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Old 12-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
inhousebrew
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Default Questions for designing a Russian Imperial Stout

Here's my take on a end of the year Russian Imperial Stout. I've somehow yet to write a stout recipe of any kind so any advice here would be helpful. I'm targeting 65% efficiency which is on the lower end of the spectrum for our system and should land us somewhere between 1.090 and 1.100 with ~85 IBUs. Some friends and I are also tossing around the idea of cocoa nibs, oak and someone is pulling for some kind of hot pepper but I'm not so sure.

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
15 lbs Stout Malt (1.8 SRM) Grain 1 75.0 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.3 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Roasted Barley, NBer's English (550.0 SRM) Grain 3 6.3 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.0 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.8 %
12.0 oz Special B (147.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.8 %
2.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 87.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg London Ale Yeast with big starter.

Questions:

1. Roasted malts: are there enough? a good balance?
2. Stout malt: anyone use it before?
3. Mash Temp: I was thinking lower to get good fermentability. Maybe 150-152*.
4. do hot peppers equal a terrible idea? I'm pretty hesitant to mess with that but someone is pushing for it.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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I think your recipe is nice, a good grain bill and mash temp. Probably wont need nibs with all that roast. Oak is always a good idea. I personally dont like pepper beers, but they are popular right now and there is a ton of good info. I am pretty curious about that stout malt myself.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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I don't know anything about stout malt, but Maris Otter is an excellent base for an RIS. Your RB looks good, your chocolate might be high but would negate need for nibs if you want that prominent. Outside of the stout malt, mine had the exact same ingredients.

I oaked mine in secondary with 1.5 oz medium toast cubes (and an oz or two of bourbon) for 6 weeks. Plenty oak flavor actually, but I think it will meld perfectly next year which is when I wanted to consume most of this batch (18-24 months from brewing).

If you wanted to try pepper, split your batch off into a 1 gallon glass carboy and add pepper to that. Might be good, but if its bad you limit the exposure.

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Old 12-05-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
inhousebrew
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I might do something like this. Maybe decrease chocolate malt and split the batch at the end for some pepper infusion. Just read this online:

http://www.themadfermentationist.com...ial-stout.html

Kate the Great with some ancho chili peppers added to one gallon of it.

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Old 12-05-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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1: Looks pretty good to me. I would probably add a pound of flaked barley.
2: No, I've actually never even seen it. Let me know how it goes. The last RIS I made (3 weeks in primary as of today) was half maris otter, half belgian pils
3: I mash around the low end for these as well. 150-152 sounds perfect. I like them to be more on the dry end. I mash mine at 152.
4: Never used them in a stout. If you don't want to split the batch up, I would add it in small increments. ie: Once you get to the point where you are going to bottle/keg it. Thief a half pint or so out. Add a small amount of pepper concoction to your carboy (or whatever your beer lives in). Stir slightly. Thief out more. Taste against the original. Add more pepper (if you think it needs it). Thief again. Taste against original, and previous addition. Until you get it where you want it. I wouldn't worry about over-doing it slightly as long as you're increasing in small amounts because it will mellow out with aging (I would age it at least a few months, I find my RISz do well around 5-6 months). Also, I might add another half oz of hops to the boil for the same reason.
Other than that it looks good. I use the london in these beers as well. Much prefer it over Irish and Scottish yeasts I use for normal stouts or anything else I've thrown in one.
I wouldn't worry about the nibs with the chocolate you're using. Oak is nice, but I prefer it to be very very subtle. In my opinion, most people go overboard with it. Peppers might be awesome! They might also be terrible! Brew it!

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Old 12-05-2012, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegitBrew View Post
Peppers might be awesome! They might also be terrible! Brew it!
This is kind of how I feel. It may be worth it to add a small amount to half the batch. Also, didn't mention this but I'm hoping this is a new trend for our group of friends. I want to brew one giant beer every winter and divide up the bottles so this will be aged until maybe October at which point it will be bottled.
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