First of all, let’s start by knowing something about this style of beer and its characteristics. It is known that Stout beer is an evolution of another type of black beer: Porter, and it is also originally from England. This style of beer was first produced in London by the brewer Anchor Brewhouse. It was a more robust and strong version of the Porter style, so it was called “Strong Porter”.

Located on the banks of the Thames, the building remains today, converted into luxury apartments, but keeping its essence as an old brewery. The person in charge of remembering it is the “Pub Anchor Tap“, run by Samuel Smith and located on the ground floor, the old room where the tap of the old brewery was located.

This style of beer (Strong Porter) was already exported at the end of the 18th century to Russia, at the request of the Empress Catherine II. The fact that it was called “Imperial” didn’t happen until well into the nineteenth century, about the year 1821, possibly to differentiate this beer, that was exported to the Russian Empire, it was renamed “Imperial Porter“.

A couple of years later the term “Stout” began to be coined as a new style of beer, with references registered under the name “Imperial Double Brown Stout“. From this moment the word “Imperial” was used to differentiate the strongest versions of almost all styles of beers.

Well into the twentieth century another name for the “Imperial Stout” came to be called “Imperial Russian Stout” and although it was the same style of beer, it was created by pure marketing. Today we can find in the market both, beers with the name of Imperial Stout or Imperial Russian Stout, being no different to each other on taste, but merely the recipe used by the particular brewer.

If you want to know what the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) says about this style of beer, you can download the guidelines here.

The Imperial Stout is a black beer, full-bodied, maltose, high in alcohol content, complex, with hints of caramel, coffee, toasted, roasted, chocolate, plum, raisins.

It is advisable to let it mature for a few months, even exceed the year, so that it can develop new profiles. The aging will affect the intensity of the aromas of both, hops and malts.

This recipe is quite simple without frills, and it can serve as the cornerstone for successive elaborations. It can be modified by adding some type of smoked malt or cocoa during the boiling process. Vanilla or cinnamon can be good options too.

This recipe has been calculated with an equipment performance of 72% and an evaporation during the boiling phase of 4 liters.

RECIPE
Total water 37.3 liters

Final volume 22 liters

Original density 1.080 Final density 1.019 APV 8.2%

60 IBU

Color 77 EBC

   INGREDIENTS
-Malt Pale 88% 7.28 kg

-Malt Crystal 6% 0.54 Kg

-Covered Toast 3% 0.36 Kg

-Malt Chocolate 2% 0.20 Kg

-Malt Black 2% 0.22 Kg

-1 teaspoon of Protofloc coffee

-2 envelopes of dry yeast Safale U-04 or liquid Wyeast 1028 London Ale

   MIXTURE
-Relation of filling 3.3 liters of water for each kg of malt.-Water for macerated 28.4 liters

– Simple operation at 65ºC for 60 minutes

-Volume that occupies the macerated 34.2 liters

BREWING PROCESS
-Volume of must in pot 28 liters

-Density before boiling 1,066

-Boat time 75 minutes

Hops

-Challenger 75 minutes for 38 IBU

-Kent Golding 30 minutes for 22 IBU

Others

-Protofloc 1 teaspoon 15 minutes from the end of boiling

FERMENTING PROCESS
Ferment at 68F once the fermentation has finished, transfer to secondary for a week between 41-45F
PRIMING & BOTTLING
Bottle with 7g / l of dextrose or 6g / l of brown cane sugar and leave to condition for 15 weeks at 54F

Although this style of beer needs aging for several weeks, from the fourth week you can go testing a bottle per week (or month), and make notes of the result, to draw your own conclusions, deciding when do you think it’s ready. You can even prolong the aging process up to a couple of years, that’s if you can wait …