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Old 08-25-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
tbrown4
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Default Imperial Stout (with variants). Seeking advice.

I've got about 5 batches under my belt on my own. I've been wanting to brew a big stout. Would like to get this one brewed soon so it can sit for several months. Maybe be ready mid to late winter.

For secondary I'd like to split and do a few variants. Definitely a whiskey oak version. Maybe a vanilla whiskey oak version. Maybe chocolate, no oak. I've got some decent bourbon and rye whiskey on hand as well as white oak and french oak chips. I think I can find vanilla beans, havent gone out to look yet. I've got about 3 oz of chinook pellets sitting here that I need to use. I also have 16 lbs of palisade, a pro-brewer buddy gave them to me as kind of a joke. I don't know anything about palisade so I'm not sure if this would be ideal for a big stout. For now, the recipe doesn't have them in it. I could also get some decent cocoa nibs.

I'd like a nice rich mouth feel, straight up inky black in color, fine tan head with good retention. I want it to have a rich complex multi-dimensional malt character. I don't want it to be overly hoppy, but definitely have some hop character. The big stouts I like vary greatly. I love OB Ten Fidy, FFF Dark Lord and DFH Worldwide Stout. I sometimes like the coffee stouts, really loved the BCS Coffee. I'm absolutely in love with Heavy Seas Siren Noire because of the milk chocolate character. I like them not TOO sweet, but also not too dry.

For the whiskey oak version I'd like to simulate the bourbon barrel aged production beers. Hints of bourbon, vanilla, some earthyness and nice rounded roasty flavors. Just for fun I want to add a vanilla bean to a small batch of this as well.

So here's the base recipe I started. What can I do here to tweak this? As far as bourbon oak, how much oak (relative to a full 5 gallon batch) and bourbon should I use? If I were to do a chocolate version, how do I go about that addition?

Size: 5.00*gal

Original Gravity: 1.101 (1.000 - 1.100)
Terminal Gravity: 1.025 (1.000 - 1.100)
Color: 32.07 (0.0 - 50.0)
Alcohol: 10.05% (0.0% - 10.0%)
Bitterness: 55.7 (0.0 - 50.0)

Ingredients:
0.5*lb Dextrine Malt (steep)
0.5*lb Black Malt (steep)
1.0*lb Chocolate Malt (steep)
1.0*lb Crystal Malt 80°L (steep)
10.0*lb Dry Light Extract (boil)
1.0*oz Chinook (13.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60*m
1.0*oz Willamette (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0*m
1.0*ea WYeast 1056 American Ale™

Thanks for any input and help!

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Old 08-25-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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A stout without roasted barley?! Nooooooo!!!!!

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Old 08-25-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessRockwell
A stout without roasted barley?! Nooooooo!!!!!
Ok. Please suggest.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:05 AM   #4
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If it were me I'd replace half of the chocolate malt with roasted barley. Or you could leave all the chocolate and just add 8oz roasted. I really wouldn't make any other changes, looks like a damn good recipe to me!

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Old 08-26-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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Looks pretty good. For you chocolate variation try 1/4 lb of nib/husk grind in secondary for about 2 weeks. I used 1/2 ld in my 5 gallon batch for 2 weeks and got a real nice chocolate backbone. Not too sweet just chocolatey.

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Old 08-26-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
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You may be able to do without much of the black malt and crystal80 if you used dark lme or DME. That would save you a few bucks and you could replace those steeping grains for some roasted barley and/or special b. My RIS I brewed I used 15.3lbs of dark lme some other steeping grains and added 4oz bakers chocolate to it. It's chocolate and has a thick, heavy body like BCS. I'm gonna tweak this recipe more to see if I can get closer to BCS.

I have not tasted the half that I aged on bourbon and oak.

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Old 08-26-2012, 02:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback folks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by looneybomber View Post
You may be able to do without much of the black malt and crystal80 if you used dark lme or DME. That would save you a few bucks and you could replace those steeping grains for some roasted barley and/or special b. My RIS I brewed I used 15.3lbs of dark lme some other steeping grains and added 4oz bakers chocolate to it. It's chocolate and has a thick, heavy body like BCS. I'm gonna tweak this recipe more to see if I can get closer to BCS.

I have not tasted the half that I aged on bourbon and oak.
Mind sharing your recipe?
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessRockwell View Post
If it were me I'd replace half of the chocolate malt with roasted barley. Or you could leave all the chocolate and just add 8oz roasted. I really wouldn't make any other changes, looks like a damn good recipe to me!
Ok, swapped out half of the chocolate and added roasted barley. Makes sense. Not sure why I didn't consider using roasted barley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehlgood View Post
Looks pretty good. For you chocolate variation try 1/4 lb of nib/husk grind in secondary for about 2 weeks. I used 1/2 ld in my 5 gallon batch for 2 weeks and got a real nice chocolate backbone. Not too sweet just chocolatey.
Ok, that sounds good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by looneybomber View Post
You may be able to do without much of the black malt and crystal80 if you used dark lme or DME. That would save you a few bucks and you could replace those steeping grains for some roasted barley and/or special b. My RIS I brewed I used 15.3lbs of dark lme some other steeping grains and added 4oz bakers chocolate to it. It's chocolate and has a thick, heavy body like BCS. I'm gonna tweak this recipe more to see if I can get closer to BCS.

I have not tasted the half that I aged on bourbon and oak.
I took out the crystal and swapped out the light DME for dark DME. I've read some recipes that call for a late addition for half the DME. What would this do for me?

Here's the tweaked recipe. Any other suggestions?

Original Gravity: 1.107 (1.000 - 1.100)
Terminal Gravity: 1.027 (1.000 - 1.100)
Color: 36.73 (0.0 - 50.0)
Alcohol: 10.74% (0.0% - 10.0%)
Bitterness: 55.7 (0.0 - 50.0)

Ingredients:
0.5*lb Dextrine Malt
0.5*lb Black Malt
0.5*lb Chocolate Malt
0.5*lb Roasted Barley
12.0*lb CBW® Traditional Dark Powder (Dry Malt Extract)
1.0*oz Chinook (13.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60*m
1.0*oz Willamette (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 10.0*m
1.0*ea WYeast 1056 American Ale™
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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The thing about using dark extract is it already contains dark malts in it, only you don't know which ones or how much (unless the manufacturer tells you). So then you add more dark malts (your steeping grains) and end up doubling up on some of them and getting too much, especially if you use ALL dark extract.

I think the way you had it before with the light extract is a better idea since you're adding your own specialty grains and knowing what they are instead of relying on whatever the extract maker put in their dark extract.
If anything, maybe just use a little dark extract? like 3lbs and the rest light extract?

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Old 08-26-2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessRockwell View Post
The thing about using dark extract is it already contains dark malts in it, only you don't know which ones or how much (unless the manufacturer tells you). So then you add more dark malts (your steeping grains) and end up doubling up on some of them and getting too much, especially if you use ALL dark extract.

I think the way you had it before with the light extract is a better idea since you're adding your own specialty grains and knowing what they are instead of relying on whatever the extract maker put in their dark extract.
If anything, maybe just use a little dark extract? like 3lbs and the rest light extract?
Ok. That all makes perfect sense. Thanks!
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