This recipe was formulated for our group barrel brew on May 4, 2013. It’s based on Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout from Cigar City, which includes cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon and chiles. Like Hunahpu’s, ours will benefit from some time in apple brandy barrels. We’re making the chiles optional; they will need to be purchased separately and added to the secondary, but they are sure to make this one memorable!

Original Gravity: 1.088
Final Gravity: 1.022
Alcohol Content: 8.6%

Ingredients

8 lb. Alexander’s Pale Malt Extract
2 lb. Briess Traditional Dark Dried Malt Extract
1.25 lb. Flaked Oats
0.75 lb. Muntons Chocolate
0.33 lb. Weyermann Carafa II
0.33 lb. Muntons Black Patent
0.33 lb. Briess 120L
0.25 lb. Muntons Roast Barley
* The malted grains are all crushed together in the clear plastic bag.

1 oz. Target Hop Pellets (Bittering 1) with 60 minutes left in the boil.
1 oz. Willamette Hop Pellets (Bittering 2) with 60 minutes left in the boil.

0.5 oz. Willamette Hop Pellets (Flavoring) with 30 minutes left in the boil.
0.5 oz. Willamette Hop Pellets (Aroma) at the end of the boil.

American Ale Yeast (starter for the barrel brew provided by Keystone Homebrew Supply)

5 Muslin Bags (2 large, 3 small)

5 oz. Cocoa Nibs
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Vanilla Beans
2.5 Ancho Chiles
(not included)
2.5 Guajillo Chiles (not included)

Procedure

If you will be fermenting this on your own, prepare your liquid yeast according to the package instructions a few hours before you begin to brew. We assume that you are familiar with basic homebrewing techniques, so these procedures are abbreviated.

  1. Divide the cracked grains between 2 large (or 7 small) muslin bags and add them to your brew kettle along with 1½ to 2 gallons of cold water (or more, depending on the size of your kettle). Heat slowly.
  2. Steep the grains in hot water (about 145° – 160°F) to extract flavor and color — do not allow to boil. After about 30 minutes, remove the grain bags, top up to your desired boil volume (a full wort is desirable, if possible while avoiding boil-overs), and then bring the water to a boil.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and add the 2 cans of extract syrup and 2 bags of dried malt extract. Keep the kettle off the burner and stir until the malt extract is completely dissolved.
  4. Put the pot back on the burner and bring it to a boil.
  5. After 15 minutes of boiling, place the bittering hops (1 and 2) into a small muslin bag, add them to the pot, and set a timer for 75 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot to avoid boil-overs.
  6. After 45 minutes of boiling (30 minutes remaining), add the flavoring hops in a small muslin bag.
  7. After 60 minutes of boiling (15 minutes remaining), you may add ½ teaspoon of Irish moss, or 1 Whirlfloc tablet, to help clarify your beer (optional). Add the spices in a small muslin bag.
  8. After 75 minutes of boiling, turn off the heat and add the aroma hops (in a small muslin bag). Put a lid on your pot and cool your wort as quickly as possible. Remove the hop and spice bags from the kettle.
  9. Make sure the wort is below 80°F before you have your wort transferred into a barrel, but do not perform the transfer yourself. Instead, let a Keystone Homebrew employee know that you are ready.
  10. Be prepared to drop off your sanitized and volume-calibrated fermentors at our Montgomeryville store by Saturday, May 25. If using a keg, you may bring a pre-sanitized keg to our store on the day of the event, or you may purchase a Sanikeg from us at any time.
  11. This beer will ferment in the barrel for approximately one month. We will then transfer it to your fermentor and contact you so you can pick it up. We recommend adding the chiles at that point and aging the beer for at least 6 months. The easiest way to sanitize them is to soak them in high proof alcohol for 24 hours, decant the alcohol off, and add the ingredients to the secondary container. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of contaminating your beer.
  12. Using a hydrometer, confirm completion of fermentation prior to bottling. When ready to bottle, siphon beer into your sanitized bottling bucket, leaving sediment behind. Boil priming sugar in 1-2 cups of water for a few minutes, gently stir into the beer, and bottle as usual.