Hey brewmigos. I am about to brew my first imperial stout. I don't know why it has taken me this long to do it, I love stouts, I think I just am more comfortable in other areas because I know what works for what I have done. I was hoping for some advice and feedback for my recipe. Here it is: it should be a 5.5 gallon batch, all grain 16 lb 2 Row (72%) 22 lb total 1.75 lb Chocolate Malt (8%) 1 lb Honey Gambrinus (4.5%) 1 lb Crystal 80 (4.5%) .75 lb Carafa II (3.4%) .5 lb Carapils (2.3%) .5 lb White Wheat (2.3%) .5 lb Biscuit (2.3%) 90 min boil 2 oz Citra 90 min 1 oz ? 10 min 2 packets of White Labs Cali Ale WLP001 Target calculated OG 1.107 and FG 1.027 Single Step Mash at 153 for 60 minutes 1.3 qt/lb water ratio 7.5 gal strike water and 5 gal sparge water I have a few questions that I would love some insight on 1) Does the grain bill look like it will work out well? Should I add more 2 row or maybe some roasted barley? 2) Should I boil for 90 minutes or 2 hours? I hear longer boils work well for stouts I have had trouble in the past with big beers such as this when it comes to balancing sweetness with the hops, 3) What should my hop variety be? 4) How much should I use? 5) Should I use aroma hops at all towards the end? I was thinking of adding lactose and I never have before 6) How much should I use and when? (I don't want it to be extremely prominent) 7) Do you think it may hurt the flavor of the beer? 8) Will WLP001 Cali Ale Yeast work with this big of a beer? I was also thinking of adding vanilla bean 9) How many beans to use and when? 10) is 1.027 too high for FG? 11) Is 1.3 qt/lb ratio good for this style? And I know Oskar Blues barely if at all sparges their ten fiddy to help with the style I would like to sparge with as little as possible instead of the 5 gal the calulator gave me 12) What kind of strike and sparge water ratio should I use? and is this a good idea? bonus question I try to adjust my water the best I can but this is my first beer in a new city so I haven't dialed all that in yet I know dark grain will lower the pH on it's own and I believe the grain bill alone should put me at 5.8 pH or lower(hopefully lower). I do carbon filter all the water I use. I haven't gotten a detailed water report yet but here is what I have so far Calcium 32 (ppm or mg/l) Sulfate <25 (ppm or mg/l) Magnesium .008 (ppm or mg/l) Chloride 6 (ppm or mg/l) Sodium 4.2 (ppm or mg/l) pH 8 (ppm or mg/l) Total Alkalinity 24 (ppm or mg/l) Bonus) What if anything should I do to my water?