Projects and Thoughts

Take two on brewing a partigyle imperial stout

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With the winter chill setting into the air, it was time to visit Mike up in Bow to brew another partigyle imperial stout. We were happy with both beers from the last time. Last year I might have over planned the brewing process. This year I took a bit of a less detailed approach in designing the parti-gyle, and I went crazy figuring out the base recipe. I did some analysis of the imperial stout recipes I could find. I started with the 13F (Imperial stout) category of the NHC recipe breakdown written up by GatorBeer, which he compiled from here. I then added all the recipes I could find, Katethe great, Jami’s recipe, BYO’s Stone RIS clone, and a few others. You can see the Imperial Stout Grain ratio spreadsheet here. We both liked the imperial stout from last time, but the reviews I got elsewhere indicated it wasn’t complex enough, and didn’t have enough stout character. With the spread sheet I could see the grain percentages to validate a recipe of our design. This past year a few ingredients have really stuck in my head. Chocolate wheat we used in the Janet’s Baby, golden naked oats I keep hearing about, and brown malt has been on my mind since reading Ron Pattinson’s Vintage Beers. The first two are somewhat new, and bring something unique to the recipe. The chocolate wheat brings a nice chocolaty note, while not being acrid or overly bitter like normal chocolate malt, and it adds some head retention from wheat. The Golden naked oats are a Crystal oat, bringing both the silky mouth feel of oats, but with crystal sweetness. Both of these are like two for one malts in my opinion. The brown malt seems like a throwback traditional malt to use, it’s what these beers used to be made mostly of. Inspire of these additions, we tried to simplify the grain bill from last years KTG kitchen sink recipe. This is a much more simplified recipe:

We Are Stout <repeatable>  Imperial Stout
Batch Size : 3.00 gal     71.2 IBUs Estimated.
OG: 1.0976 SG     FG: 1.0270 SG
Mash: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Boil: 60 minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.08 kg Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.50 SRM) Grain 1 40.1 %
2.08 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.00 SRM) Grain 2 40.1 %
0.36 kg Oats, Golden Naked (Simpsons) (10.00 SRM) Grain 3 7.0 %
0.25 kg Chocolate Wheat (Weyermann) (415.00 SRM) Grain 4 4.9 %
0.20 kg Brown Malt (Simpsons) (150.00 SRM) Grain 5 3.9 %
0.10 kg Caramunich I (Weyermann) (51.00 SRM) Grain 6 2.0 %
0.10 kg Roasted Barley (Briess) (300.00 SRM) Grain 7 2.0 %
Hops Used
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
23.46 g Nugget [13.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 47.5 IBUs
29.33 g Willamette [5.60 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 9 19.7 IBUs
26.40 g East Kent Goldings (EKG) [5.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 4.1 IBUs


Misc Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
0.60 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 5.0 mins) Fining 10
0.15 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 5.0 mins) Other 12

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Then we took stock of what we had, and brewed this recipe instead, because Mike and I were working on clearing some of our grain reserves, so the chocolate wheat had to take a raincheck unfortunately.

Our partigyle plan was similar to last year, mash all the grain except the roasted malts to allow us to create a distinct second runnings beer. For that we decided to make a dark english mild. We’d cap the mash with some additional base and crystal, to add some fresh sugars and body but hopefully pull most of the sugars from the third runnings. Here’s that recipe:

Rerun Mild  Mild
Batch Size : 6.00 gal     26.1 IBUs Estimated.
OG: 1.0430 SG     FG: 1.0157 SG
Mash: BIAB, Full Body
Boil: 60 minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.00 kg Golden Promise (Simpsons) (2.00 SRM) Grain 1 24.9 %
1.00 kg Pearl (2.10 SRM) Grain 2 24.9 %
0.35 kg Chocolate Malt (350.00 SRM) Grain 3 8.7 %
0.26 kg Caramel Malt – 60L (Briess) (60.00 SRM) Grain 4 6.4 %
0.21 kg Dark Crystal Malt (Muntons) (150.00 SRM) Grain 5 5.1 %
1.20 kg DME Sparklinf Amber (Briess) (10.50 SRM) Dry Extract 6 29.9 %
Hops Used
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
25.00 g Willamette [5.60 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 7 13.2 IBUs
25.00 g Northern Brewer [8.50 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 8 12.9 IBUs
Yeasts Used
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.6 pkg London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968) [124.21 ml] Yeast 10


Misc Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 5.0 mins) Fining 9

Carboys in cooler

The plan for the brew day was simple, Mike would host and borrow a gigantic mash tun from his friend dave. We’d boil the stout in his keggle, and I’d bring my kettle, HLT, for the mild. We’d Aim for 10g of the 1.095 imperial stout, and 7g of the 1.038 ish mild. Things were a little hectic come brew day, we had a last minute cancelation and were a little short handed. I ended up helping Dave with his pale ale, while he watched his daughter, his partner had a sick kid. I had invited a friend up to see the brew day, as he’s interested in starting brewing. Needless to say it was controlled chaos. Logistically we were way smarter than last year. We moved stuff prior to making it too heavy, or after partially emptying it limiting our back breaking efforts. Our runoff volume was fine, but the mash tun had changed from the year before, it had a false bottom, but this time only a bazooka screen. I’m sure it was a combination of my over estimate of efficiency, mash ph, and the less efficient mash tun. What ever the cause, it didn’t change the end result, needing more sugar, we were low on gravity pre boil. We made the game time decision to go buy some dme. A costly ($13) decision, but the right one, otherwise this would have been an unimperial stout at 1.080. This brought the stout up to a reasonable 1.093 OG.

The mild came out as planned, a touch high on gravity 1.040, We certainly could have sparged more to lower that, but I was unsure how efficient we were going to be. I didn’t want to be boiling that for hours. Initially I had a beautifully simple idea on how to handle this beer. Take the runnings, and boil them wort until it reached a gravity of 1.035 and then add 30m hops, boil for 30m. The idea was to compensate for the uncertain gravity. It was unnecessary, but a good idea none the less. It’s a tool that should be in everyone’s tool box. All in all, despite being a very long day, we pulled off two beers, 9g of 1.090 imperial stout, and 5g of 1.040 mild. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one ages out, I’m still holding on last years bottles.

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