Monday, October 1, 2007

Homebrew Porter

On Saturday, I brewed the extract/specialty grain porter I mentioned earlier. This will be my last extract-only beer as I slowly creep towards all-grain. For now it'll just be mini-mashes, but I'm excited nonetheless. The recipe:

5.5+ lbs M&F Light DME (I added a little extra to bump up the gravity because I was a little light after the initial addition)
10 oz Crystal 60
8 oz Chocolate
5 oz Black Patent
.75 oz Nugget 11.6% 60 minute boil
.5 oz Willamette 4.3% AA 40 minute boil
.5 oz Willamette 4.3% AA 20 minute boil
.75 oz Willamette 4.3% AA 1 minute boil
1 tsp Irish Moss 15 minute boil
WL001 California Ale Yeast

OG predicted: 1.054
OG Actual: 1.050
IBU: about 50...

I was going to stick with 8 oz of Crystal, but the color calculations from beertools were coming in a little low, so I wanted to bump it up a bit. The aroma hop at the end wasn't in the recipe I found online, but after reading Ray Daniels' book Designing Great Beer (look for a review in a few days), I learned that aroma hops are fairly common in porters. I like hops, so I threw 'em in. The sample tasted great, considering it was just wort. Very hoppy...maybe too hoppy. If things don't balance out, it'll be a great tasting beer, but it would fail miserably in any AHA competitions! Not that I care since I'm not entering any AHA competitions, but it probably won't be a traditional tasting porter.

The original recipe I found called itself a Sierra Nevada Porter clone, but I don't know where they got it or how closely it actually resembled SN. I made a few changes to it so I wouldn't be copying it exactly, but I stuck with the California Ale yeast. This ferments a little cleaner than I would expect for a porter, but then again, it might actually be similar to SN. I made a starter on Wed., and woke it up on Saturday morning. Got some nice Krauesen in my clear growler before pitching.

After waking up, before any activity:

Activity begins:

Activity continues:

Ready to pitch:

Fermentation started around 7 hours and really took off over Saturday night. I had to take the airlock out Sunday morning and wasn't able to put it back in until after work on Monday. As of Tuesday around 6pm, it's still bubbling fairly regularly...about 2 bubbles every 5 seconds.

Bloopers: I had a tough 15 minutes after adding the DME. First, I missed the pot with a bit of the DME (probably why I came up short on my gravity reading) and poured it all over the stove. Then, I got out the vacuum to suck up some of the powder before it got wet and turned into sticky goo (this worked better than I expected, but I still had to clean the stove after I finished). As I was doing this, I turned around and the cord from the vacuum knocked a medium sized pyrex off the kitchen counter. We have tile floors in the kitchen. The pyrex proceeded to shatter all over the kitchen. Before I realized what happened, I stepped on a piece and got a small cut on the bottom of my foot. 15 minutes later, I was finally able to get back to brewing. Thankfully, things went much more smoothly after that.


No comments: