I bottled about 5 gallons of the stout this week. It is inky black and for a beer that has yet to mature, it has great flavor….I giggled a bit when I wrote the title…..it is a bit of a reflection on me…..I consider myself to still be in maturing mode but some folks, including my wife, think my maturing was somehow mostly arrested many years ago…..my physical maturity has been marching along and has begun to make the downhill sprint…..if you can call it a sprint….LOL, into my “Golden Years”.
My Russian Imperial Stout was brewed with a grain bill that slightly exceeded the recommended maximum for my Grainfather system….20 pounds max and I went with 20 pounds and 8 ounces of grain….doesn’t sound like much, but trust me…..it was over the limit. The original gravity was a little lower than I expected…I was shooting for something in the 1.090 SG and hit 1.085. Final gravity was 1.019 SG so not too bad. 8.7% and was hoping for 9.3 %.
Once into the secondary fermenter I add some dark toasted oak spirals that had been soaked in Bourbon. Last 4 batches this was the procedure. Always loved the results. As noted above…..maturity will be somewhere down the road so……I gotta be patient….not my long suit. Most of the beer went into 22 or 20 ounce bottles. I bottled 6.75 – 12 ounce bottles that will be used to gauge the maturing process. I took the 3/4 filled 12 ounce bottle down to my local brewery, DECA, here in Porter, Texas. Surprisingly feed back from beer connoisseurs was positive, even though it has a long ways to go. I and everyone else was expecting the beer to have a hot taste, i.e., the taste of alcohol coming through but it was actually a pleasant taste. Note: the beer was primed prior to bottling with 3 ounces of dark brown sugar. It will ad to the beer’s complexity upon maturation.
The stout definitely turned out inky black and dark, albeit with great early flavor.
So now the schedule is set, one 12 ounce bottle every 3 months until the proper level of maturity is reached…..Obviously long before I reach my proper level of maturity.
Drink Local and Drink Responsibly