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Old 12-14-2011, 06:25 PM   #1
gmcastil
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Default Suggestions on Aging an Imperial Stout

I made an imperial stout this weekend based on this recipe:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/impe...-stout-126650/

Couple deviations. The original recipe didn't call for a yeast starter, but I made one anyway. Same yeast strain. Also, I used 1.5 lbs of dark brown sugar instead of 1.0 lbs. Other than that, it was the same.

So, it's in the primary right now and I was planning to let it sit on the yeast for 3 weeks and then after that, do something else. Is this a beer that I can age for a while? Should I age it in a secondary or bottle and age it in those instead? I'm looking for suggestions. I'd really like to see how the flavor changes over time. Thanks.

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Old 12-14-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gmcastil View Post
I made an imperial stout this weekend based on this recipe:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/impe...-stout-126650/

Couple deviations. The original recipe didn't call for a yeast starter, but I made one anyway. Same yeast strain. Also, I used 1.5 lbs of dark brown sugar instead of 1.0 lbs. Other than that, it was the same.

So, it's in the primary right now and I was planning to let it sit on the yeast for 3 weeks and then after that, do something else. Is this a beer that I can age for a while? Should I age it in a secondary or bottle and age it in those instead? I'm looking for suggestions. I'd really like to see how the flavor changes over time. Thanks.
REVVY and I both made some pretty big beers over a year ago to be opened on our 50th birthdays. His is MUCH more complex than mine but nevertheless both are BIG beers. I THINK revvys is still in the carboy secondary bulk aging.....mine has been in bottles in my basement for a long time now. If it were my beer I would let it set for 3 weeks to a month ( I didn't look at the recipe so shorter may be fine) then take some gravity radings. IF it is at the expected FG and stays stable for a few days then I would rack to a secondary MAKING SURE that you have as little head space as possible. I would then let it set there until I thought it was ready to bottle.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
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I brew a 9% stout and leave in the primary for about 10 days then racked to secondary for 2-3 months to age. Bottle then age 1-2 more months before drinking.

These require a lot of patience!

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Old 12-14-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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I brew a 9% stout and leave in the primary for about 10 days then racked to secondary for 2-3 months to age. Bottle then age 1-2 more months before drinking.

These require a lot of patience!
And that would be considered rushing it still!!

I have an 11% RIS that I brewed a year ago. I've given some out and entered a few in a comp this past September. I still have three bombers and a 12 pack left that I will drink sparingly.

As for fermentation, I let it go in the primary for 4 weeks, then kegged it. It sat in the keg on gas for 4 weeks, then bottled it up.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:20 PM   #5
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And that would be considered rushing it still!!
Agreed.
In August 2010 I did a RIS and left it in primary 6 weeks, secondary 10 more weeks and then bottled. After 5 months, I sent a couple in to a local comp in Feb. and both judges dinged me for being a little hot. So I've been saving it and it's gotten much better and I have a few still left. I plan on entering them again this Feb. So from this experience I learned that you can't rush it. The beer will take as long as it needs.

Also, I did almost a 12% barley wine last New Year's Eve then bottled sometime in May and have yet to try it. Maybe this New Years I'll give it a try.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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Agreed.
In August 2010 I did a RIS and left it in primary 6 weeks, secondary 10 more weeks and then bottled. After 5 months, I sent a couple in to a local comp in Feb. and both judges dinged me for being a little hot. So I've been saving it and it's gotten much better and I have a few still left. I plan on entering them again this Feb. So from this experience I learned that you can't rush it. The beer will take as long as it needs.

Also, I did almost a 12% barley wine last New Year's Eve then bottled sometime in May and have yet to try it. Maybe this New Years I'll give it a try.
So, it sounds like sitting on it for 6 months isn't going to be a bad thing. I figure that I'll leave it in the primary for 3 weeks or so and then rack to a secondary and let it sit there for 6 months before bottling it. Will I need to add more yeast when it comes time to bottle?
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
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So, it sounds like sitting on it for 6 months isn't going to be a bad thing. I figure that I'll leave it in the primary for 3 weeks or so and then rack to a secondary and let it sit there for 6 months before bottling it. Will I need to add more yeast when it comes time to bottle?
I did not add yeast at bottling and from what I remember, the carbonation was typical for a stout. I was a fairly new brewer back then so it might have been better to add a little yeast. Going back and reading my score sheets, one comment said 'medium carbonation'. I would say that means its just ok.
Maybe someone more experienced will give you a better answer.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:34 PM   #8
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I do not add more yeast at bottling. I use about 5 oz corn sugar per 5 gallons.

next time I think i will leave it in primary for at least three weeks then rack for the 3-4 month minimum. good luck!

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