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Old 06-22-2013, 02:31 AM   #1
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Default Yeast choice for a RIS

I know, I know there are threads on this but I am looking for specific advice on a few yeast ideas for my RIS I want to brew. I am planning to brew the Anastasia recipe that was in Zymurgy recently (14# 2 row, 1.6 chocolate, 1.6 roasted barley). I will use whatever hops I have laying around as the brewer said to use whatever gets you to about 68 IBUs, probably some combo of columbus and northernbrewer. I will also add 1.5# of flaked barley as I have always enjoyed it in stouts. Anyway here are some yeast ideas I am considering...
1) Wyeast 1318 with a big starter...the brewer says they use this at 73 to give the beer character

2)Double pitch S04, love dry yeast as I can not always plan out a starter in advance

3) Double pitch but blend S04 and S05...again love the dry yeast, want some character but have not always been pleased with s04 at higher temps, was hoping the s05 will counter balance it.

I have tried brewing 2 batches of imperial stout and both ended up infected for different reasons so I am dying to get one right. I love sipping on these in the winter and really want to be able to have my own.

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Old 06-22-2013, 04:03 PM   #2
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Another option is S04 at mid to high 60s. Nottingham in the high 60s would be good, too, if you want to use dry yeast. For a lot of English character and lower attenuation, you could also try Windsor dry yeast. I've never used it in an RIS, but like it in a Sweet Stout.

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Old 06-22-2013, 09:40 PM   #3
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Consider Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale yeast using a two quart starter started at least two days prior. Remember Russian Imperial Stouts were brewed in Britain and the Brits aren't above using the Scot's yeast. It's a special twist you might enjoy but keep it our secret.

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Old 06-22-2013, 11:53 PM   #4
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1728 is a great yeast for high gravity beers. mash a bit higher than you would otherwise. my experience with this yeast is that it has incredible attenuation even at 12% and up.

if you choose to go with a mainstream english yeast like ESB or 04, you don't need to and don't want to keep the original fermentation temperature. follow the range recommended for each strain for best results.

last, imperial stouts are pretty infection-resistant given their booziness. if you've lost two you might use this as a chance to double check your sanitation procedures.

good luck!

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Old 06-30-2013, 02:07 AM   #5
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I decided to just go with the Wy1318 since that is what the brewer seems to feel really makes that beer. Also the LHBS I was at (Keg and Barrel in NJ) gives you a free Wyeast pack if you spend 50 bucks and are a NJCraftbeer.com member. So for 50 bucks I got a sack of Briess Pale Ale malt (my house malt) and the 1318.

ddrrseio- The 2 batches were over a year apart. I attribute the first to a poor attempt to remove a sack of oak chips from secondary when I panicked that the beer was too oaky. It was maybe my 4th batch and an extract recipe still. The second batch I traced back to a bottling bucket or wand issue, found crusties in both of them. I ended up losing 3 batches before I finally decided to scrap some gear. Granted they were all bottled within weeks of each other so the first signs didnt appear until they were all bottled. Now I bleach bomb my bottling equipment every 2 batches in addition to my usual cleaning routine.

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