Sunday 19 June 2011

New Recipe - Imperial Stout

I was watching BBC Breakfast News yesterday when I saw this film about a group of British brewers taking Imperial Stout back to Russia. I've only done one Imperial Stout before, a version of Thornbridge's St Petersburg. 

This recipe is bastardised from one of the recipes on the excellent Beer Smith website, which reminds me, I must  download the new version of Beer Smith (2). It uses slightly more traditional hops and there's no smoked malt at all in there. 

My own modifications are to replace the black malt with Carafa 1 to try and make it a little smoother and to add 450g of dark muscovado sugar in the boil.The mash schedule is also rather unusual in this one; it includes a 30 minute protein rest and a 30 min saccrification step.


Batch Size 19L
Estimated OG 1087
Estimated IBU 50.4
Estimated Colour 97.1


5450g Pale Malt
450g Crystal Malt
450g Roasted Barley
350g Carafa Special 1
230g Chocolate Malt

Boil Ingredients

450g Dark Muscovado Sugar
Northern Brewer 8.5%AA - 33g FWH
EKG 5.22 AA 43g 30 mins
Fuggles 5.41%AA 28g 20 mins
Fuggles 5.41%AA 14g 2 mins


SafBrew T-58

Mash Schedule

Protein Rest - 10L at 57C; Mash at 50C for 30mins 
Saccrification  - 10L at 95C; Mash at 70C for 30 mins
Mash Out - 9L @ 90C; Mash at 75.6C for 10 mins
Sparge with 4L @ 75.6C

Monday 6 June 2011

Review - Dred Penguin's Oatmeal Stout

I've been looking forward to trying this for as while. I love dark beers, especially oatmeal stout and I was intrigued to see what Sorachi Ace would impart to the beer. 

I popped up to Gregg's place while he was getting a brew on. As it was a couple of days before the Derby, there were plenty of no parking signs. I can't remember what he was brewing but it sure smelled good. If it turns out as good as good as the Oatmeal stout it'll be well worth trying. Of course, if there's the tiniest bit of chill haze, that'll be my fault. I distracted Gregg while he was brewing and he forgot to add the irish moss.

So to the beer. It pours bible black with a tan head and medium carbonation. I love the full mouthfeel of the beer and the slight treacle taste I got at the back of my mouth. I had some fresh bread and mature cheddar for my supper and it went very well. Gregg's not the first to try Sorachi in a stout; Thornbridge's St Petersburg imperial stout uses it amongst others but it's a completely different animal. I can't really tell what Ace imparts to the beer other than a relatively smooth bitterness.

To read a bit more about Gregg and see some of his excellent photographs pop along to

Sunday 5 June 2011

First Attempt at a Rye Ale

I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about this beer style other than I like it very much. I've only tried three; Zerodegrees RyePA, London Brick and Founders Reds Rye which was easily the best of the three.

I looked up a few Rye PA recipes on the net but ended up bastardising a Whispering Bob recipe thus:

Batch Size - 23L
Estimated OG - 1068
Estimated Colour  - 23 EBC
Estimated Bitterness - 61 IBU

Grain Bill
5000g Maris Otter Pale Malt
500g Aromatic Malt
500g Pale Rye Malt
350g Caramunich 
300g Carapils 
150g Crystal Wheat Malt

Hop Schedule
FWH - 25g Apollo 18%AA
FWH - 20g Amarillo 10.4%AA
Late Hops (last 10 mins) 5g Apollo, 5g Amarillo
Steep Hops (20mins @ 80c) 30g Apollo, 40g Amarillo
Dry Hops 20g Amarillo

Water Treatment
40L Water
50ml CRS
1.5g Gypsum added to Mash
1.5g Gypsum added to boiler
6.5g Epsom Salts added to boiler

1 x Protofloc Tablet @ 5mins

1 x Wyeast American Ale #1056 in 1L starter

Mash Schedule
Mash In - 18L @ 77C
Hold Mash @ 70C for 60 mins
Mash Out - 7L @ 91.5C 
Hold Mash @ 75C for 10 mins
Sparge with 15L @ 75C
Add water to achieve pre-boil volume 30.5L

I ended up with an OG of 1062 and a volume of 25L so I must have added too much water at some point (my boiler isn't terribly well calibrated) but, if it ferments out to 1010 I'll have a beer at 6.8%.