Insanely Simple Russian Imperial Stout Recipe (Extract)


Russian Imperial StoutStouts have always been big brews, but Russian imperial stout is the biggest of the big. From the high gravity, to the complex, roasty malt flavors, to the assertive hoppiness, a Russian imperial stout recipe is not for the faint of heart.

Actually an English style beer, Russian Imperial Stout was made to be exported to the Nordic and Slavic regions of Europe and was reportedly popular with the Russian monarchy. The high gravity and alcohol content helped with the beer’s stability over travel, but also provided warmth in the colder climates. Some fruity, yeast derived esters combine with a malt complexity to create a rich, complex brew sometimes reminiscent of strong port. The beer is often aged for flavor development.

As with many English beer styles, Russian imperial stout has been adopted by American brewers who often make roastier, hoppier versions of the style. BJCP guidelines for Russian imperial stout are as follows:

 

  • OG: 1.075 – 1.115
  • FG: 1.018 – 1.030
  • ABV: 8 – 12%
  • IBUs: 50 – 90
  • SRM: 30 – 40+

 

Tips for Brewing a Russian Imperial Stout RecipeShop Calcium Carbonate

  • To get the gravity needed hit 8-12% ABV, you need a large amount of fermentable ingredients, a minimum of 9-10 pound of malt extract. Even for the all-grain brewer, malt extract can help make the mash a little less of a chore.
  • You might consider using alkaline water to compensate for the astringency and acidity of the roasted grains. Some calcium carbonate (food-grade chalk) added to the mash/steeping water can help.
  • To balance out the alcohol and intense maltiness, a strong hop schedule is required. If brewing extract or partial mash beer recipe, consider adding half of your malt extract at the end of the boil to help improve hops utilization.

 

Shop Liquid Malt ExtractUse this insanely simple extract beer recipe below to craft your own Russian imperial stout. It’s been somewhat “Americanized” with high alpha hops and some assertive, American hop late additions. We also have a couple Russian imperial stout recipe kits from Brewcraft and Brewer’s Best if you’d like to go that route.

Happy brewing!

 

Motor Oil Russian Imperial Stout Recipe
(Five-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

Specs  
OG: 1.088
FG: 1.025
ABV: 8.3%
IBUs: 82
SRM: 39Shop Barley Grains

Ingredients
6.6 lbs. Light LME
6.6 lbs. Amber LME (late addition)
1 lb. Chocolate malt (crushed)
.5 lb. Caramel 80L malt (crushed)
.5 lb. Roasted barley (crushed)
1 steeping bag for specialty grains
1.5 oz. Bravo hops at :60
1 oz. Columbus hops at :10
1 oz. Cascade hops at :10
2 packs Safale US-05 ale yeast

Directions
Heat 2.5 gallons of water in the boil kettle to 155-165˚F. Place crushed grains in the steeping bag and steep for 20 minutes. Mix in 6.6 lbs of light LME. Bring wort to a boil. Add Bravo hops and boil for 50 minutes. Add Columbus andShop Home Brew Starter Kit Cascade hops and boil for ten minutes. Stir quickly to create a whirlpool, then cool wort to 70˚F using an ice bath or an immersion wort chiller. Pour wort into clean, sanitized fermenter, then top off to make 5.5 gallons. Use a sanitized spoon to mix well, then pitch yeast. Ferment at 70˚F for two weeks, then transfer to secondary for three to four weeks. Bottle and age for 2-4 months or longer.

Do you love to brew dark, heavy beers? Try this Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA clone! Do you have a Russian imperial stout recipe? We’d love for you to share it: extract or all-grain!
—-
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Use 3 SMaSH Beer Recipes To Understand Ingredients

Making SMaSH Beer RecipesFor those of you who have never heard of SMaSH beer recipes, SMaSH is an acronym used in homebrewing for single malt and single hops. A SMaSH beer is a beer brewed using only one variety of malt and one variety of hop. This is significant since most beer recipes involve several different malts and several different hops. But SMaSH beer recipes only involves one malt and one hop.

After perusing Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide for some new beer recipes, it occurred to me that a very short list of ingredients could be used to brew a range of very different brews. With a single type of malt extract, a single hop, and a single yeast strain, you could brew a bitter, an ESB, and an IPA, simply by changing the proportion of ingredients used. This offers an opportunity for brewers to take advantage of bulk pricing on homebrew ingredients (which we offer here at E. C. Kraus), while still being able to brew a variety of beer styles.

The three SMaSH beer recipes below (all single malt, single hop, five-gallon batches) will require a total of:

Feel free to amend the beer recipes with other ingredients you may have on hand, such as different hops or some specialty grains. Alternatively, treat these brews as an experiment to get a strong sense of what each ingredient can contribute to a beer. All 3 SMaSH beer recipes assume brewing with a five-gallon kettle. Follow the instructions for extract brewing to brew each recipe. Don’t forget your caps and priming sugar! Shop Dried Malt Extract

 

British Bitter SMaSH Beer Recipe

An ordinary bitter is a session beer, meaning the alcohol content is low enough that you can have a couple pints without feeling too buzzed.

Specs
OG: 1.038
FG: 1.006-1.009
ABV: 3.8-4.2%
IBUs: 31
SRM: 3.6

Ingredients
4.5 lbs. light DME
1.5 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :60
1 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :10
1 pack Safale S-04 ale yeast

 

E.S.B. SMaSH Beer Recipe Shop Hops

An ESB, or Extra Special Bitter, is a stronger version of an ordinary bitter. Feel free to increase the hops if you enjoy hop bitterness, flavor, or aroma. Feel free to steep some crushed caramel malt for extra color and flavor.

Specs
OG: 1.050
FG: 1.008-1.014
ABV: 4.8-5.6%
IBUs: 31
SRM: 4.4

Ingredients
6 lbs. light DME
2 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :60
0.5 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :10
1 pack Safale S-04 ale yeast

 

English IPA SMaSH Beer Recipe Shop Steam Freak Kits

An English IPA is the bitterest and most hoppy of the English pale ales, though usually less aggressive than American IPAs.

Specs
OG: 1.050
FG: 1.008-1.014
ABV: 4.8-5.6%
IBUs: 45
SRM: 4.4

Ingredients
6 lbs. light DME
2 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :60
2 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :20
1 pack Safale S-04 ale yeast Shop Fermenter

 

What are some of the homebrew ingredients you use in every batch? What are some ideas you have for brewing SMaSH beer recipes?
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Homebrew Spruce Beer Recipe

Spruce For Making Spruce Beer RecipeBefore we get to the spruce beer recipe lets talk a little bit about spruce. Trees and their branches, barks, and berries have been used traditionally for flavoring beers, especially in Scandinavian countries, for hundreds of years. Juniper, spruce, and fir are some of the most common. Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery revived the Finnish Sahti, a traditional beer made from rye, barley, and juniper. Their interpretation is called Sah-tea.

In North America, spruce beer was used by American colonists to prevent scurvy. Though we don’t have to worry too much about scurvy these days, a good spruce beer is a unique, refreshing, and interesting beverage.

 

Finding Spruce for Your Spruce Beer Recipe

For the adventurous forager, spruce can be found in the evergreen forests of North America. Cuttings from new growth are best for brewing. Make a tea by boiling the branches in water for 30 minutes. Strain out the branches and add this homemade spruce essence to your mash or boil.

To get an idea of how much to add to your homebrew, mix a small amount of your homebrewed spruce essence into to a commercial beer that’s similar to the base style of beer you’re making.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can cut down your own spruce tree and run the wort through the branches, like this guy. Shop Spruce Essence

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands for lumber-jacking around the forest, commercially made spruce essence is less risky and more predictable.

 

Tips for Brewing A Spruce Beer Recipe

  • Add up to 4 oz. of fresh spruce tips late in the boil for woody, resiny flavor and aroma.
  • Less is more! Start with a small amount of spruce flavor for your first spruce beer. You can always add more in your next batch.
  • If you find you’ve added too much spruce to your beer, give it some time to age. You might be surprised how an “undrinkable” beer can change over several months.

 

Homebrew Spruce Beer Recipe

1/2 lb. crystal malt (40L) Shop Liquid Malt Extact
1/3 lb. roasted barley
1/3 lb. chocolate malt
1/4 lb. rye malt
1/4 lb. black patent malt
6 lbs. dark malt extract syrup
4 oz. molasses
2 oz. Hallertau hops at :60
1-4 oz. spruce tips (based on taste preference)
*alternatively, use spruce essence according to package directions
Whitbread (Safale S-04) ale yeast
Corn sugar for priming

 

Shop Beer FlavoringsDirections: Steep specialty malts in ~150°F. water for 30 minutes. Add the extract and molasses and bring to a boil. Add the hops and the spruce tips and boil for 30 minutes. Strain the hot wort into a fermenter containing enough clean water to make 5 gallons. Pitch yeast when wort cools to 70°F. or less.

Ferment at 65-70°F. then bottle with the priming sugar. Age 3-6 weeks before drinking.

This is a somewhat basic spruce beer recipe, but there has been some thought put into the balance of the flavor and body. Feel free to experiment and create your own spruce recipe.
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale Clone Recipe

Bottle Of Sierra Nevada Celebration AleOne of my all-time favorites is Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, and I’d like to have it year-around. That’s why I started digging for a Celebration ale clone recipe.

Celebration ale a full-bodied IPA brewed with two-row malt, caramel malt, and the season’s freshest hops. In true Sierra Nevada style, Cascade and Centennial hops are in the spotlight. A touch of Carapils malt adds a frothy white head that lasts and lasts, providing a billowing pillow for the spicy hop aroma that emanates from the glass.

As a big time mega craft brewer, Sierra Nevada has access to the very first hops of the harvest. Given the changes in the growing season from year to year, Celebration is a little different each year it’s brewed. If you grew your own hops this year, you may want to play around with your own crop. If adding your own fresh, un-dried hops to the boil, read this short article about wet hopping. Otherwise, we can still obtain abundant hop flavor and aroma using pellets.

The following Celebration ale clone recipe is adapted from the October 2000 issue of Brew Your Own magazine. Use it to enjoy Celebration Ale year round!

 

Celebration Ale Clone Recipe
(All Grain, 5 Gallon Recipe)

Specifications:
OG = 1.064
FG = 1.014
IBUs = 60
SRM = 12
ABV = 6.4%

Ingredients:
11.5 lbs. two-row malt
1 lb. Crystal 40L malt
.5 lb. Carapils malt
1 oz. Chinook hops at :60 (11 AAUs)Shop Steam Freak Kits
1.75 oz. Cascade hops at :30 (8.5 AAUs)
1 tsp. Irish moss at :15 mins
.66 oz. Cascade hops (dry hop)
.66 oz. Centennial hops (dry hop)
Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast or Safale US-05
.75 cups corn sugar (if bottling)

Directions:
Mash the grains with a single infusion at the higher end of the temperature range (~156°F) for big body and mouthfeel. Draw off and sparge to collect enough wort for a full-volume boil. Boil for 90 minutes, adding the hops according to the schedule. Add 1 teaspoon of Irish moss with 15 minutes left in the boil. Whirpool, chill, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter, then ferment at 66°-70°F for seven days. Dry hop for five days in secondary. Bottle or keg at you would normally.

 

Partial Mash Option

Shop Conical FermenterIf you are not an all-grain brewer, no fear. Here is an alternate procedure for making a Celebration ale clone from extract in a partial mash.

Replace the two-row malt with 6.6 lbs. light LME and 2.75 lbs. two-row malt. Steep the two-row with the Crystal 40L and Carapils (all crushed) for 30 minutes in 1.5 gallons of water at 156°F. Strain out the grains and rinse them with 1 gallon of water at 170°F, collecting the runoff in the boil kettle. Mix in the liquid malt extract and bring to a boil.

Boil for 90 minutes, adding the hops according to the schedule. Add 1 teaspoon of Irish moss with 15 minutes left in the boil. Whirpool, chill, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter, topping off with enough water to make five gallons. Ferment at 66°-70°F for seven days. Dry hop for five days in secondary. Bottle or keg at you would normally.

And there you have it… a Celebration ale clone recipe for brewing all-grain or extract in a partial mash, so know is the time to get started!
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Short-Boil Brewing: Put Time Back Into Your Day!

Short Boil Brewing Being Done By HomebrewerFor many, brew day is all about taking it easy. Setting up a chair and kicking back as the wort boils away can be as therapeutic as laying on the beach, listening to the tide come in.

But for me, when I’m home brewing I like to strike a balance between relaxing and being efficient with my day, even if that means rushing around like a mad cheetah at times. That’s where short boil brewing comes in…

One of the easiest ways I’m able to cut down on my brew day is focusing on the boil, especially since I brew extract batches. Instead of a normal 60-minute boil time, cutting down to 30 or even 20 minutes not only produces homebrew that’s still great to drink, but puts a little more time back in my day.

While not every beer style lends itself to short boil brewing (bocks, for example), it is easy to shave off minutes for lots of other kinds of beers, from stouts to IPAs. The key is using extract and some specialty grains for steeping, which can be placed in the water as it heats up. Since malt extract doesn’t need to be boiled for a specific amount of time, you’re simply mixing it in the hot water to sanitize the liquid as you create your wort.

My favorite use of short boil brewing is with IPAs because it forces me to use my favorite technique for the style: hop bursting. This process is exactly what it sounds like – you add a ton of hops, but boil them for a short period of time. This provides an intense burst of hop flavor and aroma.Shop Liquid Malt Extract

Hop bursting is perfect for short boil brewing because you’ll extract little bitterness from the isomerization of hops, but get left with all the flavor. The biggest catch for a shortened boil is that you’ll want to use a lot of hops to make sure you still get some hop bitterness to balance the sweet malt, but that can be a good thing, too.

Here’s an IPA recipe I call “Little Hop Monster” that I’ve developed through short boil home brewing. Try it out to get you started on your next (shortened) brew day. Feel free to substitute hops for whatever you like, but I enjoy the intense tropical fruits of these American hop varieties:

 

Little Hop Monster IPA
(five-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

Specs Shop Brew Kettles
OG: 1.050
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 48
SRM: 8

Ingredients
0.5 lb. Crystal 60
0.5 lb. Crystal 40
6 lb. light DME
2 oz. Amarillo hops at 10 minutes left in the boil
2 oz. Simcoe at 10 minutes
1 oz. Amarillo at 5 minutes Shop Hops
1 oz. Simcoe at 0 minutes
1 oz. Amarillo – dry hop
1 oz. Simcoe – dry hop
1 pack of Safale US-05 

 

Directions
In this short boil recipe the boil time can last from 20 to 30 minutes. Steep the grains as you bring the water up to boil, removing your grain bag once the water hits 170°F. to 175°F. Add the malt extract, bring the wort to a rolling boil, then add hops according to schedule above. Proceed with the rest of the brew as usual.

Shop Accurate ScalesShort boil brewing may not be a home brewing method for everyone, but it certainly has its place. With having time saved as its reward it may be something you’ll want to give a try.
—–
Bryan Roth is a beer nerd and homebrewer living in Durham, North Carolina. You can read his thoughts on beer and the beer industry on his award-winning blog, This Is Why I’m Drunk, and send him suggestions on how to get his wife to drink craft beer via Twitter at @bryandroth.

5 Beer Recipe Kits For Home Brewing In Winter

Home Brewing In WinterIn a lot of ways, winter is high brewing season. For many, it’s time to get the brew kettles out and the beer recipe kits on the way. Not only do the lower temperatures encourage us to hibernate, they support more moderate fermentation temperatures and open up beer styles that are more suitable for home brewing in winter. If you have a cold basement, winter is the perfect time to take advantage of brewing lagers, steam beer, and other styles that require lower fermentation temperatures.

Winter is also a good time for brewing some hearty, high gravity beer styles. These more substantial styles give rise to the idea of a “winter warmer” – a beer with higher alcohol content that offers a warming nip in the colder months.

As you’re planning your seasonal brew calendar, consider one of these 5 beer recipe kits for home brewing in winter:

 

  1. BrewCraft Ultimate: Russian Imperial StoutA big, Shop Steam Freak Kitsroasty imperial stout is the perfect cold weather beverage, featuring notes of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruit. Some imperial stouts can be pretty hoppy, but generally the dark roasted malts take center stage. Some brewers like to brew an imperial stout in the winter, then let it age all year for consumption the following winter.
  1. Brewers Best Vienna LagerIf you’re unable to brew lagers during the warmer months, winter is a great opportunity to give it a try. You’ll need to be able to keep fermentation temperatures in the 40-50˚F range, so a cold basement might work out. This Vienna lager beer recipe kit is a great choice for home brewing in wine. It’s a smooth, malty lager, well worth the wait of an extended lager fermentation.
  1. Brewcraft Premium: Black IPABlack IPAs are one of the more robust styles of beer, combining the roasty flavors of a stout with the hop-forward bitterness and flavor of an IPA. This beer recipe kit offers a complex dark malt flavor and a range of spicy and citrusy American hop character, fairly stout at 7.3% ABV. Getting this beer recipe kit and home brew it in the winter will add a clean, crispness that bring out the citrus character, even more.
  1. Steam Freak Barnstormer Barleywine – Similar to with Shop Temp ControllerImperial Stouts, some brewers like to let their barleywines age for a before consuming (of course you’re welcome to open some bottles early!). This barleywine clocks in at 10% ABV and 96 IBUs – it’s definitely a sipper!
  1. Steam Freak Spring Loaded BockA bock is a high gravity German lager, rich and malt-forward, high gravity yet silky smooth. Expect a traditional bock to be in the ballpark of 7% ABV, with just enough hops to balance out the malt and the alcohol.

 

What are some of your favorite styles for home brewing in winter months? Have you brewed any of these beer recipe kits?
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Winter Spiced Ale Recipe Just For The Holidays

Friends Drinking Winter Spiced Ale RecipeWho doesn’t love the holiday season? Time to brew this winter spiced ale recipe. Sure, family time is great, but how about all those big, flavorful beers that come out around the end of the year?! Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, a fresh-hop beer, is one of my all-time favorites.

We also start to see some usual ingredients show up in the beer aisle. Thinking about some of the foods that go on the table for the holidays brings some inspiration. Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing Company makes a Christmas Ale that’s extremely popular, brewed with honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon.

Brewing a winter spiced ale recipe for the holidays opens the door to using some fun fruits and spices. Go a little crazy with this one: apples, cranberries, orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, chocolate, and cloves are all fair game. BJCP guidelines suggest that spices complement the base style rather than overwhelm it, so be judicious when it comes to herbs and spices.

A winter spice ale recipe can be based on any classic style (pale ale, porter, stout), but winter ales tend to be high-gravity and more full-bodied than the average beer. The extra punch of alcohol helps keep us all warm and merry in the colder months. Use additional malt extract and/or adjunct sugars to boost gravity. Try some extra caramel malt to help balance out the hodgepodge of wintery flavors.

Brewing a winter spiced ale recipe doesn’t have to be difficult! One method would be to take a beer recipe kit, such as the Barleywine Recipe Kit, then pick a handful of spices and flavorings to add to the boil or the secondary fermenter. Read Brew Your Own Herb Beers for some suggestions.

Here’s an idea – start a tradition! Brew your winter ale every year, cellaring a portion of the batch to open in subsequent holidays.Shop Steam Freak Beer Kits

 

Winter Spiced Ale Recipe

This extract recipe is adapted from Marty Nachel’s book, Homebrewing for Dummies. It was Philip Fleming’s first place award winner at the American Homebrewer’s Association national competition:

 

Anne’s Choice Christmas Ale

6.6 pounds Munton’s Amber Malt Extract
3.3 pounds Munton’s Dark Malt Extract
.5 oz. Hallertauer hops at :55
.5 oz. Hallertauer hops at :5
Wyeast #1007: German AleShop Beer Flavorings
.75 pound honey
5 three-inch cinnamon sticks
2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cloves
6 oz. grated ginger root
rinds from 6 medium oranges

Instructions: Simmer all the miscellaneous flavoring ingredients in the honey for 45 minutes; strain into the brew pot. (Proceed following the instructions for extract brewing.)

So, what’s your favorite winter spiced ale recipe, and what makes it special? Do you have a winter spiced ale beer recipe you’d like to share?
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Brewing An Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA Clone Beer Recipe

Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA CloneI was drinking one of my favorite beers last night and felt compelled to share a clone beer recipe for it. It was the Dubhe Imperial Black IPA from Uinta Brewing Co. of Salt Lake City, Utah. Uinta is one of may favorite American breweries and they make some fantastic beers. If you haven’t tried any of them yet, I highly encourage you to take a tour of their beer selection.

Their Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA is a BIG beer: pitch black, 9.2% ABV, 109 IBUs. As dark as it is, it’s surprisingly not very heavy on the roasted flavors. Hops are a major factor, with huge spicy and citrus characteristics throwing themselves across the palate. There’s some light toasty and nutty character, which could come from the use of toasted hemp seeds. At 9.2% alcohol by volume, this beer is definitely a sipper.

Scouring the internet for tips and advice, I came across the Jamil Show on the Brewing Network. Jamil Zainasheff is something of a rockstar in the homebrewing world. He’s the author of two books about brewing, he writes the style guide section of Brew Your Own magazine, and has brewed dozens (maybe even hundreds) of award-winning homebrew beer recipes.

In one episode of the show, they interview a brewer from Uinta Brewing Co. to get the details on Dubhe. Here are some key points from the episode for brewing an all-grain version:

 

  • Shop GypsumUinta Dubhe uses a single step infusion mash at 152˚F. (To make enough beer for their 120-barrel batch, they have to mash twice and boil three times – a 22-hour brew day!)
  • The brewer recommends using calcium sulfate (a.k.a. gypsum) for water hardness (can help accentuate the hop character).
  • The brewer goes into a lot of detail about grain and hop ratios. I’ve scaled them down for a 5.5-gallon batch in the clone beer recipe below.
  • The brewer recommends using yeast nutrient since this is such a high gravity beer (normally added in the last 15 minutes of the boil).
  • Ferment at 68˚F.
  • Dry hop with Falconer’s Flight hops for about three weeks.
  • Uinta Dubhe uses a proprietary yeast strain, but the brewer recommends California ale yeast or German ale yeast.

 

Though the brewer admitted that a craft beer this big is “not a very efficient use of raw ingredients,” I highly recommend giving it a shot – especially if you love hops!Shop Yeast Energizer

Here are some additional tips for brewing this Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA clone:

 

  • The clone beer recipe below assumes a 75% mash efficiency. It can be difficult to get a good efficiency with such a high gravity beer, so you may want to increase the grain bill by 10% or so to make sure you hit your numbers.
  • Assume a fair amount of volume will be lost in the trub, both at the end of the boil and after fermentation.
  • Also, boil-off volume should be adjusted to accommodate the longer, two-hour boil.
  • Hemp seeds can be found at a specialty grocery or health food store. I’d suggest toasting them in a dry skillet for several minutes to increase the toasty flavor and reduce the likelihood of them getting too soggy and clogging the mash.

 

This is a great beer for drinking year-round, but it’s also a strong beer, so it should age well. Don’t feel like you need to drink it all at once!

Ready to give it a shot? Check out the clone beer recipe below!Shop Barley Grains

 

Black as Night DIPA (Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA Clone) 
(all-grain recipe, 5.5 gallon batch)

Specs 
OG: 1.093
FG: 1.023
ABV: 9.2%
IBUs: 120+
SRM: 40+

Ingredients 
16.2 lbs. Pale 2-Row malt
2 lbs. Munich 10L malt
2 lb. Crystal 60L malt
1 lbs. Chocolate malt
.25 lb. Roasted barley Shop Hops
.25 lb Carafa III
.25 lb. toasted hemp seeds added to last 15 mins. of mash (use a grain bag)
1.5 oz. Chinook hops at :60 left in boil
2.5 oz. Columbus hops at :30 left in boil
2 tsp. Yeast nutrient at :15 left in boil
1.4 oz. Bravo hops at :5 left in boil
1.4 oz. Columbus hops at :5 left in boil
1.4 oz. Bravo hops during 60-minute whirlpool
3 oz Falconer’s Flight hops dry-hopped for 21 days
3 packets Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast or Wyeast 1007: German Ale Yeast (into a 2L yeast starter)

 

Directions: Mash crushed grains at 152˚F for 60 minutes. Add toasted hemp seeds during last 15 minutes of mash. Sparge to collect a total of roughly 9 Shop Steam Freak Kitsgallons of wort in the brew kettle. Boil for 120 minutes. Add hops according to schedule above. Whirlpool for one hour. Chill wort to 65-70˚F and oxygenate. Ferment at 68˚F. Add dry hops to secondary fermenter and allow for 3 weeks in secondary. Cold crash prior to kegging or bottling to help dry hops settle out.

Have you brewed a Black IPA before? What tips do you have about brewing a Black IPA? Share in the comments below!
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Create Your Own Barleywine Recipe! It’s Easy!

Barleywine RecipeBarleywine is an English style of high gravity ale. A typical barley wine recipe will have loads of malt and extra hops to create a full bodied beer that approaches wine in its alcohol content. Because of the high alcohol content, barleywines are often consumed in the cold weather. They also age well. Brew a barleywine recipe now and be sure to save some bottles for future winter holidays and special occasions!

Looking for a ready-to-brew barleywine recipe kit? Steam Freak Barnstormer Barleywine may be just what you’re looking for! If you’d like to create your own barleywine recipe, consider the tips below.

 

Creating a Barleywine Recipe: Vital Stats

First, think about whether you’d like to create an American or English barleywine recipe. Traditional English barleywines tend to be a little more malt forward than the American versions. English barleywines will still have a significant amount of bittering hops and will focus on English varieties (like Kent Goldings and Fuggles), while American barleywines tend to use American hop varieties (like Cascade) and will probably have more significant late boil hop additions.

Here are the BJCPs statistics for comparison:

English Barleywine Recipe Profile:
OG: 1.080 – 1.120
IBUs: 35 – 70
FG: 1.018 – 1.030
SRM: 8 – 22
ABV: 8 – 12%

American Barleywine Recipe Profile:
OG: 1.080 – 1.120
IBUs: 50 – 120
FG: 1.016 – 1.030
SRM: 10 – 19
ABV: 8 – 12%Shop Steam Freak Kits

 

Malt

Barleywine ale requires a significant amount of fermentable ingredients to achieve the higher levels of alcohol. Many all-grain brewers will supplement a normal volume of grain with additional malt extract and/or sugar in their barleywine recipes. This allows them to perform a mash that fits in their all-grain system and still collect a decent volume of wort of the appropriate gravity. Aim for an OG of at least 1.090.

All-grain brewers: Using a pale ale malt as a base, add up to 10-15% specialty malts for color and flavor complexity. A Munton’s mild ale malt would be a good choice of base malt for a traditional barley wine. To create a more fermentable wort, mash the grains at the low end of the range, at about 150°F.

Extract brewers: will need three cans of liquid malt extract to achieve the gravity needed for this brew. Try a combination of light, Munich, and amber LME and steep some crystal malt to get the malt complexity that’s characteristic of barleywines.Shop Liquid Malt Extract

 

Hops

To balance the enormous malt bill, barleywines are balanced by a generous dose of bittering hops. Higher alpha acids hops, such as Chinook, work well for this purpose. At least an ounce will be needed in the early part of the boil, probably two. If bittering with a lower alpha acid hop, such as East Kent Goldings (a traditional English variety), use at least three ounces for a five gallon recipe. Four or five ounces of bittering hops would be better.

In barleywines, hop flavor and aroma vary quite a bit. An American-style barley wine will likely have more hop flavor and aroma than an English one. Think about your taste preferences and add late addition hops accordingly. Centennial and Cascade are popular choices to add to an American barleywine recipe. Fuggles and Willamette are also good options.

Dry hopping isShop Hops common and traditional for English ales. Consider adding 1-2 oz. dry hops (or more based on your preference) up to a week in advance of bottling.

 

Beer Yeast

Be prepared for a long fermentation. Barleywines are also typically aged. If you want your barleywine to be ready for Christmas or New Year’s, plan to start your barley wine recipe at least two or three months in advance of when you plan to serve it. Many American and English ale yeasts will work. The best yeast for a barleywine recipe, I have found is Wyeast 1728: Scottish Ale. You may also want to consider Wyeast 1056: American Ale, or even a combination of the two.

For brewing a high gravity beer, it’s essential to pitch enough beer yeast to complete the fermentation. Be sure to prepare a yeast starter (you’ll probably need about three liters) and aerate the wort well prior to pitching. Alternatively, use three packs of liquid beer yeast in order to have enough yeast cells. It may be necessary to pitch a second yeast (possibly a different strain) when racking into secondary fermentation, so it might be a good idea to have some Safale-S04 or Safale-S05 on hand.Shop Liquid Beer Yeasat

Ray Daniels points out the traditionally, brewers would rouse, or stir up the yeast throughout the secondary fermentation to make sure that it remained active:

“One favored method of rousing was to take the large secondary fermentation casks for a “walk.” Periodically, each cask would be taken out and rolled around the brewery courtyard a few times to achieve the necessary awakening of the yeast.”

Sounds like a good way to get some exercise!

Do you have experience with brewing a barleywine recipe? What tips do you have to share? We’d love to hear them!
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Brewing A German Bock Beer Recipe

Bock BeerBock is a traditional German beer typically served in late winter and early spring. A higher-gravity lager, the added alcohol provides a warming kick to help throw off the winter chills.

As a lager, this beer style requires good control of fermentation temperatures to brew it successfully. Expect to ferment for 2-3 weeks at about 50°F, followed by a lagering phase between 32-35°F for two months or more. If you have this capability, read on to develop and brew your own German bock beer recipe!

 

Choosing a Bock Style

There are a few kinds of bock to choose from, varying somewhat in regards to gravity and color. The traditional bock beer must be at least 1.066, according to German law. It is malt forward and medium bodied, generally a copper or light brown color. A Maibock or Helles bock is similar but golden in color, with a touch more hop bitterness. Maibocks are traditionally served in May.

Dopplebock originated in the Germany monastery that predated Paulaner Brewery. Their famous Salvator defines the style, such that other dopplebocks commonly use -ator in their name (e.g. Spaten Optimator, Troeg’s Troegenator, Ayinger Celebrator). Dopplebocks are higher in gravity that traditional bocks, at least 1.074 according to German law.

Finally, Eisbock is the strongest variety of bock, with an original gravity typically 1.092-1.116. If you’ve never brewed a bock before, start with a traditional bock or Maibock, as the higher gravity beers can be a challenge.

The guidelines that follow are for brewing a traditional bock beer recipe:

 

Bock Beer Recipe Malt

Though bock originated in the German town of Einbeck, it soon found a home in Munich. In Designing Great Beers, Ray Daniels suggests that brewers in Munich likely used as much as 100% of what we now know as Munich malt. Many homebrewers will combine a significant portion of Munich malt with pilsner malt and some specialty grains, such as chocolate malt or crystal 120°L, in their bock beer recipes.

In Germany, bocks must have an original gravity of at least 1.066, so an all-grain bock beer recipe will likely need about 12 pounds of grain for a five gallon batch. One option would be to supplement a grain bill with enough malt extract to reach the appropriate OG.

In either case, mash in the higher end of the temperature range (~155°F) to achieve a beer that will have enough body and residual sugar to be appropriate for the beer style.

For partial mash brewers, use two to three cans of Munich malt extract. Perform a mini mash with some Munich malt and specialty malt for improved flavor and body.

 

Bock Beer Recipe HopsShop Steam Freak Kits

Bocks are malt forward beers with little to no hop flavor or aroma, so hops will only be used to provide enough bitterness to keep the beer from being overly sweet. 20-27 IBUs is the range provided by the BJCP for Traditional Bock. Consider using traditional German hops such as Hallertau or Tettnanger for an authentic bockbier.

 

Bock Beer Recipe Yeast

When brewing a German bock beer recipe, Ray Daniels recommends the Bavarian strain of lager yeast (Wyeast 2206) for this beer style. He also recommends using a yeast starter pitched into well-aerated wort only when it has been cooled to fermentation temperature (45-55°F). A long (approx. two month) lagering period as low as 32°F will help develop the clean, malt forward flavor as appropriate for the style.

 

German Bock Beer Recipe
(5 Gallon, Partial Mash)

Total Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Recipe Type: Partial Mash
Approx. Original Gravity: 1.069
Total Boil Time: 60 min.Shop Heating Belt
Anticipated IBUs: 24-30
Estimated ABV: 7.2%

Fermentables:
6.6 lbs. Steam Freak: Munich Liquid Malt Extract
1.5 lbs. Dried Malt Extract (Light)
1 lb. Munich malt
0.25 lb. Chocolate malt

Hops:
1.5 oz. Pelletized Hallertau (60 min. Boil Time)
0.5 oz. Pelletized Hallertau (20 min. Boil Time)

Yeast:
Wyeast 2206: Bavarian Lager Yeast

Bottling:
5 oz. Priming Sugar (Corn Sugar)
52 Bottle Caps Shop Conical Fermenter

Directions:
This is a “partial mash” style of bock beer recipe. To make this beer recipe you will need to follow the Partial Mash Directions. Be sure to prepare a yeast starter in advance and pitch yeast into well-aerated wort that has been cooled to fermentation temperature (45-55°F). Lager for 6-8 weeks at 32°F, then bottle.

Til next time…Cheers!
—–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.