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Old 08-14-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
igliashon
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Default Omega Red Russian Imperial Stout

I know I shouldn't count my chickens until they're carbonated, but I bottled this last night and the tasting was so encouraging I almost peed myself. My No-Nonsense Stout was good, but I feel like I could put this bad-boy up against Old Rasputin! I'll update again in about a month once it's (hopefully) carbonated, but after 1.5 months in secondary, I'm guessing it's gonna take a while to carbonate. I probably should have re-dosed it with yeast, but whatever...this is a winter beer if ever I've had one, so I'm happy to wait for the colder weather.

Here's the recipe for a 3 gallon batch (only about 2.25 gallons made it into bottles, FEAR THE TRUB):

Malt bill:
3# rice solids, 90 min
2# D-90 candi syrup, 90 min
8 oz molasses, 90 min
2# chocolate-roasted buckwheat, steeping
2# chocolate-roasted purple rice, steeping (same grains that I steeped for Purple Hefereisen)
1.5# oven-roasted beets, pureed, steeping

Hop Schedule:
0.5 oz Columbus pellets (15.4% AA), 90 min
0.75 oz Willamette whole-leaf (5.5% AA), 60 min
0.75 oz Willamette whole-leaf, 20 min
0.5 oz Willamette whole-leaf, 5 min

S-33 Dry Yeast

OG: 1.089
FG: 1.023
ABV: 8.8%
IBUs: 71.5 (Average method)

This one needs a longer aging; hydrometer samples taken at 1 and 2 weeks were both AWFUL--sharp, burnt, and almost tongue-numbingly bitter. But after 6 weeks in secondary, it has a nice chocolate/black coffee taste with a clean assertive bitterness and a pleasing hop aroma. It is rich, full-bodied, with a nice sweetness to balance the hops--a perfect dessert beer. It is true what they say about aging Imperial stouts, if I had bottled it young I might have thought it was undrinkable!



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Old 08-15-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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Were the beets mainly used for color since they were only steeped? I'm curious what rice syrup only tastes like; I wasn't pleased with rice/tapioca syrups. Looks good!



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Old 08-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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Adding this to my to brew list. It sounds great and not to complicated. let us know how it comes out when you start drinking it!

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Old 08-16-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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The beets were steeped to add flavor, which they did--a subtle earthy flavor that was stronger at first but has mellowed. I think they may have also added a wee bit of sugars. I think the rice syrup base is undetectable here, flavor-wise, the way pale malt is undetectable in most stouts. Considering it provides just a little over half of the sugars, that's not surprising. It provides a base of fermentables, and a balance to the dark roasty flavors, and that's about it. I think the key to this recipe was the 5.5 pounds of steeping material (grains + vegetables), I've concluded that you really need to steep a LOT of grains to get their flavor to come through. And this is why stouts work better than other styles for gluten-free brewing: their flavor is characteristically roasty, and ANY grain when roasted dark enough will start to taste similar. Dark candi syrup provides a nice residual sweetness. I fully expect this beer to fool normal beer-drinkers, but we'll see!

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Old 08-19-2012, 02:35 AM   #5
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Thanks igliashon. I'm going to brew this exactly as is this coming week. I've been thinking about a RIS for a while now and I think we've discussed our our ideas on recipes before. Trusting what you said about this I'll try it and wait it out. Honestly, I don't see how this wont be too dry but I guessed the crystalization of the Belgian candi sugar and sufficient grains will add body. Do you think I can just leave it in the primary for 6-8 weeks and not develop any yeasty/ off flavors? Also, what would you recommend as an optimum fermentation temperature? I have lagering capabilities so I could ferment it lower and bring out the bitterness. Or I could ferment it higher and bring out some of the typical Belgian flavors. Thanks for the help. Sorry I haven't posted in a while with new recipes. I've been out of town for the longest time.

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Old 08-19-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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Important note: use candi SYRUP, not candi SUGAR! I learned early on that this makes a huge difference! Candi SUGAR can ferment out completely, but the process of making candi SYRUP can leave a fair amount of non-fermentables, due to caramelization IIRC. Mine finished at 1.023, which was about .003 higher than I calculated, so there's plenty of sweetness left. Make sure to use the stuff that comes in the pouch, rather than the jar, if you want to follow the recipe precisely. I've never used the stuff that comes in the jars, so I can't vouch for its similarity.

I can't comment on doing this as a long primary; I do most of my beers as primary-only, but after a couple weeks when I knew I was gonna have to age this one, I racked it off into secondary. Seemed like a worthy precaution given the amount of time and work invested in this beer. I fermented it at my ambient room temperature, which is usually between 70 and 74. I doubt it ever got colder than 68. You could certainly try doing a secondary at a colder temp, but if you do the primary at a lower temp then I can't vouch for the results. I did not get any objectionable character from the yeast at the temps I used, so I don't know if there would be any benefit to doing it colder.

Also, I may or may not have added some amylase to the steeping grains. I didn't take as good of notes as I should have, but I vaguely feel like I did. Note that I did NOT cook the grains into porridge, but I wonder if toasting them in the oven had the effect of gelatinizing them? Anyway, I've taken to adding amylase to my steeping grains just to ward off any excess starchy characteristics, so if you have some on hand it wouldn't be a bad idea. You don't need to grind and do a full-on partial mash or anything, I'm quite sure I didn't do that. At most I added the amylase a few minutes into the steep, and let it go for an hour.

Lastly, remember that this recipe is for 3 gallons; scale up carefully! In Beer Calculus, I used 20 PPG for the buckwheat and rice and a 40% mash efficiency, and did not include the beets as a sugar source, if that helps.

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Old 08-19-2012, 05:24 PM   #7
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Thanks again. I have the Belgian candi syrup, but it is from a jar. I cant see how that'd be too much different though. I also have amylase so I throw some into the steep. I'm definitely sticking with 3 gallons though, especially for a new recipe. One last question. How did you roast the grains? 350 in the oven stirring until brown.

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:47 PM   #8
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I soaked the grains in hot water until they absorbed as much as possible, then toasted at 350 for a few hours, stirring frequently. The black rice is hard to gauge the color of toasting, because it's already black, so you kinda have to go by time and smell. Do you have Dark Candi Syrup or D2? The Dark Candi Syrup is closer to the stuff I used (D-90, 90 SRM). I can't imagine it being that different either, but I really don't know. I'll have to do a comparison one of these days.

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:25 AM   #9
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So you did a sort of crystal malt without the malt itself? I see. I have the dark candi syrup, the D, not the D2. Looking online, they don't loo too much different. Anyway, the recipe looks delicious and I cant wait to see how it comes out, both yours and mine.

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:50 PM   #10
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Off topic but I haven't heard anything positive about brewing with agave. Do you have anything to share about the vanilla cream ale in your primary? I'm curious about that one.



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