Russian Imperial Stout (All-Grain Recipe)

Char_T-34This is a recipe for a Russian imperial stout, to go along with my series on Russian imperial stout. There is also an extract-based recipe for this beer.

This is an all-grain brew that will require a long brew day. The large grain bill will be fully sparged, to yield 12 gallons (45 L) of wort, and boiled down to 5 gallons (19 L). This will take over 4 hours. Given that this is a big beer with lots of hops, there is also a settling stage after the boil, in order to increase the yield of clear wort from the kettle. (You can skip this if you have a way to filter your wort, such as a hop jack.)

Optimally, you should have a 15-gallon (~60-L) kettle with a burner capable of evaporating 1.5 gallons (5.7 L) per hour. However, alternate instructions for brewers with a 10-gallon (~40 L) kettle are also given.

One twist in this recipe is that a portion of dark malt is withheld and only stirred into the upper part of the mash near the end. This will make lautering easier. It may also help the mash fall into the proper pH range more easily. If you don’t want to bother with this, you can simply mash all the grains together.

T-34 Stout

Russian Imperial Stout

All-grain; English units

 

DESCRIPTION

A big (9.6% ABV), roasty, hoppy stout. This ale is very flavorful and full-bodied, but attenuated enough that it is not too sweet.

INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)

 

Water

if you adjust your water chemistry, base your strike water adjustments on the recipe minus the black malt

Malt (for an OG of 1.095 at 70% extract efficiency and 77 SRM)

14 lb. 14 oz. English pale malt

0.75 lb. dark crystal malt (90 °L)

0.75 lb. chocolate malt

1.5 lb. black malt

1.0 lb. roasted barley

Hops (for 76 IBU total)

Challenger hops (68 IBU)

1.5 oz., at 14% alpha acids, boiled for 60 minutes

Fuggles hops (4 IBU)

0.5 oz., at 5% alpha acids, boiled for 15 minutes

Kent Goldings hops (3 IBU)

0.5 oz., at 5% alpha acids, boiled for 10 minutes

Kent Goldings hops

0.5 oz., at 5% alpha acids, added at knockout

Yeast (for an FG of 1.021 and 9.6% ABV)

two 11.5 g sachets Fermentis Safale US-05

or

Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast

(4.75-qt. yeast starter)

Other

1.0 tsp. Irish moss (boil for 15 mins)

1/2 tsp yeast nutrients (boil for 5 minutes)

4.75 oz. corn sugar (to prime for 2.2 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURES

Make the yeast starter (at OG ~1.020), if appropriate, 3 days ahead of time. Let it ferment to completion. (Pitch only the yeast sediment, at the appropriate time.)

Crush black malt separately from other grains. Set aside for now. Heat 5.4 gallons of water to 161 °F and mash in remaining grains at 150 °F. (If you need to add sodium bicarbonate or chalk, just stir it into the mash rather than waiting for it to dissolve into the strike water.) Hold at this temperature for 45 minutes. Stir in black malt and roughly half a gallon of water at 161 °F into the top layers of the mash. (For the best results, mix the black malt and hot water then stir this slurry in. Don’t add more sodium bicarbonate or chalk at this point.) Mash for another 15 minutes, then mash out to 170 °F. Recirculate the wort prior to runoff.

Keep your sparge water heated such that the grain bed temperature remains around 168 °F. Run off approximately 12 gallons of wort over the course of 90 minutes. Check the pH of the final runnings and quit collecting if it rises above 5.8. Alternately, monitor the density of the final runnings and stop collecting wort when they drop below SG 1.012. Do not add any sodium bicarbonate or chalk to your sparge water.

Boil the the wort down to just over 5 gallons (to account for losses to trub and hop debris). This should take between 4.5 to 7 hours with a vigorous boil. (Yes, really.) Your wort density should be approximately SG 1.043 at 12 gallons. Add bittering hops with 60 minutes left in the boil. If hops collect on the side of the kettle, knock them back into the wort. Add Irish moss (or whirlfloc) with 15 minutes left in the boil. Add late hops charges with 15 minutes and 10 minutes left in the boil. Add yeast nutrients with 5 minutes left in the boil. Add aroma hops at knockout and begin chilling wort. Chill wort to 66 °F. Let chilled wort sit, covered, to let hop debris and trub settle (unless you are filtering or straining it). Let it sit for an hour or two. Transfer clear wort to fermenter and aerate thoroughly. Pitch yeast and ferment at 68 °F.

Option: You can collect the trub and “gunk” at the bottom of your kettle in sanitized mason jars. Let them sit overnight in your refrigerator. This will allow the trub compact a bit more. The next day, pour the clear wort into your fermenter. You may want to heat this wort to 170 °F, to sanitize it, then cool it down before doing this.

As the fermentation slows to a stop, swirl the fermenter gently once to re-suspend some of the yeast and let the temperature climb to 70 °F. Let the beer sit on the yeast for 3 days after all signs of fermentation have ceased. Keg, bottle condition, or move to barrel for more aging. Carbonate beer to 2.2 volumes of CO2. If you pay careful attention to cleaning and sanitation, and pitch in adequate amount of yeast, this beer should age well.

 

Alternate Yeast Strain Options:

You can use Wyeast 3787 (Trappist High Gravity) or White Labs WLP530 (Abbey Ale) yeast, with a 4.0-qt. (3.8-L) yeast starter, for a more highly attenuated version of this beer. The FG will be around 1.019, for an ABV of 9.8%. The beer will have slightly less body, but won’t be thin by any stretch of the imagination.

 

If You Have a 10-gallon (~40-L) Kettle:

Collect the first 8 gallons (30 L) of wort in your kettle. Run off the excess wort (about 4 gallons/15 L) to a clean fermentation bucket or smaller brewpot (heated, if possible). As the boil proceeds, keep the volume of the main boil topped up to 8.0 gallons (30 L) as long as possible with the excess wort. When it’s gone, proceed to condense the wort to 5.0 gallons (19 L).

 

RISphoto

 

 

T-34 Stout

Russian Imperial Stout

All-grain; metric units

 

DESCRIPTION

A big (9.6% ABV), roasty, hoppy stout. This ale is very flavorful and full-bodied, but attenuated enough that it is not too sweet.

 

INGREDIENTS (for 19 L)

 

Water

if you adjust your water chemistry, base your strike water adjustments on the recipe minus the black malt

Malt (for an OG of 1.095 at 70% extract efficiency and 77 SRM)

6.75 kg English pale malt

340 g dark crystal malt (90 °L)

340 g chocolate malt

680 g black malt

450 g roasted barley

Hops (for 76 IBU total)

Challenger hops (68 IBU)

43 g, at 14% alpha acids, boiled for 60 minutes

Fuggles hops (4 IBU)

14 g, at 5% alpha acids, boiled for 15 minutes

Kent Goldings hops (3 IBU)

14 g, at 5% alpha acids, boiled for 10 minutes

Kent Goldings hops

14 g, at 5% alpha acids, added at knockout

Yeast (for an FG of 1.021 and 9.6% ABV)

two 11.5 g sachets Fermentis Safale US-05

or

Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast

(4.5-L yeast starter)

Other

1.0 tsp. Irish moss (boil for 15 mins)

1/2 tsp yeast nutrients (boil for 5 minutes)

135 corn sugar (to prime for 2.2 volumes of CO2)

 

PROCEDURES

Make the yeast starter (at OG ~1.020), if appropriate, 3 days ahead of time. Let it ferment to completion. (Pitch only the yeast sediment, at the appropriate time.)

Crush black malt separately from other grains. Set aside for now. Heat 22 L of water to 72 °C and mash in remaining grains at 66 °C. (If you need to add sodium bicarbonate or chalk, just stir it into the mash rather than waiting for it to dissolve into the strike water.) Hold at this temperature for 45 minutes. Stir in black malt and roughly half a gallon of water at 72 °C into the top layers of the mash. (For the best results, mix the black malt and hot water then stir this slurry in. Don’t add more sodium bicarbonate or chalk at this point.) Mash for another 15 minutes, then mash out to 77 °C. Recirculate the wort prior to runoff.

Keep your sparge water heated such that the grain bed temperature remains around 76 °C. Run off approximately 45 L of wort over the course of 90 minutes. Check the pH of the final runnings and quit collecting if it rises above 5.8. Alternately, monitor the density of the final runnings and stop collecting wort when they drop below SG 1.012. Do not add any sodium bicarbonate or chalk to your sparge water.

Boil the the wort down to just over 19 L (to account for losses to trub and hop debris). This should take between 4.5 to 7 hours with a vigorous boil. (Yes, really.) Your wort density should be approximately SG 1.043 at 45 L. Add bittering hops with 60 minutes left in the boil. If hops collect on the side of the kettle, knock them back into the wort. Add Irish moss (or whirlfloc) with 15 minutes left in the boil. Add late hops charges with 15 minutes and 10 minutes left in the boil. Add yeast nutrients with 5 minutes left in the boil. Add aroma hops at knockout and begin chilling wort. Chill wort to 19 °C. Let chilled wort sit, covered, to let hop debris and trub settle (unless you are filtering or straining it). Let it sit for an hour or two. Transfer clear wort to fermenter and aerate thoroughly. Pitch yeast and ferment at 20 °C.

Option: You can collect the trub and “gunk” at the bottom of your kettle in sanitized mason jars. Let them sit overnight in your refrigerator. This will allow the trub compact a bit more. The next day, pour the clear wort into your fermenter. You may want to heat this wort to 77 °C, to sanitize it, then cool it down before doing this.

As the fermentation slows to a stop, swirl the fermenter gently once to re-suspend some of the yeast and let the temperature climb to 21 °C. Let the beer sit on the yeast for 3 days after all signs of fermentation have ceased. Keg, bottle condition, or move to barrel for more aging. Carbonate beer to 2.2 volumes of CO2. If you pay careful attention to cleaning and sanitation, and pitch in adequate amount of yeast, this beer should age well.

 

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Super Cell American Stout Recipe

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Sweet Stout Recipe

Dry Stout Recipe

Comments

  1. Emperor Pho says:

    The boil time seems insane. Why not just lower the expected efficiency and add some more base malt? I don’t see the advantage to this.

    • Chris Colby says:

      There are lots of options for wort production. This is one of them. If you were looking to get the most from your grains, and don’t mind a long boil, this is the option. If you’d rather spend more on grain and have a shorter boil, you can do that, too.

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