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Brewday: On Tap an Imperial Stout

October 30, 2010

After taking Mason grocery shopping I returned home to prepare for my first Brewday since February.  My friend Joe from work wanted to see what homebrewing was all about and made the trip over to Monticello. I was happy to have someone to brew with and he also brought beer and crab dip, which was a bonus.

Today we brewed an Imperial Stout using the partial mash method.  By the time Joe arrived I had cleaned all of the brewing equipment including my fermenter, 3 gallon Igloo Cooler we were using as a mash lauter tun (“MLT”) and the 5 gallon brew kettle.  Over a couple of Sam Adams Oktoberfest we heated up 8 quarts of water to 166 degrees.  We then added it to the MLT and then lowered in 6 pounds of grain mixing it with a spoon to make sure there were no doughballs.  We then let it sit for one hour while we crushed the rest of the crab dip, drank some beers and watched Illinois destroy Northwestern.

As the 60 minutes were nearing an end we heated up 4 more quarts to 190 degrees.  This water was going to be used to batch sparge the grains once we drew off the first run wort.  I drew off a quart and then poured it back into the MLT to help filter it.  Of the 8 quarts that went in we ended up with 5 3/4 quarts in our brew pot.  We got an additional 4 from the second run and added a little additional water to the pot to bring the volume up to 3 1/2 gallons (13 quarts).

Bringing 3 1/2 gallons of water to a boil on an electric stove took forever.  While it took its sweet time more beers were consumed and more football was watched.  Once it was bubbling away we added our first hop addition.  We continued to add hops throughout the boil per the recipe.  At “flameout” we added 8 pounds of light liquid malt extract.  Once it was dissolved I placed it in a cold water bath outside. It was 6:00 p.m. and Joe headed back to Tallahassee.  He was a lot of help and it was fun brewing with someone else

I continued to periodically check the temperature of the wort.  It took awhile to get down to 90 degrees at which point I sanitized my fermenter and got my yeast ready.  I got the wort down to 70 degrees or so by filling the sink up with ice and water.  Unlike when I brew in the winter when it gets down to the 40’s outside I did not notice any cold break.  Dammit.

Undeterred I poured the wort into the fermenter and topped it off with water to make it a 5 gallon batch.  I then aerated the wort, dumped in my vial of yeast and capped the bucket off.  The last thing I did was take an Original Gravity reading.  Adjusting it for the temperature of the sample yielded an OG of 1.083.  The guy from Homebrew Den said the receipt would be in the 1.06 to 1.07 range.  I think the 8 pounds of LME pushed us over the estimate.  I hope that the yeast does its job and gets it down somewhere near 1.02 so we can avoid having a super sweet beer.  Time will tell!

Imperial Stout
5 gallon batch

OG: 1.083
FG: Unknown

2 3/4 lbs Pale Malt (2 row)
1 lb roasted barley
3/4 lb Black Patent Malt
3/4 lb Chocolate Malt
3/4 lb Wheat Malt
8 lbs Light LME

Hop Amounts and Addition Times:
1 oz Warrior @ 60 mins
1/2 oz Centennial @ 60 mins
1/2 oz Simcoe @ 25 mins
1 oz Amarillo @ 20 mins
1/2 oz Centennial @ 2 mins
1/2 oz Simcoe @ 2 mins

WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast

Things to do differently next brewday:
– Start heating up sparge water earlier
– Get a propane burner so we can get a full boil
– Get a larger tub to fill with ice outside to cool wort faster

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