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Recipe: Kane Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Courtesy of Michael Kane, founder of Kane Brewing in Ocean, New Jersey, this imperial stout recipe meant for aging in a spirits barrel is based on their award-winning A Night to End All Dawns.

Michael Kane Dec 21, 2021 - 3 min read

Recipe: Kane Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Kane Brewing

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Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.120
FG: 1.048
IBUs: 20
ABV: 9.4%

15.1 lb (6.8 kg) two-row
2.35 lb (1.1 kg) chocolate malt
2.35 lb (1.1 kg) flaked oats
1 lb (454 g) rice hulls (optional)
15 oz (425 g) Munich
15 oz (425 g) medium crystal (45–65L)
15 oz (425 g) dark crystal (120–150L)
15 oz (425 g) roasted barley

0.6 oz (17 g) Columbus at 60 minutes [20 IBUs]
1 tsp (5 ml) yeast nutrient at knockout


White Labs WLP001 California Ale, Wyeast 1056 American Ale, Fermentis SafAle US-05, or other clean-fermenting ale strain

Mill the grains, add the rice hulls (if using them to help avoid a stuck mash), and mash at 155°F (68°C) for 60 minutes, targeting a liquor-to-grist ratio of 1 qt/lb (2.1 l/kg). Adjust the mash pH to 5.4 if necessary. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear of particles, then start the burner and run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to get about 8 gallons (30 liters) of wort if possible, targeting a pre-boil gravity of about 1.092. Boil for about 4 hours or until the gravity approaches the target starting gravity (1.120), adding hops when about 1 hour is left in the boil. Chill to 64°F (18°C), add the yeast nutrient, aerate well, and pitch plenty of healthy yeast. Ferment at 68–70°F (20–21°C).

When fermentation is complete and gravity has stabilized, wait a few more days, then drop the temperature to 50°F (10°C). Drop the yeast if possible, or rack into secondary purged with CO2. Allow the temperature to free rise back to ambient temperature. Rack into a 5-gallon (19-liter) bourbon barrel purged with CO2, leaving as little head space as possible—or, if lacking the barrel, add about 3 oz (85 g) of bourbon-soaked oak cubes to secondary. Age patiently but sample often—using a small barrel reduces the aging time—minimizing oxygen pickup as much as possible.

Feel free to sub in your favorite base malt or blend of base malts for the two-row. Likewise, any good bittering hop at 20 IBUs can go in for Columbus.

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