Dark copper to very black, imperial stouts
typically have a high alcohol content. The extremely rich malty
flavor and aroma are balanced with assertive hopping and
fruity-ester characteristics. Bitterness can be moderate and
balanced with the malt character or very high in the darker
versions. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be
moderately perceived but should not overwhelm the overall
character. Hop aroma can be subtle to overwhelmingly hop-floral,
-citrus or -herbal. Diacetyl (butterscotch) levels should be
very low. Imperial stouts are so named because they were
traditionally exported from England to the imperial court of
Czarist Russia. Below is a great recipe for an American-style
imperial stout that I got fantastic results from.
1 pound 120º L crystal malt
1/3 pound black patent malt
1/3 pound roasted barley
9 pounds light DME
2 ounces Galena hops
3 ounces Cascade hops
1 teaspoon Irish moss
Wyeast 1056 American ale yeast
3/4 cup corn sugar
Place the crushed specialty grains in a
nylon hop bag and steep them in 1 gallon of preheated 150º
water for 30 minutes.
Drain and discard the spent grains.
Bring at least 3 gallons of liquor to a
boil, remove the brew kettle from the heat source then stir
in the extract and the Galena hops.
Boil for 45 minutes, then add 1 ounce of the
Cascade hops and the Irish moss.
Boil for an additional 14 minutes, then add
1 more ounce of the Cascade hops.
Boil for an additional 1 minute, then remove
the brew kettle from the heat source, cover it and drop the
temperature of the wort as quickly as possible to 77º F.
Once the wort has cooled to below 77º F,
take an original gravity reading, pour the wort into a
primary fermenter through a funnel with a strainer and add
enough cool water to create 5 gallons.
Once the wort has been transferred to the
primary fermenter, pitch the yeast, stir the wort
vigorously, seal the fermenter with an airlock and ferment
at approximately 68-72º F for 2 weeks.
Rack the beer to a secondary fermenter,
dry-hop the remaining Cascade hops and allow the beer to
Once fermentation is complete, rack the beer
to a bottling bucket, prime with the corn sugar and bottle
and condition as usual.