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April 2, 2022

Brew Stouter Limits at Home: How to Make Our 10th Anniversary Imperial Stout

Homebrewing epitomizes our glass backwards approach to brewing: designing each beer  unconstrained by production efficiencies. It’s a philosophy that our co-founder Adam Robbings adopted from the Homebrewers Guild of Seattle Proper, the club where he cut his teeth as a brewer. More than a decade later, it informs our decisions at Reuben’s Brews on a daily basis. 

So when we sat down to think about how to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brewery, we knew we had to work with our friends at the homebrewers guild. The beer we came up with is based on an earlier collaboration that the club made with Naked City Brewing in January 2012. That beer, which earned the name Opacity, was a beautiful, chocolatey, low-roast imperial stout with a creamy body that many Seattle beer drinkers still remember fondly.

2012 HGSP collaboration

For Stouter Limits, the fourth beer in our 10th Anniversary Collaboration Series, we ratcheted up the Opacity recipe while maintaining the essence of the original. Large portions of flaked oats and Golden Naked Oats—a favorite specialty malt among the homebrewers—contribute to the creamy body and the rich, nutty character of the beer, while kilned malts add color as well as layers of sweet caramel, dark chocolate, and roast coffee. Finally, Magnum and East Kent Goldings hops provide just enough bitterness along with some herbal, woody character.

We hope you enjoy this recipe, which we’re sharing in the spirit of friendship and community. 


Batch size: 5.5 gallons (21 liters)
OG: 1.120
FG: 1.030
IBU: 50
ABV: 12.5

(Scale the percentages below to weights for your brewhouse efficiency.)
71.6% High quality UK pale malt (2–3 SRM)
8% Flaked oats (1 SRM)
6.5% Golden Naked Oats (6 SRM)
4.7% Roasted barley (300 SRM)
3.6% Perla Negra or Weyermann Carafa Special 1 (350 SRM)
3.6% Chocolate malt (450 SRM)
2.2% Caramunich (56 SRM)

1 oz. (40 IBU) Magnum [12% AA] at 60 minutes
0.75 oz. (10 IBU) East Kent Goldings [5% AA] at flameout/whirlpool

(Use a big, healthy pitch of this from a 5-liter starter or about 500B cells.)
Wyeast 1728 or Imperial A10 Darkness

Use baking soda to target a mash ph of 5.3, adjusting for your water. Add 1.2 g/gal CaCL and 0.35 g/gal Epsom salt to the boil.

Mash low (148°F Saccrification rest) for high fermentability. Ferment low and steady at about 62°F in a controlled environment, taking extra care for the first two days to not spike or crash your temperature while the yeast is highly active and generating additional heat. Slowly raise the temperature to 65°F as fermentation winds down over the course of a week or until you hit the target final gravity. Transfer to a keg, or bottle for conditioning.

This beer will age well and you might want to hang on to a few bottles to compare with our barrel-aged version of Stouter Limits releasing at the end of the year.

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