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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!
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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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