Looking for input on Imperial stout ingredients

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msa8967

mickaweapon
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I would like to brew some different all grain recipes of imperial stouts over the winter to give away next year or the year after and I would like to know which specialty grain combinations might give the stout a more complex lingering taste than just using one or two specialty malts. I have both pale brewer's malt or Maris Otter malt but I am open to trying a different base malt too.

I have used roasted barley, black patent malt, some crystal malt and chocolate malt to make good imperial stouts but these have usually produced a more uniform taste when sipping instead of something more complex. Perhaps using carafa ma;t, special malt, special B, aeromatic malt, victory malt, biscuit malt might be options but i don't want to make a kitchen sink type of recipe. I would like to avoid a harsh strong bitter taste though because I will be giving these away and not everyone might like it that way. Thank you.
 

AlexKay

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Definitely use Maris Otter or another English pale as a base malt. This gives you a backbone of flavor that specialty malts can build on. Regular 2-row is a missed opportunity.

Roasted barley and chocolate malts are appropriate for an Imperial Stout. Consider chocolate rye, which adds a lot of flavor but not any roast astringency. For crystal, use English, which has a ton of flavor compared to standard American crystals. Fawcett dark crystal, for instance, or Crisp 77L. Other options include Simpsons DRC or Briess Extra Special, which add a lot of flavor and a little roast.

And keep things simple! If you use a lot of Maris (and you will, to get the gravity high enough), you'll only need one or two roast and crystal malts to round out the flavor.
 
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msa8967

msa8967

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Definitely use Maris Otter or another English pale as a base malt. This gives you a backbone of flavor that specialty malts can build on. Regular 2-row is a missed opportunity.

Roasted barley and chocolate malts are appropriate for an Imperial Stout. Consider chocolate rye, which adds a lot of flavor but not any roast astringency. For crystal, use English, which has a ton of flavor compared to standard American crystals. Fawcett dark crystal, for instance, or Crisp 77L. Other options include Simpsons DRC or Briess Extra Special, which add a lot of flavor and a little roast.

And keep things simple! If you use a lot of Maris (and you will, to get the gravity high enough), you'll only need one or two roast and crystal malts to round out the flavor.
I have Northern Brewer hops. magnum hops and chinook hops to use. Will any of these work well with British malts?
 

TheMadKing

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I like KISS imperial stouts

Maris Otter
Crystal 40
Special B or DRC
Roasted Barley
.75-.9 IBU to gravity ratio


For complexity you could mix Carafa III with the roasted barley, add chocolate rye or midnight wheat, some Crystal 80, or some Golden Naked Oats for a super rich mouthfeel
 

BongoYodeler

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I'll also be brewing an Imperial Stout later this year, for enjoyment next year. Another plug for both Maris Otter and chocolate rye, both excellent choices. Another specialty malt I've not seen mentioned yet is Golden Naked Oats. I've not used it before in any of my stouts, but I am planning on using it at 4.5% of my recipe this time around.

Simpson's Golden Naked Oats
If you've never brewed with it, you've probably never brewed with anything like it. While most oats used in brewing are unmalted adjuncts, Simpsons Golden Naked Oats is actually a huskless crystal malt. This unique malt has a subtle, nutty flavor with a subdued, grainy sweetness. It imparts light golden hues to the wort while adding body and contributing to a smooth mouthfeel. It also helps produce a creamy, robust head. Although this exotic ingredient is not a traditional component of any beer styles, Simpsons Golden Naked Oats is perfect for malty or full-bodied beers - especially Nut Brown Ales and Stouts.
 
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msa8967

msa8967

mickaweapon
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I like KISS imperial stouts

Maris Otter
Crystal 40
Special B or DRC
Roasted Barley
.75-.9 IBU to gravity ratio


For complexity you could mix Carafa III with the roasted barley, add chocolate rye or midnight wheat, some Crystal 80, or some Golden Naked Oats for a super rich mouth feel
I would like to brew some different all grain recipes of imperial stouts over the winter to give away next year or the year after and I would like to know which specialty grain combinations might give the stout a more complex lingering taste than just using one or two specialty malts. I have both pale brewer's malt or Maris Otter malt but I am open to trying a different base malt too.

I have used roasted barley, black patent malt, some crystal malt and chocolate malt to make good imperial stouts but these have usually produced a more uniform taste when sipping instead of something more complex. Perhaps using carafa ma;t, special malt, special B, aeromatic malt, victory malt, biscuit malt might be options but i don't want to make a kitchen sink type of recipe. I would like to avoid a harsh strong bitter taste though because I will be giving these away and not everyone might like it that way. Thank you.
Which yeast strains do you like using for stouts?
 

TheMadKing

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Which yeast strains are good for using in Imperial Stouts? I having been using US-05 lately
I usually use an irish or scottish ale strain, or even a british ale yeast. Anything but windsor or Nottingham. Windsor can't ferment maltotrios and Nottingham always comes across harsh in a big beer to me
 

kevin58

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The best Imperial Stout I've made in recent years is the Russian Imperial Stout published in Ron Pattinson's Homebrewers Guide to Vintage Beer.
15 pounds pale malt... I use either Maris Otter or Golden Promise. 6 pounds Brown malt... 2.75 pounds Amber malt... and .75 pound Black malt.
Hops are Golding, Golding, Golding at 90, 60 and 30 minutes... a whopping 7 ounces for each addition.
I've used Wyeast 1099, Wyeast 1098 and Imperial Pub A-09. I liked 1099 best.
Its a 60 minute mash at 160° with a 90 minute boil.
OG= 1.100 - FG= 1.032 - ABV= 9+%

It ages tremendously well with a rich, complex character.
 
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msa8967

msa8967

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The best Imperial Stout I've made in recent years is the Russian Imperial Stout published in Ron Pattinson's Homebrewers Guide to Vintage Beer.
15 pounds pale malt... I use either Maris Otter or Golden Promise. 6 pounds Brown malt... 2.75 pounds Amber malt... and .75 pound Black malt.
Hops are Golding, Golding, Golding at 90, 60 and 30 minutes... a whopping 7 ounces for each addition.
I've used Wyeast 1099, Wyeast 1098 and Imperial Pub A-09. I liked 1099 best.
Its a 60 minute mash at 160° with a 90 minute boil.
OG= 1.100 - FG= 1.032 - ABV= 9+%

It ages tremendously well with a rich, complex character.
Is this for a 5 or 6 gallon batch?
 

Northern_Brewer

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i don't want to make a kitchen sink type of recipe. I would like to avoid a harsh strong bitter taste though because I will be giving these away and not everyone might like it that way.
Bearing this in mind - though traditional brown malt is maybe not the way to go, it's a bit love/hate, whereas DRC might be a more popular option.

Is this for a 5 or 6 gallon batch?
Ron's recipes are usually for 5 US gallons, here's one of his :
Which yeast strains are good for using in Imperial Stouts? I having been using US-05 lately
You want something British, with a bit of character. WLP540 or BE-256 might be an idea, as strains of British origin that are adapted to higher ABVs. Rochefort dregs are better, with more complexity.
 

jrgtr42

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I have an oatmeal stout that is in fermenter right now.
It's a fairly simple bill - 2-row, chocolate malt, blackprinz and rolled oats.
Typically it's an imperial bill, though this time I used the same amounts for an extra gallon, so I don't think it quite qualifies as Imperial this time.
I'm going to be adding some coffee in to the extra and see how that goes.
 

tdf

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As most folks have said already, maris otter is a great base malt. I like to use 5-10% rye malt and 15-30% medium (10L) munich as well.

When using munich, I keep my crystal malts to a 40-60L and a 90-120L. Without the munich I also like a lighter crystal.
 
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