So, I have been working on a summer ale recipe that I am going to brew this Friday (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=72570
) and it occurred to me - Why can't I brew a heavy stout in the summer? I like big beers and have wanted to try a chocolate-espresso stout for a while, so I figured I would give it a go. And then I thought I would go one step further and add some raspberries. I looked through all the recipes on this site, and there are a number of chocolate stouts, coffee stouts, and chocolate coffee stouts, but none with the fruit addition. I know Snake River Zonker Stout is an Imperial Stout with all three, and I know Weyerbacher makes a Raspberry Imperial Stout as well. though I have tried neither. So I am working on getting a recipe down, and would love some advice.
What I picture is a big, heavy stout, black as oil. The kind of stout that makes an evening an evening. All of the flavors are there, apparent, but nothing overpowering, and the solid bitterness and malty delicicaies of the stout still make their way through. The coffee notes are probably what hit the nose first, and are probably first on the taste. The smooth chocolate finishes it out. The raspberries sparkle throughout, not overpowering but making themselves known.
I went through the chocolate and coffee stout recipes here as inspiration. Most had an IBU of approx. 50 - 60 so I decided to shoot for somewhere in that range. I do not want to doa partial mash so I got rid of all of the grains that would require it, like flaked barley or oats, munich malt, etc. Without further ado I will give the roughest draft of the recipe, and then some of my questions and concerns afterwords:
EDIT - This recipe has changed somewhat, keep reading through to see its current state, and when I actually brew it I will post a final recipe
Midnight Oil Imperial Stout
9.0 lbs. Dark DME
2.0 lbs. Crystal 80L steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 lbs. Roasted barley steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 lbs. Black Patent Malt steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 lbs. Chocolate Malt steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 oz. Chinook Pellet Hops 60 minutes
1.0 oz. Saaz Pellet Hops 15 minutes
1/2 c. baking cocoa at flameout
1/4 c. baking cocoa in Secondary
1 c. fresh raspberries, crushed in Secondary
24-32 oz. cold brewed espresso in Secondary
White Labs WLP004 Irish Stout Yeast
According to TastyBrew's Recipe Calculator, this should have approx. IBU 55, ABV 8.3, both of which seem to be in line with what I am going for. I will be doing a 3 gallon boil and then adding to make 5. I am most likely going to brew for 30 minutes with only 3 lbs. of the DME, to make sure the hos have a fighting chance, and I will add the additional 6 lbs. for the final 30 minutes.
OK, now questions:
(1.) I am worried about a little too much smokiness from 1 lb. Black Patent and 1 lb. Roasted Barley. Should this be a concern? Should I modify my steeping grains? I don't want to shy away from a traditional, heavy stout flavor, I just want to layer on top of it.
(2.) Do the amounts of chocolate, coffee and berries look about right? Like I said, I want them all to be very present, and it would be difficult to mask 9 lbs. of dark malt.
(3.) What could I expect the difference to be from boiling the cocoa for the full 60 like some recipes do as opposed to putting it in at flameout as opposed to putting it in the secondary? Similarly, what could I expect to be a difference between adding ground coffee at flameout or in the secondary as opposed to the cold-brewed coffee in the secondary?
(4.) Does anyone think blackberries might create a more interesting bouquet than the raspberries?
(5.) I am not entirely settled on the Saaz as my flavoring/aroma hop. The stouts I was using as my inspiration used Chinook, Saaz, Liberty and Fuggles as flavoring hops. Saaz has less of a citrus or fruitiness to it and more of an earthy spiciness, which I thought would be a stronger compliment to the berries.
(6.) I ferment in an Ale Pail (6.5 gallons) with an airlock. I have read these types of stouts might warrant getting some blow-off tube and setting that up, at least for the initial days of fermentation. Good idea, or unnecessary?
(7.) I wanted the crystal to add nice, smooth undertones but did not want it to be too overpowering, which is when I was going with 80L. Does that make sense? With this heavy of a recipe would it be a marked difference anyway?
As even my few weeks reading and even fewer days participating in this site have displayed for me, many of y'all know answers to questions I haven't even thought of and see remedies to problems I forgot to anticipate, so I will take any advice you have got.
Thanks for the patience, support and encouragement, folks!