Author Topic: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique  (Read 1680 times)

Offline rainmaker

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Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« on: June 11, 2013, 05:47:08 PM »
Could be going about this all wrong, especially since I'm not super good with choosing hops, but I'm curious to hear some feedback.  Planning on brewing this up this weekend.

22 lbs Pale 2 Row US
2 lb Chocolate Rye Malt
2 Lbs Flaked Oats (not sure when to add these, as I'd like them to add to the body)
1 lb Chocolate Malt
1 lb Roasted Barley

WLP002 English Ale Yeast

1 ounce of each Colombia, Fuggles, Hallertauer, and Palisade hops, all boiled for 60 minutes.
1 cinnamon stick in boil for 5 minutes
1 lb Cacao nibs in secondary for 2 weeks
1 vanilla bean in secondary
1 cinnamon stick in secondary
1/2 ounce Chipotle pepper in secondary

Mash in with 10 gallons of water @170 degrees
After 90 minutes, drain, sparge with 172 degree water (10 gallons)

60 minute boil

Anyway, I'm the first to admit I'm no pro, so any feedback is welcome.

Offline gmac

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 06:47:42 PM »
What are you trying to make?  Not sure about "Mexican" stout.
You've picked two US, one German and one English hop.  Why so much hop diversity at 60 mins?  You'll just get bitter from all of them at 60 mins.  Only cinnamon for the late flavour addition and then a bunch of dry spicing.
It will be interesting so I say go for it.

Offline rainmaker

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 06:52:42 PM »
I know very little about hop additions.  Yo be honest, I read the profiles, liked what I read, and decided to use em. Do you think I should go with 1 hop or add the varieties later in the boil?

Also, I thought about additions of cinnamon at the boil for the spiciness and in secondary for the sweetness, at least that's what my cooking background tells me should work, but I've never brewed with cinnamon so to me it's a crapshoot.

For the record, a Mexican Stouts is usually an imperial stout brewed with cinnamon, chili peppers, vanilla, and cacao beans.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 07:56:28 PM »
I say go for it.

Bu tyeah, pick a neutral hop for 60  minutes. add some of the fuggles and maybe some hallertauer for earthy floral notes at 20 minutes and cal lit good. I have only brewed with cinnemon once and I made a tincture with vodka. It is a decent level of flavour but I think it got a little tanic from sitting on the sticks for a month. I might try some in the boil and then make a tea with water at packaging time and dose to taste with that.
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Offline rainmaker

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Re: Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 04:02:53 AM »
I say go for it.

Bu tyeah, pick a neutral hop for 60  minutes. add some of the fuggles and maybe some hallertauer for earthy floral notes at 20 minutes and cal lit good. I have only brewed with cinnemon once and I made a tincture with vodka. It is a decent level of flavour but I think it got a little tanic from sitting on the sticks for a month. I might try some in the boil and then make a tea with water at packaging time and dose to taste with that.


Ah, good to know the cinnamon can get like that.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 05:00:05 AM »
I've had a few "Mole" stouts, and they can be divine (New Holland's 'Mole Ocho' comes to mind - AWESOME beer).

Tinctures are the way to go. Its hard to add a whole vanilla bean into a fermentor/keg without getting WAY too much vanilla. It sounds like you're looking for just a touch here to set off the other flavors.

A few ounces of coffee may help bring all the flavors together as well.

I have just thrown dried chiles in the keg in the past. Works great because they float and you can take them out with tongs.

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Offline rainmaker

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Re: Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 06:05:39 AM »
I've had a few "Mole" stouts, and they can be divine (New Holland's 'Mole Ocho' comes to mind - AWESOME beer).

Tinctures are the way to go. Its hard to add a whole vanilla bean into a fermentor/keg without getting WAY too much vanilla. It sounds like you're looking for just a touch here to set off the other flavors.

A few ounces of coffee may help bring all the flavors together as well.

I have just thrown dried chiles in the keg in the past. Works great because they float and you can take them out with tongs.

Thanks for the info on the vanilla.  A buddy of mine did a stout where he used a tincture for the vanilla, but when it was all said and done, no one could pick up the vanilla flavor. Maybe I'll go with a half bean instead

Offline goschman

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 08:14:42 AM »
Not sure if you are interested but you could reach out to Copper Kettle Brewing company in Aurora, CO for some ideas. Their Mexican Chocolate Stout is amazing

2011 GOLD MEDAL WINNER AT GREAT AMERICAN BEER FEST - HERB AND SPICE CATEGORY

A RICH BLACK ALE WITH DARK ROASTED MALT FLAVORS BLENDED WITH BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE, OUR OWN BLEND OF THREE MEXICAN CHILI PEPPERS AND CINNAMON. INSPIRED BY A 500 YEAR OLD AZTEC RECIPE FOR MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE.

Offline denny

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 09:33:46 AM »
I say use a whole bean, at least.  Vanilla will be the first flavor to fade.  Add the split, scraped vanilla bean(s) to the fermenter and when the vanilla flavor is a little stronger than you think you want it, rack the beer off the vanilla.
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Offline hoser

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 12:10:21 PM »
A couple of things:

Flaked oats can just be added to the mash with everything else.

I agree with Denny on using 1 whole vanilla bean, especially with that much going on in the beer and the other ingredients. It will round out the roastiness of the other ingredients.

Coffee per Kyle's suggestion would be a good idea. Dry bean or toddy to the keg.

Not sure why you need that many hops for a 60 minute addition.  Just choose 1 clean high AA% hop to get your desired bitterness. +/- a 20-30 minute addition.

1lb of cacao nibs!!! That is a lot, especially for 2 weeks!  4oz. should be plenty.  I wouldn't go over 8oz.

Also, maybe a blend of dried peppers for a more complex flavor profile, i.e. ancho, guarijillo, chipotle, etc?

Also, I would make the keg your secondary.  Sample when you get the desired profile flavor of each ingredient and then pull it when your satisfied at the flavor level.  Just putting an arbitrary number on the duration of each ingredient leaves too much to chance and dumb luck.  Or, as others have suggested make a tincture of the ingredients and add to flavoring in the bottling bucket or keg.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 12:57:29 PM by hoser »

Offline rainmaker

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Re: Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 12:39:11 PM »
A couple of things:

Flaked oats can just be added to the mash with everything else.

I agree with Denny on using 1 whole vanilla bean, especially with that much going on in the beer and the other ingredients. It will round out the roastiness of the other ingredients.

Coffee per Kyle's suggestion would be a good idea. Dry bean or toddy to the keg.

Not sure why you need that many hops for a 60 minute addition.  Just choose 1 clean high AA% hop to get your desired bitterness. +/1 a 20-30 minute addition.

1lb of cacao nibs!!! That is a lot, especially for 2 weeks!  4oz. should be plenty.  I wouldn't go over 8oz.

Also, maybe a blend of dried peppers for a more complex flavor profile, i.e. ancho, guarijillo, chipotle, etc?

Also, I would make the keg your secondary.  Sample when you get the desired profile flavor of each ingredient and then pull it when your satisfied at the flavor level.  Just putting an arbitrary number on the duration of each ingredient leaves too much to chance and dumb luck.  Or, as others have suggested make a tincture of the ingredients and add to flavoring in the bottling bucket or keg.

Nice! Thanks for the info! I based the 2 weeks on the same Imperial stout I mentioned above where we used a half pound and didn't get enough of the flavor we were looking for. I'm looking for big bold flavors because I'd like to age or it for a year after bottling before cracking into it to let the flavors blend and mellow together

Offline hoser

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Re: Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 01:02:01 PM »
A couple of things:

Flaked oats can just be added to the mash with everything else.

I agree with Denny on using 1 whole vanilla bean, especially with that much going on in the beer and the other ingredients. It will round out the roastiness of the other ingredients.

Coffee per Kyle's suggestion would be a good idea. Dry bean or toddy to the keg.

Not sure why you need that many hops for a 60 minute addition.  Just choose 1 clean high AA% hop to get your desired bitterness. +/1 a 20-30 minute addition.

1lb of cacao nibs!!! That is a lot, especially for 2 weeks!  4oz. should be plenty.  I wouldn't go over 8oz.

Also, maybe a blend of dried peppers for a more complex flavor profile, i.e. ancho, guarijillo, chipotle, etc?

Also, I would make the keg your secondary.  Sample when you get the desired profile flavor of each ingredient and then pull it when your satisfied at the flavor level.  Just putting an arbitrary number on the duration of each ingredient leaves too much to chance and dumb luck.  Or, as others have suggested make a tincture of the ingredients and add to flavoring in the bottling bucket or keg.

Nice! Thanks for the info! I based the 2 weeks on the same Imperial stout I mentioned above where we used a half pound and didn't get enough of the flavor we were looking for. I'm looking for big bold flavors because I'd like to age or it for a year after bottling before cracking into it to let the flavors blend and mellow together

I am all for bold flavors.  Just remember it needs to taste like beer first.  Then flesh out your other flavors from there.  Choose the most dominant flavor and then blend the supportive flavors for a combo that works in conjunction with the beer.  You also should be able to discern all of the flavors when you take a drink of that beer.  Prime example are Smoked bacon maple beers.  Generally all I ever taste is smoke when given a sample.  Yes, bacon has a similar flavor.  But, there should be some perception of bacon.  Generally, the maple flavor ferments out.  Just a rant for point of reference. :P

Offline denny

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Re: Imperial (Mexican) Stout Recipe Critique
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 01:02:49 PM »
If you're gonna age it for a year, I'd recommend 2 vanilla beans, based on my experience with them.
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