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Drowsy Duck Imperial Stout

Classification: stout, imperial stout, russian imperial stout, all-grain

Source: Bryan Maloney,, r.c.b., 2/19/96

This recipe is based on an attempt at a brown ale that turned out to be half expected volume, very strong, and quite drinkable. I decided to see if I could replicate it intentionally, but with a liquid yeast culture. Some style reading showed me that I had come up with something close to an "imperial stout" (as opposed to a Guinness-like dry stout). I don't much like "burnt-grain" flavors, so I'm sticking with chocolate malt instead of switching to patent. Using 120L crystal malt should make up for "lost darkness", and imperial stout appears to be a flexible enough style to accomodate the difference (yes, I am doing this with half an eye towards local contests). I also wanted to see what effect a wort priming would have instead of glucose. Maybe it's changing too many things at once, but I don't quite have the patience to go through four batches of tiny changes.

I'm thinking of buying "maris otter" pale ale malt for this batch, just to see what will happen. Is it really worth the trouble to try out or is it all hype?



Bring 4 gallons (15l) water to 140F (60C) and add malts. Stir slowly until grist is completely mixed into water. Add gypsum or calcium carbonate to adjust mash pH to 5.0 (to 5.3) if needed. Bring mash to 150F (65C) and stir thoroughly. Stir every 15 minutes and reheat to 150F (65C) every 30 minutes (starch conversion). After two hours, bring mash to 170F (77C) for 10 minutes. Sparge with 3 gallons (11l) 170F (77C) water.

Boil 30 minutes and add hops. Boil for another hour, adding finishing hops 10 minutes before end of boil.

Chill to 50F, (10C) rack to secondary. Twelve to fourteen hours later, rack wort off trub and measure SG. Reserve and freeze wort equivalent to 6oz. (340g) sugar for priming, and pitch yeast starter in the rest.

Rack to carboy when primary fermentation is done and settle yeast out with isinglas. Prime with thawed gyle and bottle.