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Old 12-20-2008, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default Gatos Locos Imperial Stout

I want to do 10 gallons of Imperial Stout for next winter. I'll bottle half, keg half. I plan to tap the keg around September, saving the bottles for when the keg floats (or for an extra year of cellaring ).

I want fruit and chocolate notes, with a moderate roasty character but more subdued than a lot of commercial examples. I also tend to like my big beers fairly dry, so I'm thinking sugar for 5% of the grainbill, mash moderately low and use a highly attenuating English ale strain to provide a fruity, malty character without being cloyingly sweet. I'm not sure which yeast will be better so I figure I'll split the batch and try two different strains.

Batch Size: 10.5 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70% assumed
Targets: OG 1.089, FG 1.021 for 9% ABV, 1.0 IBU:SG ratio (89 IBU).

Grain Bill:
22.75# Maris Otter (65%)
3.5# Munich (10%)
1.75# Carafa III (5%)
1.75# Chocolate, UK, 450L (5%)
1.75# Crystal 60L (5%)
1.75# Crystal 120L (5%)
1.75# Turbinado Sugar (5%)

Mash:
131*F 15
152*F 60

Hops:
2oz Horizon 90
2oz Magnum 90
2oz Goldings 15
1oz Goldings 5

Fermentation:
3L starter of Wyeast 1028 London Ale fermenter #1, 4 weeks @65*F
3L starter of Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley fermenter #2, 4 weeks @65*F

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Old 12-21-2008, 06:40 PM   #2
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let me know how that crazy cat imperial stout turns out

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Old 04-17-2009, 03:50 AM   #3
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Two gallons of starters are going (5L of Thames Valley with O2 and 3L of London Ale ala stir plate). All of the starters blew off last night, I had quite a surprise this morning to clean up! I have the specialty grains ready to mill. 20 gallons of water has been Campden treated. Tomorrow I mill the 30-ish pounds of grain which will fill two bags!

Pics to follow of course!

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Old 04-19-2009, 03:33 AM   #4
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Fly sparged at 1 qt/min. New record efficiency of 89% to kettle BEFORE adding the sugar on this monster. Like my ghetto sparge device?

dsc01751.jpg

Ran off straight to the kettle. I was able to keep the wort at a bare simmer throughout the sparge which was nice. No waiting for the boil! I think I'll be using this technique for all my 10 gallon batches going forward.

dsc01752.jpg

Obligatory boil pic. No, I didn't photoshop my grass. Yes, my neighbor is jealous.

dsc01753.jpg

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Old 04-19-2009, 03:40 AM   #5
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It'd be a shame to waste the last runnings. No problem -- I have an empty Mr. Beer! Topped off and boiled for 30 minutes with some leftover Saaz hops. Pitched the drags of my 1028 starter. In a few days I'll have a nice mild ale.

dsc01754.jpg

Hydro pr0n. 1.100 post-boil gravity

dsc01755.jpg

Who thinks I underpitched? Raise your hand if you think I didn't have enough yeast for 10 gallons. Anyone?? Bueller??? ... didn't think so. London Ale is on the left, off of the stir plate. Thames Valley is on the right, not on stir plate.

dsc01756.jpg

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Old 04-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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The Wyeast 1028 fermenter blew off last night clogging the airlock, I caught it as the lid was bulging and about to pop off!! Gently pulled out the airlock, no mess, great I thought, and then POOF a whole hop that missed my filter hit me in the face and yeast goop sprayed all over my fermentation chamber.

I must say it takes a REALLY vigorous fermentation to blow off WITH FOAM CONTROL DROPS... Sacrificed my racking hose to rig a blowoff setup after cutting the T's from a couple of 3pc airlocks. Good thing I have a spare racking hose.

So far the London Ale 1028 is consuming ice and offgassing almost 2x as fast as the Thames Valley 1275. I swear I didn't put any yeast crack in there..

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Old 05-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #7
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The London Ale WY1028 fermenter attenuated 72% to 1.028 after 5 days for 9.4% ABV. I racked it last night to secondary for two weeks and then I'll keg. The sample was amazingly good... Well balanced hop bitterness and flavor, not overly alcohol hot. Pronounced fruity esters, chocolate malt is accentuated. Sweet but not overly so.

The Thames Valley WY1275 fermenter attenuated 69% to 1.031 after 7 days for 9.1% ABV. I racked it also last night for secondary to drop out the rest of the yeast. The sample tasted young. Hop bitterness is noticeable, more than hop flavor. Less estery, more minerally and complex ester profile. Dark malt is less pronounced and the malt sweetness is more forward than the London Ale version. It is a little harsh and will need more age than the 1028 to round out, I think, so unless things change I'll tap the 1028 first and then tap the 1275 after the 1028 runs dry.

Only age will tell but so far the London Ale version is my favorite. It's only a month old yet if I carbed and served today I think it would be awesome. I'm seriously considering bottling up some to enter in the Inquisition this summer... it'd have a few months to bottle condition before judging.

After these hit the keg they will get a nice, long nap until my Christmas beer comes off the tap in 2010.

Only thing I would change I think is to mash lower... I missed my desired 77% attenuation by a few points. I ended up on the warm side at 153*F for my mash, next time I'll shoot for 150*F.

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Old 10-02-2009, 04:55 PM   #8
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Waiting for my keg of house ale to kick so I can stick this in the fridge...

The other keg, the 1275 one, I think I am gonna throw in an oak barrel and let it age for a few months in there, then back to the keg until next fall.

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Old 10-11-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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Thick.. chewy... very tasty indeed.

I have the fortune of getting a few whiskey barrels this week so I will throw half of this batch into a barrel for a bit to pick up some oak, should by tasty tasty!

Things I would do differently next time.

1) Mash at 150*F
2) Use Wyeast 1762 (Abbey II) or its brother WLP540, the Rochefort yeast. It is rumored to be nice and clean and attenuative but produces a nice big beer that tastes like it is aged when it is young. Both yeasts I used under-attenuated a bit leaving an overly sweet (though still tasty) product.
3) Replace the Carafa III with Carafa II.

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Old 10-19-2009, 12:46 AM   #10
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I just brewed this up today...
O.G. 1.101
Mashed @ 150F

Used a huge starter of Denny's Favorite 50, so we will see how that yeast does... should be little fruity with good attenuation.

Thanks for the recipe...

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