeast suggestions would also be appreciated.
My plan is to split this into two demijons and add coco nibs to one and maybe vanilla or whisky soaked oak chips in the other. Suggestions on how long to leave these in the demijons would also be good. It will then be bottled in 330ml bottles and left to age.

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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby rats_eyes » Fri Aug 19, 2016 21:59

This osunds like it will work. The sugar addition should help your yeast to fight it's way through all of the fermentables.

I've used magnum to good effect in imperial stouts, i'd recommend it. If you want a fruity american hop flavour, be prepared to use tons of them late in the boil. This can be achieved if you want it, but the hop flavour will die during the inevitable aging period.

I've used oak cubes (from sherry casks) before in an RIS. I used 100g of cubes in 9 litres of RIS and left them in secondary for 3 months. This left a strong oak character, lots of vanilla (might negate the need to add vanilla itself?). I'm hoping that the oak character will fade during conditioning, time will tell. Chips will be different though, as they have greater surface area.
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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby Brycey » Fri Aug 19, 2016 23:31

What sort of IBU's should i be looking for?.
Would i use Magnum all the way or just for bittering?
I'd rather keep the American hops for pales. I'd be happy to buy another for this any suggestions on a hop that will suit the style?

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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby rats_eyes » Sat Aug 20, 2016 00:43

A bittering charge of magnum at the start of the boil should be enough for the whole batch in my opinion. The amount you want depends how much sweetness you think you'll be left with after fermentation, so take into account your mash temperature and how hungry you think your yeast is likely to be. I've aimed for around 90 IBUs with my last few and this has worked well to my taste.
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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby legionuk » Sat Aug 20, 2016 00:55

It depends what yr trying to achieve but I think it could do with a fair bit more roasted malt. Looking at the 3 RIS recipes in modern homebrew recipes and for 10l they have 725, 537 and 907 grand of roasted malt respectively. Compared to 250g in your recipe.

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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby Brycey » Sat Aug 20, 2016 08:21

I'm not that fond of really roasty stouts. I would rather the chocolate and a little coffee shine through.

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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby robwalker » Sat Aug 20, 2016 09:57

I did a similar thing in January.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9547&p=129132&hilit=Imperial#p127169

Fantastic beer. Hard to go wrong with Russian imperials but don't set your heart on a specific OG and you'll be fine.

Magnum is ideal for bittering. Prepare for significant ageing if you can - at 7.8% and 8 months mine has matured wonderfully.
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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby Brycey » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:36

How long did you leave yours on the whisky chips for?

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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby robwalker » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:57

About a month, 2g per litre soaked in whisky. Obvious but not too in your face
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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby Brycey » Tue Oct 18, 2016 21:02

I've finally got around to ordering the ingredients for this.
It will be my first time using roast malts. I've noticed some people cold steep them and others just mash as normal. I'm looking for some advice on the best way forward. Also as this is just a small batch with only a couple of hundred grams of of roasted malt what sort of ratio of water would i use for a cold steep?

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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby f00b4r » Tue Oct 18, 2016 21:47

robwalker wrote:About a month, 2g per litre soaked in whisky. Obvious but not too in your face


I have seen people say that using oak like this will mellow with age so if you overdo it it will fade anyway, given that a RIS might want to be aged a year or two does the oak character start disappearing after a certain period?
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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby Brycey » Mon Oct 31, 2016 21:01

Brewed this up on Sunday.
I added an extra 100g each of roast barley and chocolate malt. I ended up with an og of 1.080 with a couple of extra litres of wort, so a little tweaking needed if i brew this size of batch again. As mentioned above this will be split into two demi 's . One onto whiskey soaked oak and the other will be going on cocoa nibs and cherries. Can anyone suggest how much cocoa nibs i should be using?
I'm thinking i should rack onto the cherries before it's finished fermentation so that the yeast can go to work on the sugars, would this be correct?

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Re: Small batch imperial stout

Postby Brycey » Sat Nov 18, 2017 20:41

Just cracked the first whiskey and oak one of these tonight. It's damn good. Really smooth,not harsh at all. The whiskey and oak are coming through nicely.

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