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Old 09-28-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
aksea102
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Default Russian Imperial Stout-aging question

Hi All,
I have a friend who is about to brew a Russian Imperial (extract kit from NB) and the two of us wondered if it was better to age the beer in secondary for eternity and then bottle it OR bottle it after secondary and then age it there for eternity?

Recipe:
0.5 lbs. Simpson's Roasted Barley
0.5 lbs. Simpson's Black Malt
0.5 lbs. Simpson's Chocolat
6 lbs. Dark Malt Syrup (boil for 60 min.)
6 lbs. Dark Malt Syrup (boil for 15 min.)
2 oz. Galena (60 min)
Yeast-putting the stout on the cake of a freshly transferred Xmas Ale (with blowoff tube!!).

I have looked at many, many recipes for RIS's in hopes that I would get a majority rule. Unfortunately, they are all over the board. What do you good people of HBT think?

And hey, even if you readers dont have an opinion either way, could you at least holler at my friend for rarely using a hydrometer (she will be reading this)??!!

Thanks so much!

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Old 09-28-2009, 11:53 PM   #2
Suthrncomfrt1884
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Well, if she rarely uses a hydrometer, she might concider using a secondary.

If she decides to brew the smart way and take out the hyrdrometer, then I would just bottle it when it's done fermenting. I never use a secondary unless I'm adding things to the beer. Keep in mind, a beer like this should sit for AT LEAST 6 months before you even think about cracking one open.

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:02 AM   #3
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perhaps you can split the difference, if you rack to secondary after fermentation, let it age there for a few months and then let it sit in the bottle for another few. you might be able to get through a batch with the bottles while it sits in secondary and then have them ready for the RIS. but if bottles aren't a limiting factor, then you can definitely just age in the bottle if you wish.

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:28 AM   #4
Edcculus
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I currently have a RIS bulk aging (in a secondary...gasp!). I let it sit for a month in the primary, then transferred after taking readings. Since my beer had an OG of 1.100, I figured it would benefit from bulk aging.

There is nothing wrong with either approach. I keg, so its easier for me to bulk age, the force carb after 6 months. Since I don't want a 10% beer on tap, I'll bottle them off of the keg. If you bottle, it might be easier to bottle after a month, then age the bottle for 6 months.

One question. Is the Xmas ale spiced? It probably won't matter since a RIS is so strong, but I try to avoid reusing yeast from high gravity, highly hopped and spiced beers. Any flavor might age out, but thats just my 2 cents.

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:16 AM   #5
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I bought this exact kit and it's in my secondary now. I just followed their instructions and let it sit in primary for 2 weeks. OG was around 1080, FG was around 1027. It's now in secondary where it will sit for close to 3 months (I want to have it bottled and carbed by christmas, so I may shave 2 weeks).

I asked your exact question and found lots of varying opinions. Ultimately, I decided to trust NB's instructions. Also, John Palmer sums it up well: http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter8-5.html

By the way, if you use the liquid ale yeast (1728?), you will definitely need that blowoff tube!

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
One question. Is the Xmas ale spiced? It probably won't matter since a RIS is so strong, but I try to avoid reusing yeast from high gravity, highly hopped and spiced beers. Any flavor might age out, but thats just my 2 cents.
I wondered that too. However, we thought since the RIS is so dang BIG, if there are in fact any remaining spices after eternity, it might be kind of tasty??!! Who knows. I guess that's the beauty of being a homebrewer!! If I remember in 4 months or so Edcculus, Ill let you know how her beer turned out!
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