I had a cheeky snifter just a couple of days ago and that’s when I decided that the keg pressure needed to be increased because this brew seemed flat. Having sat at 30 PSI for 3 days I’m pleased to say it’s now much, much better, and so I’ve taken it back to 15 PSI, which is going to be my new serving pressure unless I find there’s too much carbonation in the lighter ales.
Also helping Yeti along is a change to the beer line. The tap I’m using was the last of three not to have a 5/16 section between the 3/8 sections needed at either end, and was still using 18 inches of too narrow 3/16 instead, which throttled the flow too much and didn’t give me the range of adjustment I needed on the tap’s flow control. For some reason this was more accentuated with the stout, and so I swapped out the narrow stuff for 5/16, thereby matching the other two taps. Now I have a good amount of control via the tap itself, and don’t need to rely on line length in order to get the right serving pressure, allowing me to have a slightly tidier kegerator.
Back to the brew, and I have to say this stout’s amazing. A deep and complex palate of malts, coffee and chocolate, velvety mouthfeel, and luxurious texture in the head, which now lasts all the way down. One half pint is probably enough to round off a school night and you certainly don’t want more than two of those – absolutely perfect for an imperial stout. On a side note, the bouquet is not 100% aligned with the taste. It contains all those coffee hints but also a very very slight suggestion of yeast, which in itself isn’t unpleasant, just unexpected. Ageing may remove this, but ageing is unlikely with something this good.
The only question in my mind is whether or not it actually needs the extra 2.5% that I was going for in the original recipe, or whether that would just turn it into one of those ridiculous bigger-is-always-better American approximations. Strength seems fine to me, taste is more than adequate. I do know I’ll be brewing something like this again soon and if I can refine my sparging technique I may be able to unlock those extra gravity points – will be interesting to see what it’s like then.