Victory Brewing Co.’s Storm King Imperial Stout clone

Victory Brewing Co.’s Storm King Imperial Stout clone

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.086  FG = 1.018
IBU = 100  SRM = 50  ABV = 9.1%

13.5 lbs. (6.1 kg) Pilsner malt
2.25 lbs. (1 kg) Vienna malt
3 oz. (86 g) Caramunich® malt (58 °L)
11 oz. (325 g) Carafa® Special III
11 oz. (325 g) black roasted barley 
6 oz. (170 g) dextrose (60 min.)
6.5 AAU Centennial hops (60 min.) (0.7 oz./20 g at 9.2% alpha acids)
4.9 AAU Centennial hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./15 g at 9.2% alpha acids)
6.4 AAU Cascade hops (30 min.) (1.1 oz./30 g at 5.8% alpha acids)
6.5 AAU Centennial hops (15 min.) (0.7 oz./20 g at 9.2% alpha acids)
6.4 AAU Cascade hops (15 min.) (1.1 oz./30 g at 5.8% alpha acids)
7.2 AAU Chinook hops (15 min.) (0.5 oz./15 g at 13.6% alpha acids)
6.4 AAU Cascade hops (5 min.) (1.1 oz./30 g at 5.8% alpha acids)
9.3 AAU Cascade hops (hopback) (1.6 oz./45 g at 5.8% alpha acids)
1 Whirlfloc tablet (15 min.)
1 g Yeastex yeast nutrient (15 min.)
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), White Labs WLP001 (California Ale), or LalBrew BRY-97 (West Coast Ale) yeast
¾ cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Mash in all malts (except the unmalted roasted barley) at 122 °F (50 °C) with a medium thick mash. Raise to 149 °F (65 °C) and hold for 45 minutes. Raise temperature again to 158 °F (70 °C) and hold for 30 minutes. Raise temperature once more to 170 °F (77 °C) for mash out. Spread the roasted barley grist evenly over the top of the grain bed. Recirculate for 10 minutes, or until clear. Once the wort is running fairly clear, begin wort collection. Lauter slowly to avoid a stuck lauter bed. Begin sparging the grains when they are first exposed during runoff, collecting 6.5 gallons (25 L) of wort.

Boil for 90 minutes, adding ingredients at times indicated. If using whole flower hops, use a big enough bag to contain them while allowing proper circulation. Otherwise, use pellet hops, because it is imperative to have proper hop/wort contact time to achieve the correct results.

When the boil is complete, whirlpool and let set for 20 minutes. After whirlpool has settled, chill to 59 °F (15 °C) and transfer to the fermenter. Pitch a large, healthy amount of yeast and oxygenate thoroughly. As fermentation begins to slow, let rise to 60 °F (16 °C) to finish fermenting. Hold the beer at 60 °F (16 °C) until no diacetyl is detected, usually 1–2 days. Remove yeast or rack beer off yeast.

Cool the beer down to 32 °F (0 °C) over 3–4 days, then hold at or below 32 °F (0 °C) for a minimum of one week. Fine before packaging if desired. Carbonate to 2.55 v/v or add priming sugar to bottle ferment for carbonation.

Extract with grains version:
Replace Pilsner and Vienna malts with 7.3 lbs. (3.3 kg) Pilsen dried malt extract and 1.3 lbs. (0.6 kg) Goldpils® Vienna dried malt extract. 

Heat 3 gallons (11 L) of water to about 155 °F (68 °C) and steep the caramel, Carafa®, and roasted barley in a muslin bag for 15 minutes. Once the steeping is complete, remove the bag, letting the liquid drain into your kettle. Raise to near-boiling temperatures, remove pot from flame and slowly stir in 4.3 lbs./2 kg of the Pilsen dried malt extract. Return to flame and bring to boil for 60 minutes, adding ingredients per the schedule and the remainder of the malt extract with 5 minutes left in boil.

Follow the remainder of the all-grain recipe, topping the fermenter up to 5 gallons (19 L) after chilling with pre-boiled water.

Tips for success:
The roasted barley and Carafa® (in the all-grain version) can make lautering difficult. Start slow and steady and only increase the rate of runoff midway through sparging.

The correct amount of clean, healthy yeast, good oxygenation (if using liquid yeast strain), and the cooler recommended fermentation temperature will result in a clean fermentation that will allow all of the malt and hop goodness to shine. 

The mashing and fermentation should be intense, as one of the unique aspects of this recipe is it should yield a well-attenuated beer, with a mouthfeel more similar to a double IPA than the typical imperial stout. Mashing a little longer won’t hurt, but not mashing long enough may be problematic.

Issue: December 2021

A Victory classic that came out of the brewmasters’ love for rich malts and intense hops, the robust malt flavors are complemented and balanced with a huge charge of classic hop types. Storm King is a well-attenuated beer possessing a mouthfeel more reflective of a double IPA rather than a prototypical imperial stout.