Since the Kegerator is pretty stocked at the moment I figured I’d brew up a bigger beer to get bottled for the cold months ahead (and longer). I haven’t attempted a stronger/imperial stout and wanted something on the high end for an American Stout or low end for the Russian Imperial Stout style wise. I decided to use about 15% flaked rye to boost the body and add a little bit of grainy spice to the beer.
Mash: 152 (60 min)
Boil: 90 min.
Mash pH: 5.3
70.7% NW Pale Ale Malt
14.6% Flaked Rye
6.1% Roasted Barley
3.7% Chocolate Malt
3.7% Extra Dark Crystal
1.2% Black Patent
1.25 oz Galena (10%) 60 min.
1.00 oz Crystal (6%) 30 min.
1.25 oz Northern Brewer (10.1%) 5 min.
1.25 oz Willamette (6.5%) 5 min.
Wyeast 1272 – American Ale II
Made a 1 liter starter that was decanted and stepped up with another liter before brew day. Yeast pitched at 68 degrees and began fermentation within a couple hours. Brought temp. down to 65 after fermentation was active. The blow off after the first couple days of fermentation has been massive. I’m thinking about 5 or 6 quarts were lost, which is ridiculous. Guess I might have to look into getting some Fermcap in the future. Bottled on 11/21/14 and finished out at 1.020 and sample tasted roasty and good enough to drink as is, think this one will turn out quite nice.
Tasting notes – 1.29.15
Appearance: Jet black with thick tan head that lingers a few mins before fading away.
Aroma: Coffee and fruity plum notes in the nose with some alcohol sweetness as well.
Taste: Coffee, Spicy/grainy notes hit first. A hint of alcohol sweetness is tucked away in the background as well. A little bit of chocolate is in there as well, balanced nicely with the hop profile as there’s not a lot sweetness and its quite drinkable.
Mouthfeel: Pretty full, medium-low carbonation.
Overall: Really like how this stout came out. It’s pretty drinkable for the strength and doesn’t fall into the dessert category of stout, which is nice but not when you brew 5 gallons of it. The rye adds a nice spicy to complement the coffee and roasted notes and there is just a little bit of hop character in there as well.
Update – 10.5.15
This beer ended up being a pretty big hit with family and friends. Not quite a typical imperial stout but definitely drinks bigger than your average stout. The coffee in the aroma has dropped out a bit and is more figgy, grainy and slightly boozy now. This beer has aged nicely, the roast character has faded a little bit (but still present) and there’s more of a fruity, plum notes going with a little bit of spicy graininess. All the flavors really have meshed nicely and as the beer warms up a bit it is really smooth and delicious. Not too much I’d change next time except maybe trying out a lower level crystal malt to temper some of the fruitiness and getting more chocolate and coffee notes.