First Russian Imperial....need advice on recipe
What do you all think about this recipe?
13-F Russian Imperial Stout
Author: River 2 River Brewing
Size: 5.52*gal @ 68*°F
Calories: 356.22*kcal per 12.0*fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.106 (1.075 - 1.115)
Terminal Gravity: 1.026 (1.018 - 1.030)
Color: 51.26 (30.0 - 40.0)
Alcohol: 10.55% (8.0% - 12.0%)
Bitterness: 62.7 (50.0 - 90.0)
17.0*lb (75.6%) English 2-row Pale - added during mash
2.5*lb (11.1%) Roasted Barley - added during mash
1.25*lb (5.6%) Special B Malt - added during mash
1.25*lb (5.6%) Chocolate Malt - added during mash
.5*lb (2.2%) Cara-Pils - added during mash
1.75*oz (58.3%) Challenger (8.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60.0*m
1.25*oz (41.7%) Goldings (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 30.0*m
0.5*tsp Wyeast Nutrient - added during boil, boiled 15.0*m
1.0*ea White Labs WLP002 English Ale
4.0*oz Oak Wood Chips - added dry to secondary fermenter
Thinking about letting it sit for 6-8 months at 60 degrees before drinking. Also thinking about keeping 2.5 gallons as regular RIS and other 2.5 aging for a month to a month and a half on medium charred bourbon soaked french oak cubes or chips.
Any thoughts, suggestions, comments, or concerns? I am still new to the BIG BEER game. But I know these babies take a while so I want to start soon and let her sit and simmer while we continue with our faster ales. Any suggestions big or small would be greatly appreciated and I will continue to post on thread throughout process.
I know that it's a safer route to do half/half oak/nonOak and find the right blend when it's ready... I think that's what you said you were thinking of?
1.026 FG sounds pretty sweet though, but I'm guessing it's as high as it should be to balance that high abv / high IBU.... would be total syrup with a lower beer... ;-)
1.026 is a sweet beer, too sweet for many people. Plan on it finishing around 1.022 or lower. In my experience anything beyond 1.022 is going to get comments about being too sweet. If that means reducing the grain bill by a pound or so to keep the ABV in range, then I would do that.
It's not as much about the grain bill as it is two main factors :
Mash temperature : If you want a lot of residual sugars, mash at 68-69 C or close to that. Mash lower for less residual. If you use beersmith, lower by one degree and check the effect it has on FG. Even if the estimate is unreliable, it gives you an idea. (I know only Celcius)... Have a good thermometer because you go from dry to sweet just from 63 C to 69 C...
Yeast: WLP002 is a pretty low attenuator... Some other English style yeast are a little better. Be sure to select one with decent alcohol tolerance.
Also, if you bottle condition, be prepared to add fresh yeast of preferably the same strain and condition it to alcohol first...
p.s. Of course about the grain bill, if you do attenuate more, it means more alcohol so you do have to lower the grain bill a little bit...
Again, with that high abv and hops, 1.026 might not even feel that sweet, but personally I'd aim for 1.020-1.022...
The reason I recommend lowering the grain bill is that if he is going to have it finish at a 1.022, his RIS is going to be even stronger. When I make recipes I shoot for an ABV number with a FG that fits the recipe, and then build up to the OG from there.
I'd mash this RIS at 152-153 to have a rich mouthfeel. Going too lower would make this too thin for an RIS. With a different type of beer I would go as low as 148, but not here.
You're right about WLP002. Getting it to drop a beer .080 gravity points isn't easy...that's why I would drop the OG. His current recipe is solidly above the halfway mark in ABV for the style, and dropping down to a 1.095 OG won't hurt the beer. If anything it will end with it being more drinkable since WLP002 should be able to drop it from there to a 1.020-1.022 without too much coaxing.
Side Note - This is what I love about brewing, so many ways to end up at the same destination. For instance, if I had a yeast cake of WLP002 from a Bitter to dump this on, then I would absolutely leave the OG up there. It would finish low with that big of a starter, and I'd have a nice 12%er to age on oak for a while.
I agree with 100% of what you just said and my p.s. was indeed about the final alcohol rising when lowering the FG...
I'm guessing a RIS might be a good beer to ferment on the medium to higher recommended temperature range for the yeast...? I'm thinking the added fruitiness might age pretty well and add an interesting complexity... Never made one yet but it's gonna be one of the next 3 brews...
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