Not put off by the issues with brewday 24 I cracked on with the next brew. A Russian Imperial Stout. A big, no, a GIGANTIC beer, 9%+ full of roasted malty flavours. This one would be a Christmas beer but not for this year, it would need at least 10 months aging in bottles until Christmas 2015! I also had purchased some Oak Cubes to age part of this brew in a secondary FV before bottling as an experiment. The target OG was 1.103 to leave me with 23l at 9.65% – the grain bill for this one would be a monster!
The recipe for the Russian Imperial Stout today:
- 9kg Maris Otter Malt
- 450g Special B Malt
- 400g Roasted Barley
- 230g CaraMunich Malt
- 230g Chocolate Malt
- 30g Galena hops @ 60 minutes
- 30g Galena hops @ 30 minutes
- 30g Willamette hops @ 15 minutes
- 2tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 minutes
- 2 packets S04 yeast
Another workday mash for this brewday however I must have over-sparged this time as I ended up with an OG of 1.086, almost 20points short on target, and a bit more pre-boil volume than expected. As long as the yeast worked their magic I would still finish with slightly more beer at around 8% ABV which would be close enough for my first attempt! Unfortunately for me, the fermentation finished at 1.032, 1 point over target. Despite using two packets of S04 the pitching rate wasn’t sufficient to continue the fermentation down past the target FG and as a result the final ABV is 6.7%. This means the finished beer is too weak to be a Russian Imperial Stout and too strong to be a normal Stout! Even at this early stage it still tastes phenomenal and will be bottled shortly before being put away to condition.
I’ve learnt a lot from this attempt about the importance of correct yeast pitching rates. One of my next projects will be a DIY stir plate and then to start using properly grown yeast starters in my all my planned brews, especially so with the high ABV ones!