We were challenged by the Jar once again. This time, we are asked to brew the biggest beer in category 20 of the 2015/2021 guidelines:

20C. Imperial Stout

If you remember, Mike brewed a beer to make a suitable yeast cake this beer. You can relive the magic of this ‘small’ beer and check out the recipe as it foreshadows the ingredients for this beer. We had to wait a bit for this brew to be camera ready, but we feel it was worth it. Check out the Jar of Destiny Imperial Stout!

Look at the color on that beer – watch the video!

American Imperial Stout Recipe

This recipe is for a 6.5 US gallons post boil volume.

Distilled water with additives to match this profile.
Calcium: 68 ppm
Magnesium: 4 ppm
Sodium: 17 ppm
Sulfate: 66 ppm
Chloride: 111 ppm

15 pounds or 6.8 kg of Golden Promise malt
2.5 pounds or 1.13 kg of Munich I malt (7 °L)
2 pounds or 907 g Flaked Barley
1 pound or 453 g Carastan malt (35 °L)
1 pound or 453 g Roasted Barley (550 °L)
12 ounces or 340 g Chocolate Malt (500 °L)

Special Ingredient:
1 pound or 453 g of Dark Brown Sugar (cheap, grocery store stuff)

1 ounce or 28 g of Cryo Columbus hops at 20.5 % AA – First Wort Hopping
1 ounce or 28 g of Cascade hops at 5.6 %AA – 20 minutes to go in the boil
1 ounce or 28 g Willamette hops at 4.9 %AA – 20 minutes to go in the boil
1 ounce or 28 g Cascade hops at 5.6 %AA – flameout
1 ounce or 28 g Willamette hops at 4.9 %AA – flameout

A blend of Cellar Science Cali and Cellar Science English derived from a yeast cake taken from a 1.045 beer

Mashed at 147° F of 64° C for 50 minutes
Then, 158° F or 70° C for 20 minutes
Then, 168° F or 76° C for 15 minutes
Fermented for 3 weeks at 68° F
Cold crashed for 4 days then moved off yeast
Carbonated with 20 PSI of CO2 for 5 days

Original Gravity: 1.096
Final Gravity: 1.032
ABV%: 8.40%

Our Imperial Tasting Notes

This beer came to us bold and malty. On the other hand, the strong American hops bring a strong bitterness to the aftertaste. Cryo hops will do that. It may fade over time.

Mike notes that there is a large amount of roasted grain notes in the flavor but it is restrained. It does not have the unpleasant acrid or ashy aspects that we find in some big stouts. He thinks that because he kept the specialty grains in check and only ramped up the base grains that the flavors blended well together.

We found dark toast and Baker’s Chocolate flavors in the beer. There is a sweet maltiness supporting the whole beer. Additionally, we tried to pick out the contributions of the Carastan and Munich malts, but they are subtle. All the fermentable components, including the brown sugar, seem to all come together to support the beer overall experience.