Epic Belgium Imperial Porter Ale

Epic Belgium Imperial Porter Ale

Dermott Dowling
Based on Mitch Steele @Stone Brewing Co 09.09.09 Vertical epic ale and inspired by the original 'Angry man' of Craft Beer turned 'Gandalf' like Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Co this beer is EPIC in every sense of the word. From the sourcing of the wonderful ingredients to the brewing and the tales of drinking including gifting a 750mL champagne style bottle of the same to the man himself Mr Koch at the Local Taphouse in St Kilda, Melbourne
The recipe below follows very closely the brewers blog from Mitch Steele @Stone Brewing Co 09.09.09 Vertical epic ale this is a bold beer to reflect the rebel within all of us and all that is big, bold and beautiful about the beervolution.  Hop you enjoy reading the recipe and beer style brewing your own at home!

Malt Bill:




  • 30g Sweet Orange Peel
  • 1.5 Vanilla Beans (Madagascar)


Heated the trusty urn to 70C before dropping in the massive 8.5Kg grain bill with my brewers assistant young Mazzy stirring in the grains as I added it slowly and the mash dropped to 64C after a good stirring.
Readings taken @30m (15 min into mash) at was at 64C then 63C by 17m which was at the same after 45mins.  Step up mash to target 74C for last 15 mins but only reached 67C by end of 15 mins (60 total).  Took a sample of the mash and was reading 1050 at mash temp (not happy).


Added the Magnum hops post straining and draining the bag pre boil.  Took up to 50 mins to get up to a rolling boil before adding the Perle hops.  Both hops added at start of 90 mins boil along with Belgium Dark Candy Sugar.

Post Boil/Whirlpool/Immersion Chilling:

Added the Sweet Orange Peel and 1.5 vanilla beans (meat inside pushed out and beans skins chopped up).
Started chilling the wort after 5 mins to avoid DMS build up which took not long to cool to below 50C then 40C.  Cool wort from fridge has read 1065 and after chilled to 32C took another reading which was 1070.  Racked off into fermenter using strainers and tea towel to avoid trub carryover to the fermenter.

Primary Fermentation:

Pitched yeast post placing the fermenter in the fridge when the temp was reading 22-4C and Wyeast smack pack was well bloated @7:45pm.
Big brew day and overall happy with result except the mash which felt was not left long enough to conversion and resulted in an SG of 1070 v target 1088.  Will be looking to pull 5L out post primary to put in my 5L port barrel for some extra conditioning in oak and possibly dry hop.  Set Keg King temp controller @20C and left it to do its thing for 2 weeks.Racking Sun 3 Nov took a hydrometer reading of 1.014 and noticably big Krausen all around the rim of the fermenter.  Small bubbles still rising inside.  Racked 17L into a secondary fermenter and set temp controller at 20-2C and poured out 2L of Muscat that has been conditioning the 5L Oak port cask.  Boiled up 200g of Light DME with 500ml water and added in 4.5L of BIPA to create DOBIPA (Double Oak Belgium Imperial Porter Ale) - how truly epic!  Put 17L Keg back in fridge and turned down on Tue to 2C to condition.
5 Litre Oak Port Barrel (Muscat Soaked 2 L)
            Jura Whisky - Yummy!
  Sat 9 Nov no sign of any noticeable ferment in the Oak cask 5l so pitched 7g of dried Cooper's IPA ale yeast into the 5L oak cask. Also soaked 18g of French Oak chips in a glass of Jura single malt whisky and dropped that into the 17L cold conditioning in the fridge. Fri 15 Nov dry hopped the DOBIPA with 11g of Northern Brewer to make the DHOBIPA Dry Hop Oak Belgium Imperial Ale - that's bloody epic! Tasted prior to dry hopping and it was a deep rich port nose tone and lots of wood on the nose and mouth.  Colour was daks woody borwn and taste was smooth and rounded.


Bulk primed the 17 L in plastic fermenter with 145 g of Light DME and had a minor spillage while racking for the bulk priming - Doh! Emptied the Oak cask into 11 bottles - 10 stubbies and 1x500ml priming with 1/2 tsp of white sugar per stubbie and 3/4 tsp for the 500m..  Tasted some and it was very grassy as well as woody. Time will tell what this truly epic home brew tastes like :-)