Author Topic: Impy Stout - HELP?  (Read 1380 times)

Offline jmichaelk

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Impy Stout - HELP?
« on: September 08, 2011, 02:05:49 PM »
A buddy and I are planning on brewing a big Impy Stout and entering it into a local competition.  What we want from this stout is first for it to be big.  What I mean by that is we are basically looking for something Dark Lord (ish) with lots of adjuncts that are balanced to the point that not one over powers the other, and the drinker is kept guessing what is in it, we are looking for a subtle and complex big Russian Stout. 

Here's where we are, we have our grain bill (below) a local brewery is going to give me a big yeast cake of California Ale. 

(lbs)

13.5      American Two Row Pale
2           Munich Malt
2           Roasted Barley
1           Flaked Wheat
1          Chocolate Malt
1          Flaked Oats
1          Victory Malt
.5         Black Malt
.5         Crystal 120
.5         Rye Malt
.5         Flaked Barley
.5         Crystal 60

24   Total

Our process is two use two 5 gallon mash tuns and combine the runnings into a six gallon boil.
have not figured the Hop addition, but it will be a balanced 3-4oz probably (suggestions welcome)

I want to know if adding Lactose, chocolated, coffee, molasses, honey, and whatever else we can will be good, bad, or ugly?

Again we are wanting it to be huge and complex, but don't want anything to overpower another, if that makes sense?
Looking for suggestions, or ideas, or definitly don't do's, and feedback.
All help/input is greatly appreciated.
Jmike

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 03:09:42 PM »
My first reaction is to drop the Victory, Crystal 60, rye, and flaked barley.  The first time I brewed and Imperial stout I used the kitchen sink approach, and it made a good stout.  The next time I threw out all the small amounts and just went with a much simpler grain bill and it was much better. I also use Special B instead of Crystal 120, but again that's a personal preference. Avoid stuff like molasses, it will add fermentables but also a strong flavor.

I would use something mid AA like Wye Challenger for bittering-2 or maybe 2.5 ozs, with an addition of something like Goldings or Fuggles at 20 minutes and flameout.  But I'm not a fan of American C hops in Impy Stouts.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline denny

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 03:50:54 PM »
My first reaction is to drop the Victory, Crystal 60, rye, and flaked barley.  The first time I brewed and Imperial stout I used the kitchen sink approach, and it made a good stout.  The next time I threw out all the small amounts and just went with a much simpler grain bill and it was much better. I also use Special B instead of Crystal 120, but again that's a personal preference. Avoid stuff like molasses, it will add fermentables but also a strong flavor.


Good advice!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 04:13:26 PM »
Yeah, +1 on simplifying. You can gain back some of the complexity with a longer boil. (kettle mailard reactions etc.) I might even take it down to pale, roast, C120, Chocolate and maybe some rye. You are going to end up with a lot more than a 6 gallon boil with that much grain. at 1.25 qt/lb your strike volume will be 7.5 gallons. first runnings will be 4.5 gallons which only leaves 1.5 for sparge if you are aiming for a 6 gallon boil. you could even leave out the C120 as you are going to have a hard time getting this down to a reasonable FG IMHO.
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jaybeerman

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 05:01:15 PM »
My first question wouldn't be about the ingredients, but when is the comp? The kitchen sink imp stout can work just fine if you have the patience to age it out, whereas the simple approach is better for people who want to drink their imp stout in 3 months.  I could easily see this -

13.5 pale
2 munich
.5 Rye Malt
2 roasted b
.5 Chocolate
.5 Black Malt
.5 Victory Malt
.5 Crystal 120
.5 Crystal 60
.5 Flaked Oats
.5 Flaked Barley

Although that's definitely kitchen sink.  I like the challenger suggestion, but I'd go all challenger.  These big beers have to be balanced out with hop flavor/aroma, especially when there's aging involved; I like bold hops with large additions at flavor and flame out. Ferment cool and give it plenty of time. cheers and good luck
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 05:03:21 PM by jaybeerman »

Offline jmichaelk

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 05:27:18 PM »
we may go for 7-7.5 gallons, probably a 90 minute boil.

The competition is end of February 2012, so we are looking for plenty of time in primary/secondary, and at least two months in the bottle to carbonate well.

Again thanks for all input advice, some great replies here!

Simplifying the grain makes since to me, what about adjuncts we've floated everything from Lactose/coffee/chocolate to peppers.

Anything that is definitly a bad idea, or anything that works well that I may not be thinking/mentioning (ie wood)
Jmike

Offline denny

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 05:59:30 PM »
Re: adjuncts...it depends on what you want to enter it as.  If you use peppers, chocolate, etc. you likely won't be able to enter it as a straight RIS.
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Offline jmichaelk

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 06:02:10 PM »
True, the competition is professionally judged under BJCP style guidelines, So I guess would those adjuncts disqualify it, or change it's style?
Jmike

Offline jmichaelk

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 08:22:45 PM »
I have also heard recommendations that I should do a no sparge on this, thoughts on that?
Jmike

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 08:37:00 PM »
I have also heard recommendations that I should do a no sparge on this, thoughts on that?

I don't know that I could pick up on the differences but I have heard that a no sparge beer can be smoother. so it's worth a try, you can always sparge into a separate kettle and do a small stout with second runnings.
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Offline denny

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 09:06:56 PM »
I think that with a big grain bill for a high OG beer, no sparge becomes about your only option.  You use so much mash water that you get your full boil volume without needing much, if any, sparging.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2011, 09:28:01 PM »
I think that with a big grain bill for a high OG beer, no sparge becomes about your only option.  You use so much mash water that you get your full boil volume without needing much, if any, sparging.
My imperial stout recipe for 10 gallons has about 40+ pounds of grain in 11 gallons of water.  I fly sparge for at least 1.5 hours to collect 14 gallons, then boil it down to 11.  It's a major PITA so I only brew it when a friend wants to split it with me.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Impy Stout - HELP?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 10:28:30 PM »
I think that with a big grain bill for a high OG beer, no sparge becomes about your only option.  You use so much mash water that you get your full boil volume without needing much, if any, sparging.

true that. The numbers I stated above were for 1.25 qt/lb but if you bump that to 1.5 qt/lb you are already at about 6 gallons just first runnings.
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"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
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