Thursday 15 April 2010

17. 25-Grain Chechen Imperial Stout

The origins of the Chechen imperial stout can be traced back to 1800’s when Tsar of Chechnya and Olympic horse wrestler Sergei Walankov commissioned a brew from Moore’s brewery in Toxteth. A bottle of this beer was recently sold at Christies for £25,000.

I have of course just made that up. I am not aiming to make an imperial stout with this beer, just a very strong very dark ale hopefully with balance and depth. Chechnya was chosen as a name because it represents my rebellion against the constraints of the style. Also I’ve already used Kazakhstan.

Some of the 25 grains are being used with poetic licence. Distilling malt and caramalt will be too pale to give anything in the context of the recipe but help to make up the numbers. The contribution of some of the non malt grains (adjuncts) will the interesting to see.

Tech Spec


Hops: Target, Northdown and fuggles

Yeast: Sharp’s

Fermentation: Warm and open


1. Pale ale (Tipple)

2. Pale Maris Otter

3. Distilling malt

4. Caramalt

5. Low colour caramalt

6. 140 crystal

7. 280 crystal

8. Black

9. Roasted barley

10. Chocolate

11. Munich

12. Imperial

13. Amber

14. Vienna

15. Roasted wheat

16. Rolled oats

17. Golden naked oats

18. Pin head oats

19. Brown malt

20. Peated malt

21. Wheat malt

22. Torrified barley

23. Torrified wheat

24. Maize flakes

25. Mild ale malt


Barry M said...

That's a terrifying grain bill! Are you going for equal quantities of each, or is there further method to your (inspired) madness? :)

Richard E. Simpson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard E. Simpson said...

really, really hope this one takes off!!

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Do you not think you will taste the distilling malt? I assume you mean peated distilling malt.

Imperial malt is a new one to me.

Stuart Howe said...

Barry hi, I've added the grains in inverse proportion to their colour level. This may favour sweetness over roast but I'm trying to ferment it dry and add plenty of bitterness to balance this.

Stuart Howe said...

Keiran hi,

Distilling malt is low colour pale similar to lager malt. It's what the malt distillers use to get most of their alcohol.

Imperial is a slighlty richer slighlty sour version of Amber. Not sure where the name originates from. I'm sure Mr Simpson can fill you in. By the way Richard can you get your pimpernel of a brother to call me re:2011 prices?

Melissa Cole said...

This sounds awesome! Can't wait to try it x

Richard E. Simpson said...

Hi Stuart,

Brother currently facing an "extended leave" period in the U.S. i.e. he's stuck...

Will get back on the Imperial question....

Stuart Howe said...

Haven't the americans suffered enough? I hope they have enough pink champagne and baby oil for him.

Richard E. Simpson said...

I have talked to our Company Historian and General Malting GURU (my old man) who refered to Mr H Stopes, considered by many as the Grandfather of Technical Malting. In his 1885 book of all things Malting, he describes Imperial Malt as being like a pale ale malt that is kilned at a higher temperature and thus imparts a higher colour. As to the name, we are not sure of the origins exactly - but we are assuming that it is called Imperial as perphaps a reference to what it ended up in...Imperial Ales / Stouts - Not sure us maltsters have particularly spent much time on names and product branding, prefering to divert what energies we have left, after dedicating ourselves to our fantastic customers,into product and process innovation...

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Cheers Richard

does that make it similar to Mild Ale Malt?

Richard E. Simpson said...

Sure Mr Howe can correct this f I am wrong - havent consulted the Guru over this one - Mild Ale Malt is, I think, similar to Pale Ale malt, higher temperature kiln and all that, but it should produce a wort which has a higher dextrin content, resulting in a sweeter finished beer.People also describe it as having a slightly nutty flavour.

Stuart Howe said...

Couldn't have put it better myself Richard

Mark, said...

Some grist list! One to make malt rival the hop stars.

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