Dry Hopping Options in a Borderline Imperial Stout

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Oct 24, 2022
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Hi folks, new to the HBT but used it for casual reference over the years in my adventures..so hi 😅

Ok so I’ve brewed a couple of batches to use up some old malt and hops that’ve been hanging around a little longer than they should (leftover ingredients bought during lockdown of 2020, so yeah, a bit old!)

Age doesn’t appear to have been a problem tho….I don’t get to brew often (kids innit) so tend to go for bigger, 40-45l batches every 10 months of so.

This time I’ve done 2 back-to-back batches to use stuff up: A 40l batch of average (5%) US Pale and a 23l (roughly) of strong (and 10%) stout.

I fermented the pale in 2 separate buckets, pitching a sachet of Wilko yeast on each. I’ll be kegging that soon.

Now, for the stout I did a no-chill to a cube once boil was done. Once at around 20c I poured it straight onto the yeast cake (and trubb of course 😬) of one of the racked buckets from the previous batch -not done this before, but figured “why not”. It seems to be a good thing to “train” yeast up before hitting it with a higher gravity batch

The recipe for the “borderline” imperial stout is:

9kg Maris Otter
200g Black malt
200g Roasted barley
500g Chocolate malt
500g Brown Sugar

20g Simcoe (60m)
25g East Kent Goldings (10m)

OG was 1.089
FG is now at 1.013 after 10 days - I think it’s done. Fermentation was pretty volatile at peak!

I call it a “borderline” IS as the FG is on the low side and it could probably be a little darker, I guess. I mashed overnight (reason:kids/time) starting at 65c on my well insulated cooler mash tun, so I think the lower temp has dried/lowered the body a little further than I’d have liked….but more ABV at 9.8%, so not all bad😅.

Now. I’m planning to rack and age this stout for a few months before bottling and aging for a few more months. Initial samples have a strong alcohol hum (expected), promising coffee/mocha notes, but lacking a really discernible hop profile - given the limited freezer scraps I was using in the boil!

I’m thinking of adding a dry-hopping stage before racking off again to age.

I haven’t dry hopped a stout before, having previously only done so with IPAs or Pales, and usually playing safe with the usual US go-tos of Cascade, Centenial and the like. But I think this would be a good candidate for an experiment.

I’m thinking there’s a raisiny/dark fruit/spicy, berry note missing in there that is like to bring out somehow. I was thinking of maybe some more EKG, mixed with something else…dunno what really tho….or the quantities involved

How about some suggestions 😁 cheers. Any questions, just ask
I’m a big fan in EKG dry hops. 2 oz in 5 gals gives an herbal, tea-like aroma that I really enjoy. I think it would work well for your stout.
I was leaning toward EKG, never lets me down. Being a UK brewer, seeing hop addition In oz always throws me out! So by my reckoning 2oz/around 60g EKG for 2 weeks. Have some Bramley Cross too..maybe through in an oz of that too?