As the mercury falls and we reach for the polar fleece, hoodies, beanies and mittens we also should be reaching for a well aged and matured Russian Imperial Stout. I recently had the pleasure of a couple of pleasant local craft versions of this great beer style during #GoodBeerWeek2015. The first was a pot of 3 Ravens little raven special release Russian Imperial Stout @theCatfish in Fitzroy after Session #1 @GABSFestival 2015 and it stood out so strongly after many sours as an exemplary example of a fine style with rich roasted coffee and toffee notes and a warmth that made it dangerously drinkable :-). Followed up shortly thereafter was another finely brewed example the 2014 Ramjet from Boatroacker aged in Starward Whisky barrels enjoyed at Palate Cleanser as a lovely end to a great week and afternoon on the sours. Given a good friend and great brewer of sours and imperial stouts was at the event Mr Brendan O’Sullivan of 3 Ravens & Grain&Grape fame and someone who is always willing to share tips and recipes to help homebrewers brew better – see one of my very first recipe posts here DICK’s Foreign Extra Dry Irish Coffee Stout which was greatly helped by Brendan @Grain&Grape on a busy Saturday with tips from a #hometopro brewer given with good grace patience and a smile as always, many moons ago.
Thought it was appropriate to hit Brendan up not for a sour recipe although he does do a very mean Berliner Weiss – maybe on coming soon to a future Flyday BeerCoAu Beer of Week recipe, but for an Imperial Stout Home brew recipe fit for Czar! So here goes, and thanks again to @Crowbz for sharing your tips on how to brew very big and bold beers with style 🙂 Below is a recipe Brendan brewed for a home-brew competition featuring a surprise ingredient (Iron Chef style) – which turned out to be Chillies.
Target OG: 1.100
Target IBU: 80
Target Colour: 55 SRM
Gladfield Malt Grain Bill
(Editors notes – I have taken some liberty here to do some conversion to Gladfield Malt)
- 4 kg 37% Gladfield Ale Malt
- 2 kg 18% Gladfield Munich Malt
- 1.3 kg 12% Harraways Rolled Oats
- 1 kg 9% Gladfield Manuka Smoke Malt
- 450 gm 4% Gladfield Dark Chocolate Malt
- 350 gm 3% Gladfield Shepherds Delight
- 400 gm 4% Gladfield Dark Crystal Malt
- 105 gm 1% Gladfield Light Chocolate Malt
- 300 gm 3% Gladfield Roasted Wheat
- 1 kg 9% 1kg Belgian Dark Candi Syrup Type II – late kettle addition
Total Grist = whopping 10.905 kg!!!
3 x 125ml smack packs of Wyeast 1728 (Scottish Ale)
Mash & Boil:
- 6.5g chalk (mash)
- Mashed at 65C for 60 mins, sparged at 80C
- 1g gypsum (kettle)
- 1g calcium chloride (kettle)
- 90 minute boil
Approx 3 Habaneros (flame roasted, de-seeded, de-veined and added at start, mid and end boil)
5g Amchur (green mango powder) 60 mins
2 lemons (zest only), 30cm stick of lemon scented verbena and 1 mesquite smoked Rocoto Chilli steeped in Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Angostura Bitters then added to the kettle 15 mins before flameout
A shot of Laphroaig at flameout – that’s brewing with style right there! Brew happy 🙂
Brendan’s finishing touch was a Rye Whisky tincture of the remaining 6 habaneros (flame roasted, de-seeded, de-veined) as well as about 20g of cacao and a vanilla pod (added post-fermentation).
Sources and References: Brendan O’Sullivan, https://www.facebook.com/grainandgrape/posts/786979877981706 Iron Brewer System Wars Competition, 2014 @Grain&Grape, Yarraville, Victoria.