Russian Imperial Stout

For a while now, I’ve wanted to try my hand at brewing a big beer that I can age for about a year…why not a Russian Imperial Stout?

This style was brewed in England in the 18th Century for export to the Court of the Czars of Russia. The high alcohol content and high hopping rate was meant to preserve the beer and to prevent it from freezing on the journey by ship across the Baltic Sea. This style has gained a lot in popularity in the last few years due to the rise in microbreweries.

The recipe shown below, I took from Brewing Classic Styles. I love this book; all of the recipes I brewed so far have been really good!

BeerSmith Recipe Printout –
Recipe: The Czar’s Revenge
Brewer: Karmabrew
Asst Brewer:
Style: Imperial Stout
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.25 gal
Boil Size: 7.61 gal
Estimated OG: 1.123 SG
Estimated Color: 73.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 52.1 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU
20.00 lb      Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        81.63 %
1.50 lb       Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM)          Grain        6.12 %
1.00 lb       Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM)                Grain        4.08 %
1.00 lb       Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)                Grain        4.08 %
0.50 lb       Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM)                Grain        2.04 %
0.50 lb       Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM)           Grain        2.04 %
1.50 oz       Zeus [14.00 %]  (60 min)                  Hops         43.6 IBU
2.00 oz       Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %]  (10 min)    Hops         7.5 IBU
2.00 oz       Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %]  (1 min)     Hops         0.9 IBU
1 Pkgs        American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [Starter Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 24.50 lb
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp
60 min        Mash In            Add 31.85 qt of water at 165.5 F    154.0 F


With a mash this big, I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough room in my igloo cooler! Much to my relief, all of it fit with some room to spare!

The brewday didn’t go exactly as planned..the manifold came apart during the runoff/sparge and I ended up with a HUGE mess! I guess something like that can happen if you’re not used to dealing with that much grain.

All was not lost I did end up with 5 gallons of beer in the fermenting bucket but far below the estimated starting gravity at only 1.070. It will still be beer, and I’m sure it will taste great! It’s already bubbling away so that is a good sign. 🙂