Brewday: Domain of The King Imperial Stout

Domain of The King is our most ambitious beer to date.  We’ve been working on the recipe for this for quite a while and knew that now was the time to brew it to have it ready for Stout Season.  Oh who am I kidding, it’s always stout season at MHB but I know some of the less dedicated drinkers prefer them in cooler weather.  You see the trick to enjoying a big imperial stout in the summer is to do as little physical activity as possible while sitting in a well air-conditioned house.  There’s your pro tip of the day.  You’re welcome.

I forgot to take pics on brew day so here's Brew Dog Boo in a hop hat.

I forgot to take pics on brew day so here’s Brew Dog Boo in a hop hat.

DoTK tipped the scales at 25 lbs of grain for a 5 gallon batch, more than our mash tun could handle.  We decided to brew this one with a split mash, doing two identical mashes / sparges then marrying them together for the boil.  In addition to the grains we also added toasted pecans and cocoa powder to the mash.  Our dark roasted specialty grains were mixed into the mash just before batch-sparging and allowed to rest for 10 minutes.  This method was something we’d never tried before and we were sure exactly what to expect out of it.  In the end we were a bit under our target gravity but still hit 1.092 so it’s still a pretty big stout.

It's always important to assess the gravity of a situation.

It’s always important to assess the gravity of a situation.

We made a starter with WLP002 and pitched that once we’d cooled our wort.  Checking in at two weeks we hit 1.020, giving us an ABV of 9.6%.  We added 4 oz of cocoa nibs to the fermenter and once we’ve achieved the desired results there (~2 weeks probably) we’ll rack onto some bourbon and oak and add some cold-brewed coffee.  From there we’ll let it age for a few months before kegging it.  We’re also toying with the idea of pulling off a couple 1 gallon batches for some experiments with toasted coconut, chiles and spices.

The samples I’ve tried on this so far are excellent.  It’s a tad hoppier than I would have liked but still quite balanced, and as the hops fade with aging I think it will be perfect.  All hail The King!

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