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Before you get all excited, this is not an early version of Courage Russian Imperial Stout. Because that beer was Barclay’s Russian Imperial Stout until 1968, when it was rebranded as Courage. This is a completely different and unrelated beer.

Though, obviously, it is an Imperial Stout. The OG is a bit lower than the Barclay’s version, which was over 1100º, but it’s still a pretty powerful Stout. I think even I would make do with just a couple of pints.

The grist is the classic London combination of pale, brown and black malt. The capital’s brewers were faithful to brown malt to the bitter end. Most provincial breweries had ditched before 1900. And to those style Nazis who think that roast barley is the defining feature of Stout, I’ll point out that it was almost never used in London. And that is the city where the style was invented.

It’s heavily hopped with a combination of English and Hallertau hops. I’ve knocked the hopping rate down a bit because the hops were from the 1912 and 1913 seasons. You could swap the Fuggles for Goldings. This was an expensive beer, so might well have included posh hops. But, it was also parti-gyled with Porter, which was a cheap beer. Take your pick.

As the original would have had a secondary conditioning before sale, I’ve dropped the FG down from the racking gravity of 1039. I know from consulting both the brewing records and analyses of the finished beer that the gravity of Barclay’s Imperial Stout fell considerably after racking. Like that, Courage’s Imperial Stout would also have been vatted and most likely worked on by Brettanomyces.

1914 Courage Imperial Stout
pale malt 13.00 lb 60.47%
brown malt 4.25 lb 19.77%
black malt 2.25 lb 10.47%
No. 4 invert sugar 2.00 lb 9.30%
Fuggles 120 mins 2.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 2.00 oz
Hallertau 30 mins 1.00 oz
OG 1094
FG 1025
ABV 9.13
Apparent attenuation 73.40%
IBU 42
SRM 73
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 58º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This an excerpt from my book on brewing in WW I, Armistice!

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