Dark-eyed Junco Imperial Stout - March 2014

Our first beer. We brewed an all-grain Imperial Stout at Jerry's Brew Day that occurred on Sun, Mar 30, 2014. We attempted to clone the Maumee Bay Brewing Company's excellent Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout.

Ingredients - Five Gallon

It was suppose to have an ABV of 9.5%.

X12.0 ozBlack (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM)Grain1
X12.0 ozChocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)Grain2
X1 lbsCoffee, Franco Belges (175.0 SRM)Grain3
X3 lbsOats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)Grain4
X12 lbsPale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)Grain5
X1 lbsMilk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)Grain6
X1.2 ozMagnum [14.0%] - Boil 60 minHops7
X1.0 ozCentennial [10.0%] - Boil 30 minHops8
X2.0 ozWillamette [5.5%] - Boil 10 minHops9
X2 pkgsLondon Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028)Yeast10

Notes before, during, and after brew day

Items to bring - (Arrive around 10:00 a.m.)

Beer Characteristics

Buying Ingredients

Northern Brewer

Purchased online on Mar 25, 2014 at Northern Brewer :

The Tue, Mar 25 Northern Brewer order arrived via UPS around 1:00 p.m. on Thu, Mar 27, a little under 48 hours after placing order. If that timeline holds, then the Wed, Mar 26 order may arrive late in the afternoon on Fri, Mar 28. I doubt Saturday delivery is used.

The second package of London Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028 mentioned below arrived around 5:30 p.m., on Fri, Mar 28 from Northern Brewer.


Rest of the ingredients purchased at Titgemeier's Beer and Wine Making Supplies :

On Wed, Mar 26, 2014, I purchased all of the remaining ingredients including the 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket and the airlock. The only exception: Titgemeier's only had one package of the yeast, so I purchased the other package from Northern Brewer. The tracking for yesterday's order showed the package should arrive on Thu, Mar 27. So hopefully, today's one-item order arrives on Friday or Saturday. If not, then I'll inquire about plan B for the rest of the yeast. The grains purchased at Titgemeir's were milled at the store and placed together in one sack. I ordered the Franco-Belges unmilled. Today's Titgemeier's shopping cost a little over $70.


Prepare for Brewing

Mash or Steep Ingredients

12 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US(2.0 SRM)Grain164.9 %
3 lbs Oats, Flaked(1.0 SRM)Grain216.2 %
1 lbs Coffee, Franco Belges(175.0 SRM)Grain35.4 %
12.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt(500.0 SRM)Grain44.1 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Malt(350.0 SRM)Grain54.1 %

Mash Initial Conditions

Mash Volume Needed

Mash pH and Runnings


Volume and Gravity in Boiler

Mash Efficiency

Mash Steps

dl. Mash In:Add 21.88 qt of water at 163.7 F Step temp = 152.0 F Step time = 60 min

dl. Mash Out:Add 12.25 qt of water at 200.7 F Step temp = 168.0 F Step time = 10 min ["mash out" is not used in our method of home brewing.]

Mash / Steep Timer

Boil Timer

Estimated Post Boil Vol: 5.72 gal and Est Post Boil Gravity: 1.088 SG

Cool and Transfer Wort

Fermentation Info

Into the Boiler

Into Fermenter

Brewhouse Efficiency

Fermentation and Storage

At Bottling / Kegging

Pitch Yeast and Measure Gravity and Volume

Fermentation Ingredients

Amt Name Type # %/IBU 2.0 pkg London Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028) [124.21 ml] Yeast 10 -

Measure Actual Original Gravity (Target: 1.088 SG) Measure Actual Batch Volume (Target: 5.50 gal) Add water if needed to achieve final volume of 5.50 gal


Dry Hop and Bottle/Keg


Additional Notes

Smacked yeast packets at 11:15 am and set in garage to warm. - Mar 30, 2014

1:36 pm began mash. - Mar 30, 2014

Began boil at 3:35 pm - Mar 30, 2014

Flame out or end boil at 4:58 pm. Bigger volume than planned. About 7 gal. - Mar 30, 2014

Going for 75 degrees for wort chill. Started at about 195. - Mar 30, 2014

Chill to around 75 degrees. While still in kettle, whirlpool stir then cover and let sit for 15 min. Our gravity was 1.080. Then pour into fermenting bucket, add yeast, and then agitate to create bubbles, then pound on lid. Add airlock. We ended just befor 6pm. - Mar 30, 2014

after cleanup and loading, at home at 7:30 pm. we left home at about 9:25 am. arrived at 10am. - Mar 30, 2014

On the evening of March 30, 2014, when we got home from our brew day, I placed the fermenting bucket of beer at the base of our basement steps, probably the coolest area of the house. At 2:10 p.m. on March 31, the air temp around the bucket is 58 degrees. - Mar 31, 2014

I believe ideal fermenting temp is 62 to 65 degrees, but I wanted to slow the fermentation the first couple days to ensure that our 6-plus gallons of beer does not ferment too much by over-bubbling into the airlock. - Mar 31, 2014

If necessary, we were advised to remove airlock cap and attach tube to airlock to allow excess gas and bubbles to pour into a bucket. of course, sanitizer used on everything. thus far, the bubbling appears normal. - Mar 31, 2014

The West Toledo Wundermap Station reports 62 degrees at 2:24 p.m. I think this is the warmest day of 2014. It's forecast to be in the low 60s tomorrow and then it will get cooler. On Wed or Thu, I'll move bucket to dining room and find a 62-63 degree area. - Mar 31, 2014

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/imperial-stout-fermentation-temp-130736 - "Fermentation temps are most important during the growth phase and the first 1/3 of active fermentation." - Mar 31, 2014

"A couple questions though: 1. Should I knock the temp back down into the low 60's [from 64]? 2. Should I secondary and bulk age this or just bottle it after about a month?" - Mar 31, 2014

"Let it be at current temps for another week at least. The yeast might be finishing fermentation, but they still have some cleaning up to do. After another week or two, I would drop the temp as low as you can get it." - Mar 31, 2014

"If you can refrigerate it, that'd be great. I wouldn't bother using a secondary vessel, honestly. Just another opportunity for oxidation and infection. Age it in primary for a month, then bottle." - Mar 31, 2014

The BeerSmith app says ferment at 67 degrees for the first 10 or 12 days and then 65 degrees for the remaining time for a total ferment time of 30 days. - Mar 31, 2014

Here's our yeast: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/wyeast-london-ale.html - "Rich with a dry finish, minerally profile, bold and crisp, with some fruitiness. Apparent attenuation: 73-77%. Flocculation: medium. Optimum temp: 60 - 72 F" - Mar 31, 2014

At 8:33 p.m. on Mon, Mar 31, 2014, I moved the fermenting bucket from the basement to the northeast corner of our dining room where the temperature is currently 63 to 64 degrees. - Mar 31, 2014

At 11:00 p.m. on Mon, Mar 31, 2014, the air temp around the fermenting bucket in the dining room was 63 degrees. Barney barked at the fermenting bucket. Barney is intrigued, startled, and irritated by the bubbling and hissing sounds emanating from the bucket. Funny. - Mar 31, 2014

On Tue, afternoon, Apr 1, 2014, the airlock contained beer. The fermentation got extremely active. I moved the bucket to the cooler basement. I replaced airlock with clear, plastic tubing and submerged other end of tubing into a half-filled container of sanitizer. It gurgled mightily. - Apr 03, 2014

The pressure Tue afternoon, Apr 1 was so great that some air and the occasional bubble squeaked out the under side of the lid. I'm sure lid was on securely, otherwise the bucket would have probably leaked when it sloshed on the drive home on Sunday evening. - Apr 03, 2014

The pressure decreased Tuesday evening. The setup remained through Wednesday. On Thursday morning, April 3, I sanitized an airlock and replaced the tubing with the airlock and moved the bucket back into the warmer dining room. - Apr 03, 2014

This evening, Wed, Apr 16, 2014, we transferred the beer from the primary fermenter, which was the 6.5 gallon plastic bucket, to the secondary fermenter, which is a 5 gallon carboy. We added 1.25 cups of coffee brewed in a french press pot. The beans came from Bea's Blend roaster at Farmers Market. - Apr 16, 2014

During the siphoning phase when moving beer from primary to secondary fermentation vessels, we filled a small pitcher with 16 oz of beer for taste-testing with various amounts of coffee. DD liked the one 2nd least amount of coffee, which was 1/2 teaspoon of brewed coffee with 4 ounces of beer. - Apr 16, 2014

My favorite was no coffee added. I liked the beer as it was from the primary fermenter. I could taste hints of coffee in the beer as is, and that's probably due to the ingredient: Coffee, Franco Belges (175.0 SRM). - Apr 16, 2014

Our gravity reading after primary fermentation, which after 17 days, was 1.020. The expected after primary according to the recipe was 1.018. - Apr 16, 2014

We're trying to do a Maumee Bay Brewing Company Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout clone. Chief brewer Clint gave us a tour at the end of March. That's how we learned about the Franco Belges. I'm unsure if Clint uses actual coffee in the recipe. - Apr 16, 2014

http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1475/57635 - Apr 16, 2014

http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/maumee-bay-total-eclipse-breakfast-stout/124829 - Apr 16, 2014

http://www.brewreviewcrew.com/maumee-bay-brewing-company-total-eclipse-breakfast-stout - Apr 16, 2014

http://www.theoliverhousetoledo.com/product/total-eclipse-breakfast-stout - Apr 16, 2014

Bottling day occurred on Sat, May 3, one day shy of five weeks after brewing. JP came to our house to help us bottle. I made pizza with spelt flour added to crust. We sampled multiple beers from The Andersons. DD bottled the beer. JP started capping, and then I capped. - May 04, 2014

We then bottled the one-gallon batch, Irish Red Ale, from Northern Brewer, two days shy of two weeks from brewing day. We figured two extra days would not matter, and we had the equipment and sanitizer bucket setup. - May 04, 2014

The stout produced 51 bottles. The Irish ale produced 7 bottles. For carbonating the stout, we used 3 ounces of corn sugar with two cups of water, boiled, to sterilize the sugar. The mixture was added to the bucket housing the stout after DD transferred stout from carboy to bucket. - May 04, 2014

The dissolved sugar was mixed in bucket with stout. Then beer was poured into bottles and capped. - May 04, 2014

For the Irish ale, we used the tablets that came with the kit for carbonation. One tablet dropped into each bottle prior to filling bottle with beer. - May 04, 2014

For the imperial stout, the final gravity reading was 1.018. We did not check OG and FG for the Irish ale. - May 04, 2014

calculators exist at Brewer's Friend for determining the amount of sugar to add for carbonation and the alcohol by volume based upon FG. - May 04, 2014

http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator - May 04, 2014

Our stats for the imperial stout: OG on Mar 30, 2014 brew day was 1.080. FG on May 3, 2014 bottling day was 1.018. Our ABV is 8.14%. - goals according to recipe: OG 1.088 and FG 1.016 and ABV 9.5%. - May 04, 2014

calculators http://www.brewersfriend.com/stats - May 04, 2014

http://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator - May 04, 2014

Sun, May 18, 2014

Here's a glass of our 'Dark-eyed Junco' Imperial Breakfast Stout, along with the first bottle that we capped, which we will save for later and some poetry about the junco from the book The Cuckoo's Haiku, written by Michael J. Rosen and Illustrated by Stan Fellows.

We shared some our imperial stout beer on Fri, Jun 27, 2014, and it tasted amazing. It had been a while since I last drank some of our stout. I drank a full bottle with lunch on Sun, Jun 29, 2014, and the beer is aging well because it tasted spectacular, and I did not allow it to warm. - Jul 01, 2014

As of late July 2014, we only have eight or so bottles left. We'll definitely brew this beer again.

Dec 20, 2014 Tasting

I think the last time that we consumed a bottle of our stout was back in August or September. We drank another bottle on Sat evening, Dec 20, 2014, and the beer still tastes great.

I think Deb and I described it simply as "Wow!" I wish we had more because I would drink one about everyday.

Earlier in the day, I drank a bottle of MBBC's Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout, and then I drank our stout in the evening. I think ours is pretty close to being as good as the MBBC's stout, which is one of my favorite beers.

This stout is probably the best beer that we have brewed thus far, but that's probably because I like stouts a lot.

I think about all I need is a stout, a saison, and a dubbel, and I would be set. And this Dark-eyed Junco Imperial Stout satisfies one category. We need to brew this beer again in early 2015.

#stout - #clone - #coffee - #5gal - #English - #ale - #chocolate - #oatmeal - #milk - #group - #event