For Richer or for Porter

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by jmcnamara, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    hey everyone,
    I was hoping to get some help with a wedding beer that my fiance and I are making. The recipe below was from the trial run, a roughly 4 gallon batch. We think it ended up quite a bit roastier than we were wanting. I think dropping the carafa a bit and maybe upping the 2Row might help. I did throw all the grain into the mash at the same time, and was also thinking of holding the darker grains back until when i'm sparging.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    Fermentables
    Amount Fermentable Bill %
    3 lb American - Pale 2-Row 41.4%
    1.75 lb United Kingdom - Mild 24.1%
    1.5 lb United Kingdom - Amber 20.7%
    1 lb German - Carafa I 13.8%
    7.25 lb Total
    Hops
    Amount Variety AA Time IBU
    0.2 oz Columbus 15.6 90 min 17.21
    0.5 oz Northern Brewer 6 75 min 16.16
    0.5 oz Northern Brewer 6 60 min 15.47
    Mash Guidelines
    Amount Description Type Temp Time
    2.5 gal Infusion 154 F 90 min
    Other Ingredients
    Amount Name Time
    0.5 lb Chocolate powder Boil 5 min
    Yeast
    White Labs - English Ale Yeast WLP002
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    your amber also gives off a roasted flavor, cut that back or replace with crystal and that will go away
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Capping - reserving the dark grain until sparging - will cut some harsh bitterness from the final product. It's become my go-to method for adding dark grains to my beer. Just a general principle of mine - when I'm producing a regional beer, I go with regional ingredients unless I have a good reason not to. I love the flavors Carafa produce, burnt toast and raisins, but for a Porter would go with an English black or chocolate, likely just enough black to color the beer since you're already adding chocolate. Your chocolate powder is fat-free, I hope, otherwise you could run into head retention problems. Try going to a spice shop and tasting the cocoas, all of which are fat-free, and finding one that tastes like chocolate to avoid that problem. Or go with the cocoa of your choice and add a bit of vanilla to get a chocolate flavor. Also, you don't get much additional utilization from boiling the hops 90 mins, you can get some harshness or vegetal flavors from the long boil. I'd cut back to 60 minutes or less or even consider first-wort hopping, although that's not a traditional English process.

    Suggestions only - your recipe should work fine as written. Let us know how it turns out!
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the advice!
    I generally don't care about using "authentic" regional ingredients, but i think we'll be dropping the carafa for this one.
    I never even considered getting the fat-free kind. now that you mention it, the head did kind of go away quickly, and what bubbles there were seemed to have some sediment on them. I figured the sediment was from not doing a secondary.
    The original recipe that i co-opted had the 90-min boil, I usually do 60 min too. I'll have to look back into why it was written that way.
    as far as capping, do you literally put in the grain right before you sparge, or do you mash it for x minutes before sparging? or, like pretty much everything else, is it up to individual taste and experimentation?
    Thanks again!
     
  5. Cian

    Cian New Member

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    If you're worried about your grains the only thing I know about porters is that you use black patent or black malt instead of roasted barley, which is for stouts.
     
  6. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    any idea what stores carry this? I'm in Maryland, USA, and in a pretty urban area so i'd have access to a lot of regular, ethnic, and specialty stores.
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd check spice shops - here we have Savory Spice or Penzey's. Most of these will have more than one type of cocoa so you can choose what effect you'd like. They may also have multiple vanillas.
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    1 lb United Kingdom - Amber
    .5 lb German - Carafa I

    this should work fine
     
  9. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    so we brewed this yesterday. turns out there's a Penzey's right near my work. They didn't have any fat free cocoa, but I ended up getting their hot chocolate mix since it had the lowest amount of fat in it.

    we added about a lb of carapils to hopefully combat the fat in the mix. we also capped with the Carafa. it definitely seemed to be a smoother roasty smell then before, but i may be totally imagining that.

    It was bubbling like crazy when i checked it this morning.

    Thanks for all the input! now if we can just figure out what to do for the label...
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Hot chocolate mix - there's an interesting ingredient but hey, I know a brewer who threw ham glaze into his beer with no ill effect, aside from some very judicious heckling....
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    As to a name, something with "Swiss Miss" comes to mind.... ;-)
     
  12. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Oh, we've already got the name, it's the name of this thread. That and we're doing a Wit Wedding. we're trying to stay close to some sort of wedding theme for them both.

    and i picked the hot chocolate because the lady said it also had some vanilla in it. didn't even think to check for any preservatives, but the yeast seem to be happy enough right now.

    I also spent another 20 minutes just walking around and sniffing different things, I definitely got some ideas for future test batches...
     
  13. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    I remember that thread (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=296). Chessking hasn't been back for a long time. Hope it wasn't the glaze.... :?
     
  14. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    thought i'd give an update. we racked to secondary last weekend. the sample i took definitely had a more restrained roastiness than the first batch. +1 on the capping. the fiance liked it, so i guess we're doing something right :D

    swmbo is out of town this weekend, but we're hoping to bottle it soon.

    now it's onto the Wit...
     

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