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Critique an Imperial Stout recipe

I want to try a big stout, I’m not very experienced with creating my own but I looked at several recipes and tried to blend one together.

Any recommendations? Will there be too much body? (is there any good way to judge the body of a beer in Beersmith?)

I was trying to find a guide for recipe types and %'s of grains but didn’t really find anything. I’d like to try more to create my own versions but don’t have much knowledge on that yet. Any help or resources would be appreciated!

Style: Imperial Stout
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications

Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 6.96 gal
Estimated OG: 1.091 SG
Estimated Color: 56.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 49.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

Amount Item Type % or IBU
14.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 70.00 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
1.00 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
1.00 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
1.00 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
0.50 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 2.50 %
0.50 lb Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 2.50 %

2.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) (FW) 46.0 IBU
0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (15 min) Hops 2.7 IBU
0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (5 min) Hops 1.1 IBU

1 Pkgs Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) with starter

Total Grain Weight: 19.50 lb

mash at 154*F

I think it looks pretty good. I would drop either the flaked barley or the flaked oats as I don;t think you need that much flaked grain. I’d drop the sugar, too. I expect an RIS to have a lot of body so I wouldn’t want to dry it out with sugar.

So maybe drop the oats and just keep 1lb flaked barley? Does the flaked barley/oats add mostly body and would the sugar help cancel that out?

If you want a 10% abv RIS (which is the number I try for, personally), you may wanna add a little more malt or sugar. I can get to that point with about 20# total weight in the grist.
I see nothing wrong with adding sugar or mashing at a low temp when you’re making a RIS, either. with that much malt, you’re inevitably going to have at least a moderate body. With that said, I never prefer to have a ‘heavy’ beer, regardless of style.

My RIS recipe has 19.5# grain and 1.5# sugar, and I mash at 150 degrees.

If you want a 10% abv RIS (which is the number I try for, personally), you may wanna add a little more malt or sugar. I can get to that point with about 20# total weight in the grist.
I see nothing wrong with adding sugar or mashing at a low temp when you’re making a RIS, either. with that much malt, you’re inevitably going to have at least a moderate body. With that said, I never prefer to have a ‘heavy’ beer, regardless of style.

My RIS recipe has 19.5# grain and 1.5# sugar, and I mash at 150 degrees.

Your recipe looks pretty good though I would agree you don’t need flaked oats and barley. I would also question that quantity of roasted grains with only 1 lb of crystal grains. In my RIS I use 1 lb chocolate and half a lb each of black malt and roasted barley. It also has 1.5 lbs of dark crystal.

not a big fan of black patent. i would probably lower it a bit. IMO

From the stout recipes I found and compared, all seemed to have varying combinations of roasted barley, black patent, and chocolate. Most seemed to have proportions around 1 : .25 : .25 or 1 : .5 : .25 so I thought I shouldn’t use as much chocolate.

Just munching on some grains, the chocolate seems to be more rounded and the BP was a little more more sharp and bitter.

Maybe I’ll bump up the C60L, the chocolate a little and take the BP down to .5 or .75. I’d still like to try the flaked barley, and might add a little more sugar to bump up the og.

I brewed last night, below is what I went with. I totally forgot to put the (1 lb) brown sugar in the boil… I can boil it on the stove and add it to the fermentor later if I still want. I hit 1.090 @ 5.5 gal into the carboy so I’m pretty happy with the og as it is, it’s bubbling away this morning!
The wort tasted great, had a lot of bitterness to it but nice round flavor.

14.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 72.73 %
1.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 7.79 %
1.00 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 5.19 %
1.00 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5.19 %
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 5.19 %
0.75 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 3.90 %
2.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) (First wort) 46.3 IBU
0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (15 min) Hops 2.8 IBU
0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (0 min) (flameout)Hops -
0.00 lb Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 0.00 %
1 Pkgs Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) [Starter 200ml]

Also, I was thinking about trying a second runnings batch since this was a relatively large amount of grains from what I’m used to. I decided to experiment and I’m going to let the mash sit in the cooler until this evening (~24 hrs) and see what it smells like. I put some dry crushed base grains on top and covered the grains with some saran wrap. If it smells horrible I’ll dump it and do a fresh mash

I think what you went with looks good. I’m sure it will be tasty.

I think you’ll be pushing a sour mash after that long, but that’s just a guess. Good luck!

So I brewed on Thurs and then kept the grains to try a second runnings/sour mash. I put some crushed MO on top of the mash and covered it with saran wrap. I let it sit for about 26 hrs and then added 6 lb MO and 1.5 Munich and added water to mash again at ~154 deg for an hour. The grains smelled fine, not very funky at all. The wort smelled pretty roasty and had a nice dark color still. It tasted fine, not noticeably sour or acidic. I got 1.067 og in the fermentor. I never tried this before but think it turned out well. I’m anxious to see what it tastes like!

both at about 1.020 right now. First one tastes pretty roasty and the “sour mash” smells a little interesting and tastes great! Going to let the temp rise a few degrees now and hope they lower some more

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