Update On The Big Black Russian

I kegged and bottled my winter beer this past weekend.  The Big Black Russian Imperial Stout.  All went well.  Ended up with 17 bottles to go along with my 5 gallons in the keg.  For those that missed the making of The Big Black Russian, you can see the original post at this link.

I have some changes I’m going to need to make for my next try at this one.  Mainly, the alcohol content is pretty low.  Under 3%, in fact.  I need to get the starting gravity up next time to give the yeast some more sugars to ferment.  My starting gravity was only 1.030 and when I took my final measurements before kegging, it was at 1.012.  If I could have started up around 1.060 I think it would have turned out better.

Shelley and I both tried some sample tastes and they are promising.  The overall flavor seems to be right where it should be at and the coffee comes through right at the end.  Very nice.  It will not have a bright, white head on it when it pours however.  I noticed that it appears to have a light brown head to it.  Not sure why, but that’s okay.  The color itself is very good.  A nice, dark black color.  In the bottling bucket (second photo) it looked like motor oil.  Excellent.

Here are the final numbers:

Potential alcohol by volume:  2% (taken on the hydrometer)

Potential alcohol by volume:  2.23% (taken from the calculator)

Specific Gravity T60 degrees (Original Gravity):  1.012% (measured at 75 degrees)

Actual Original Gravity after computing for temperature:  1.013%

Balling: 4% (taken from Hydrometer)

Balling: 4.29% (taken from calculator)

Calories in a 12 oz serving:  108

So, the big question now.  When will it be ready to drink?  I’ve had it carbonating for three days now at 20 PSI.  I plan on bringing that down to serving pressure Saturday night before I go to bed and that should make it ready for Monday night.  Good timing.  My Nut Brown Ale keg blew about two weeks ago and I only have the Honey Ale on tap right now.  Choice Is Good.  On Monday, I will once again have a choice.

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