Double Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter by Denny Conn
Eleven (11) pounds of US pale malt (2 row)
and one-half (1-1/2) pounds of British Brown malt
and one-half (2-1/2) pounds of US Munich malt
(1) pound of US 120ºL crystal malt
One-half (1/2) pound of US 40ºL crystal malt
One-half (1/2) pound of Chocolate malt
Three-quarters (3/4) ounce of Magnum hops (bittering)
One-half (1/2) ounce of E.K.Goldings hops (flavoring)
(1) teaspoon of Irish moss
Wyeast American Ale/Chico 1056
(1) cup of extra light DME
Approximately three (3) days before brewing, prepare a
1-liter yeast starter.
See the yeast starters page
for further information and instructions on how to
prepare a yeast starter.
brew day, crush the grains and combine them with five and
three-quarter (5-3/4) gallons of 167º water,
temperature should stabilize at approximately 154º.
Hold this temperature for sixty (60) minutes.
Sparge (rinse) with two (2) gallons of 170º
water and drain sweet liquor into brew kettle.
"Sparging" is brewing terminology for rinsing. The
purpose of the sparge is to allow the remaining sugars
in the grains to be washed out into your brew kettle
rather than being left behind in the grains. With the
nylon hop bag method, I simply pick the bag up with
sanitized tongs and pour the sparge water evenly over
top of the grains allowing the wort to drain into the
kettle. This is not the way all-grain sparges are
conducted, but it works well enough for steeped grain
enough liquor to the brew kettle to bring at least six
(6) gallons of wort to a boil.
The more of your total batch size (5 gallons) you can
boil the better. This creates a better finished product
but requires a larger brew kettle and more sophisticated
and efficient wort-cooling techniques. Remember that
boiling water will evaporate at the rate of one-half
(1/2) gallon every hour keep this in mind to keep your
final batch size is as close as possible to your target
batch size of five (5) gallons.
the liquor reaches a boil, remove the brew kettle from the
heat source then stir in the Belgium candy sugar.
the candy sugars are thoroughly dissolved into the liquor,
return the brew kettle to the heat and resume a boil.
Boiling may caramelize the extract to some extent and
darken the color of the final beer. With certain styles
of beer, a lighter color is appropriate or desired. You
can obtain a somewhat lighter color in your extract beer
several different ways. Using a gentle boil instead of a
vigorous one will reduce the risk of caramelization and,
therefore, help to ensure a lighter color.
the wort is boiling, add Magnum hops for bittering and
If you are using hop leafs or plugs, a 90 minute
boil is necessary to achieve optimum hop bitterness
utilization. If you're using hop pellets, only a 60
minute boil is necessary. Again, using a nylon hop
bag is probably a good idea.
1 teaspoon of Irish moss and the E.K.Goldings hops
for flavoring 10 minutes before the end of the boil.
The addition of Irish moss is optional but recommended.
Actually a dried seaweed, Irish moss is a clarifying
agent that works by coagulating loose particles during
the final stage of the boil. These particles precipitate
out of the beer and are left behind when you siphon the
cooled wort from the brew kettle to the primary
fermenter, making your beer cleaner and clearer.
the boil is complete, remove the brew kettle from the heat
source and drop the temperature of the wort as quickly as
This is where the wort chiller comes in. Little
more than a coil of copper tubing, a wort chiller works
by drawing the heat from the wort through the copper - a
thermal conductor - into the water - another thermal
conductor - passing through the chiller. There are two
types. The more basic type is called an immersion
wort chiller. You simply place an immersion wort
chiller in the wort and run water through the chiller. A
counter-flow wort chiller is copper tubing
covered by a plastic garden hose. This chiller works by
allowing the wort to pass through the copper tubing
while the cold water runs over the copper in the
opposite direction (thus, counter-flow). The
counter-flow wort chiller is more expensive but much
more effective. An immersion chiller should chill your
wort to pitching temperatures in about 15 minutes. A
counter-flow chiller will chill the wort in as little as
the wort has cooled to approximately 75º F, siphon
the wort into the 6.5-gallon glass carboy primary fermenter,
add enough cool water to create at least 5 gallons
and take an original gravity reading. Remember to adjust the
reading if the temperature of the wort is not 60º F. (See
the Hydrometer Temperature Correction chart on the
measurements and conversions
the wort is at the desired fermentation temperature and a
gravity reading has been taken, aerate the wort.
Aerating the wort is one of the keys to ensuring a
strong, healthy fermentation. Shaking the carboy is a
relatively ineffective way to accomplish aeration, but
it's good enough for the novice brewer with enough on
his mind. For more experienced brewers, it is
recommended that you purchase some special aeration
equipment to achieve this task. For example, I use an
aquarium pump with an in-line filter and an aeration
stone. I aerate the wort for at least 15 minutes and my
fermentations start faster and are more complete. Other
brewers oxygenate their beer with a shot of pure oxygen.
You need a special tank for oxygenation, but it's
quicker and (allegedly) more effective than aeration.
the beer has been aerated (or oxygenated), pitch the yeast
prepared in the yeast starter (if you've done so).
You can either pitch the entire yeast starter or gently
decant the spent wort and pitch only the yeast slurry.
There's no real difference between the methods, but keep
in mind that if you're going to pitch the entire
starter, it will increase the volume of beer in your
primary fermenter accordingly.
After approximately 1 week in the primary fermenter,
rack the beer into the 5-gallon glass carboy secondary
fermenter and add the remaining one-half (1/2) ounce of
The addition of hops to the secondary fermenter is a
technique called "dry-hopping" and will add further hop
aroma to your finished beer. It is not absolutely
necessary to place these hops in a hop bag as they
should be left behind in the secondary fermenter when
the beer is racked to the bottling bucket.
Allow the beer to finish fermentation in the secondary
fermenter for an additional 14 days. Take a final
gravity reading to confirm that fermentation is complete.
fermentation is complete, the beer is ready to be bottled.
Sanitize all bottles, bottle caps and bottling equipment in
preparation for bottling.
you are ready to bottle, rack the beer very gently from the
secondary fermenter into the bottling bucket.
all of the beer has been siphoned into the bottling bucket,
stir in the DME very gently to make sure it is evenly
You may substitute DME instead of corn sugar for
priming. To prepare the DME for priming, dissolve it in
a pint of water, then boil it for 15 minutes before
adding it to your beer. Some homebrewers suggest that
you get better conditioning and head retention with the
DME instead of the corn sugar but it may impart a very
slightly malty flavor to your beer that you don't want.
If you're not comfortable using the DME or don't have
any extra lying around, feel free to continue using the
corn sugar. Personally, I've never had any luck getting
good carbonation with DME, so I've stuck with corn
After the DME (or priming sugar) has been evenly
distributed, fill each bottle to within no more than 1-1/2
inches from the top of the bottle, cap the bottle and wipe
of any excess spillage.
all the beer is bottled, move the bottles back to whatever
spot you used for fermentation to allow the beer to
condition for at least two weeks.
Transferring the beer to a refrigerator for another two
(2) weeks or so before drinking it will improve the
smoothness and clarity of your beer.