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Old 10-22-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
BrotherBock
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Default Help with Russian Imperial Stout Recipe - Cocoa, bourbon, Chocolate

This is what I've come up with after looking at various RIS recipes, including the Great Divide Yeti Imperial. I want it complex, with a lot of body and a heavy roast/coffee flavor and some chocolate notes. I'm also contemplating making it a bourbon/coffee and/or chocolate imperial, hence the oak smoked wheat. I'd add cocao nibs, cold steeped coffee and/or bourbon soaked oak chips/cubes during secondary at some point. My thought was that the oaked smoke will give it a little extra push in the oak department. I'm also assuming that smoke flavor (as little as it will be anyway) will greatly subside after 6+ months in the bottle. I know there's a lot going on in terms of the grain bill and often simplicity is best, but I'm operating from some info from this byo article as well (http://byo.com/blended-beers/item/1337-russian-imperial-stout-tips-from-the-pros). Any thoughts on the recipe or secondary advice? I may split it and do some coffee, some cocoa and some bourbon then maybe mixing some at bottling. Or just do one for the whole thing. Ideas?

Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 4.25 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.100
IBU (rager): 85.67
6.9 lb Maris Otter Pale - 57.5%
1.2 lb Oak Smoked Wheat - 10%
1.02 lb Rye - 8.5%
0.36 lb Roasted Barley (300L) - 3%
0.6 lb Brown Sugar - 5%
0.6 lb Chocolate Rye- 5%
0.6 lb De-Husked Carafa III- 5%
0.36 lb Special B -3%
0.36 lb CaraMunich (60L) 3%
some rice hulls as well

1.3 oz Northern Brewer 7.8% @ 60 min- 70.71 ibus
1 oz East Kent Goldings 5% @ 15 min - 9.31 ibus
1 oz East Kent Goldings 5% @ 5 min - 5.66 ibus

Mash @ 152-54?
Wyeast - British Ale 1098



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Old 12-04-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
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Just put a similar recipe in primary a few days ago. Similar in that I used 7+ different malt and decided to toss in some cocoa and plan to add some cold brewed coffee to the 2nd maybe with some oak as well. I'm curious how the oak smoked wheat went for you at that quantity, I almost tossed in some smoke malt as well and considered rye but just went with flaked barley.



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Old 12-04-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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Something to keep in mind -- the LHBS told me to avoid oak CUBES if I want oak flavor and go with something like spirals or flakes for flavor, due to the larger surface area of the spirals and cubes.

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Old 12-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #4
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I just recently did a big RIS. 5 gallons of it, at a 1.125 OG. Finished at 1.030. I aged in on oak cubes soaked in pappy van winkle for close to 4 months.

I like cubes for extended aging, they give a MUCH better oak flavor and if soaked in spirits do a good job at transferring it to the beer. I'd avoid chips, they become very oaky and very tannic extremely quick. You'd be best to age this beer for a while, and leaving it on cubes would work the best otherwise you have to transfer the beer from the chips within a week probably to avoid a ****ty flavor. Spirals would work, but again, they say 6-8 weeks MAX for oak extraction.. I'd want to go longer.

Where to start:

The smoked wheat I would pretty much get rid of. You aren't going to get the "oak" flavor you want from barrel aging for the smoked oak wheat. You'll get the smoke flavor akin to a smoked beer. Think BBQ smoke flavor, not oak flavor like in a bourbon barrel beer. If you want smoke, go for it, but 10% smoked malt in a beer would be very overpowering.

I'd probably up the Roasted barley myself, and also look at some Black Patent malt in there to get the ashy, sharp bitter roast note in there too. The Rye would work at giving you some nice spice. The Chocolate Rye won't offer much chocolate notes though if thats what you are going for. I'd drop it in favor of some more chocolate malt.

I'd look at adding Flaked oats for a good smooth oily mouthfeel. You want the beer to finish high, and you don't want it too thick tasting, but slick enough that it fools you. The brown sugar will do nothing but bump the ABV and thin the beer, so don't expect to get much else from that as well.

If you want more Chocolate notes to the beer, add 2:1 Chocolate Malt : Pale Chocolate malt.

Special B will give you the dark fruit flavors, but I'd also look at adding some 80-90L Crystal to give you the deep caramel notes that are present in the style too.

IBU's look okay I guess, I used tinseth and shoot for 90-95 IBU's, with one addition at 90 minutes, and the other around 20-30.

I'd mash around 154-155 myself, and mash for 75-90 minutes. Plan to boil no less than 90 min, IMO.

If you are going to coffee, I'd use whole beans, crushed in secondary and do it for a couple days before you bottle. It'll fade over time so keep that in mind.

If you want chocolate, use the above grist to get more chocolate notes, or age the beer on cocoa nibs. You can add cocoa powder to the boil at 10-15min left as well. Nibs will give you a good option to add to just a portion though.

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Old 12-04-2013, 08:18 PM   #5
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My first RIS is in the fermenter, so take my input accordingly:

6.9 lb Maris Otter Pale - 57.5%: Perfect

1.2 lb Oak Smoked Wheat - 10%: Eliminate it. Smoke a cigar while enjoying the finished beer instead. Replace with flaked oats or oat malt or Simpsons golden naked oats (a personal favorite of mine in many styles) or 5% more rye and 5% of a 80-90 crystal for complexity

1.02 lb Rye - 8.5%: I'm a fan in dark beers, really think it fits your complexity desire

0.36 lb Roasted Barley (300L) - 3%: consider increasing to 5%

0.6 lb Brown Sugar - 5%: ok

0.6 lb Chocolate Rye- 5%: replace with Pale Chocolate for added dimension of chocolate flavor

0.6 lb De-Husked Carafa III- 5%: replace with Chocolate malt. I consider Carafa for dark beers with a reduced roast impact. You want the roast impact

0.36 lb Special B -3%: ok, but I'd increase to 5%
0.36 lb CaraMunich (60L) 3%: same as above, I'd increase to 5%

some rice hulls as well

1.3 oz Northern Brewer 7.8% @ 60 min- 70.71 ibus 1 oz East Kent Goldings 5% @ 15 min - 9.31 ibus 1 oz East Kent Goldings 5% @ 5 min - 5.66 ibus

I wouldn't bother with the 5 minute addition. Dry hop after aging if you find it needs some hop character. I also like hops which call out a blackberry or currant character in their descriptors for roast forward beers. Branding Cross is a go-to for me. My RIS also got some Pacific Gem.

Mash @ 152-54? Wyeast - British Ale 1098

I'd either mash at 150 or switch to a dryer strain like WLP007, not sure of the Wyeast equivalent. Another option is increasing the brown sugar. With your current 5% sugar, 152-154 and 1098, I'd guess you'll struggle to reach 70% apparent attenuation and end up quite high FG. The rye (and oats if you go that path) will already aid in providing some substance to the mouthfeel.

I like your idea of first making a solid base beer and then manage oak, cocoa or such in secondary after an opportunity to assess what will complement it.

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Old 12-04-2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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Looks like FatCity and I are on similar pages. He just typed faster than me.

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately I brewed this about a month ago. I think its going to be really good. Here's the recipe I ended up using. I decided to simplify things a little.

Batch Size: 2.25 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.085
Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV (standard): 9
IBU (rager): 72.51

FERMENTABLES:
4.64 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (55.6%)
1.6 lb - American - Rye (19.2%)
0.4 lb - American - Black Patent (4.8%)
0.4 lb - German - Chocolate Rye (4.8%)
0.32 lb - American - Roasted Barley (3.8%)
0.32 lb - Belgian - Special B (3.8%)
0.16 lb - German - CaraMunich III (1.9%)
8 oz - Dry Malt Extract - Pilsen (6%)

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Northern Brewer, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 9.6, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 47.19
0.6 oz - Chinook, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 10, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 15.75
0.6 oz - Chinook, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 10, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 9.57

1/2 and 1/2 wyeast 1098 w/ safale 04 - 220 billion cells (1.25mil/ml/p)

I didn't get the efficiency I wanted so I had to add some DME. But its turning out. I racked it onto 1 oz of bourbon soaked french oak chips two days ago. The chips are darker and pretty small so I'm carefully monitoring it to get the flavor I want. When transferring it I got a lot of dark fruit flavors (fig/plum). The roast and bitterness I think are good and there is a definite alcohol warming. I dumped the chips in with the 2-3 shots of bourbon it was soaking in. Everyday it tastes better. The oak and bourbon are gonna go good with the dark fruit.

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Old 12-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #8
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Looks good by me!

Glad you nixed that oak smoaked malt @ 10%.. Yowza that would have been smokey and bleh.

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Old 12-07-2013, 11:50 PM   #9
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Default MMMmmmmmmmm smoke

I love smoke. It's rarely ever too much for me. Plus oak is so much mellower and smoother than rauch, I thought 10% would faint enough for me. I did a gratzer (100% oak smoked wheat malt) and it was super smokey but surprisingly drinkable.

But in the end I got rid of it just cause I wasn't sure if it would clash too much. Round two will be a smoked imperial stout.

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Old 12-08-2013, 12:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherBock View Post
I love smoke. It's rarely ever too much for me. Plus oak is so much mellower and smoother than rauch, I thought 10% would faint enough for me. I did a gratzer (100% oak smoked wheat malt) and it was super smokey but surprisingly drinkable.

But in the end I got rid of it just cause I wasn't sure if it would clash too much. Round two will be a smoked imperial stout.
Look for a commercial example, I just recently had a Cigar City's Humidor English Style Smoked Stout aged on Cedar.

Great body, great beer, loved the smoke, but coupled with the cedar made it very peppery and smokey and almost ashtray like.


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