Saturday, February 12, 2011

Brewday - The Beard of Zeus Imperial Stout

Before we enter into springtime I wanted to get one more big time winter beer under my belt and what better way to do it than with one of the biggest of the winter beers, the Imperial stout. This version of the stout was originally made in England for export to Russia where it was said to be popular with the Czarist court. Like the India Pale Ale it had to survive a lengthy sea voyage and was thus made to a high alcohol and hop content in order to preserve it during its journey. As one can imagine, it is generally a very dark beer with a high amount of bitterness and malt.

Earlier this winter I reviewed two local versions of this style, Phillips' Hammer and Driftwood's Singularity. As has been my theme lately, after talking about and reviewing a style, I've had a go at making it myself. Thus was born The Beard of Zeus. The Beard features a seriously heavy grain bill that put the limits of my equipment to the test. I used nearly twenty pounds of grain, or roughly double that of an average batch, as well as a thwack of Fuggles hops to balance everything out. By the time it's done it should clock in well above 8% abv. I'm definitely looking forward to a frothy pint of The Beard somewhere down the track.

That's a mighty full mash tun

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