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Old 08-03-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
Bonzailopper
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Oct 2009
South Kingstown, Rhode Island
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For my third attempt at this, I'm going to try an imperial choc. stout. I found a nice easy extract recipe, I just have a couple questions about the directions. There are steeping grains, and after the 30 minutes in the water the instructions tell me to "rinse them back into the pot with hot water". I was under the impression that was a no-no, because of dirty tannins. The second question is whether or not I should transfer to a secondary. I didn't think it was necessary in the first place, but the directions call for it. Finally, when adding the water to the fermenter to get to 5 gal., it actually tells me to add enough water to get it to 5.25 gal. That seems off to me because I thought if you were making a 5 gal. batch, why would you want 5.25 gal. in the fermenter? Probably no brainer's here but I'm not all that confident in my process yet. Any help is greatly appreciated.

-John
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:31 PM   #2
dcp27
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Jan 2010
Medford, MA
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The hot rinse is a sparge, which isn't really necessary with steeping grains since they don't give enough sugars to warrant it. At around 170F there won't be enough contact time to extract tannins, just the excess sugar stuck on the grains.
the secondary isn't needed unless you plan on bulk aging for a long time (months).
the extra 0.25gal (most do 0.5gal) is so you have 5gal left after you're done racking off the trub and yeast cake

 
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
944play
 
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Jul 2008
Santa Rosa, CA
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If you want 5 gallons of finished beer, you have to have some extra to account for trub and racking loss. You generally start with 6.5 gallons of wort, boil it down to 5.5, transfer 5.25 to the fermenter (leave hops and break in the kettle), and rack 5 into your keg or bottling bucket (leave yeast and trub in fermenter).

For an imperial stout you may want to employ a secondary... scratch that, let's call it what it is, a brite beer tank. RIS is a style that needs lots of time to mellow. Hint: kegs make FANTASTIC BBTs.
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