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Small Batch all grain Imperial Milk Stout

Continuing the discussion from Small batch all grain brew:

So when I enter that into BeerSmith on my iPad, I get some different stats: 1.094 OG and 114.8 IBUs predicted 9.77 ABV.
Not sure why I get different numbers… Maybe I just entered stuff wrong… probably different AA estimates on the hops.

I’m sure it’s a fine recipe; the following are only my opinions.

  • That much roasted barley just tastes like ash.
  • Too bitter. Cut back the hops.
  • Too little vanilla. I would prefer to sanitize it in the booze and add it to secondary…
  • is that 0.25 oz whiskey in 3 gallons? Why bother? 0.25 c. maybe…

So again, do what you like, but I think I would like this better…

Batch Size: 3.00 gal Style: Imperial Stout (20C)
Boil Size: 3.62 gal Style Guide: BJCP 2015
Color: 34.3 SRM
Bitterness: 83.6 IBUs Boil Time: 60 min
Est OG: 1.094 (22.2° P
Est FG: 1.020 SG (5.1° P)
ABV: 9.8%
Amount Name Type #
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1
2.00 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 2
2.00 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 3
8.00 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 4
6.00 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5
10.00 oz Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM) Grain 6
1.00 oz Summit [17.0%] - Boil 60 min Hops 7
0.25 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15 min) Misc 8
0.60 oz Cascade [5.5%] - Boil 0 min Hops 9
1 pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) Yeast 10
1-2 days before transfer split and quarter 1.5 vanilla beans, scrape the pods and add the pods and scrapings to .25 c scotch whiskey.
In secondary add 0.25 oz crushed coffee, Vanilla/Scotch mix - dump it all in.

Thank you for the tips. This is my first attempt at making my own recipe and I really don’t know what I am doing and I am just shooting from the hip. I got my numbers from I think I will follow your tips. Thank you,

I would pitch more than one package of 04 to that gravity. At least 2 hydrated

Definitely add the vanilla after primary fermentation is done. Vanilla fades quickly so I would second jmck on soaking the vanilla in the whisky to extract as much flavor as possible. I really like vanilla in a stout and usually use 2 full beans in 5 gallons to get a noticeable but not overpowering taste. Split the beans lengthwise and scrape the goo out, chop up the bean and then put it all in your whiskey-probably need about a cup in 3 gallons to get any impact. Let the vanilla soak for at least a week or even two and then dump it all (or you can strain the bean husks out) in your beer after primary fermentation is done–this is the way I’ve always done it, anyway. I’m sure you could add the vanilla tincture in at bottling a little at a time to suit your taste, just know that after 3 or 4 weeks in the bottle or keg, the vanilla is going to fade a little.

Ditto on the yeast suggestion from brewcat.

Good luck,


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OK so I did a 1 gal BIAB run of this recipe and my OG was very low. I only got 1.061! Should be 1.100.
I started with 2 gal of distilled water. Hit the strick temp of 165. Held mash at 155 for 60 minutes then a 60 minutes hard boil. I did not sparg as the water value was good after the grain bag drained.
The grain was dabble ground. I stared the worth before taking the reading. What did I do worng?

I don’t BIAB, so maybe others can weigh in, but I have a feeling not sparging means you left some sugar behind. I would have rinsed the grains, then just boiled longer to hit your volume. Then again, high gravity beers are usually challenging. I just count on adding extract for anything over 1.080.

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