Prince in Exile Russian Imperial Stout: The Story
I started my love affair with homebrew a little over a year ago. Loving big robust beers, I wanted to start with a big beautiful beer that I knew I would always enjoy. A Russian Imperial Stout came to mind.
Russian Imperial Stouts were prepared by brewers back in the 1800's to win over the Russian Czar. These are kings of stouts, boasting high alcohol by volumes and plenty of malt character. There is low to moderate levels of carbonation with huge roasted, chocolate and burnt malt flavors. Often dry, but some, like the style I prefer, are sweeter. Suggestions of dark fruit and flavors of higher alcohols are quite evident. Hop character can vary from none, to balanced, to aggressive.
Now I knew nothing of home brewing, so I had a friend who has been brewing at home for a while come and supervise my first undertaking. That night we looked in wonder at all the malt and hops we poured into the kettle. It seemed liked tons!
The malt produces the sugars that the yeast need to consume in order to produce the alcohol. That is why Imperial Stouts have such high alcohol content. The sugars produced by the malt are a bit excessive! To counterbalance the sweetness, bitterness, or the hops, are then added.
After cooling the boil, we pitched the yeast, and then threw it into the wort. After stirring until my arm might fall off, I tightened the lid on the pickle bucket, adjusted the air lock, yeast produces not only alcohol, but gas as well (remember that), and put the bucket into a room (we never used) to ferment for 2 weeks.
The next morning, I awoke and heard a sound of angry bubbling from the room where the beer was fermenting. I looked in to find big brown bubbles coming from my air lock. I was proud of the effect, knowing I had successfully brewed a “mean” beer! Work was going to be great that day.
After work, I rushed home to see how my beer was doing. I walked in the room to see a bucket with a lid that was curving outward. The gas from the yeast was expanding the top and it was going to pop! I rushed past my wife, ran to the car to go buy something that would let more gas escape.
While speeding down the road, I answered a call from my wife asking me why she married such a weird guy that rushes into a house and then back.... o-----, there was a silence. I asked her what happened. She said she heard a big pop. My stomach sank. I immediately turned around and headed home.
Walking into the room, there it was. An explosion of brown dots and beer everywhere. The bucket of beer had exploded. I found all the pieces, re-lidded the bucket and went to work cleaning.
Turns out, the beer was pretty good. I was proud to serve it to my friends and family, telling them the story and laughing about it.
A year later, I was approached by Evan Hiatt, with Sixth Row Brewing, here in St. Louis. He had heard my story through a distributer and wanted to know if I would do a collaboration with him for Llywelyn’s Pubs. I immediately jumped at the chance. When asked what style, I knew I had to do my first, my Russian Imperial Stout.
It was really interesting to see how the process of brewing beer is exactly the same. From home brewing, to make a 10 barrel batch, each step is the same process, just WAY more ingredients. I smirked when I thought back to my friend and I being in wonder at all the malts and hops we put into the first brew.
Well, the time for the brew is near! I am excited for you to taste what we have created for the Llywelyn’s Pubs. I am as proud of this beer as I was of my first. I cannot wait to drink with my family and friends, and with you, as always. If you see me at any of the pubs, please don’t be upset if I tell you the story of the exploding beer, it’s all I have!
We will be releasing this beer under the series name of “Prince Llywelyn’s Private Stock”, being that it is exclusive to Llywelyn’s Pub. Our Schlafly Brown Dragon Ale will also be included in this series.
Oh the name!?? Prince in Exile Russian Imperial Stout.
I know, leave it to Llywelyn’s to have a hard-to-pronounce name.
Below you will find the details of the beer as well as the kick-off parties’ locations. Please come and enjoy this new beer with the Six Row Brewing crew and our staff at Llywelyn’s.
I will be proud to serve you one!
Sláinte and Cheers!
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10% IBU: 97
Goldings hops, Maris Otter, tons of chocolate malt
October 22nd - Llywelyn's Pub Central West End @ 3pm.
October 23rd - Llywelyn's Pub Soulard @ 3pm
October 24th - Llywelyn's Pub Webster Groves & St. Charles
October 25th - Llywelyn's Pub WingHaven @ 3pm