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Old 01-29-2013, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default Imperial Porter Advice

So I think my next beer is going to be an imperial porter. I've always enjoyed Gonzo and thought why not try to make a clone:
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=12166

Looks like a good place to start and then I was considering a little secondary aging on coffee and vanilla bean, but I can be swayed still on that one.

Thought I'd post it here and see if anyone had thoughts as to a better starting point or just advice for a novice brewer heading into batch #2.

Thanks....

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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Come on someones gotta have some thoughts/suggestions here.

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Old 01-30-2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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Thoughts or advice for a novice brewer heading into batch #2:

It's easier to start off on simple beers with less alcohol. Something with hops or some roast to hide hide any newbie flaws.

That said, I understand where you're coming from because right off the bat I saw all those big beer kits and tried to brew them all and failed. I failed because I didn't know what I was doing. If you want to make this beer the most important part will be yeast and fermentation temp. Pitch a couple packages of yeast to make sure you have enough, US-05 should work fine. Pitch the yeast when you get the wort down to 60* and no sooner then put it somewhere cool. Big beers kick off a lot of heat which can leave hot alcohol flavors which will ruin your beer.

Coffee and vanilla would be good.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. I'm lucky enough to have a basement that this time of year holds a pretty steady 62-64 degrees. If I would need to go cooler I have a root cellar that this time of year holds 53-55. How cold can I run it?

I was planning on double pitching yeast at another recommendation as well.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inhousebrew View Post
Thoughts or advice for a novice brewer heading into batch #2:

It's easier to start off on simple beers with less alcohol. Something with hops or some roast to hide hide any newbie flaws.

That said, I understand where you're coming from because right off the bat I saw all those big beer kits and tried to brew them all and failed. I failed because I didn't know what I was doing. If you want to make this beer the most important part will be yeast and fermentation temp. Pitch a couple packages of yeast to make sure you have enough, US-05 should work fine. Pitch the yeast when you get the wort down to 60* and no sooner then put it somewhere cool. Big beers kick off a lot of heat which can leave hot alcohol flavors which will ruin your beer.

Coffee and vanilla would be good.
I know very little about yeast at this point. I can get the US-05, White Labs California Ale, or the Wyeast American Ale yeast with it. I have no idea what the difference are other than a couple bucks. Can you elaborate on this or why you would recommend one over the other?
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustGoFast View Post
I know very little about yeast at this point. I can get the US-05, White Labs California Ale, or the Wyeast American Ale yeast with it. I have no idea what the difference are other than a couple bucks. Can you elaborate on this or why you would recommend one over the other?
Sure thing. Here is a quick run down:

The higher gravity your beer is means the more fermentable sugar there is available for the yeast to eat and turn into alcohol which is a good thing (well, so long as you want a high ABV beer). On the other hand, the more fermnetable sugar you have the more yeast you need to cleanly ferment it. If you don't have enough yeast they will reproduce rapidly in your wort to get a high enough number but the more they reproduce the more strain is put on them and the more potential for off flavors arises. That isn't a very scientific explanation but I think that gets to the point that enough yeast is essential to the quality of the beer.

So check this site out to determine how much yeast you need:
http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

Let's just assume (because I don't know the original gravity) your gravity is 1.080. Plug that in where it say O.G. and calculate. When you click on the liquid tab it says three packages without a starter and 16 grams (or 1.4 packages of 11 gram packages) of dry yeast when you click on the dry tab. Don't worry about starters now but it's a way to build up the amount of liquid yeast you get.

So I suggested the dry US-05 because it is essentially the same thing as the liquid versions only though it's cheaper and you get more in an 11 gram package than in any liquid package. You only need 1.4 packages (although I would just pitch two and not worry about it) compared to three liquid and that's assuming the liquid yeast is new and super viable.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustGoFast View Post
Thanks for the tips. I'm lucky enough to have a basement that this time of year holds a pretty steady 62-64 degrees. If I would need to go cooler I have a root cellar that this time of year holds 53-55. How cold can I run it?
I would brew your beer and drop it off in that root celler for the night. Let it get nice and cold and then pitch your two packages of 05. That first day or so is the most important for keeping temp down because that is when yeast reproduce. I would just leave it in there for a day or two and then take it out and it should be fine in the basement. Give it two weeks or three weeks before even opening it. You should be good to go.

If you want to add coffee I suggest cold pressed coffee as the way to go. Vanilla bean would be good too but don't leave it in too long because it can get overpowering quick. I'd add soon before bottling.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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Curious, but do you ever mix yeasts? If i added a package of Wyeast and a package of US-05 what would happen?

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Old 02-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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I've mixed yeast by accident or rather just me being a dumass in my early brewing. Did not hurt the beer but not something I would do again.

Only advice I would give and stress about an imperial is as others stated, PITCH enough yeast. Use the online calc and do what it says. If anything to make it simple, pitch 1 and 1/2 packs of the US-05 if you don't plan on using a starter.

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Old 02-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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Thats why I was asking actaully. The calculator suggested 1 WYeast and 1 US-05 would be the right amount hence my ask about mixing, plus I've only used the WY so far so I trust that one now and am concerned about a big pitch of something I don't know. Also what happens if you put 2 US-05's in but the cacl called for 1..6 is the extra yeast going to hurt anything?

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