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This is the session version of our bottle-release Imperial Breakfast Stout. It has a generous amount of oats and gets espresso, chocolate, cinnamon, maple, and vanilla post-fermentation. We are going for imperial character and mouthfeel in a sessionable frame.
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 76%
5 lb (2.3 kg) Maris Otter
2 lb (907 g) flaked oats
1 lb (454 g) Crisp Pale Chocolate malt
8 oz (227 g) Simpsons DRC malt
8 oz (227 g) Gambrinus Honey Malt
8 oz (227 g) Simpsons Brown (Coffee) Malt
8 oz (227 g) Briess Midnight Wheat
HOPS AND ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
0.5 oz (14 g) East Kent Golding [5% AA] at 60 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) East Kent Golding [5% AA] at 10 minutes
1–2 oz (28–57 g) locally roasted espresso, coarsely ground and steeped 12–48 hours
2 cinnamon sticks
1–2 oz (28–57 g) cacao nibs
1–2 oz (28–57 g) maple syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Fermentis Safale S-04 English Ale Yeast
Mash the grains at 160°F (71°C) for 45 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. We typically fire up the kettle as soon as we start running off with our stouts to get some extra caramelization. Sparge the grains and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 l) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 120 minutes following the hops schedule.
After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 65°F (18°C). Aerate the wort and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 68°F (20°C) until fermentation is complete.
Post fermentation, add the steeped espresso, cinnamon sticks, cacao nibs, maple syrup, and vanilla beans. We do each addition individually, taste often, and pull when they’re just right. Allow a few days for all of the additions to marry and settle. It should be said that all of these additions are much easier to do in a keg than in secondary.
This stout is one of our favorites. It gives the impression of drinking an iced latte. We get a lot of mouthfeel from flaked oats and a high mash. When we’re working with coffee, we like to dial down the IBUs and amp up the caramel malt to play off that bitterness. We like the main focus of the blend to be the base beer, the espresso, cacao nibs, and the cinnamon. We add the maple syrup after crashing for a bit of sweetness (it might be fun to prime bottles with, too). The maple sweetness and vanilla smooth out the edges and bring the other flavors together.