We can’t keep a secret on how to make this classic Russian Imperial Stout. In fact, we’ve simplified the process for making it. The only risk might be that you and your friends will drink it before the next batch is ready. It’s big, bold and dark. The high bitterness level for a stout will pleasantly surprise you. If you like to brew beers with rich, complex flavors…you’re in business.
This recipe has a lot of fermentables. Put your fermenter somewhere safe in case it leaks during fermentation.
What You Get
3 St. Patrick's Irish Stout Brewing Extract (HME)
3 Packets of Dry Brewing Yeast (Under the Lid of the Brewing Extract)
1 Packet Booster
1 Packet Centennial Hops
1 Packet Northern Brewer Hops
1 Packet Nugget Hops
2 Muslin Hop Sacks
1 Safale US-04 Dry Ale Yeast
1 Packet of No-Rinse Cleanser
For Fans Of
North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Original Gravity: 1.094
Final Gravity: 1.023
SRM: (Color): 40
IBU: (Bitterness): 60
STEP 1: Sanitizing
Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast, and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:
1. Fill clean keg with warm water to line mark 1 on the back, then add ½ pack (about 1 tablespoon) of No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, the solution is ready to use. Save the remaining ½ of No-Rinse Cleanser because you will need it for bottling.
2. Screw-on the lid and swirl the keg so that the cleaning solution makes contact with the entire interior of the keg, including the underside of the lid. Note that the ventilation notches under the lid may leak solution. Allow to sit for at least 2 minutes and swirl again.
3. To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow the liquid to flow for 5 seconds and then close.
4. Pour the rest of the solution from the keg into a large bowl. Place your spoon/whisk, can opener and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in cleaning solution prior to using.
5. After all, surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the keg or utensils. Return lid to the top of the keg, proceed immediately to brewing.
STEP 2: BREWING
Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation.
1. Remove the yeast packets from under the lids of the cans of Brewing Extract (you won’t be using these), then place the unopened cans in hot tap water.
2. Place the packet of the Nugget pellet hops into a hop sack tying them closed, then trim away excess material.
3. Using the measuring cup, pour 1-gallon of water into your clean 1.5-gallon or larger pot, then open the packet of BrewMax Booster and pour into the cool water and stir to dissolve. Increase your heat to medium-high. Continue stirring constantly to keep the sugar from scorching.
4. Once the solution is safely boiling add in your hopsack, allow this mixture to boil for 60 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. While waiting for the boil to finish (step 4) place remaining packets of pellet hops into a hop sack, tie them closed, and then trim excess material.
6. Once 60 minutes has passed (step 4), add the second hopsack with 2 packets of pellet hops. Then remove the pot from heat.
7. Open all 3 cans of Brewing Extract and pour the contents into the hot mixture in your pot. Stir until thoroughly mixed. This mixture of unfermented beer is called wort.
8. Fill your fermenter with cold tap water to the mark 1 on the back. If using any other fermenter this would be approximately 1 gallon of water.
9. Pour the wort, including the hop sacks, into your fermenter, and then bring the volume of the fermenter to mark 2 by adding more cold water. Leave the hop sacks in the wort for the duration of fermentation. (If you have a different fermenter top it off with cold water to the 8.5-liter mark).
10. Stir your wort mixture vigorously with your sanitized spoon or whisk.
11. Sprinkle the Safale S-04 yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.
Put your fermenter in a location with a consistent temperature between 70° and 76° F (21°-24° C), and out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 21 days.
STEP 3: Bottling & Carbonating
After 21 days, taste a small sample to determine if the beer is fully fermented and ready to bottle. If it tastes like flat beer, it is ready. If it’s sweet, then it’s not ready. Let it ferment for 3 more days (24 total). At this point, it is time to bottle. Do not let it sit in the fermenter for longer than 24 days total.
1. When your beer is ready to bottle, fill a 1-gallon container with warm water, then add the remaining ½ pack of the No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, it is ready to use.
2. Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw-on caps (or cover with a metal cap if using glass bottles) and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solution into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be used for bottling. Do not rinse.
4. Holding the bottle at an angle, fill each bottle to about 2 inches from the bottle’s top.
5. Place caps on bottles, hand tighten, and gently turn the bottle over to check the bottle’s seal. It is not necessary to shake them.
6. Store the bottles upright and out of direct sunlight in a location with a consistent temperature between 70°-76°F or 21°-24°C. Allow sitting for a minimum of 14 days. If the temperature is cooler than suggested it may take an additional week to reach full carbonation.
Tip from our Brewmasters
After the primary carbonation has taken place your beer is ready to drink. We recommend putting 1 bottle in the refrigerator at first for 48 hrs. After 48hrs. give it a try and if it is up to your liking put the rest of your beer in the fridge. If it does not taste quite right, leave the bottles out at room temp for another week or so. Keep following this method until your brew tastes just how you like it.
This process is called conditioning and during this time the yeast left in your beer can help clean up any off-flavors. Almost everything gets a little better with time and so will your beer.