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Old 07-14-2009, 10:50 PM   #1
muenchk
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Default Advice on a Stone Russian Imperial Stout PM?

I'm about to embark on my first ever Russian Imperial Stout. Heck, it's only my 3rd brew. The first was an extract +grain Belgian white and the second an extract +grain Trappist Ale. Both turned out fine. And I love Stone RIS...so what the heck. I got the recipe from BYO magazine and wanted to know if anyone has any hints.

I've got 3 main questions.

1- Do I really have to boil the DME in 6 gallons of water? Can't I just boil in my regular 3 gallons and then add cold water in the 6.5 gal carboy?
2- If I make a 3qt starter, can I just pitch the whole thing? Or should I strain of the wort and just pitch the yeast
3- Can I aerate the starter? ie, shake the crap out of the 3 quart starter right before pitching? Or will it damage the yeast somehow?
4- I got Crystal 40 instead of Amber Malt, then realized Amber Malt is just 2-row baked. Should I use the Crystal or will it change the taste dramatically.
5- Any advice!! It's one heck of a OG!

Here is the recipe
Russian Imperial Stout
PM
OG- 1.096, FG- 1.020
IBU= 90+, SRM 74, ABV 10%

9 lbs of Light DME
2 lbs of amber malt
1.25 roasted barley
8 oz black malt
30 AAU Warrior Hops (60 mins)
WLP002 (English Ale Yeast) – 3qt starter
7/8 cup corn sugar- Priming

PM grains at 150 in 6qts water for 45 minutes
Add water to make 6 gals
Add DME, bring to boil
Aerate, pitch yeast.
Ferment at 68deg

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Old 07-14-2009, 11:10 PM   #2
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I have the AG version of this in a closet right now waiting for winter. I don't know much about Partial mash brewing but for the starter, I would actually wait until you do your brew and take 3L of the actual wort and let your yeast eat that for 1-2 days and then you can pitch the whole thing when your ready.

In the mean time you can stabilize the temp of your fermentor and get it ready. I would actually suggest making a bigger starter because with a large percentage of your fermentables coming from extract you will need all the help you can get to get down to 1.020, especially if you plan to use WLP002.

I mashed at 149-150 and used about a 4-4.5L starter and went from 1.095 to 1.020 with WLP002.

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Old 07-15-2009, 02:45 AM   #3
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You might want to make a pale ale and pitch this on the yeast cake; thats what I did for my RIS.

As for the PM and boil volume go as big as you can and keep in mind 9 lbs of DME is going to take up a LOT of room in the boil kettle.

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Old 07-15-2009, 03:18 AM   #4
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maybe save half the dme as a late addition?

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help, all.

human_brewing...is your RIS bottled in the closet? Or are you're going to make it in the winter? I had never thought of doing a starter with the actual wort. It kinda makes sense, I guess. The rest of the wort just sits in the primary until the starter is ready, then?

RC and deepsouth...thanks. I had completely ignored the fact that 9lbs of dme is going to take up so much space,

I also read somewhere that White Labs recommends late additions a few days after the fermentation has kicked in. It somehow helps attenuation?? I can't find the reco on their site.

This late adding might be the thing that works for me. Any idea how best to do it? Should I just brew half the wort, chuck it in, then a few days later do the same?

thanks again!

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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i'd kill the flame with about 20 minutes left in the boil and then add it, stir it up and crank the heat back on for 20 minutes.

if it were a lighter colored beer, i'd add it at the very end.

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Old 07-15-2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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Or go for a 2 pot boil or a split boil. boil as much as you can with 1/2 the DME and hops add that to the primary then second boil the rest of the DME for 15 mins and add it.

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Old 07-15-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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Don't do a limited boil. Their RIS has close to 100 IBUs. Even if you do half the boil, and add the rest of the extract at the end to keep your utilization high, you'll dilute to 50 IBUs (since 100 is about the soluble limit), and then your beer will finish sweeter than the real thing. I think the 6G boil is pretty key.

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Old 07-16-2009, 04:05 AM   #9
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Maybe I'm just being a cheapa$$ and should just fork over the money for the bigger pot. It's about $70 for a 7.5 gallon pot. I'm hoping this is big enough??

I don't want to reduce the IBU's...although to be honest I don't understand why it would do so. I'll just trust you on it.

What about the Multiple Step Fermentation that White Labs supposedly recommends? Adding more wort as the days go on?

Thanks again for all the help.

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Old 07-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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go bigger than 7.5!

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