8.17.16 BBA Narthax Imperial Stout


With cool weather around the corner, it was time to brew something other than an IPA.  In the past 9 months, I’ve only brewed IPA aside from 2 or 3 batches.  Months ago I received one of those airplane shooters full of Jim Beam from a friend and it has just sat in my fridge.  I sanitized a plastic container, dumped in the rest of my med toast French oak chips, and added the Jim Beam.  I’ve since kept this indoors, outdoors in the summer heat, in the freezer, and anywhere I can expose it to different climates.  This sat for about a month before brew day.  More on this later.

Andy joined Murray and I to take part in this double brew day.  It was HOT.  This was our first time using the propane burner as well.  We mashed in with the grains listed below.  Aiming for 4 gallons of 1.086 wort, this taxed the 5 gallon mash tun to peak of its potential.  We mashed for 90 minutes at 152F and batch sparged for 15 minutes at 168F.  We collected nearly 4 gallons of wort into our brew kettle.


The boil was fairly straightforward despite some technical difficulties from a timer on the burner.  Every 15 minutes you must reset it or the flame goes out.  We boiled for 60 minutes with a 60 minute addition of Magnum and 5 minute addition of Glacier.  I was very impressed with these Glacier hops.  Dark fruit, sweet, and cedar aromas from the hops.  I’d like to use these in a SMASH recipe to see what they can bring to the table.


Pale Two Row




Roasted Barley

De-Bittered Black






Yeast Nutrient


Calcium Chloride


Two Packets of Safale US-05

The wort was chilled to the coolest the July ground water would allow, extensively aerated, and then we sent the US-05 off to battle with a Yeast Nutrient addition.  Fermentation began less than 6 hours from pitch at ambient room temperature 68F.  After 3 days, a second charge of yeast nutrient was added to the primary.  1 week into fermentation, we introduced a half cup of the bourbon soaked French oak chips to the beer in a sanitized muslin sack.

After 2 more weeks, the beer was transferred to a secondary vessel.  Poly clar and fresh bourbon soaked chips were added. The carboy was placed for aging in my beer cellar at an ambient temperature (on floor) of 58F for two months.  We’ll get this boy kegged up for fall.




**Update – It’s been about a month since brew day (I get a little backlogged before brewing so I have fancy pictures of the finished products).  Andy and I took a pull from the fermenter and this stuff is ALL BARREL.  Its like we took a bite out of a tree.  Not bad to start but this will be bottle conditioned and we can revisit in a month or two.  The mouthfeel was solid, it finished a little on the dry side, and had a bittery, roast taste.  I attribute a part of that to be from the yeast in suspension as we pulled from the spigot on the Spiedel.  Stay tuned.


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