By Chip Walton
For his 100th homebrew, Paul Fowler wanted to brew something special. The historical recipe for Courage Imperial Stout seemed to fit the bill – with it’s two-hour mash, two-hour boil, medium-high original gravity, bitterness and age-ability. Paul got the inspiration for brewing the beer from previous homebrews he’d sample with his homebrew club, St. Paul Homebrew Club. For more inspiration and information, Paul used two articles written by Kristen England and Ron Pattinson in Ron’s blog Shut Up About Barclay Perkins: Let’s Brew Wednesday – 1914 Courage Imperial and Let’s Brew Wednesday – 1923 Courage Stout.
Below is Paul Fowler’s variation of the recipe transposed from BeerSmith. See Chop & Brew Episode 74 for more information and video from brew day. If you have questions you’d like to ask Paul Fowler, he can contact him via Twitter: @pfowl01_paul.
Courage Russian Imperial Stout
All-grain recipe for 6.5 gallons
OG: 1.093 | FG: 1.027 | ABV: 8.6%
For 34 quarts of mash water, use RO water with these mineral additions:
- 4.7 grams Calcium Chloride
- 3.10 grams Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)
- 0.90 gram Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
- 3.00 grams Baking Soda
- 2.80 grams Pickling Lime
For 16.62 quarts of sparge water, make these additions:
- 2.30 grams Calcium Chloride
- 1.50 grams Gypsum
- 0.40 gram Epsom Salt
- 17 lbs UK Pale Malt (2-Row | 3 SRM) – Floor Malted Maris Otter [71.5%]
- 4 lbs 7.3 oz Crisp Brown Malt (65 SRM) [18.7%]
- 2 lbs 5.2 oz Crisp Black Malt
- Mash In. Add 34 quarts of water at 163.3F for target mash temperature of 153F. Rest for 120 minutes.
- Mash Step. Heat to 168F over 7 minutes. Hold at 168F for 10 minutes.
- Batch sparge with 2 steps. Drain mash tun, then 4.15 gallon of 168F water
First Sparge: 5.3 gallons @ 21 BRIX
Second Sparge: 3.7 gallons @ 10.75 BRIX
Total yield: 9 gallons @ 16.5 BRIX / 1.065
Aiming for pre-boil SG 1.070. Ending two sparges, Paul ended up with 1.065. He boiled wort for 20 minutes to hit 1.072 and then starting counting for the actual boil.
- 18 drops Fermcap-S – Boil 120 min
- 3.51 oz Fuggle 2015 [4.20% aa] – Boil 120 min [48.7 IBU]
- 3.54oz Hallertau Mittelfruech [2.5% aa] – Boil 30 min [14.9 IBU]
- 1 Whirlfloc Tablet – Boil 15 min
- Immersion Chiller into kettle and return to boil – 15 min
Estimated post-boil volume and gravity: 7.05 gallons @ 1.094 SG. Paul hit 1.093 OG. (Go, Paul!)
Cool wort to fermentation temperature. Transfer wort to fermenter.
Pitch 1 million cells/ml yeast starter of West Yorkshire Ale (White Labs 1469)
Primary fermentation (begins July 10, 2017): 14 days at 67F, ending at 67F.
Dry hop with 2.25 oz Fuggle 2015 for 5 days.
SG 1.036 on Day 14. It was estimated for 1.028. Paul wants to get it lower.
July 27 – added dry hops and raised to 72F.
July 30 – 1.033 SG
August 3 – 1.030 SG achieved. Increasing the temperature and rousing yeast helped fermentation finish! Bottled 2 gallons (at 8.2% ABV | pH 4.36) and left was kegged and force-carbonated.
August 31 – Tasting Notes: Hint of licorice, dark dark chocolate, salted sea salt chocolate, slight char, short fill bottle was well carbed.
November 19, 2017 – Bottles have even lower SG @ 1.027! (Making it now more like 8.6%ABV.) Paul is concerned about over-carbed bottles and refrigerates all remaining bottles to reduce their risk of continuing to ferment.