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Russian Imperial Stout (Bourbon barrel aged)
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JeffW




Joined: 19 Jan 2020
Posts: 9



PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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For anyone that has this beer on nitro: What serving pressure are you using?

I have a beergas blend (75% nitro/25% CO2) with a traditional stout faucet and I hooked up to about 32psi for three weeks. Figured that 8psi of CO2 (25% of 32) would give me the lower end of carbonated that I was shooting for.

I can't seem to get a good nitro pour...no creamy nitro foam. I've tried serving this beer at basically every pressure from 8psi to 40psi of beergas and no luck. I'm thinking I'm just not carbonated enough, but before I carbonate with 100% CO2 and risk over carbonating, I figured maybe I was missing something simple.

Also...this beer is outstanding! Very impressive. Can't wait to (eventually) have a pour on nitro when I finally figure this out!
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My beer gas mix is 70/30 (nitro/CO2). It's what I started with years ago and it's what works well for me. Serving pressure is around 30 PSI like you and temperature is just above freezing (lower temp = more carbonation picked up by the beer). I simply hook it up and wait 2-3 weeks, then it pours like this: https://www.instagram.com/p/B7FZ8KJnihQ/

What temp was yours at during the 3 weeks? Are you sure you have the stout faucet restrictor plate installed?

I don't usually pre-carb it but I suppose you could.

Kal

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JeffW




Joined: 19 Jan 2020
Posts: 9



PostLink    Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Restrictor plate is in place in the faucet. My keezer usually runs about 36-38F, so maybe a few degrees warmer than you. Maybe I'm just not carbonated adequately with the temperature difference.

Nice video...that's what I'm shooting for. My beer flows much faster than that at 30psi, but I only have about 4 feet of beer line between the keg and the tap, so I expect I'll have to adjust the pressure down once I get the carbonation sorted out. Suppose the good news is that while I keep troubleshooting, the beer gets better with time.

Appreciate the reply. The forum is a fantastic resource.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You shouldn't have to adjust the pressure down after it's carbed, otherwise it's always going to be changing. I.e. You carb a full keg to the level you want, but then turn down to serving pressure and over time the beer's going to be less carb'ed. That's not ideal (IMHO). Best to have a balanced "set and forget" setup where you set the pressure and walk away, and the first beer is as carb'ed as the last.

Cheers!

Kal

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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDIT: I lied!

My 70/30 beer gas pressure is only at just under 20 PSI, not 30. I just checked. I set it that way about 8 years ago so my memory's obviously not what it used to be so I figured I should go downstairs and take a look. Wink

When I first set it up I remember reading/understanding that the normal CO2 rules kinda go out the window with nitro blends so I set it low to carb the beer for ~2-3 weeks and then did pour test. Wasn't enough so it turned it up a few PSI and waiting another 2 weeks and trying again. Kept doing that until I had the pour I wanted. Ended up at around 20 PSI. That's the PSI I need to have a balanced setup for me. I never touched it again. Every setup will have a different pressure however as they all have different line lengths, temperature, hose diameter, hose restriction factor based on the material used, faucet and restrictor plate style, etc., so what what one person uses for their pressure doesn't mean it'll necessarily work for others. Starting low and working your way up works as you're guaranteed to never overcarb (which is hard to undo). That said, 32 PSI seems high enough given that you only have 4 feet of line. So not sure! Good luck!

Kal

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JeffW




Joined: 19 Jan 2020
Posts: 9



PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured it out!

I followed Kal's suggestion and started low. I increased about 2 psi every couple weeks until I had the classic nitro pour I was looking for. 24 psi turned out to be the magic number for my beer gas setup.

Just wanted to post my solution to this in the event that someone else has the same issue/question in the future.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you figured it out!

The same can be done for setting CO2 levels and finding that "right spot" to have balanced lines (meaning you set and forget and never adjust again): Start low. Increase a few PSI every couple of weeks. Stop when you get a pour you like and never touch it again (maybe write down the PSI however). Wink

It does take time, but you only do it once, and it won't make your head explode like the calculators.

Kal

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kennymac




Joined: 09 Jan 2018
Posts: 14
Location: Kissimmee, FL

Drinking: Bell's Two Hearted Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 2:25 pm    Post subject: Brewed the RIS Reply with quote

I brewed this RIS 9 days ago and wanted to share my experiences (so far).

RIS boil by Ken McChord, on Flickr

This marks my second brew in the new (to me) electric brewery. Using G1 Blichmann kettles; 20 gal for the HLT and boil, 30 gal for the MLT (I've got a 15 gal G1 that I converted to a smaller MLT for low gravity batches). I'm quite pleased with the electric brewing in general, it's so much quieter than gas brewing and it's nice to be able to boil in my air conditioned garage instead of being out in the heat with the bugs.

Back to the brew day. I invited a new friend over to join me, we met at the Orlando homebrew club I joined a few months ago. We both provided beers to sample as we brewed, a mistake that I've made previously and thought I had learned my lesson from...obviously not.

It didn't go too badly, we mashed right at 149 and held that temp nicely throughout the 2 hour mash. I took a pH reading for the mash which came in a 5.40, and I had treated the water with the recommended salts based on my Bru-N-water program.
Took a minimum of 45 mins or longer to transfer to the boil kettle and we took a pre-boil gravity sample which came in at a whopping 1.093. At this point we had sampled a few too many brews but all the boil steps were followed carefully, with the exception that I added the initial hop charge right at the beginning of the boil instead of waiting for the 90 min mark.

All went well except when it came to checking the OG. At this point we measured 1.090 (yeah, we triple checked this number) and I was baffled. My friend said that we should have vigorously stirred the pre-boil wort in the kettle prior to pulling the pre-boil gravity sample, which seems to make sense if the was stratification prior to any heating of the wort; that certainly stands to reason.

Regardless of our measuring screw-up I split the wort into two SS brewtech brew buckets, dosed both with pure O2 for 3 minutes and pitched 3 & 1/2 packets of US-05 yeast (7 packets total, 3 per bucket and split the last pack between the two, pitched dry right on top). Fermentation kicked off within a few hours, and the vigorous part of fermentation lasted a good 4-5 days. I took a gravity sample on day 5, that was 1.024. Checked gravity yesterday (day 8) and I'm at 1.022.

Quick question, I have two more packets of the US-05 that I was planning to pitch if this fermentation got stuck above what I considered to be FG. Given the lower OG should I be expecting a FG to be lower than the 1.021 that's listed in the recipe? I'm inclined to give this beer a few more weeks before I transfer over to a secondary and add the oak, but to be honest I've been burned recently by having an IPA that got stuck in the mid 20's for a FG that I'm now dumping due to the way high residual malt. That's another story for another post, but suffice to say I'm a bit leery of leaving a FG too high.

That's all for now, I'll check in with tasting notes. I will say the sample i pulled yesterday was quite tasty and I'm thinking the extra dose of yeast is probably unnecessary.

cheers.

p.s. Once I figure out how to post pictures I'll share a few... ha figured that out quick enough!
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Brewed the RIS Reply with quote

kennymac wrote:
My friend said that we should have vigorously stirred the pre-boil wort in the kettle prior to pulling the pre-boil gravity sample, which seems to make sense if the was stratification prior to any heating of the wort; that certainly stands to reason.

Wort will stratify when sparging such that the heavier (more sugar laden) runnings at the start sit at the bottom. End result however if you do not stir before taking a pre-boil measurement is that the gravity will be too LOW (not too high) as you're probably floating a hydrometer which is at the top or if you took a sample it's going to be off the top too (probably). If you didn't stir pre-boil and did something different then you may have different results. Really depends on where you took the sample from. A sample from the top will read low, a sample from the bottom will read high.

Post-boil will always be well mixed of course due to the vigorous stirring that happens during boil.

In either case, make sure to compensate for temperature, depending on what you're using to measure gravity.
More info: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/measuring-gravity

Quote:
I have two more packets of the US-05 that I was planning to pitch if this fermentation got stuck above what I considered to be FG.

That doesn't really work. When you first pitch yeast it spends most of the initial time reproducing (and not eating sugar/fermenting) until it achieves a desired cell density per volume of wort per degree Plato. Once that optimal density is reached the yeast shifts gears and mostly starts eating sugar and producing alcohol/CO2. So adding more yeast much later down the road isn't going to help as you're already at the desired cell density. As well, all of the oxygen has been depleted (which the yeast uses during mostly during the initial growth phase). O2 is not entirely important for US-05 dry yeast as that stuff's rich enough in sterols (lipids) and minerals for its own multiplication process. More here: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/aerating-oxygenating-wort

So always pitch the right amount from the start to avoid the yeast spending too much time in the reproduction phase which can throw off flavours. More here about starters and pitch rates: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/making-a-yeast-starter

Quote:
Given the lower OG should I be expecting a FG to be lower than the 1.021 that's listed in the recipe?

Everything else being equal, yes, as the attenuation will be the same.

In other words, the original recipe mentions 1.100 starting gravity and 79% attenuation. 79% off 1.100 takes you to 1.021 which is the stated final gravity of the beer. If you start at 1.090, 79% off that takes you to 1.019. If you do things differently than recommended per our brew day step by step guide (https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/brew-day-step-by-step) or use different equipment then results may be slightly different. For example, you mentioned a 45 min sparge which is a bit fast. 60-90 mins would be better and give you a higher gravity (i.e. more sugars extracted). I tend to aim for 90 mins.

Cheers!

Kal

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kennymac




Joined: 09 Jan 2018
Posts: 14
Location: Kissimmee, FL

Drinking: Bell's Two Hearted Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wort will stratify when sparging such that the heavier (more sugar laden) runnings at the start sit at the bottom. End result however if you do not stir before taking a pre-boil measurement is that the gravity will be too LOW (not too high) as you're probably floating a hydrometer which is at the top or if you took a sample it's going to be off the top too (probably). If you didn't stir pre-boil and did something different then you may have different results. Really depends on where you took the sample from. A sample from the top will read low, a sample from the bottom will read high.


If drunken memory serves, I used a thief to pull a sample out of the boil kettle which means I pulled from near the bottom. Regardless I never considered stratification and will be sure to stir before pulling a sample. I usually move the gravity sample to the freezer to lower the temp before taking a reading, but my friend showed me a compensation chart that he had on his phone. So yeah, we compensated for the higher temp.

Is that 79% attenuation you mentioned the top of the range or is that the average attenuation? I feel like 77g of yeast should have been more than enough for the volume, especially since my OG was 1.090 to begin with. I'm going to give this more time to finish, obviously, but again I'll be frustrated if I don't get this down a bit lower.

You point on the sparge is well taken. The real take away here is to not drink while brewing. Normally I feel like, if nothing else, I like to take copious notes during the brew day. Truly I'm not sure what I glean from those notes, but I figure the longer I do this the more likely I am to recognize patterns and/or problems. All of that goes out the window when I'm boozing it up. So yeah, my mistake (again) and one I am hoping I'll be able to avoid (again). Never the less, we made beer, it'll probably be pretty good.

Thanks for the quick reply Kal!

cheers Mug
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kennymac wrote:
If drunken memory serves, I used a thief to pull a sample out of the boil kettle which means I pulled from near the bottom. Regardless I never considered stratification and will be sure to stir before pulling a sample.

Yep - if pulling from the bottom it'll be a lot thicker (higher gravity) if you didn't stir well before. The 45 min sparge would lower the mash efficiency and therefore lower the gravity.

Quote:
Is that 79% attenuation you mentioned the top of the range or is that the average attenuation?

Not sure follow. It's the expected attenuation given the grist, mash profile/temp, and yeast choice. There are many things that will affect attenuation.

Quote:
I feel like 77g of yeast should have been more than enough for the volume, especially since my OG was 1.090 to begin with.

Agreed.

Quote:
Normally I feel like, if nothing else, I like to take copious notes during the brew day. Truly I'm not sure what I glean from those notes, but I figure the longer I do this the more likely I am to recognize patterns and/or problems.

That's pretty much it. Even if you're new to brewing and don't know why you're noting everything, it's a good practice to get in to. If you run into issues and post, people will inadvertently ask you some of the things you wrote down... Over time you'll learn what things are more important to note than others. There's no such thing as too much information.

Quote:
Never the less, we made beer, it'll probably be pretty good.

I'm sure it'll be great! Your gravity already low enough to be more than drinkable. Leave it another week or two. No harm. See where it ends up.

Cheers!

Kal

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kennymac




Joined: 09 Jan 2018
Posts: 14
Location: Kissimmee, FL

Drinking: Bell's Two Hearted Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2021 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

01536F41-1112-4B34-B13E-8192E570E5C4_1_105_c by Ken McChord, on Flickr

Hey Everybody, wanted to follow up on this great brew. I've now got this on tap and we're loving it. The FG was a bit higher than I expected; I seem to have a problem with final gravity and attenuation, but I've since this brew picked up a Spike CF10 fermenter and I'm hoping to improve my performance. I do use O2 at inoculation time, I do manage temp through a glycol chiller but for some reason we finished at 1.020 FG.

I have a woodworking shop in the same space so I took to cutting up some oak into cubes and roasted them in the oven at 400 for 3 hours, then soaked them in bourbon for roughly 6 weeks. I didn't bother with a secondary but instead kegged the beer after 21 days in the SSbrewtech brew buckets, adding roughly 2 oz of the oak into each keg with a muslim bag and floss. I left those bags in for just shy a month, sampling as I went. The oak is out now, and the oak and bourbon flavor is pretty much gone, I only get a wiff of it. The beer is still a bit new and I suspect this will get better as time passes. Still a killer beer and at 9.25% abv packs a nice little punch.

I'm sure next time I brew it I'll do better with my efficiency; on a side note I just brewed up the Electric IPA and this time I took over 2 hours to sparge the wort to the boil kettle and nailed my numbers! Yay for me!

Thanks Kal for the wonderful recipes, and I look forward to brewing this one again.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2021 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a nice looking beer kennymac! Glad you're enjoying it!

Kal

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Walts Malt




Joined: 27 Sep 2013
Posts: 108
Location: Farmington, MN

Drinking: German Pils, Dry Hopped Saison, Celebration Clone

Working on: Electric Hop Candy Jr & RIS


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kal,

What is your mash ph that you target on this beer? I'm using the balanced profile and I'm coming up with an estimated mash ph of 5.50. Thoughts?

I have brewed this in the past and it turned out amazing, but I lost my old water treatment files in an old computer.
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10998
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Walt!

Unless mentioned in the recipe, all my beers target a mash pH of around 5.2 to 5.4 (when measured in the mash temperature range of somewhere around 145-165F). I should probably be clearer about that. It's in STEP 5 of my water adjustment guide: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/water-adjustment#STEP_5_Brew_day
Also in my BREW DAY STEP BY STEP, mash section: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/brew-day-step-by-step#STEP_5_Mash

Some beers will have different ranges. If that's the case I'll recommend it in the recipe. For example, for all of my New England style beers (Electric Hop Candy, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Electric Creamsicle) I recommend to aim on the higher end of the range to get a beer that has rounder/more full hop flavours instead of sharp.

I wouldn't put much stock into pH estimators. Measure. See: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/measuring-ph

Good luck!

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
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kennymac




Joined: 09 Jan 2018
Posts: 14
Location: Kissimmee, FL

Drinking: Bell's Two Hearted Ale


PostLink    Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walts Malt wrote:
Kal,

What is your mash ph that you target on this beer? I'm using the balanced profile and I'm coming up with an estimated mash ph of 5.50. Thoughts?

I have brewed this in the past and it turned out amazing, but I lost my old water treatment files in an old computer.


Hey Walt,
Not sure if this helps but my Bru-N-Water notes tell me that my anticipated mash pH would have been 5.45 and I treated my mash volume (12.50 gals) with 3.75ml lactic acid. My mash, measured at 68 F, was right at 5.4 pH.

I rushed through the mash and lautering stage (still somewhat new to my system, I've since corrected that error in my process) so my OG was a bit too low, however this brew is quite tasty and I was very pleased with my results.

Again hope this helps. Good luck!

cheers Mug [/code]
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