Imperial Stout Recipe Feedback

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AlexKay

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For my 250th beer I'm planning an imperial stout -- something that flirts with being an American barleywine in terms of bitterness and hops, but with too much roast for the style. Here's what I have so far for a 1 gallon batch:

5.5 lbs. English pale malt
0.25 lbs. crystal rye
0.25 lbs. chocolate
0.25 lbs. chocolate rye
0.25 lbs. Carafa III Special
0.5 lbs. dextrose

10 g Magnum @ 60
14 g Lotus @ 5
14 g Bergamot @ 5

Nottingham (1 packet)

It should come in at around 1.140, which Nottingham can handle, albeit grudgingly. Lotus and Bergamot are citrus (and especially orange) forward.

Does it need some Munich (any recipe could do with a pound of Munich?) More chocolate/black patent/roasted barley? More malt and less sugar? Interested to hear any feedback.
 

DBhomebrew

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Like Carafa Special, chocolate rye (or wheat) has no husk. All the yumminess, no bitter astringency. I'd skip the barley chocolate malt and go all in on the [chocolate] rye. It gives much more chocolate flavor. If you want to skew towards dark chocolate, go with chocolate wheat.

At 1.140, I don't think you need dextrose to keep the FG up.

This imperial of mine started at a dainty 1.100, fermented on Notty @60°F, and finished at 1.030. I just had a pour of it last night, looks like motor oil swirling in the glass. That's with 10% mostly fermentable invert sugar. As I drank it, I confirmed my opinion that next time I'll put it on brett to help thin it out. Digestible, as the Belgians say.

With that much UK pale malt, I don't think you need Munich. Probably wouldn't hurt though.

Chocolate and orange. Yum. I commend you on seeking those flavors from malt and hops rather than additives.
 
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tracer bullet

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... go all in on the rye. It gives much more chocolate flavor....

This imperial of mine started at a dainty 1.100, fermented on Notty @60°F, and finished at 1.030

Rye? I have always disliked beer with rye, it ads a flavor I think of as "rye" and I don't like. Do you not get that flavor, or do you just not mind it? I've avoided rye for a decade. I wont' comment on the recipe for that reason, haha, other than to ask for more detail on the suggestion.

I also used Notty on my latest Imperial Stout brewed a little over a month ago. Hard to comment on the flavor other than samples said it brewed fine and didn't get screwed up. Gravity-wise it too a 1.116 beer down to 1.024, pretty good I'd say. I did mash long and low (1.5 hours at about 149) hoping for a low final gravity and the Notty certainly got there. 3 packs (probably more than needed) for a 5 gallon batch. For 1 gallon I'd go half pack, should be plenty. Save the rest for another day.
 

DBhomebrew

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Rye? I have always disliked beer with rye, it ads a flavor I think of as "rye" and I don't like. Do you not get that flavor, or do you just not mind it? I've avoided rye for a decade. I wont' comment on the recipe for that reason, haha, other than to ask for more detail on the suggestion.

The chocolate rye, I mean. Comes across to me as full on chocolate.
 

hottpeper13

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I always make a small beer first then repitch half the cake on my 1.100+ brews. My last Notty RIS got 81% ADF and 10% ABV ,was repitched from a 1.060 IPA.
 

DBhomebrew

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@AlexKay I just reread your thread about your chocolate oatwine. How'd it turn out with some age on it? What lessons are you bringing over from it? I see the specialty grist is similar to this one.
 
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AlexKay

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@AlexKay I just reread your thread about your chocolate oatwine. How'd it turn out with some age on it? What lessons are you bringing over from it? I see the specialty grist is similar to this one.
It's really quite good. I made a second batch of it and it's still on tap, under nitrogen. The chocolate and oats work perfectly with a nitro pour; it's very, very smooth. I just grabbed a taste before posting this, and I'd say the flavor profile and texture are just where I want them. The age has mellowed the hops and blended the flavors, but it still tastes too hot at 11% ABV. If I do it again I'll call it "Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Porter," skip the vodka tincture and nibs, and shoot for 8% or so.

I ended up putting 21 g each of Lotus and Bergamot in the current stout, so that's much hoppier than the oatwine. I'm hoping some of the orange will still be there after 6 months or so in the bottle.

Edit: my autocorrect keeps trying to put "happier" for "hoppier." Maybe it's onto something.
 

Hopalong

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Rye? I have always disliked beer with rye, it ads a flavor I think of as "rye" and I don't like. Do you not get that flavor, or do you just not mind it? I've avoided rye for a decade. I wont' comment on the recipe for that reason, haha, other than to ask for more detail on the suggestion.

I also used Notty on my latest Imperial Stout brewed a little over a month ago. Hard to comment on the flavor other than samples said it brewed fine and didn't get screwed up. Gravity-wise it too a 1.116 beer down to 1.024, pretty good I'd say. I did mash long and low (1.5 hours at about 149) hoping for a low final gravity and the Notty certainly got there. 3 packs (probably more than needed) for a 5 gallon batch. For 1 gallon I'd go half pack, should be plenty. Save the rest for another day.
What is the reason for resting mash for 1.5 hours? The conversion rest was skipped so how did you produce ale? Beta rapidly denatures at 149F. During conversion Beta converts simple sugar, glucose, which Alpha releases from simple starch, amylose during liquefaction, into complex types of sugar maltose and maltotriose. Maltose and maltotriose are the types of sugar that produce ale and lager, glucose only makes alcohol. When conversion occurs, secondary fermentation takes place due to maltose. Maltotriose carbonates beer during conditioning. The conversion step isn't used in grain distillation and that is where single temperature infusion came from. It is the simplest, quickest brewing method on the planet and that is why moonshiners use the brewing method. When conversion is skipped the beer is moonshiners beer.
High quality, under modified, low protein, malt is used for making ale and lager. The malt is used with the step mash method and with the decoction method. The step mash method produces pseudo, ale and lager. The decoction method produces authentic, ale and lager. Soaking high modified, high protein, malt in hot water for an hour produces American, home brew style, imperial moonshiners beer that a recipe renamed imperial stout.
 
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AlexKay

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Where to start?

  • Beta-amylase lives a good time at 149; longer in the mash environment than it would if dilute in water. With a 1.5-hour mash, there might not be as much enzymatic activity in the last 30 minutes, but overall there will be plenty of conversion.
  • It doesn't make much sense to say that glucose and maltose ferment differently -- the very first step in yeast metabolism of maltose is to turn it into glucose. If you somehow made an all-malt wort with only glucose (say, you added exogenous maltase), the beer would be indistinguishable.
  • Maltotriose ... doesn't carbonate beer. I mean, it could, I suppose, just like the fermentation of any other sugar, assuming you have a yeast that can metabolize maltotriose (not all can.) But fermenting any sugar produces CO2 in exactly the same way.
  • Undermodified malt is for people who are interested in brewing using historical methods, and for masochists. That's it; otherwise, more modification = better for brewing.
 
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