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Old 06-22-2007, 03:18 PM   #11
mattyg
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Why do you think that I ended up on the low side of expected OG for RIS? Is it the recipe or something else?

The wort was very well aerated by the time I took a reading so it wasn't under-mixing with water that was the culprit. I've never attempted a big beer before so I didn't know what to expect. I believe the recipe said 1.070 - 1.080 so I guess it's where it's supposed to be for that particular recipe.

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Old 06-22-2007, 03:56 PM   #12
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The imperial stout I just bottled had an OG of 1.12. I highly recommend boiling about 3 lbs of dme in as little water as possible, cool it, and add it to your primary. This procedure is actually recommended to get a higher abv. (see whitelabs.com - tips). You will never know the exact OG that way, but who really cares. Either way, I suggest you give some thought to how you will carbonate! Are you going to bottle carbonate??? Just trying to help, but answer that one for me.

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Old 06-22-2007, 04:20 PM   #13
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Yes, I plan to carbonate in the bottle.

Also, what about the syggestion that I add 3lbs boiled DME to the primary? It's been fermenting for about 4 days now. . . will that really work?

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Old 06-22-2007, 04:52 PM   #14
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Yes, adding wort after fermentation starts not only works, it is the only way to reach really high gravities.

The problem with bottling this type of beer (without adding co2 in a keg first) is that the high alcohol content and the long conditioning time cause the yeast to die or become inactive. Adding priming sugar will do nothing at bottling time.

Your options are to add a super alcohol tolerant yeast a week or so before bottling, then prime as usual.(white labs 1099) This will really dry the stout out, but will work. Regular yeast, or the strain you started with will instantly go into an alcohol coma if added to this brew after a couple of months.


I prefer to bottle with a small amount of priming sugar right when fermentation stops. This will allow a small amount of carbonation to develop aver a few months.

Either way works, but its something that you need to consider before it is too late to do plan B. Good luck.

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Old 06-22-2007, 05:37 PM   #15
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OK, let me make sure I understand:

#1 the OG that I achieved on this batch (1.072) is low for a true Imperial Stout.
#2 I could add some DME at this point even though fermentation is 4 days along to achieve a high gravity beer
#3 High Gravity beers are difficult to carbonate in the bottle because the yeast is stalled by the high alcohol content
#3a A way to solve this is to introduce new yeast at bottling OR bottle right after fermentation is complete

#4 I could just leave the batch alone in Primary for another week and a half or so and then go to secondary for a month, then bottle.

What does everyone recommend?

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Old 06-22-2007, 06:28 PM   #16
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#1 yes, but not too bad
#2 absolutely. Check out White labs website with tips on the 1099 strain. Also, I have done this myself on 4 or 5 batches with good results.
#3 Not difficult if you plan ahead. The one I bottled a month ago is starting to develop a tiny bit of carbonation
#4 Not so simple. If the yeast have pooped out(reached their alcohol tolerance) at that point it is a little iffy. They will most likely let out a little over the next 3 or 4 months, which is fine for this style, but I would bottle a little earlier. It is tempting to wait for bulk conditioning purposes, but to wait 5 months and find out you have a flat batch would be really bad.

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Old 06-22-2007, 07:09 PM   #17
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Here is what I was basing my comments on a small RIS: Russian Imperial Stout
Basically says RIS start at 1.075 and go up from there. Most commercial RIS I have seen are 9% ABV so are usually in the 1.090 to 1.100 range. Your recipe was just a little on the small side. Still will make a great stout.
You can add boiled extract to the fermenter to increase the gravity but I don't think it is necessary.
As long as you keep the ABV below 12% your standard beer yeast should be OK. If you bottle within 1-1.5 months of fermentation ending you should still have sufficient yeast for bottling. If you are concerned adding a packet of dry yeast like US-05 may help. High gravity yeast should be reserved for really monster beers.
#4 sounds like the best plan to me. I don't like playing with my beer much once the fermentation has started. I say stick to your original plan. In 3-6 months you will be enjoying a really great stout.

Craig

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Old 06-22-2007, 08:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
Yeast nutrient is probably not needed for beer. Everything I've read says that wort contains everything the yeast needs.
I would disagree. You probably have everything you need with AG, but I'd say it's very helpful for extract brewing.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathBrewer
I would disagree. You probably have everything you need with AG, but I'd say it's very helpful for extract brewing.
I guess I'll never know for sure unless I do another batch of this without the nutrient, but WOW, it really took off strong.

Since this is the first higher gravity beer I've ever done, let alone the fact that it's my first dark beer I think I'm going to just see what happens (i.e. not mess with the conetent). If it just won't carbonate then I'll investigate other methods at that point and I'll add extra DME in primary if I use the same recipe again.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:15 PM   #20
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FWIW, I've done my RIS twice now; the first time was extract with steeped grains, the last time it was AG. Both times the OG was ~1.112 and the FG ~1.024. It was in primary for 7 days @ 67oF and secondary for 32 days @ 67oF. I bottle conditioned both batches for over three months. I didn't use yeast nutrient on either batch, but I can't see where it would hurt.

I didn't use any additional yeast at bottling and the extract batch never carbonated. It still tasted fantastic and I drank it as it was! I was tempted to add some when I bottled the AG batch. But I took a chance and decided not to. It turned out perfectly carbed!

My recipe is in the recipe database

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