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December 7, 2020
Last updated

Russian Imperial Stout

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
russian imperial stout homebrew recipe

Cold weather and good news is the perfect reason to brew a big Russian Imperial Stout. Our friend Ross, who brewed this beer with us, just got a promotion and now brews beer at New Belgium! To celebrate, we’re naming this beer Old Rossputin as an homage to one of our favorite beers, Old Rasputin by North Coast Brewing Company. Follow along with the recipe below to brew this at home!

This recipe is for a 5 gallon batch using a 20 gallon system. Why? See picture below

5 gallon batch + 20 gallon kettle = a ton of space to brew a huge beer


Full Brew Day Video

This recipe is created for the Clawhammer Supply 20 Gallon Electric Home Brewing System, watch us use it in the video below!


OG: 1.098

FG: 1.018

ABV: 10.5%


Start your brew day with 9.2 gallons (34.83 liters) of water. We added a campden tablet in order to remove chlorine and chloramine.

filling kettle

Filling our kettle with water


holding massive grain bag

Ross holding a massive bag filled with grain

The grain bill for this recipe is as follow:

  • Pale Malt (2 Row) - 20 lbs (9.07 kg)
  • Caramel / Crystal Malt - 30L - 1 lb 4 oz (567 grams)
  • Caramel / Crystal Malt - 120L - 1lb 4 oz (567 grams)
  • Brown Malt - 10 oz (283.5 grams)
  • Chocolate Malt (Simpsons) - 10 oz (283.5 grams)
  • Roasted Barley - 5 oz (141.7 grams)

Make sure to double crush your grain for maximum efficiency.

double crushing grain

Double crushing our grain - The grain bill was almost too big for our 7 gallon buckets!


Mash for 60 minutes at 156F (68.9C) then do a 10 minute mash out at 168F (75.5C). Don’t worry if your mash is really thick. We stirred ours very thoroughly as we were mashing in, then about 15 minutes into the mash everything had loosened up.

thick mash

Our mash was very thick at the beginning

15 minutes into mash - it loosened up considerably

Our mash loosened up considerably after 15 minutes

After our 60 minute mash, we pulled our grain basket and gently pressed the grains in order to get as much wort out as possible. Some may say this releases tannins into the wort, but we believe that is a brewing myth.

pulling grains after mash

Pulling our grain basket

pressing our grains for maximum efficiency

Pressing our grains using an extra lid


Boil volume - 7 gallons (26.5 liters)

After pressing our grains, we ended up with 7 gallons of wort in our kettle. We opted to do a vigorous 60 minute boil. Our hop additions are as follows:

60 minutes - 2.5 oz (70.87 grams) of Cluster

2 minutes - 1 oz (28.35 grams) of Centennial / 1 oz (28.35 grams) of Northern Brewer

Post Boil Volume - 5.7 gallons (21.5 liters)

adding our 2 minute hop addition

Our 2 minute hop addition

Yeast and Fermentation

After boiling, cool your wort down to 70F (21.1C) and pitch two packs of WLP001 California Ale Yeast. We also added 2 teaspoons of yeast nutrient in order to help our yeast ferment this massive beer.

pitching yeast

Pitching yeast

We fermented this at 68F (20C) for 3 weeks. After fermenting for an initial 3 weeks, we transferred ours into some bottles to let it age.


This beer has a complex finish with a lot going on. We immediately noted roasty and slightly sweet flavors. This beer is almost like dessert, but not quite, according to Ross the beer was like “buckwheat pancakes” with a “banana bread” texture. With a final ABV of 10.5%, we were buzzed before finishing our first pint. We recommend you brew this beer, throw it in the cellar for a long time, and then pop it open for a special occasion.

Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

  • That beer Looks great, I doubt love a big stout. Planning my own imperial chocolate stout. Would also like like to know your water profile. I’m planning a high salt content to bring out the Choco more

    Posted by Matt on November 13, 2021
  • Guys, the beer looks amazing!!! Can you provide the water profile you used?

    Posted by Rick on January 27, 2021
  • Wow looks awesome! thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Manny on December 08, 2020

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