Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Homebrew

One man’s journey to create the perfect beer…

Crazy Ivan Russian Imperial Stout

Posted by ebrius on October 7, 2008

After my first attempt at homebrewing ended successfully, I decided to venture on to a more interesting and challenging beer: A homemade recipe that used specialty grains and other additives along with malt extracts to create a strong, high gravity stout. Below is the recipe, followed by my first, second, and third impressions:

6lb  Dark Dry Malt Extract
4lb  Amber Dry Malt Extract

1lb  Chocolate Malt
1lb  Roasted Barley
.5lb Black Patent Malt
.5lb Caramel Malt 40

2oz Fuggles @ 60
1oz Casade @ 30

1/2 lb Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (added at start of boil)
1/2 gallon Cold Brewed Coffee (Kenya AA) (added to primary)
1/4 gallon Cold Brewed Coffee (Sumatra) (added to secondary)
1 tsp Gypsum @ 30
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 30

2 packages dried ale yeast

Priming Sugar:
Brown Sugar

Batch Size: 5 gallons
Boil Size: 2.5 gallons

OG: 1.11, FG: 1.04, ABV ~= 8%
Brewed:  9/4/08
Moved:   9/17/08
Bottled: 9/28/08

Brewed as most homebrews are, specialty grains steeped for 30 minutes at ~160 degrees. Wort was then brought to a boil and malt extracts and 6 oz of the chocolate were added. Because of the way the chocolate reacted to being boiled, the hot break took a particularly long time. Boil lasted 60 minutes with hops added at 60 and 30. Gypsum and Irish Moss were added at 30 minutes as well. After boil, wort was cooled and mixed with first batch of coffee and extra water in fermentator to equal five gallons. Yeast was then pitched and fermenter was closed.
Brew was moved to secondary about two weeks later, remaining coffee and chocolate were added to secondary.
Beer was then bottled about 11 days later (secondary didn’t really seem to be making a difference) with dark brown sugar as the primer.

First Impression (~ three days after bottling): Beer was very strong and sharp. Chocolate and coffee notes were very apparent. Brew bordered on undrinkable. Beer was strong and with yeasty and medicinal tastes. Off flavors did not make the beer undrinkable, but were noticeable

Second Impression(~ a week after bottling): Much better, flavors are now more subtle, chocolate and coffee are apparent at first, then lead into a sharpness from the Black Patent, and finally finish of with a bitter coffee-esk flavor.

Overall, I am very happy with this beer, I believe that it will only get better. I’ll write a proper review (appearance, aroma, etc) after three weeks of bottle conditioning


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