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Old 04-22-2009, 07:53 PM   #31
megalomani
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Wow, that is a mighty brew. I am also curious to hear how this has turned out for those who have attempted. I don't have a large enough beverage cooler to mash even enough grain for a 5 gallon batch but may mash what I can and bring up to gravity with DME.

Songstre, I believe you have a good conversion but probably don't need a full 6 gallons for the grain tea and boil. You may get better alpha acid extraction from the hops with the full 6 gallon but not sure about that. When I have done extract I always boil ~3 gallons then add cold water at the end. Saves some time and energy cooling down and won't need as large a pot.

Has anyone had experience with the wyeast 9093 imperial blend. This was on sale at the LHBS and picked a pack up. Interested in anyone's thoughts/opinions of using a high gravity yeast strain for this recipe.

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Old 04-22-2009, 08:04 PM   #32
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This beer takes a lot of aging and therefore a huge amount of tolerance and time. It also needs a LONG, SLOW sparge (I have not done a Batch run with this one) and a long rolling boil with good evaporation. You will need tons of yeast and good aeration. I don't even have the 9093 on my radar but it sounds really interesting and like a good choice. I will be interested to hear what others have to say on this one.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:52 PM   #33
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This recipe looks awesome. I am looking to do a RIS soon so I can age it for next winter. If I am doing a 5 gallon batch of this in a 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler this calculator:Green Bay Rackers--Mash Calculators says that it will take almost 9.5 gallons of space. So I think I am good but it might be a little tight.
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:09 PM   #34
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Just a little bump to see if anyone has a batch old enough to do a review on yet.

I was going to wait till I heard reviews, but I just said the heck with it and brewed it yesterday. This was only my 6th AG batch and by far my highest grain bill. I was worrying about my MLT capacity (10gal) and didn't even consider that my BK size would be the limiting factor here. My planned one batch sparge turned into a ad hoc hybrid sparge - the sugars just kept coming. I don't know how I got such good efficiency; I almost collected a 3rd running for another beer.

I had to swap out for American 2-row and Simpson's Chocolate due to availability. I also reserved one oz of hops till 30min. I know it's not to the style, but I wanted some hop flavor.

I don't know how to describe the color, but it's the prettiest thing I've seen streaming out of my MLT so far. Two neighbors stopped by during the brew to find out what that awesome aroma was.

Has anyone had the chance to taste this yet? This one is going to take a lot of patience.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:46 PM   #35
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I brewed this in September of '08. For the longest time it was WAAAAYYY to bitter to be enjoyable. I popped it open on Big Brew (May 2) and it was delicious. It was still way bitter, but darn tasty! I did have trouble getting much carbonation into it, but it was still pretty great. Definitely age this one a little.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:27 PM   #36
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Well I gave it a shot substituting for what I had available as well as supplementing with ~10 lbs of liquid extract to hit gravity with my setup. Fermented with the wyeast imperial blend out to 1.032 after three weeks. I don't think it was finished however after opening a bottle this past weekend to an explosion of foam.

The beer was >70 degrees because I just wanted to check if there was any CO2 hiss and recap for later. I have one in the refrigerator now to test how it does cold. I am fairly certain that exposure to oxygen during bottling reactivated the yeast and it fermented out a bit more.

After foaming uncontrollably for about 40 seconds I was able to pour the remaining beer into a glass and sample. It obviously needs time (only five weeks old), but already good. Was thick but not overly sweet. VERY assertive bitterness (both alpha and roast)! Puts an arrogant bastard to shame.

I was thinking of uncapping bottles over a corny keg to collect all the beer and foam. After all the foam settles I could cool the beer and adjust the carbonation, then re-bottle off the keg. Does anyone have a simpler solution to avoid any loss beer?

Update: Tried a cold beer a couple weeks latter and it is fine. Still overly carbonated but no worry of bottle bombs. After posting I read up a little on bottle carbing, excessive foaming is common if opened too early because the CO2 hasn't had enough time to dissolve in the beer. I don't plan to open any more of these until at least October.

Last edited by megalomani; 07-01-2009 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:15 PM   #37
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Ha, I just came across this.

I figure I have to try any beer named after a St. John of the Cross book
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:09 PM   #38
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Any more updates on this brew?? Would love to get one kicking?? maybe this fall and let it sit til about next fall?? to long?? just right?? any recomendations on yeast health factors for such a high gravity?? If Im gonna spit this one out I wanna make sure its worth it and havent seen to many reviews as to how it turned out??
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:35 PM   #39
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Its been 4 months since my last taste. Opened a 12oz bottle after chilling for a short time. I didn't have a volcanic explosion this time but the carbonation is still very high. I also had a good 1/4" of sedimentation on the bottom of the bottle that began to mix with the beer like a lava lamp once the pressure gradient was created by opening the bottle. There was lots of FOAM, too much. After lots of love and attention to control the foam during the poor I waited to allow it too settle.

The aroma was similar to a coffee house or more like a chocolate shop, sweet and bitter. After enough foam had subsided I placed the glass to my lips and engulfed the delicious aroma as I tilted the glass for a taste.

Rich and sweet up front, it was thick and dark but not sickenly sweet or syrupy. The sugar doesn't stay on your tongue either because the roasted malt balances with coffee like bitterness and the alpha oils come through to leave a dry, clean, pronounced finish.

I am very proud of this beer despite the problems with carbonation and sedimentation. The flavor is better than any i have sampled in this style (admittedly haven't had too many, but better than Bell's Expedition Stout).

For those who may also be trying their first high gravity ale, might i offer a few more suggestions in addition to Brewpastors advise:

1. The high gravity yeast (wyeast 9093 imperial blend) worked very well for me. I still made a big starter but had no problems with under carbonation or having the yeast crap out (on the contrary had over carbonation).

2. Allow plenty of time for fermentation, i probably bottled too early and added too much priming sugar. Take a hydrometer reading instead of watching for bubbles. If it seems high still, wait another week and see if it has changed before deciding if it is finished.

3. Secondary fermentation! I never use secondary because for my normal gravity beer have never noticed a big enough difference compared to leaving in primary an extra week or two. In the future I will ALWAYS rack to secondary anything this big! The 1/4" of sediment on the bottom of all my bottles is enough for me to know better now.

Thanks for the recipe BrewPastor, this one will be on the annual rotation now. I even have a big mash cooler now so I won't need to supplement with extract.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:37 PM   #40
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I made an attempt to brew this. We will see how my yeast takes off. I took a small sample of the wort as it is right now because I found out today my hydrometer was broken. I made a big starter about 4 days before hand and aerated the crap out of it with a 5" aquarium stone. I am running a blow off tube right now and hope things take off.

So I don't know what my gravity is, but I did throw in 13lbs lite dme, and the other specialty grains listed on the partial mash on page three. If my gravity isn't quite up to snuff I will pick up some corn sugar or maybe just get a little more dme to bring it up.

As I come out of the winter months I will give this a try again all grain in my garage after I build up a mash tun for myself. Ooh and a larger boil pot.
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