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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Belgian Imperial Stout Help
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:45 PM   #1
CTownBrewer
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Default Belgian Imperial Stout Help

I've been doing a lot of research on these forums on a Dark Lord RIS clone & came up with what I think is a decent recipe. The problem I just ran into is that I tried Weyerbacher Belgian Imperial Stout this past weekend & loved it. Now the wheels are turning in my head about adding some Belgian characteristics to the Dark Lord clone recipe.

I'd prefer not to alter my fermentables that much since I already have the ingredients. I'm just wondering how any of you more experienced brewers think using some Belgian Dark Candi Sugar & Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity Yeast will mesh with a 15 minute licorice addition, plus adding some vanilla & bourbon aged oak chips to the secondary? I've never worked with licorice or oak chips, & only used vanilla once, so I'm a little nervous.

I honestly have no idea if the flavors will work or if this would potentially be a disaster. This is my first high gravity beer, so I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

I was also thinking of making a Belgian Dark Strong Ale & then pitching the new wort on that leftover Trappist yeast cake. Is this a good/bad idea?

Any help/suggestions would be great!

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Old 12-20-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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I had a similar thought a few months ago and brewed a RIS with WL 530 (I think the same strain as yours) and added 1# of dark candi sugar after about 5 days when fermentation slowed. It's currently racked onto some french oak cubes and some port wine so I haven't been able to try the finished product yet but for what its worth the samples have tasted more like a belgian strong dark ale than RIS, not that I mind. 530 gave me 81% attenuation so it might be a little thinner than most Imperial stouts, going from 1.098 to 1.017.

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:15 AM   #3
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I just made a RIS and did it partiglye style. My second runnings (OG 1.069) were used to make a stout with WLP 570. I did a sugar addition during fermentation and it is still fermenting away.

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:26 AM   #4
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I can tell you about some of the flavors...I just made a 1.085 OG to 1.018 FG belgian imperial stout with WLP500 (actually I cultured chimay), I used 2# DARK candi sugar added icrementally. I split the 9 gallon batch.

1 batch sat for 2 months of 4 oz toasted oak chips soaked in 10 oz bourbon
1 batch was racked unto 5# blackberries purried with a bottle of merlot

both beers are quite good, but the imperial bourbon oak belgian stout is really, really good. To be honest, the belgian yeast really didn't bring that much to the table, maybe a slight earthiness that works well with the oak......I fermented at 65 and graduated it to 73 degrees. I think the big roasty, toasty flavors mask the yeast a bit.

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Old 12-21-2010, 04:26 AM   #5
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Personally I don't get into dumping Belgian yeasts into anything, but I know it's all the rage right now...

I think you're putting way too many flavors together. You have the dark candi flavors, malt, hops, esters, vanilla, oak, licorice and burbon. That is a lot of flavors to try to blend together. I think you're risking a disaster, especially if you don't have experience working with several of them. If I were you, I would probably brew the imperial stout, add the dark candi as fermentation slows and then add one addition at a time to make sure you let the flavor blend and you can see if something else would taste good in it or if you should stop there.

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Old 12-21-2010, 11:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
Personally I don't get into dumping Belgian yeasts into anything, but I know it's all the rage right now...
Go sit in the back of the classroom

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
I think you're putting way too many flavors together. You have the dark candi flavors, malt, hops, esters, vanilla, oak, licorice and burbon. That is a lot of flavors to try to blend together. I think you're risking a disaster, especially if you don't have experience working with several of them.
What he said, you have too much going on at once and add the syrup the last 5-10mins of boil.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions! I appreciate it.

I think I'll make the imperial stout with dark candi sugar additions & Trappist yeast, minus the licorice addition since I've never used it before. Then once it's time for the secondary, I'll split the batch & rack one over the vanilla & bourbon soaked oak chips & leave the other as is. That way, I'm only out half the beer if it doesn't turn out well.

I asked SWMBO for two 3-gallon glass carboys for Christmas, so lets hope she comes through! Unfortunately, she wants me to brew a fruit beer (maybe a raspberry brown) before the stout, so I don't know when I'll get to this one.

Cheers

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