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Extract Based Chocolate Imperial Stout

smertz001

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So, I've also recently gotten into brewing beer, and for my third batch, I was planning on making my own recipe after doing one kit (Stout that everyone really enjoyed), and following a recipe (Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Clone.)

It's extract based with some specialty malts. Any one have any thoughts on this Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Size: 5 Gallon
OG: 1.112
FG: 1.020
Bitterness: 51 IBU
Colour: 45 SRM

Specialty Grains:
15oz Chocolate Malt (450)
7oz Roasted Barley (300)
5oz Black Patent Malt (500)
4oz Flaked Wheat

Extracts:
1lbs Wheat Dry Extract (60min)
10lbs Light Dry Extract (60min)

Hops (Pellets):
1.5oz Target (60min)
0.5oz Cascade (15min)
0.5oz Willamette (15min)
0.5oz Cascade (5min)
0.5oz Willamette (5min)

Others:
4oz Malto Dextrin (60min)
1tsp Irish Moss (10min)
8oz Cocoa Powder (5min)
2lbs Honey (0min)

4.5oz Honey for bottling.

Yeast: Wyeast 1056

Thanks!
-- Steve
 

smertz001

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Grapefruit huh? Might need to change that then. I borrowed the cascade idea from another RIS recipe while creating this one. I wonder if my LHBS will let me scratch n sniff the hops so I can learn their characteristics.
 

theEnvoy

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Yes, my two top beers I brew are a dry-hopped American Amber, with Cascade, and the dry hopping gives a very strong Grapefruit flavor. The other favorite is a robust Porter. The Cascade goes good with an Amber Ale, but I think it could clash with the Chocolate Malt in your Recipe. But it looks like you are into a good recipe that you are working there....The Willamette I think are good with your recipe... Good luck!
 

Midnight Sun

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I concur with theEnvoy; Cascade has a citrusy flavor and aroma that probably won't pair well with a chocolate. It looks like everything is geared towards an American-style, so perhaps double the Willamette. My current favorite is Kent Goldings, but that is British and might not fit the style you're going for here.

Speaking of hops, I don't know that I would bother with aroma additions. This is going to take a bit of aging, and most of the aroma will be gone by the time it is ready.

Consider dropping the Irish moss. You really don't have a large quantity of malts, so haze should be minimal. Plus it is going to be a dark beer, no one is going to notice a little haze if there is even any.

Make a big starter! Wyeast 1056 is supposed to be good for 11%. If your SG and FG are where you anticipate, then you will be at 12.2%. I think this one will finish sweeter then you want...

Unless you are doing a full 5-gallon boil, then there is no real reason to boil all of your extract for 60min. Boiling all of your extract in a smaller quantity of water risks caramelizing your malt. Consider adding 50 points worth of extract to the boil and the rest at flame-out.

All in all, this looks like it will be really good :) I think it'll be a wild one too, have a blow-off tube ready!
 

akueck

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Jun 26, 2006
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Agreed, aroma additions aren't going to do much for you after extended aging. If you want fresh hoppy flavors, dry hop this a week or two before bottling (and here I'm assuming you'll be aging this in a carboy for several months). I like Fuggle for this kind of beer.

The imperial stouts I've done also had much higher IBUs. The long aging really knocks the hop bitterness down, and with the high FG you need something to balance the sweetness. You do have a lot of black malts in there, which will add astringency, but I'd still consider increasing the hops.
 

smertz001

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Yes, my two top beers I brew are a dry-hopped American Amber, with Cascade, and the dry hopping gives a very strong Grapefruit flavor. The other favorite is a robust Porter. The Cascade goes good with an Amber Ale, but I think it could clash with the Chocolate Malt in your Recipe. But it looks like you are into a good recipe that you are working there....The Willamette I think are good with your recipe... Good luck!
Great! Thanks for the input theEnvoy!

I concur with theEnvoy; Cascade has a citrusy flavor and aroma that probably won't pair well with a chocolate. It looks like everything is geared towards an American-style, so perhaps double the Willamette. My current favorite is Kent Goldings, but that is British and might not fit the style you're going for here.

Speaking of hops, I don't know that I would bother with aroma additions. This is going to take a bit of aging, and most of the aroma will be gone by the time it is ready.
Thanks for the input Midnight! I'm working on tweaking the hops now, probably simplifying down to two kinds, and not worrying too much about the aroma ones as you and akueck mention. I hadn't thought about styling for it, but now that you mention, I will work towards keeping it within one style. No sense in getting all crazy on my first recipe and not really knowing what I'm doing (=

Consider dropping the Irish moss. You really don't have a large quantity of malts, so haze should be minimal. Plus it is going to be a dark beer, no one is going to notice a little haze if there is even any.
Is there a downside to having the Irish Moss in there? I'm just trying to learn here and all the recipes I've seen seem to always include it. But if it's one less then I need to worry about, then yeah, I'm definitely up for not including it.

Make a big starter! Wyeast 1056 is supposed to be good for 11%. If your SG and FG are where you anticipate, then you will be at 12.2%. I think this one will finish sweeter then you want...
Yes! Definitely making a big starter. My new stir plate and flask should be arriving today which I won from a contest. I'm quite excited to play around with them!

Unless you are doing a full 5-gallon boil, then there is no real reason to boil all of your extract for 60min. Boiling all of your extract in a smaller quantity of water risks caramelizing your malt. Consider adding 50 points worth of extract to the boil and the rest at flame-out.

All in all, this looks like it will be really good :) I think it'll be a wild one too, have a blow-off tube ready!
Sounds like valid advice. I will work towards implementing this as well. And I do have plans for that blow-off tube as I've heard and seen results of Big Beers Gone Wild! (= Thanks!

Agreed, aroma additions aren't going to do much for you after extended aging. If you want fresh hoppy flavors, dry hop this a week or two before bottling (and here I'm assuming you'll be aging this in a carboy for several months). I like Fuggle for this kind of beer.

The imperial stouts I've done also had much higher IBUs. The long aging really knocks the hop bitterness down, and with the high FG you need something to balance the sweetness. You do have a lot of black malts in there, which will add astringency, but I'd still consider increasing the hops.
It will definitely be aged. I was planning on starting late April/May and have it ready to drink for Christmas, and then keep it around for long time after that so I can compare it with new batches as I learn more and get better and tweak the flavours and such. So, definitely will be aged.

I definitely don't want this to be too hoppy, but balancing the sweet and the bitter I can see needing to happen.

And as such, just toss all the hops right up front? And not worry about the 15 or 5 minute boiled ones?

Like Midnight Sun mentioned, I was apparently going for an American style, and will be switching to more American hops. Right now I'm thinking about 2.5 oz Brewer's Gold for 60 min and then 1oz Willamette for 30 min. That gets the IBU to 65ish. Higher, but also not too too high.

Thanks for all the input, help and ideas!
 

Midnight Sun

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Jul 13, 2010
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Is there a downside to having the Irish Moss in there? I'm just trying to learn here and all the recipes I've seen seem to always include it. But if it's one less then I need to worry about, then yeah, I'm definitely up for not including it.
I don't know that there is a downside. It pulls haze-causing proteins out of suspension, which are not generally present in extracts. All of my beers that needed to be clear cleared sufficiently through aging.

AFAIK, Irish moss does not alter the flavor of the beer. John Palmer suggests that removing proteins using Irish moss will help the beer be drinkable for longer. I don't know if that is true, my brews don't seem to hang around for long. Rats in the pantry, you know ;)

As for final IBU, maybe around 80? Have you had barley wine before? If yes and you liked it, you might see if you can find the stats and compare them to your recipe.

...Big Beers Gone Wild!
That made me laugh!
 

smertz001

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I don't know that there is a downside. It pulls haze-causing proteins out of suspension, which are not generally present in extracts. All of my beers that needed to be clear cleared sufficiently through aging.

AFAIK, Irish moss does not alter the flavor of the beer. John Palmer suggests that removing proteins using Irish moss will help the beer be drinkable for longer. I don't know if that is true, my brews don't seem to hang around for long. Rats in the pantry, you know ;)
Hrm. Not sure I wouldn't want to use it then. There could be some slight haze from the steeped grains. And if it helps be the beer drinkable for longer then that's a good thing for something that will be laying around aging. I've got a couple of cats to help with that rat problem (;

As for final IBU, maybe around 80? Have you had barley wine before? If yes and you liked it, you might see if you can find the stats and compare them to your recipe.
80 IBU seems quite high for something like this. I don't want it overly hoppy like what you get from a barley wine (although they are one of my favourite styles.)

I'm looking for smooth and chocolately. Like a Young's Double Chocolate with 25ish IBUs or Rogue's Double Chocolate (although that has a bit more bite than I would like) which has 50 IBUs. Based on that, I think something in between the two would would well for me on this beer.

But it is definitely something for me to be thinking about on this. Thanks for making me ponder that!
 

akueck

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Jun 26, 2006
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Hmm, 80 seems low to me for a big beer with a high FG. But it's more important that it's what you want than what the rest of us "think it ought to be", so if you've got 50 in mind then go for 50. (I was going to suggest up to 100 IBUs, ha!)
 

smertz001

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Hmm, 80 seems low to me for a big beer with a high FG. But it's more important that it's what you want than what the rest of us "think it ought to be", so if you've got 50 in mind then go for 50. (I was going to suggest up to 100 IBUs, ha!)
For a regular old RIS, I think I would agree and bump IBU up as well. Or. Maybe. I just need to make multiple batches of this. All at different IBUs and see what works best...

Crap, I need more fermentors! (And a second job!)
 

smertz001

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Yeah, I don't need a larger house. I have more than enough room and then some. Just don't have enough equipment or money to make it all work (=

Currently, my detached garage has a little room in it, with AC, and I just tossed a Rancor temp controller on it to see how well it works at keeping it at 68F for the time being. If it works out well, then in the next couple of weeks I will be moving more and more of my stuff out there to age and be in a better spot than it's current spot in the office, where the temp is less controllable.

Also, probably in 3-4 months will be getting a chest freezer for fermentation and storage as needed too, just in time for the 110F Summer Days!
 

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