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Thread: Imperial Stout

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    San Diego, CA

    Imperial Stout

    I live here in San Diego home of two the the worlds best Imperial Stouts, Alesmiths Speedway Stout, Stones IRS. I am currently brewing on a 7 Bbl system & do a nice oatmeal stout but never before brewed the granddaddy. I am looking for ideas on xtra dark crystal, chocolate, and roasted barley percentages. Don't want to clone my neighbors, I was shooting for more of the flavor of raison plums you might find in Sam Smiths with the roasty notes of Ratsputin. O.G. of 1.098 Ibu's in the 80's. Please let me know your thoughts and maltsters! Thanks Dean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Stavanger Norway
    If you want to go bold focus on the foam color, think to yourself you want to make it have dark brown foam.

    These beers can be scary to make, they often dont taste correct until a few weeks pass by, they may seem overly harsh and all the sudden begin to smooth out and become more balanced, and still be a bold intense beer.

    I use loads of specialty malts when making a beer like this, almost more specialty malts than base malts.
    I would include at least these malts- roasted barley, Chocolate malt, Carafa I, dark crystal (I like Caraaroma from weyermann) If you can find brown malt from an English malter its a good toastyness to have in there. I find these beers balance well with loads of US hop varieties.

    I usually use twice the amount of chocolate malt compared to roasted barley

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Dexter, MI USA
    Hello Dean,

    Oh boy, Imperial Stout! Years ago I brewed one that we offered as a cask conditioned beer available year round. A favorite trick; roughly 15-25% I.S. and top with cask conditioned bitter. Oh my, what a treat! I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it! I made a super delicious Belgian styled Stout this year. Sort of similar to I.S. but a little lower in Alc content (8.1 by vol), and used a Belgian yeast strain of course. I generally like a leaner (more highly attenuated) I.S. than most brew. I'm fussy that way, I guess. So I tend to aim for a lowish mash temp, 148* or so. And heck, this is the Midwest, so I like an IBU range of 35-50.
    Michael is right about the flavors taking time to meld as well. I matured my stout in oak for a month before bottling, and gave it another month in the bottle before we offered it for sale. Six months later, it was only better.
    I was looking for a dry smoky roasty-ness so;
    Roast malt: 10-15%
    Very dark crystal: 3-5%
    Munich 20 or 40: 5-10%
    Black malt: 1-3%
    Dark candi sugar: 5-10%
    And some pale and pils malt mixed to 60% or so.
    You could of course vary this base recipe quite a bit!
    Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    San Diego, CA

    Organic Imperial Stout Update

    Well, It's been a few weeks since brew day and the stout is aging nicely. After much discussion with Ron at Jolly Pumkin and Jamil our award winning homebrewer in Quaff, I settled on a OR of 23 P +- 1097 with Ibu's upward of 85+, using 100% organic ingredients. I am sending it to the lab to have the alcohol and Ibu's analyzed, color jet black! Brewing was smooth only problem was attenuation stopped at 8 P ( first gen yeast but double pitched), so I racked off from a low gravity American Wheat beer of some WLP 001 leaving it all in the bottom of my fementers shallow cone, racked over some Amber adjusted to 12 P from the first of two batches to fill 14 Bbl fermenter, added 10 gallons of amber to yeast cake and let sit over night. Next morning yeast cake was started then proceeded to transfer stout into second fermenter with a touch of Oxygen. Added about 1.5 Bbl's first time waiting to see gravity get below 5 P and then continued transfering over more until the last transfer of 2 Bbl were left 3 days later. Final gravity around 3.5 P maybe lower since I left it to sit another day for diacetyl rest. Now two weeks cellared with gelatin and gonna transfer some into the oak from my friend Jack and see how it comes out. Additionally racked off two 10 gallon batches and pitched with different belgian strains per Rons suggestion at GABF. Look for a taste at this years Pizza Port Stronge Ale Festival!!
    San Diego Brewing Co. Red Star Organic Imperial Stout
    Cheers Dean

    Thanks Ron!! Great Beer too

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