Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sésquac, the Belgo-Russian Imperial Stout Returns!

It's been a while since I have brewed a Russian Imperial Stout. One of my all time favorites is Great Divides Yeti. These appear in a number of variations. The chocolate barrel aged version is quite fine. But of all of the variations, my favorite is the discontinued Belgian Yeti. There was something magical about how a belgian yeast could make such a big impact in softening the roast and hops this beer comes packing, but still make it a RIS. I tried it alongside the other variations when I was at the brewery while in town for GABF.  Of all the beers I tasted, this beer had the biggest impact on me and I had to try and recreate it. It was the first beer I brewed after I returned home!

The recipe was found online and seemed to have some backing. I believe it was published in one of the brewing magazines at some point. It was unknown which Belgian yeast Great Divide used so I picked French saison.

That first beer, brewed back in 2011 turned out incredibly well. As a home brewer it was one of the beers that makes you feel your beer can compete against any beer including the commercial versions. I loved ever single bottle of that beer. It went on to win a gold medal as a RIS in my local competition, the Beehive Brew-off.

This recipe was also used in my home-brew clubs first barrel fill. That beer used Cali ale yeast, but it picked up some brett along the way. The beer turned out pretty bad, but for some reason I refuse to dump the full corny keg still sitting in my basement.

This week I attempted to recreate the beer I made back in 2011. Things have changed in the brewery considerably since then and so I hope it doesn't change too much.

Here is the recipe: