Imperial Bourbon Coffee Stout

This will be the biggest beer I’ve ever made (all-grain at least), and the malt bill definitely shows it for a 5 gallon batch. The recipe is based off a widely available clone of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS for short), which is one of my favorite “big” beers; generally I’m not a huge fan of harsh high ABV beers but this one is extremely robust, complex, and most importantly, smooth.

  • 18.5 lb us 2-row
  • 2 lb flaked oats
  • 0.75 lb chocolate malt
  • 0.75 lb roasted barley
  • 0.5 lb debittered black malt
  • 0.5 UK Dark Crystal
  • 2 oz Nugget (60 min)
  • 1 oz Willamette (25 min)
  • 1 oz Willamette (10 min)
  • 2 L starter WLP001

// Mash-in 1.5 qt/gal at 154 for 40 minutes, raise to 168F and sparge w/3.5 gal hot water to collect 9.5 gal 1054 wort. Boil 120 minutes. Let sit for 30 minutes, collected around 5.5 gallons OG 1085. Oxygenated for a few minutes until nice hefty froth on top of wort. Pitched whole starter. Brewed 7/1/16. //

7/18/16:  Fermentation blew off a few times, but not aggressively. Fermented at around 62F. Gravity at 1024. Nose is excellent, balances hops and malt, a little boozy but overall clean. Flavor follows, surprisingly smooth for just two weeks. This is gonna be good to go sooner than I expected! Started soaking 1oz American oak in 0.5 oz Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon.

8/1/16:  Oak flavor is a little strong and harsh. Going to give this a few more weeks to mellow.

8/26/16:  Tasting much better – smooth and rich, nice vanilla and bourbon flavor. It would be OK to go ahead and keg, but I went ahead and added 1 oz Sumatra coffee in a hop sack to the secondary. This is half of what the recipe called for, since I really didn’t want to overwhelm the existing flavors, just provide a little accent.

8/27/16:  Coffee addition is awesome. Kegged. Tasting notes soon.

2/21/16:  Despite how long this stayed on tap (it was a sipper! probably didn’t pour anything more than 8oz at a time) I never got around to a full review. This beer was awesome, though. Tons of flavor without being to sweet. I really wouldn’t change much, but if the ABV was higher I can see it have a complimentary warmth to it – the 8.5%-ish was passable but it could afford to go bigger.

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Filed under All-grain, Coffee, Malty, Stout / Porter, Strong

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