Imperial Stout Russian Imperial Stout (2011 HBT Competition Category Winner)

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OK, I'm exhausted after reading this whole thread. Definitely going to give this one a whirl but I still have a few questions regarding first runnings and brewing the second batch from the "spent" grains.

1. My calculator shows a 7 gallon strike and 3.5 gallon sparge for the RIS. Just to be clear: I should sparge for the RIS, correct?

2. I'm left with wet grains in my cooler. How do I know how much water to add to get a second batch?

3. I saw several comments about adding DME to the second batch to bump the gravity, but how would I know how much to add?

4. Any advice on which hops to use on the second batch?

I've been brewing for a few years but never tried something as complex as this. Thanks for any advice!
[/CITAR]

What I would do is measure the gravity of my second running and from there I would start to see how much I have to sparge to reach the pre-boiling gravity that you want. always keeping in mind an estimated gravity that you want to get post-boil. If the gravity of the second running is too light for what you want, you can increase the gravity by adding part of your first running to the second, or by making a longer boil. What I don't know is, if so much mash time of the grain will take tannins to the kettle.
 

RePete

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Yeah. It wasn't easy. Fitted the center pipe with a piece of silicon tubing to be able to get the level up. Thanks to the suggestion of @rjhoff . It was a fairly thick mash. Not sure I will do it again. Unless it tastes amazing, then I'll have to.
 

rjhoff

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Yeah. It wasn't easy. Fitted the center pipe with a piece of silicon tubing to be able to get the level up. Thanks to the suggestion of @rjhoff . It was a fairly thick mash. Not sure I will do it again. Unless it tastes amazing, then I'll have to.
Plus I duct tape the mash handle holes (Reddit user already called it out as unsanitary or toxic, but I keep doing it). I‘ve subbed DME For base malt on a couple recipes with decent results, definitely want to try an imperial stout!
 

rjhoff

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You roped me in @RePete, entering into Beersmith. I'm looking at a few adjustments on the grain bill:

Screen Shot 2020-07-13 at 11.53.38 AM.png

1) Color was super high, so I dropped the roasted barley and chocolate malt contributions - still at 51.3 SRM
2) Subbed 2 lbs of pale DME for 3 lbs of 2-row (Robobrew capacity limit)
3) Selected grains that my LHBS normally stocks

Total 16.75 lbs grain in the mash (thats my comfort limit), I'll drop the mash volume from 28.5 qt/1.7 grist ratio to 27 qt/1.61

Any feedback is welcome...
 

RePete

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You roped me in @RePete, entering into Beersmith. I'm looking at a few adjustments on the grain bill:

View attachment 689278
1) Color was super high, so I dropped the roasted barley and chocolate malt contributions - still at 51.3 SRM
2) Subbed 2 lbs of pale DME for 3 lbs of 2-row (Robobrew capacity limit)
3) Selected grains that my LHBS normally stocks

Total 16.75 lbs grain in the mash (thats my comfort limit), I'll drop the mash volume from 28.5 qt/1.7 grist ratio to 27 qt/1.61

Any feedback is welcome...
Your Chocolate and Roasted Barely are darker than what I used. So there is that. It's still really dark. All that grain soaks up alot of water. So have plenty of sparge water ready.

After sparging, I dumped all the grain into a cooler with a mesh screen. Then spargedd that later for a second running. Added 1lb of DME to that, and ended up with an OG of 1.042
 

rjhoff

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Your Chocolate and Roasted Barely are darker than what I used. So there is that. It's still really dark. All that grain soaks up alot of water. So have plenty of sparge water ready.

After sparging, I dumped all the grain into a cooler with a mesh screen. Then spargedd that later for a second running. Added 1lb of DME to that, and ended up with an OG of 1.042
Beer smith only calls for two gallons sparge, it's usually spot on but I always prep 4 gallons. I won't brew this until late in the month, my fermenters are full and I have an Oatmeal Stout queued up.
 

Beeru

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Thinking about trying this in the Grainfather to get it ready for winter. Might have to reduce it by about a pound, just to fit it all in.
 

poorman

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I want to try in the grainfather g30 too. How did yours go? What did you change? I'm pondering the reiterative mash using the whole grain bill as OP but curious as to how Beeru's turned out.
 

dawn_kiebawls

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If I wanted to brew this to be about 6% would I just scale the grains and maintain the same IBUs? Or would brewing this as a smaller beer completely change the way this beer drinks?

I'm not big on 'imperials' and I have an event coming up in about 6 weeks I'd like to have this ready for so I'm hoping by lowering the ABV it won't need to bulk age for 6 months. Cheers!
 

rjhoff

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If I wanted to brew this to be about 6% would I just scale the grains and maintain the same IBUs? Or would brewing this as a smaller beer completely change the way this beer drinks?

I'm not big on 'imperials' and I have an event coming up in about 6 weeks I'd like to have this ready for so I'm hoping by lowering the ABV it won't need to bulk age for 6 months. Cheers!
The ABV for that style starts at 8%. I suppose you could scale back the grain bill and give it a try, or you could find a different stout recipe - for instance I recently brewed an oatmeal stout and tapped it about 3 weeks after brewing.

The risk with scaling the recipe is that not all grains scale the same and at least in my experience it takes 2-3 batches to get it dialed in.
 
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TestTickle

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If I wanted to brew this to be about 6% would I just scale the grains and maintain the same IBUs? Or would brewing this as a smaller beer completely change the way this beer drinks?

I'm not big on 'imperials' and I have an event coming up in about 6 weeks I'd like to have this ready for so I'm hoping by lowering the ABV it won't need to bulk age for 6 months. Cheers!
You definitely would want to scale back the IBU's if you are making a lighter version of this beer. The higher IBU helps balance out the malt and higher ABV in this style.

I agree with the post above - you might want to find a more traditional stout recipe.
 

BeerFst

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If I wanted to brew this to be about 6% would I just scale the grains and maintain the same IBUs? Or would brewing this as a smaller beer completely change the way this beer drinks?

I'm not big on 'imperials' and I have an event coming up in about 6 weeks I'd like to have this ready for so I'm hoping by lowering the ABV it won't need to bulk age for 6 months. Cheers!
I imagine I am too late. You should look at the bu:gu ratio or basically just bitterness divided by the og. So for the page 1 recipe 88/110 (ish I already forgot exact number). I’d you reduced your og to 55 then your ibu should be reduced to 44

It’s not perfect since at 55 your are likely to ferment lower than 30 advertised on page one, but it will get you in the ballpark. As noted above shrinking recipes is pretty hard, there is a good article on beer and brewing on how to do it. For the most part you keep the the speciality malts almost as is and reduce the base malt.

I tried this with a founders breakfast clone reducing it from 9% to 6% and while the beer was okay it was not nearly as good as the 9% version
 

dawn_kiebawls

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Thanks for the help, @BeerFst and @TestTickle (nice. almost as good as Dawn Kiebawls - read as donkey balls ;))! If i decide to brew this I'll brew as it was written and either bottle or have it on tap for quite a while. At least we're coming into season for Imperial Stouts. Cheers!
 
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Newbie here. Huge fan of stouts but a little intimidated in brewing one while im still so green, buuut i saved this recipe to one of my apps (i believe brewfather). Anyway, i plugged it all in, and all the calculations were close except for color. Im reading at 76! I mean i love a dark stout, but does that much of a difference really affect it?
 

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I am planning to brew and then age this for 7/8 months, but somewhere in this huge thread I saw that you should age it below 60F, my basement is currently at 64F and will only get hotter... Can I age this in my keezer at 35F? and occasionally take it out when Im coldcrashing something?
 

TestTickle

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I am planning to brew and then age this for 7/8 months, but somewhere in this huge thread I saw that you should age it below 60F, my basement is currently at 64F and will only get hotter... Can I age this in my keezer at 35F? and occasionally take it out when Im coldcrashing something?
My basement is 66, and it has aged well. You’ll be fine.
 

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Anybody brew this with a kveik yeast yet?
I would like to brew the original but my temperature controlled fridge is tied up with serving kegs for the next few weeks.
I do however have the ability with an InkBird temp controller and a FermWrap to keep it at around 90 F.
Worked perfect for a Barlywine I'm fermenting at the moment which has gone from 1.093 to 1.017 in 5 days.
I'll leave it another few days to make sure it's done though.

I was thinking about harvesting the yeast and doing the same with this recipe.
It was Lallemand Voss but I would be interested in any experience with a Kviek yeast.

Thanks :mug:
 
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Hwmetzger

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I brewed this about a year ago with a 10 gallon mash tun. I remember struggling to fit everything in it, but I don't remember exactly how I did it.

Now I've got a 15 gallon Chapman Thermobarrel. Any idea on how large of a batch I could fit in that? I'm guessing I could swing a 7-8 gallon batch?
 

rjhoff

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I brewed this about a year ago with a 10 gallon mash tun. I remember struggling to fit everything in it, but I don't remember exactly how I did it.

Now I've got a 15 gallon Chapman Thermobarrel. Any idea on how large of a batch I could fit in that? I'm guessing I could swing a 7-8 gallon batch?
I brew in a 35L Robobrew and converted some base malt to 2 lb DME, came out great
 

MON5TER

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I just plugged the original recipe into Brewfather and scaled it to a manageable 13l batch size for the 35l brewzilla.

I’m still new to brewing and learning from every batch.

Hope the scaling doesn’t spoil the end result...

Planning to use Kveik harvested from an ESB. Will a 1.5l starter be overkill for Voss?

I don’t have much. Just a thin layer on some trube in a 500ml mason jar.
 

MON5TER

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Just turned on the Brewzilla to give this a go today. 25c and sunny. Perfect brew weather....
 

MON5TER

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Was one of ‘those’ brew days yesterday.....
Clumsy as, sprayed wort all down my legs when the recirc tube popped out during sparge (I run it through a hop sock to filter grain bits out while I sparge and heat)
Missed my OG by 20 points. Don’t know why. Mash was thick but not too thick. Recirc was slow but steady. Stirred the mash 3 times. I use rain water and did add 3g of bicarbonate of soda. I’ve not done that before so maybe it messed with my mash ph.
Inkbird thermometer packed up (lucky I have a spare in the kitchen!) Battery was dead in the scales. Scolded a finger taking a gravity reading during the boil.
First time in 18 brews I have missed my OG by more than a point or 2. Topped up with some ldme.
No chill yesterday so pitched 2 table spoons of Voss Kveik slurry recovered from an ESB brewed a few weeks ago(which is awesome! Thanks David Heath)
The wort tastes like cough medicine but in a good way. Some lovely flavours already.

Will be interesting to see how this pans out. All my clumsy stuff-ups are recorded so if it’s the best beer I ever made! I can do it all again, but excluding the hot wort down the legs and in me crocs!
 

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Was one of ‘those’ brew days yesterday.....
Clumsy as, sprayed wort all down my legs when the recirc tube popped out during sparge (I run it through a hop sock to filter grain bits out while I sparge and heat)
Missed my OG by 20 points. Don’t know why. Mash was thick but not too thick. Recirc was slow but steady. Stirred the mash 3 times. I use rain water and did add 3g of bicarbonate of soda. I’ve not done that before so maybe it messed with my mash ph.
Inkbird thermometer packed up (lucky I have a spare in the kitchen!) Battery was dead in the scales. Scolded a finger taking a gravity reading during the boil.
First time in 18 brews I have missed my OG by more than a point or 2. Topped up with some ldme.
No chill yesterday so pitched 2 table spoons of Voss Kveik slurry recovered from an ESB brewed a few weeks ago(which is awesome! Thanks David Heath)
The wort tastes like cough medicine but in a good way. Some lovely flavours already.

Will be interesting to see how this pans out. All my clumsy stuff-ups are recorded so if it’s the best beer I ever made! I can do it all again, but excluding the hot wort down the legs and in me crocs!
Rough day. It’ll probably turn out great!
 

emac813

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I brewed this on 3/20/21 and fermented it with WLP540 Abbey IV Ale. Today I transferred half of it to a keg with 1oz priming sugar to age for a couple months. The other half was transferred to a secondary to age on a tincture that I made for 3 weeks with 4oz Buffalo Trace and 4 very nice tihitian vanilla beans. I will add 1oz per gallon of a course crushed espresso beans for the last week before bottling (whenever that may be).

OG: 1.083
FG: 1.020
It is still very young, so there was a slight alcohol heat to it, but otherwise I could taste a good balance of roast and chocolate notes. Easy to tell that it will age nicely!
 

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MON5TER

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Bottled mine today after 3 weeks on Voss Kveik.
Has a very strong and rich taste. Almost over powering but also... it tastes like vegemite! I love vegemite and marmite but in a beer, not so sure. And after only 3 weeks in the fermenter at 32C.

Well, it’s bottled now with 1 carb drop per 750ml pet bottle so I will leave at room temp for 3 months and see what happens....
 

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Bottled mine today after 3 weeks on Voss Kveik.
Has a very strong and rich taste. Almost over powering but also... it tastes like vegemite! I love vegemite and marmite but in a beer, not so sure. And after only 3 weeks in the fermenter at 32C.

Well, it’s bottled now with 1 carb drop per 750ml pet bottle so I will leave at room temp for 3 months and see what happens....
Cool please don't forget to report back :p
 

emac813

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stout.jpeg

This beer turned out great. Its almost 2 months since brew day and there is a slight astringency from the variety of roasted grains, but it should go away. I aged half of the batch with a Buffalo Trace and tihitian vanilla bean tincture for 4 weeks and then I dropped in 2oz per gallon of coarse crushed espresso beans for 24 hours at room temperature. I bottled the flavored batch today and it's going to be competition worthy.
 

MON5TER

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Bottled mine today after 3 weeks on Voss Kveik.
Has a very strong and rich taste. Almost over powering but also... it tastes like vegemite! I love vegemite and marmite but in a beer, not so sure. And after only 3 weeks in the fermenter at 32C.

Well, it’s bottled now with 1 carb drop per 750ml pet bottle so I will leave at room temp for 3 months and see what happens....
After nearly 2 months in the bottles there is zero carbonation….
Taste is a bit smoother. Still marmite/vegemite and strong roast flavours. Still overpowering but it has definitely mellowed a bit.
So…. What to do?
1. Down the drain and make a new batch.
2. Get some CBC-1 yeast And add a few grains to each bottle…or
3. Hydrate the yeast. Mix it up and squirt a few ml into each bottle equally to use all the liquid.
3. Tip all the bottles into a bottling bucket, add yeast, mix and rebottle with as little splashing as possible?

Any other suggestions???

Thank you.
 

Northern_Brewer

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After nearly 2 months in the bottles there is zero carbonation….
Taste is a bit smoother. Still marmite/vegemite
Marmite/vegemite sounds like autolysis - it's the taste of yeast corpses. That coupled with the lack of carbonation sounds like you've killed your yeast.

FWIW Lallemand list their Voss as going up to 12% ABV.
 

MON5TER

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It’s strange. It fermented ok and dropped out in a temperature controlled fridge at 32c. And only 2 weeks on the trube. The taste was there when I bottled. Can autolysis happen that quickly?

What do you think…. Down the drain and try again?
 

cmac62

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Okay, I didn't read the whole thread. :oops: But I am intrigued. I have a recipe I used a couple of times, but this one sounds really good. I know it won't go as written into my 10.5 Anvil so I'll have to break out the old cooler MT for this brew, can heat the strike and boil in the Anvil, but may do a no sparge and use the 2nds for a swartz beer. This could sit for a long time, will need to bottle this one. I don't want a 11% beer on tap, the keg would last forever, or I'd be hammered every night. Anyway thanks for the recipe, and congrats on a 10 year old thread. LOL.. :mug:
 

MON5TER

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Update…. There was 1 bottle that had firmed up and carbonated. I thought it would be an infection and maybe it was but…. I chilled it for a couple of days and it’s…. Delicious! I need to save this batch!

So, 2 weeks ago I put a sprinkle of CBC-1 yeast in each bottle and made sure they were kept at 19 to 20c. There was a little bit of vegemite smell but this has dropped right away and been replaced by cocoa and roast flavours.

Still no carbonation.

When I originally bottled them I added 1 coopers carb drop per 740ml bottle. This is usually perfect for stout. I assumed that as there had been no previous carbonation the sugar would still be there and the CBC-1 would kick off.

should I try again with some more CBC-1 and add a new carb drop?

The single carbed bottle was so good I don’t want to send the rest down the drain!

Any advice would be great fully received. Thank you.
 

TestTickle

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Update…. There was 1 bottle that had firmed up and carbonated. I thought it would be an infection and maybe it was but…. I chilled it for a couple of days and it’s…. Delicious! I need to save this batch!

So, 2 weeks ago I put a sprinkle of CBC-1 yeast in each bottle and made sure they were kept at 19 to 20c. There was a little bit of vegemite smell but this has dropped right away and been replaced by cocoa and roast flavours.

Still no carbonation.

When I originally bottled them I added 1 coopers carb drop per 740ml bottle. This is usually perfect for stout. I assumed that as there had been no previous carbonation the sugar would still be there and the CBC-1 would kick off.

should I try again with some more CBC-1 and add a new carb drop?

The single carbed bottle was so good I don’t want to send the rest down the drain!

Any advice would be great fully received. Thank you.
My advice would be to give it more time…like a couple of months. I had issues with the first few imperial stouts I brewed. One batch I gave up on and dumped. The second one, I was frustrated and nearly gave up, but decided to hide it away and try to forget about it. It had little to no carbonation and no head at all. A few months later, I chilled one and it was fantastic. Carbonated with a nice head to it.

I have brewed this recipe a few times since, but I gave up on trying to ferment it with S-04. I enjoyed the flavor, but getting that stuff to attenuate is a challenge and adding some CBC-1 was a must. I tried US-05 and Nottingham, but really wasn’t too happy with the character of the beer. I think I added CBC-1 to those as well, I can’t recall.

I finally decided to try Imperial Darkness. It finished within a couple of points of where I expected. I only bulk aged it for a month, and decided to forego the CBC-1 and let it do its thing. I was not disappointed. It was actually carbed after a few weeks, but still needed to age. After about 6 months or so, it was just amazing.

I have a few bottles from that batch left, and I also have brewed a couple batches since (both 2.5 gallon batches…one kegged and one bottled). The kegged batch is long gone, but I still have a few from the bottled batch. So, I have a few bottles from about a year and a half ago and a few bottles from February of this year. The older batch has kind of lost it’s character, though it is still a good beer. The one from February is still going strong…in fact, I took what was left to a family get together just last night. Everyone who tried it loved it.

So in closing, Imperial Darkness rocks, and aging this for a minimum of three months after packaging is crucial IMO.
 
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