Add A Comment October 1st, 2012

Brew Day: Imperial Stout

Posted by Mike

Now that the weather has been turning a little cooler, I’ve found myself drinking more and more stouts. And since I had a few empty carboys sitting around, I decided that I should just go ahead and brew one.


  • 11lb Maris Otter
  • 1lb Flaked Barley
  • 1lb Carmel 120
  • .3lb Black Malt
  • .3lb Chocolate Malt


  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar (1 min)


  • 2oz Fuggles (60 min)
  • 2oz Northern Brewer (20 min)


  • White Labs Irish Ale Yeast


  • 1 hour Sacch Rest at 152°F
  • 1 week primary
  • 3-4 weeks secondary
  • 2-4 weeks bottle conditioning

According to iBrewMaster this recipe should have put me in the 1.102 range for OG, about 80 IBUs and 10.7 ABV. Being the amateur home brewer that I am, I didn’t come close to the OG. After recirculating once, I ended up with a stuck sparge. To try to salvage the beer, I scooped some grain out of the mash tun into a grain bag and dropped it right into my kettle. Once I added some sparge water and stirred the grain around a little bit, I was able to get the wort moving again and added all the grain back into the mash tun.

A pretty simple boil and a few rain storms later, I chilled the wort, aerated, and pitched my yeast. My OG ended up right at 1.080, even with the last ditch effort of adding some brown sugar to try to give it a boost. So if the calculation is correct, that puts my efficiency at 52%. I’m sure the stuck sparge issue contributed a lot to the loss of efficiency, but I also think I sparged too quickly, trying to hurry things along with the rain rolling in.

I always lose a little efficiency because my sparge method is sort of a bootleg combination of fly sparging and batch sparging. Since this brew day, I have acquired a second cooler I hope to convert to a sparge tank to do a little better continuous sparge method.

I completely made up this recipe with some loose inspiration from other imperial stout recipes I found online. If you would have done something different with the recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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