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Old 09-16-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default All-Grain - Heart of Darkness (RIS)

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1028
Yeast Starter: Yes - Slurry
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.092
Final Gravity: 1.020
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: Black as Hell
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 30 at 67
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 30 at 68
Tasting Notes: See below...

So I brewed this one with KingBrianI back in March. It was brewed as a 10 gallon batch, but we have scaled it down to 5 gallons, simply by cutting everything in half. We wanted to make a Russian Imperial Stout that was rich and black as all hell using several different roasted malts for layers of complexity. We decided not to go with crystal malts at all, instead boiling down 3 gallons of first runnings (1.5 for this 5 gallon recipe) to a thick syrup - maybe a few pints worth - to get some caramelization and unfermentable sugars. This technique creates a lot more complexities than crystal malt would add anyways. It is key to this recipe.

What we ended up with was a beer so dark, opaque and complex, the Heart of Darkness just fit perfectly for the name. No light gets through this. Not even around the edges. The mouthfeel is slick, but viscous - it coats your mouth even after you have swallowed it. There is some noticeable alcohol, but with the recommended aging (minimum 6 months after bottling), it loses most of the heat and gets smooth and dangerously easy to drink. Describing the taste and aroma is extremely difficult because there is still so much going on. You get a little toasted to slightly burnt sugar and some dark fruits. There is a whole melanoidin party going on in here, boosting the malt complexity. Then the roasted malt hits with coffee up front and some dark dark chocolate - think baker's chocolate. There is sugar-like sweetness there, but well balanced by bitterness from both the grain and the hops. No hop flavor makes it through, as far as I can tell. Enjoy this one. It does crazy things to your head. "The Horror!"

7 gallon boil, 90 minutes

In a separate pot, take 1.5 gallons of first runnings and boil down to a thick syrup, then add to the boil.

Mash: 152, 60 minutes, 1.6 qt/lb, single batch sparge, 80% efficiency

10.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 65.57 %
2.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 13.11 %
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 6.56 %
0.75 lb Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 4.92 %
0.5 lb Coffee Malt (150.0 SRM) Grain 3.28 %
1.00 lb Brown Sugar, Light (8.0 SRM) Sugar 6.56 %

1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops
1.00 oz Magnum [13.40 %] (90 min) Hops

Somehow, despite a good amount of homebrew consumption, we got 80% efficiency. I have just consumed 2 of these while writing this, and it is good. Hopefully I haven't left anything out. Oh yeah, yeast substitutes. We decided that Wyeast 1056 and 1450 would both do well for this recipe. For dry yeast enthusiasts, use Nottingham. Prost!

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Old 10-18-2010, 05:11 PM   #2
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Thinking of brewing this on sunday. When do you add the brown sugar to the boil?

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Old 10-20-2010, 03:21 AM   #3
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I think we added it around 10 minutes. On a side note, if you brew this, heed the warning to age for 6 months after bottling.

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Old 11-17-2010, 12:08 AM   #4
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I've been dying to make a RIS.

As a partial mash brewer, I guess I can just take 1.5 gallons of the bag runoff and boil that down right? This recipe sounds awesome!

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Old 11-17-2010, 07:36 PM   #5
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Yeah. That should work, but it will be a little different. It's likely that your runnings will contain a much higher percentage of roasted grain that our first runnnings did. Therefore, you might get a different result from it. The BEST way to do it PM would be to mash the Brown, Munich, and Pale malt, then take 1.5 gal of those runnings and boil them down. Then steep the RB and coffee malt (can coffee malt be steeped? **** I don't really know - if not then add that to the mash). Maybe add a small amount of crystal malt (0.25-0.5 lb) to make up for the more roasty boil down? I would like to see if anyone else weighs in on this. This would be an sort of odd recipe to accurately do PM.

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Old 11-17-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Cool, thanks for the ideas. I don't really love the ultra "burny" flavors in my RISs.

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I would like to see if anyone else weighs in on this. This would be an sort of odd recipe to accurately do PM.
Luckily, I'm sort of an odd guy!
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