Mopping the Floor

I bottled my Russian Imperial Stout last night. I looks inky black but, the drips on the light colored tile look like coffee! Yes, I made a small mess! I did have help, my wife cleaned up the drips as I cleaned and put away the equipment. Thanks Hun, I owe you!

I bottled most of the beer in 22 ounce bombers and the rest in the flip top bottles with the porcelain stoppers, except for one stray 12 ouncer. One of the bombers was giving me fits trying to get the crown cap to seat properly. I tried a 12 ounce bottle to see if it was the capper of the bottle? Turns out the bottle was bad so off to the recycle bin the offender went.

Initial tasting impressions; the bourbon soaked oak comes through with a hint of vanilla. Additionally there is hint of coffee in the background. A nice smooth and velvety feel on the tongue, Now, to be patient and let it sit a couple of months to mellow and mature….. like me!!!! Oh, I forgot to mention, I primed with 4.5 ounces of dark brown sugar….and the bottles are now sitting at a controlled 65 degrees as the condition.

Siphoning from the secondary into the priming tank with a glass of two year old stout from a previous batch. It was very good!


Toasted oak spirals in the bottom of the secondary fermenter. Having done their job they are off to an afterlife in the chiminea.


Thermocouple nestled amongst the bottles. Working to keep things at 65.


Some of the flip top bottles filled with the dark, thick and tasty stout.


Now, just wait and plan for the IPA I will brew next,

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Bourbon and Oak Infused Imperial Stout

Last weekend I was able to get my Imperial Stout racked to the secondary fermenter. In the prep and sanitation process I noticed a potential problem with my plans to include the toasted oak dowel that I had so lovingly crafted and infused in bourbon for several weeks. The opening on my glass carboy looked like it was going to be a tight fit when inserting the toasty oak. I went out to the garage and picked up the oak dowel remnant from my turning process and tried a fit test….oh crap… doesn’t fit!

Plan B…..rechuck the toasted and soaked dowel sections and turn then down a little. That would delay the racking to the secondary because I would want to ensure that the dowels were sanitary…another couple of weeks in bourbon to be safe. Not a catastrophe but just two more weeks added on to the entire process. I didn’t plan on having my first tasting until December so not a deal killer.

I looked in the mason jar and it appeared that the dowels looked to be a bit smaller in diameter….I’m thinking I might be in luck. I thought back to the roasting process and it did seem that the dowels had shrunk, but would they then expand after infusing themselves with the bourbon???? Ok, extract the dowels with a sanitized stainless steel fork and by golly….they slipped right through the top with room to spare. Now, hopefully after a couple of months they don’t swell up and give me problems retrieving them!

Below is a shot of the carboy and airlock. I decided to use some of the bourbon in the mason jar to provide additional protection in the airlock. Now the challenge – I must be patient!

Five gallons of my Imperial Stout, bourbon infused and toasted oak resting on the bottom. Note the bourbon in the airlock! My wife’s common lament is visible to the right!