Imperial Stout

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.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound 120 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

Instructions:

  1. Place the crushed specialty grains in a nylon hop bag and steep them in 1 gallon of preheated 150 water for 30 minutes.

  2. Drain and discard the spent grains.

  3. 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.

  4. Boil for 45 minutes, then add 1 ounce of the Cascade hops and the Irish moss.

  5. Boil for an additional 14 minutes, then add 1 more ounce of the Cascade hops.

  6. 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 77 F.

  7. Once the wort has cooled to below 77 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.

  8. 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 68-72 F for 2 weeks.

  9. Rack the beer to a secondary fermenter, dry-hop the remaining Cascade hops and allow the beer to finish fermentation.

  10. Once fermentation is complete, rack the beer to a bottling bucket, prime with the corn sugar and bottle and condition as usual.

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