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Old 07-14-2008, 10:23 AM   #1
Jun 2008
Posts: 10

I was thinking of brewing a Russian Imperial Stout Kit for my third batch of brew. I noticed the instructions said that it needs a month to condition or something like that. I thought about fermenting for a week and then putting it in a 5 gal glass carboy for a few more weeks to keep my primary available for other brews. My local Brew store sells fruit extracts. I thought about getting some raspberry extract and adding it to the RIS when its in the secondary. Is that the proper time to add extract? How much extract is typically used? and finally do you think that a hint of raspberry in a RIS would be a good combo? As always thanks for your help..

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Old 07-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #2
Evan!'s Avatar
Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,863
Liked 88 Times on 73 Posts

Yeah, with a big beer like that, it definitely needs aging. Keep it in the primary for 2 weeks and then, providing your gravity steady, transfer to your aging carboy for another 3 weeks or so. After that, bottle it and wait. RIS's are meant to AGE, so, while it might be drinkable after a month in the bottle, it won't truly be worthy to open until 6 months after that...and will really be hitting its stride a year after that.

I'm not sure what the kit has for yeast, but I'm guessing it's dry. Make sure you rehydrate it (just put it in some boiled/cooled water before you start brewing to rehydrate the cells)...and make sure the wort gets plenty of aeration before you pitch the yeast onto it. Also, with a big beer like this you really want to pay particular attention to your fermentation temps. If they're too high, you'll end up with a solventy, phenolicy mess, with tons of hot alcohol flavor and aroma and a very harsh overall beer. Do you have any kind of temp control for fermentation?

Lastly, I'd stay away from extracts, flavoring, fruit etc., until you get the process down and are sure you can brew a great base beer. You COULD go with raspberry for an RIS but if you ask me, it's much better on its'll age better, it'll be more true. IN other words, it just doesn't need the flavor addition whatsoever.

But if you want, what you COULD do is, when you're bottling it, just leave the extract until the final 1/4 of the batch or so. Bottle the first 3/4, then add a little bit of the extract and bottle (be sure to label those differently). The amounts depend entirely on the type of extract.

Good luck! Ask around here for any questions, most people on the boards have brewed an RIS (I've brewed probably 8 in my time).
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers

•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

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Old 07-15-2008, 01:07 AM   #3
Jun 2008
Posts: 10

wow, thanks for the great advice. I think that perhaps I should put the RIS on the backburner for a while. I only have two batches under my belt and perhaps Im getting ahead of myself. Letting that beer age for that long would put a hurting on my ability to make more beers due to lack of carboys/bottles.

Hopefully I can acquire some more equip/bottles and get a handle on my fermentation temp control (I currently use a bin with a few inches of water and a t-shirt around bucket and a fan, keeps beer at around 70 but has gone up to 72 in the past).

Thanks again for the great advice...

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