"Imperializing" a style/recipe - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > "Imperializing" a style/recipe

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-22-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
broadbill
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Southern Maine
Posts: 3,921
Liked 531 Times on 358 Posts



In general, to get an Imperial version of a given style, does one just increase the base malt to the desired OG and increase the hops to keep the BU:GU ratio the same?

In other words, does the specialty grain amounts typically stay the same? One would think you would increase those as well, but maybe not.

Just wondering what the general rule is....this seems to be the case in the recipes I've come across (admittedly not many).

Thanks!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
A4J
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
A4J's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Mar 2008
the Desert, CA
Posts: 1,350
Liked 30 Times on 25 Posts


I've been curious about this for a long time and I'd like to know.
__________________
Primary 1: pale ale
Primary 2: blondie


My mid-century modern keezer build thread.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2008, 05:28 PM   #3
the_bird
10th-Level Beer Nerd
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
the_bird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2006
Adams, MA
Posts: 20,883
Liked 523 Times on 420 Posts


I'm not sure there's necessarily a "right" answer, especially if talking about "Imperializing" a recipe that doesn't have a tradition of being made ultra-big (like making imperial stouts and I-IPAs).

The way that I would approach it is to consider really what I was trying to ultimately accomplish. Thinking about an imperial pilsner, for example. If I were doing something like that, the "pilsner" characteristics I would be looking to maximize would be perhaps the hopping and some of the malt flavor, but I would not want it to be too sweet/cloying or too thick (I'd approach it completely differently than DogFish Head). That would mean that I would *not* bump any specialty malts (not that there would be many), and I'd take steps to maximize the attenuation of what would be a greater amount of base malt. I'd think about low mash temps, longer mash times, the introduction of simple sugars, etc. I'd add a lot more hops and a lot more later hop additions, keeping to classic varieties like Saaz so that it remains somewhat identifiable as "Pilsner." I'd keep the yeast choice as clean as I could, I'd pitch a HUGE starter so as to minimize ester production.

But, those are all steps I would take based on the beer I ultimately envisioned. If I wanted to make an Imperial English Brown, I'd be maximizing some of the fruity notes, probably increasing some of the crystal malts, making it even sweeter than usual.

Philisophically, to me making something "Imperial" means identifying the core characteristic of that beer and then taking that to the n-th degree. For different beers, that key characteristic is different; malty, hoppy, fruity, sweet, etc. So, I think you need to approach this on a beer-by-beer basis.

But, that's just how I would approach this question, philisophically.
__________________
Come join Yankee Ingenuity!

"I'm kind of toasted. But I looked at my watch and it's only 6:30 so I can't stop drinking yet." - Yooper's Bob
"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2008, 06:35 PM   #4
beeraggie
 
beeraggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Mar 2007
California
Posts: 259

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post

Philisophically, to me making something "Imperial" means identifying the core characteristic of that beer and then taking that to the n-th degree. For different beers, that key characteristic is different; malty, hoppy, fruity, sweet, etc. So, I think you need to approach this on a beer-by-beer basis.
Good Call bird!!!!
__________________
Screw styles...brew what you like!!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2008, 03:29 AM   #5
Bearcat Brewmeister
Pour, Drink, Pee, Repeat
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bearcat Brewmeister's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 699
Liked 23 Times on 9 Posts


It's not really imperializing, but if you look at the range of Scottish styles as an example and Jamil's podcast recommendation, he says to only increase the base malt and hops in proportion to balance. It sounded odd to me as I would have thought that you would want to increase the Scottish characteristics (sweetness) and add extra of the non-base malt ingredients. I don't exactly follow his advice. I do add some of the non-base malts, but not in the same proportion as in the base recipe. More like a third as much (if non-base malts made up 15% of my grain bill, they would make up 5% of part that I am adding to imperialize (the other 10% then becomes more base malt).
__________________
Kegged: Barrel Aged Imperial Sweet Stout, Rye Ale, Old Ale
Secondary:
Barrel Aged Imperial Sweet Stout On Cherries
Primary:
Fruitcake Old Ale, RIS
Next Up: White IPA
Projects: Brutus Strut-stand (Done), Freezer Conversion (Done), HERMS (Done), Lager Fermentation Mini-fridge Extension (Done)
Drinking: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Fuller's 1845, Founder's Dirty Bastard, New Glarus Moon Man, Fat Head's Hop Juju

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2008, 03:43 AM   #6
PseudoChef
 
PseudoChef's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2007
West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
Posts: 3,406
Liked 110 Times on 81 Posts


I've seen a couple examples of commercial breweries who just state they double the regular recipe. For example, Double Dog Pale Ale (Flying Dog) is just Doggiestyle x 2 and Terrapin's Rye Squared is just Rye Pale Ale x 2.

However, it is all about balance in the long run. I personally wouldn't want to be doubling up boatloads of crystal malt, but that's just because I like drier beers.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"American" or "Imperial" Oatmeal Stout Recipe: Critiques please! cladinshadows Recipes/Ingredients 5 11-23-2015 11:14 PM
Airlocks: Classic 3-piece or "triple ripple" style? deepfat Equipment/Sanitation 13 03-21-2011 11:57 AM
"Trappist-style" Recipe Help BoogieBrandBooze Recipes/Ingredients 7 06-19-2009 01:19 AM
"Imperializing" existing recipes? TimBrewz Recipes/Ingredients 6 09-01-2008 02:10 PM
"Imperializing" a stout recipe carnevoodoo Recipes/Ingredients 6 05-01-2008 11:46 PM


Forum Jump