Double-Header Brew Day!

Believe it or not, it is already time to start the Christmas beer! This years brew – Imperium Brettania – is an inky-black 100% Brettanomyces lambicus fermented Russian Imperial Stout, aged on French oak. Yep, those of you on my xmas exchange list have something to look forward to!

As with my other all-brett dark beers I’ve made efforts to reduce the amount of grain-derived phenols, in order to limit the production of unpleasant levels of 4-ethylpheol (burnt plastic) and other potentially unpleasant phenols by replacing half of the dark malts with their de-husked equivalents (i.e. carafa special II and III in place of some of the black and chocolate malts). This is combined with a lower-end hop schedule (BU:GU of 0.66), which I hope will keep things balanced once the Brett drys out the beer. This is topped off with a cherry-flavour producing yeast (B. lambicus, Wyeast 5526). This is about as big a beer as I can brew – the 11kg of malt plus 28L of water fills my mash-tun to the lid!

The downside of brewing all-grain big beers like this is that your efficiency usually sucks – its not unheard of for 30% of the fermentables to remain trapped in the mash-tun. I’m fixing this by partigyling this batch – once I’ve collected the first runnings (Imperium Brettania), I’m doing a second sparge to gather the residual sugars, after which I’m going to hop the runnings with some Willamette hops left over from an older batch, and if needed I’ll add a bit of sugar to up the gravity and dry the beer out. I’m not certain what this is going to yield – a sessionable stout, or perhaps a summer mild? Either way, its being named 50,002. Why you ask? That’s how many views this blog has recieved as of this morning!

Recipe and notes below the fold.

Imperium Brettania
Imperial Stout
Type: All GrainDate: 16 Aug 2014
Boil Size: 36.56 lBoil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %End of Boil Volume 27.56 l
47.61 lLondon Ontario NorthWater1
5.90 gSalt (Mash 60.0 mins)Salt2
3.70 gGypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins)Salt3
2.20 gBaking Soda (Mash 60.0 mins)Salt4
0.50 gEpsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 mins)Salt5
6.50 kgPale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)Grain660.3 %
2.00 kgCanadian 2 Row Pale Malt (2.0 SRM)Grain718.6 %
0.45 kgWheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)Grain84.2 %
0.40 kgCarafa Special III (Weyermann) (470.0 SRM)Grain93.7 %
0.30 kgCarafa Special II (Weyermann) (415.0 SRM)Grain102.8 %
0.30 kgChocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)Grain112.8 %
0.30 kgRoasted Barley (300.0 SRM)Grain122.8 %
0.30 kgSpecial W Malt (115.0 SRM)Grain132.8 %
0.23 kgWheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM)Grain142.1 %
45.00 gWarrior [14.00 %] – Boil 90.0 minHop1555.5 IBUs
20.00 gEast Kent Goldings [5.00 %] – Boil 30.0 minHop166.3 IBUs
1.00 tspIrish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)Fining17
0.50 tspYeast Nutrient (Boil 5.0 mins)Other18
1.0 pkgBrettanomyces Lambucus (Wyeast Labs #5526)Yeast19
1.50 ozOak Cubes (Secondary 14.0 days)Flavor20
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.092 SGMeasured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.028 SGEstimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.5 %
Bitterness: 61.8 IBUs
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch SpargeTotal Grain Weight: 10.78 kg
Sparge Water: 19.25 lGrain Temperature: 21.0 C
Sparge Temperature: 75.6 CTun Temperature: 20.0 C
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUEMash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 28.36 l of water at 77.1 C68.9 C45 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.84l, 18.41l) of 75.6 C water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: KegVolumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 12.54 PSICarbonation Used: Keg with 12.54 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 7.2 CAge for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two StageStorage Temperature: 18.3 C
Brewday Notes
Imperium Brettania:
-mashed in, undershot by nearly 3 degrees (66C instead of 68C); decoted ~4L to raise temperature
-conversion complete @ 30min!
-undershot mash gravity by 6 points, so added 500g sugar to compensate

 -collected ~24L of wort at 1.016, added 500g sugar to increase OG to ~1.030 post-boil
-added 12g (7.7 ibu) Willamette @ 60min
-added  14g (5.4 IBU) Willamette@ 20min
-added 14g (1.8 IBU) Willamette@ 5min

Created with BeerSmith

6 thoughts on “Double-Header Brew Day!

  • August 16, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Yep – all brett ferment. I've got ~300B brett lambicus waiting to be pitched.

    I've done a barleywine with brett to the secondary. Its ~1.5 years old. It super-attenuated (0.998), but the brett character is still mild.

  • August 16, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    When do you plan on adding the brett? I made a barleywine (OG 1.100, FG 1.020) this past winter and pitched WLP653 B Lambicus about 18 hr after two packets of S-04 english ale. Seven months later I bottled, and I didn't notice much in the way of contribution from the brett- maybe just a bit of fruitiness or something, but this could easily have come from the S-04.

    I'm not sure if the brett couldn't do much in the high alcohol, or didn't get a little funkier because I racked off the primary cake (which I am told makes for a cleaner "wild" ferment). Perhaps it will be a bit funkier after bottle conditioning (that is, if there is enough active yeast left to carb it after 7 months…).

    I've since started pitching the brett with the ale strain, and leaving it on the cake for the duration of the aging, but I don't have any finished product yet.

    – Dennis, Life Fermented Blog


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