I'm hoping to brew a big imperial stout this weekend with my fiancé, for our wedding this October. The beer won't be served at the wedding, but it does need to be in bottles before the big day (October 11). We're planning to do something like a "wine box" but with the beer we brewed together rather than a bottle of wine. We won't be opening any of the bottles for probably a year, so letting the flavors come together and mellow a bit more in the bottle would be fine, I hope. To add to the complications here, we were thinking it would be fun (assuming there is time), to add some vanilla beans & bourbon soaked oak cubes to secondary. Having never brewed an imperial stout before, I wanted to check in with some more experienced people here on both the timeline (to see how realistic this is) and the recipe itself. I took the recipe from something I found online (and of course can't seem to locate again), and modified it a little to get it where it is now. Saturday, July 12 - Brewday Saturday, August 23 (?) - Move to Secondary -- add vanilla beans. Saturday, September 6 (?) - add bourbon-soaked oak cubes. Saturday, September 13 (?) - Bottle (could be bottled as late as October 3, most likely) Recipe 15 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) 3 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) 1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) 1 lbs Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) 1 lbs Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) 1.00 oz Warrior [16.70%] - Boil 60.0 min 2.00 oz Willamette [4.70%] - Boil 10.0 min 3.00 items Vanilla Bean (Secondary 21.0 days) 2.00 oz Oak Cubes - American, Medium Toast (Secondary 7.0 days) 12.00 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon (soak vanilla beans and oak cubes) American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) - making a 2L starter on my new stir plate! Batch Size: 5.5 gal Boil Time: 90 min Estimated OG: 1.100 Estimated FG: 1.026 Estimated ABV: 10.0% Estimated IBU: 53.1 Some questions: Does the recipe look decent? Having never made an imperial stout before, I just tried to find something that sounded delicious, and run with it a bit. The 10 minute hop addition seemed weird for an imperial stout that's going to sit for a while. Worth cutting that altogether? I've seen people suggest anything from 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks in the secondary for vanilla beans and/or oak cubes. What have your experiences been? Obviously I'll taste along the way, but I'd love to know if there is a ballpark that has worked for others. After soaking both the vanilla beans and oak cubes in the bourbon, should I add the bourbon into the secondary as well, or pour it off? Again, I've heard both... Instead of the Wyeast #1056, would it be worth considering something like Mangrove Jack's Workhorse Yeast, given my basement tends to hover in upper 60's? I have two on hand that were given to me to try out, but I'm not certain I want to work with something I have zero experience with. In terms of bottling, I've heard people sometimes have had problems with getting proper carbonation with higher ABV beers like this. Any advice there? Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some guidance here. I'm relatively new(er) to the brewing scene with 7-8 batches under my belt right now, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!