Batch 72: Frank’s Imperial Stout

Having my brother in town as a helper, we decided to brew a partigyle beer: 11 gallons of Imperial Stout and a 2nd-runnings Mild.  I used the same recipe I came up with for the first beer in the Knob Creek barrel.  That beer was outstanding after blending with 10 other people’s beer and barrel-aging; as I recall, mine was pretty good going into the barrel, too.

The recipe was a mix of a few credible recipes.

Brewday:

Brewed March 24, 2017:

Waterslightly under-softened my water compared to usual, and it worked – mash pH was 5.41 with no adjustments.  1 tsp lactic acid to the sparge water.

Brew day: Fun, relaxed brewday.  We bottled 5 gallons of pilsner during the mash and let the mash run a little long, about 90 minutes at ~156F.

Here’s the recipe (below and on Brewtoad):

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
12 gal 75 min

Fermentables

Name Amount %
2-Row (US) 36.5 lbs 73.74
Munich Dark (DE) 3.5 lbs 7.07
Roasted Barley (US) 2 lbs 4.04
Chocolate (US) 1.4 lbs 2.83
Special B (BE) 1.4 lbs 2.83
Pale Chocolate (UK) 1.4 lbs 2.83
Brown Malt (UK) 1.3 lbs 2.63
Carastan 30L (UK) 1 lbs 2.02
Crystal 135L (UK) 1 lbs 2.02

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Magnum (US) 6 oz 75 min Boil Leaf 13.2
East Kent Golding (UK) 3 oz 5 min Boil Leaf 5

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Nottingham Ale Yeast White Labs 78% 32°F - 32°F
Safale US-05 Fermentis 86% 32°F - 32°F

Fermentation:

2017-05-10: bottled Batch A, the US-05 half of the batch, after it stabilized for several weeks at 1.030 (down from 1.100 OG).  Used 92g table sugar in 5.1 gal, aiming for 2.2 vol CO2.  I messed up the bottling: I put in the spigot without o-rings, so it steadily leaked beer out.  This necessitated pouring (!) the bucket out into another bucket, then back (!) for massive cold-side aeration.

2017-06-02: racked Batch B, the Nottingham half of the batch, to a carboy (after 1.5 months in a primary bucket), added 2 pieces of bourbon barrel stave.  It had soaked in a jar of Ancient Age 10* bourbon for most of a year, but given that these staves infected the last batch I used them in, I steamed the stave pieces for several minutes before adding them this time – which leached out color and aroma into the steaming water.

2017-08-01: with a little more fermentation after racking, plus the addition of the bourbon itself that the oak had soaked in, Batch B’s gravity dropped to 1.014, about 11+% alcohol (not exactly, given the addition of alcohol).  Kegged and served.  There’s a hot alcoholic note.

Neither beer is as good as the original Knob Creek barrel.  Batch A is nondescript, and Batch B tastes like booze, not oak, and is too strong.  I should know better than to pour in the soaking bourbon.

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