First time imperial stout !

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Oct 22, 2018
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I've never made an imperial porter or a stout before, but after a can of Amundsen Pastry Stout this weekend, which was absolutely incredible, i've decided to give it a go. I remember a few years ago really enjoying a bottle of flying dog's Gonzo, so i'm going to brew the maltmiller clone See Here. I fiddled with the recipe just a little bit in the Grainfather app, expected OG is 1.080, FG 1.020. Mash at 67c. There's no addition of either lactose or maltodextrin in the recipe. The interwebs suggest not to add lactose to imperial stouts as the result could be too sweet, however, maltodextrin seems fine to increase the FG, adding body but not sweetness.
So my question for those experienced in brewing an imperial porter or stout, do you even bother with lactose or maltodextrin ? Maybe finishing at 1.020 delivered enough body and sweetness so no need to add anything else.
I'm not a fan of sweet pastry stouts, so don't really use lactose. It can however be added at any point, even at bottle or kegging, so it's easy to make the decision whether to add or not then.

My main advice for brewing an imperial anything is to not assume you'll get the same efficiency as your regular brews. Knock 5 to 10% off. Also, it's handy to have some malt extract on hand to make up any gravity shortfall.

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