Barrel-Aged Canadian Imperial Stout

We’re brewing four batches to fill a 13.5 gallon Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey barrel! That should give us enough (~16 gallons or so) to fill the barrel and have extra to top off and maybe keep some as a control batch.

For our barrel project we decided on the recipe from The Homebrewer’s Recipe Guide that we used on our first test batch.


  • Starting gravity (actual)
  • Starting gravity (expected)
    • 1.079
  • Final gravity (actual)
    • 1.028-29
  • Final gravity (expected)
    • N/A
  • ABV
    • ~9.5-10% ?


The recipe for a single batch, with substitutions noted:

Malt and Sugars
  • 10 lbs Amber liquid malt extract
  • 1lb roasted barley
  • 0.5lb 40L+ crystal malt
  • 0.25lb chocolate malt
  • 0.25lb black patent malt
  • 1 qt maple syrup
    (1L bottle Grade A maple syrup from Costco)
  • 4oz Northern Brewer (A=9.6%) (bittering)
    (used Nugget A=13.3%)
    • 60 minutes
  • 4oz Fuggle (A=5.7%) (flavoring)
    (used US Saaz A=7.6%)
    • 30 minutes
  • 1oz Cascade (aroma)
    (2oz pellet, 2oz leaf)
    • 10 minutes
  • 1 package Irish Ale yeast
    (we split 6 packages across 4 batches)

Brewing Notes

  • Brewed on
    • April 20, 2013
  • Transferred to secondary
    • N/A
  • Transferred to barrel
    • May 11, 2013
  • Sampled from barrel
    • June 1, 2013
    • July 3, 2013
  • Bottled on
    • August 12, 2013
    • August 19, 2013 (vanilla bean)
  • Tasted from bottle (flat)
    • August 14, 2014

Four simultaneous brew stations! Offset by ~20 minutes each.

10 lbs of liquid malt extract for each batch! And of course we had a boil-over (but only one!).

We split the four batches across five carboys. Most were 5-gallon carboys, which didn’t hold a full batch during primary fermentation of our earlier test batch.

All tucked in for a good nights sleep? Not exactly. We probably should have known better than to use an airlock on such a big beer! Unfortunately, we were short one blowoff tube and had to get an emergency blowoff tube to avoid an overnight disaster.