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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: quest4watneys on February 10, 2011, 03:29:56 am

Title: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: quest4watneys on February 10, 2011, 03:29:56 am
I've had my Russian Imperial Stout in bottles now and it's ready for drinkin'. I'm a big stout fan but this one was lacking in what I've found in store bought versions. My RIS had no body, was a tad bit bitter, not an inkling of sweet and it finished pretty bitter. The head was gorgeous and the color was spot on but it was definitely a weak first attempt. I'm going to give a couple of bottles to some guinea pi....er I mean friends of mine who are dark beer drinkers and try to get a critical analysis. I would love some critiquing on here as well if you would. I can provide any pertinent info you may need to diagnose. Thanks!
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: Hokerer on February 10, 2011, 03:37:30 am
First thing we'd need to see would be your recipe
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: quest4watneys on February 10, 2011, 03:43:57 am
First thing we'd need to see would be your recipe

Here are the ingredients:
6.6 lbs. dark LME
2 lbs. dark DME
8 oz. Maltodextrin

8 oz. Caramel 60L
8 oz. Roasted Barley
8 oz. Black Patent

1 oz. Bittering (Cascade)
.5 oz Aroma

Danstar Nottingham Dry Yeast Packet
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: euge on February 10, 2011, 03:57:34 am
The recipe looks allright but perhaps your dry yeast selection could be different. Maybe Windsor instead of a high attenuator like Nottingham. You'd have a bit more sweetness and body.
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: quest4watneys on February 10, 2011, 04:06:50 am
The recipe looks allright but perhaps your dry yeast selection could be different. Maybe Windsor instead of a high attenuator like Nottingham. You'd have a bit more sweetness and body.
Being my first brew and all I was very careful about directions/temps/sanitation. I did miss my OG though. Should've been a minimum of 1.078. Mine was 1.076. Used bottled water instead of tap which I later read that my hard faucet water sans the chlorine would be good for a stout. Would a different yeast solve all of those problems or should I look into other areas as well?
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: euge on February 10, 2011, 04:34:02 am
The recipe looks allright but perhaps your dry yeast selection could be different. Maybe Windsor instead of a high attenuator like Nottingham. You'd have a bit more sweetness and body.
Being my first brew and all I was very careful about directions/temps/sanitation. I did miss my OG though. Should've been a minimum of 1.078. Mine was 1.076. Used bottled water instead of tap which I later read that my hard faucet water sans the chlorine would be good for a stout. Would a different yeast solve all of those problems or should I look into other areas as well?

It's a start with the yeast. Though the water might have more of an affect on an all-grain version it also plays a little with the hops too. My guess is that you'll see a noticeable difference with another type of yeast.

Someone else will probably chime in with some good advice and a different perspective.  ;)
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 01:28:00 pm
The recipe looks allright but perhaps your dry yeast selection could be different. Maybe Windsor instead of a high attenuator like Nottingham. You'd have a bit more sweetness and body.

Excuse me massah, but doesn't more attenuation lead to dryness?
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: Hokerer on February 10, 2011, 02:21:31 pm
The recipe looks allright but perhaps your dry yeast selection could be different. Maybe Windsor instead of a high attenuator like Nottingham. You'd have a bit more sweetness and body.

Excuse me massah, but doesn't more attenuation lead to dryness?

Yes, the OP used Nottingham and complained of lack of body and sweetness (too dry).  Euge is suggesting Windsor which attenuates less and would therefore leave more body and sweetness to the beer.
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: maxieboy on February 10, 2011, 02:27:39 pm
The recipe looks allright but perhaps your dry yeast selection could be different. Maybe Windsor instead of a high attenuator like Nottingham. You'd have a bit more sweetness and body.

Excuse me massah, but doesn't more attenuation lead to dryness?

Yes, the OP used Nottingham and complained of lack of body and sweetness (too dry).  Euge is suggesting Windsor which attenuates less and would therefore leave more body and sweetness to the beer.


Ya beat me to it.
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: akr71 on February 10, 2011, 05:25:39 pm
I wouldn't worry about the OG being off by 0.002.  It will have some effect, but I don't think it would be drastic.  I agree a different yeast would help.

How about adding some Cara-Pils to the steeping grains to beef up the body and mouthfeel?
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: quest4watneys on February 10, 2011, 06:09:40 pm
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll try Windsor and add carapils. Two more questions though; how much of the carapils should I add and is it safe to assume that Windsor is a good yeast for stouts in general?
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: EHall on February 10, 2011, 06:16:31 pm
How long has it been since you bottled it? It does sound like you need to make some changes with yeast and process but stronger beers need time to mature in the bottle before they start tasting 'normal'... just my opinon.
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: euge on February 10, 2011, 06:29:35 pm
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll try Windsor and add carapils. Two more questions though; how much of the carapils should I add and is it safe to assume that Windsor is a good yeast for stouts in general?

Can't comment on the carapils. The yeast however... There's all sorts of choices in yeast- especially if you consider liquid yeast. You must examine the characteristics of each- some will perform better than others in varying conditions. For example if you advance to grain brewing then there will be more options in controlling the wort profile and fermentability.

For your current situation brewing with extract, Windsor is a good choice. You certainly could use a liquid yeast like WLP004 (Irish ale yeast). So I'd say yes to your question, though you have plenty of other options.

As EHall suggests conditioning time really makes a difference with those dark beers. I had a stout that was very sub-optimal at one month but letting the keg sit for six months changed it dramatically. It turned into something awesome! To think I almost tossed it...
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: oscarvan on February 10, 2011, 06:44:13 pm
The recipe looks allright but perhaps your dry yeast selection could be different. Maybe Windsor instead of a high attenuator like Nottingham. You'd have a bit more sweetness and body.

Excuse me massah, but doesn't more attenuation lead to dryness?

Yes, the OP used Nottingham and complained of lack of body and sweetness (too dry).  Euge is suggesting Windsor which attenuates less and would therefore leave more body and sweetness to the beer.

Cool.....I'm thinking straight, just not reading right.
Title: Re: First real brew in bottles and ready?
Post by: quest4watneys on February 12, 2011, 03:30:04 am
How long has it been since you bottled it? It does sound like you need to make some changes with yeast and process but stronger beers need time to mature in the bottle before they start tasting 'normal'... just my opinon.

It's been in the bottles about 3 weeks.