Brewing an Imperial Stout - help me out with proportions of darker malts...

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secondratemime

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Hi all,

I'm doing a bit of a clear out of spare grains that have built up over the last few months before I buy any more and given that I have a decent amount of roasted barley and chocolate malt, I figured I'd brew a smaller batch of RIS rather than a larger one of something tamer. I've never done one before, I'm not sure if these proportions of darker malts look ok in relation to the crystal, base malts and extract. It's going to be a partial mash so I can use up a can of amber extract that's been kicking around for a while.

Batch size - 18L (4.75Gal)
Est OG - 1.092
Est FG - 1.020
Est Abv - 9.6%
Est IBU's - 72
Yeast - Either a massive Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity starter or several packets of Danstar Nottingham

16.2% - 1kg Light DME (added in last 15 mins)
24.4% - 1.5kg Amber LME (added in last 15 mins)
24.4% - 1.5kg Maris Otter
4.1% - 0.25kg Wheat Malt (to use up)
3.2% - 0.3kg Crystal 60
8.1% - 0.5kg Carapils
3.2% - 0.2kg Special B
4.9% - 0.4kg Roasted Barley
4.1% - 0.25kg Chocolate Malt

0.45kg Date Syrup to be added at high krausen

35g - Perle at 90 minutes - 31.7 IBU's
30g - Fuggles at 90 minutes - 14.3 IBU's
30g - EK Goldings at 20 minutes - 9.6 IBU's

I usually BIAB so I'm planning doing an infusion mash at 149F for 90 minutes to make a nice fermentable wort.

What's the ratio of crystal to dark malts like? It seems like a lot of crystal as I'm keen to see it go, but can knock it down a touch to bring it into balance. The wheat is going in to use it up and shouldn't make much of a contribution, other than a few gravity points. The date syrup will be added at high krausen as to retain the aroma and not to stress the yeast. I think it's mostly fermentable, but should add some interesting dark fruit notes and dry it out a bit.

The hops are what I have lying around as well, but is it worth doing a later addition in a beer like this? The IBU's are in the middle of the guideline range, but I don't know if the Goldings are going to add much.

Also, I have the 3787 yeast on hand and I know it can handle the gravity, but would it make much of a difference over and above the Nottingham?

Thoughts?

James
 
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secondratemime

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Guess I must have nailed it!

I'm thinking of doing this as an open fermentation, as I hear that can really boost the ester profile that the belgian yeast will bring. I'll probably sub half the date syrup for home made dark candi syrup too to make it a Flemmish Imperial Stout.

James
 

joyceman

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You have roughly double the amount of dark malt as crystal (more if you count special b as dark with a L of 135) so I dont see any problem there. Crystal isnt something I generally like in a stout, but thats a matter of taste.

On the hops, if you're aging this I would forget the late addition. It'll probably fade out anyway. Id save it.
 
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