.. or a tale of a Peruvian Imperial Stout!
But first, some back story. My colleague, weekday house-mate and Tuesday night yoga-muse Frances is connected in Manchester brewery circles. So, I was gifted a bottle of Decadence from the Marble Brewery.
I’m normally all about brewing quantities of lower alcohol beers and fly the flag for traditional English ales here on the mainland but the challenge was there… could I knock up a Russian Imperial… and more so… could I make it my own with a few subtle additions? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Down to the recipe and the method. CAUTION.. it all gets black and sticky from here on in.
Brewday follows my usual pattern, I run around in disarray for 30 mins getting my rig together and then a natural rhythm develops. It’s always exciting. It’s the perfect match of chemistry, craft, romanticism and alchemy. The grains are ground and I do the maths on the volumes, crunch the numbers and pull together a schedule. Plan the chemistry and then.. sit and wait whilst the water, enzymes and a bit of magic turns the starches into sugars. In devising a unique recipe I’d decided to go for…
- Strong malt characteristics
- Minimal overt bitterness from the dark roasted grains
- A thick mouthfeel – brought on by a high mash temperature and large amount of non fermentable dextrins.
- A solid bitter background from earthy and subtly aromatic hops
- A touch of citrus aromatics from the marmalade
- A background herbal note from the rosemary.
So, the pics…
The Grist was deathly grey looking. First, surprise of the day but I guess not too unexpected – it was FULL of dark stuff.
I had to scale back the recipe to aim for a 19l finish. Even so, I brimmed my 25 litre mashtun. Time for a new one. This was 20litres of strike water on 7.4Kg of grains.
Just enough space for my Sekrit Peruvian Bears Favourite Ingredient!
A little wort recirculation courtesy of my totton pump. Brighter, clearer, better sugar extraction. That inky black is a taste of things to come…
None more black.
I normally track my gravities as I’m extracting. The colour usually fades off as the OG drops. Not this time. The colour stayed inky filthy black. Lovely! My herbal kick in the tail (tale!) was on standby for the boil.
Numbers were good – ultra sticky all day.
So, the recipe. I refined my hop choice and downgraded the grain bill after my initial stab at the recipe.
Peruvian Imperial Stout
Batch Size (L): 19.0
Total Grain (kg): 7.356
Total Hops (g): 69.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.080 (°P): 19.3
Colour (SRM): 78.3 (EBC): 154.3
Bitterness (IBU): 63.3 (Average)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 67
Boil Time (Minutes): 60
5.000 kg Maris Otter Malt (67.97%)
0.800 kg Crystal 80 (10.88%)
0.400 kg Jar of home made bitter orange Marmalade (5.44%)
0.248 kg Biscuit (3.37%)
0.248 kg Flaked Rye (3.37%)
0.192 kg Wheat Malt (2.61%)
0.185 kg Chocolate (2.51%)
0.100 kg Black Roasted Barley (1.36%)
0.100 kg Chocolate, Pale (1.36%)
0.083 kg Rye – Dark roasted coffee flavour (1.13%)
30.0 g Cascade Leaf (6.3% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (1.6 g/L)
39.0 g Northern Brewer Leaf (9.6% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (2.1 g/L)
5.0 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
5.0 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
10.0 g Rosemary @ 8 Minutes (Boil)
Single step Infusion at 68°C for 88 Minutes. Here’s the XML recipe for Beersmith/brewmate
Fermented at 20°C with Safale S-04
My efficiency was so high I decided on a second runoff of a parti-gyle brew. My ‘Baby Bear’ second brew is in the Cascadian Dark Ale style and hopped wildly.
After all that, a glass of my Amarillo SMaSh. Making beer is thirsty work.