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View Poll Results: What should I do about the yeast?
Do nothing, The London Aled Yeast will be fine 12 100.00%
Add Champange yeast at secondary 0 0%
Add Champange yeast now 0 0%
Add other yeast. 0 0%
Add Sweat mead yeast and see how it goes 0 0%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-19-2010, 04:48 AM   #1
SchulteMeister
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Default First Russian Imperial Stout - More Yeast?

Hi Everyone,
I just brewed my first Russian Imperial Stout today and wanted to ask a few questions about adding more yeast. I basically used the NB imperial stout kit but I tweaked a few things. I made a starter from some DME with nutrient, 2 pints. I added 24 oz of maple syrup right at the end of the boil, i added oak spirals to the primary (will transfer to secondary and maybe add more), and I used White Labs London ale yeast (WLP013) as it seems to produce oaky esters that should hit the oak flavors I'm going for. I also went nuts with an electric mixer and seemed to have aerated it quite well. When I was done, there was about 4 inches of foam on top. My OG was 1.104.

Can this London Ale yeast get this thing down to 1.02-1.01?

Should I add more yeast when I rack to secondary? One of my friends suggested adding Champange yeast. I'm nervous about the fruity esters and it being too dry.

I was also thinking about sweat mead yeast as that leaves residual sugars. Has anyone ever done that before or is that a terrible idea?

Would love to know your thoughts.

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Old 12-19-2010, 04:54 AM   #2
lumpher
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i 'd not really look for anything lower then 1.020 with ris. anything lower would be very low. i'd think maybe 1.024-1.020 would be a good range for that, as 1.018 is the lowest dryness for it. london ale will probably leave it 1.024

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Old 12-19-2010, 03:39 PM   #3
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With a 1.104 beer, you are probably not going to get down to 1.02 and with the ingredients that I assume are in there you are DEFINITELY never going to get to 1.01 (without amylase or something, but that just wouldn't be right). Anywhere around 1.030 +/- 5 should be okay for that style.

You underpitched, possibly by a significant amount since you only made a 1 qt starter for that beer. I wouldn't worry about it, and just leave it in the primary for however long.

How long do you plan on leaving it in the primary? For a big beer, you want to do it longer than you would ordinarily because it's going to take longer or the yeast to eat all the sugars. They start to get pooped out after a while so I would do it at least 3-4 weeks. Unless you want to age it longer than that in the carboy I would just bottle it then also.

Champagne yeast isn't going to get it down to 1.01 either because it can't ferment maltotriose, like most other ale yeasts. It won't make it any drier than your London ale could (theoretically). The thing about champagne yeast is that it can survive in harsh conditions (high alcohol, low nutrient).

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Old 12-19-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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These are some great points. I didn't realize the style guidelines had RIS with an FG up to 1.03. That makes me feel a bit better.

I will probably leave it in the primary for 3-4 weeks like you suggested.

So far the fermentation is going nuts. I used an ale pail rather than my galss carboy and the lid blew off this morning. The airlock was bubbling continuously about 4 hours after I added the starter.

After I saw that my lid had blown off I quickly realized the airlock wasn't going to work. I have since rigged a blow off tube and there is so much co2(and foam) coming out of it you would think it's hooked up to a pump.

I was also thinking about adding more maple syrup when I rack to secondary. Do you see any issues with doing that?

I will probably age this in secondary for at least a few months as I am going to add quite a bit of oak to it.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Old 12-22-2010, 06:20 AM   #5
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I thought I'd give you guys an update. Just 3 days later, my Gravity reads 1.034. I was surprised to see it ferment that quickly. It looks like the London Ale yeast was a good choice. Hopefully it will drop another 5 pts or so.

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Old 12-22-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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I would lay off syrup in secondary.
Consider that this brew will be really nice for next xmass anyway (2011) as I dont see how a 9.x% ABV brew is going to taste any good before some good 6 month conditioning.

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