London Porter - British Beerline

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Thurston Brewer, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    Next in my lineup will be a London Porter. My porter would be full and smooth, with caramel/toffee overtones and enough bitter for balance. Just a touch of sweet, with a light, herbal hop fragrance.

    London Porter

    Recipe Specs
    ----------------
    Batch Size (G): 3.0
    Total Grain (lb): 6.500
    Total Hops (oz): 1.00
    Original Gravity (OG): 1.056 (°P): 13.8
    Final Gravity (FG): 1.017 (°P): 4.3
    Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.17 %
    Colour (SRM): 23.5 (EBC): 46.3
    Bitterness (IBU): 23.5 (Tinseth)
    Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
    Boil Time (Minutes): 90

    Grain Bill
    ----------------
    5.000 lb United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale (76.92%)
    1.000 lb American - Caramel / Crystal 60L (15.38%)
    0.250 lb American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) (3.85%)
    0.250 lb American - Chocolate (3.85%)

    Hop Bill
    ----------------
    0.50 oz Whitbread Golding Pellet (6% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
    0.50 oz Whitbread Golding Pellet (6% Alpha) @ 10 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)

    Misc Bill
    ----------------
    0.03 oz Baking Soda @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
    0.01 oz Calcium Carbonate @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
    0.06 oz Calcium Chloride @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
    0.03 oz Epsom Salt (MgSO4) @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
    0.03 oz Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) @ 0 Minutes (Mash)

    Single step Infusion at 155°F for 60 Minutes.
    Fermented at 68°F with British Ale Yeast WLP005

    Notes
    ----------------
    Design:
    Round, medium body. Malty, caramel or toffee
    Mild bitterness. Slightly sweet. Herbal hop flavor.

    Process:
    Mash temp: 155 °F Mash pH: 5.4

    Recipe Generated with Brewer's Friend
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I'd add a bit of brown malt to the porter- it has the subtle roast and depth that I think really makes a great English porter, without an acrid burnt roast flavor. I'd take out the carapils and instead use a darker crystal- say an English crystal in the 80/90L range, for slight hints of almost toffee (but not quite that "burnt" toffee of darker crystal/caramel malts). Or go with 30L and 90L, in a mix, to have a slightly caramel flavor along with the hints of toffee. I'd keep the crystal at 13-15%, max, or a bit lower, instead of 18%.
    I'd also use baking soda instead of chalk for mash pH manipulation, since chalk doesn't dissolve well without extraneous measures (like bubbling CO2 through the water). I'd go with all calcium chloride, for the calcium, and and leave out the gypsum. I also like my porters with a mash pH of 5.5 or so, instead of lower. You defintely don't want the magnesium sulfate, but without knowing the actual water makeup it's hard to say for sure. All you really need for flavor is calcium chloride, and then the baking soda if you have to adjust the mash pH. Adding sulfate may not work with your goals on this beer, if I understand it right.
    I've not used Whitbread Golding (never even saw them!) so I can't comment on the hopping.
    A good porter sounds great right now!
     
  3. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    #3 Thurston Brewer, Nov 26, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
    Thanks for the very detailed suggestions, Yooper. I love getting this kind of feedback. Let's address the points individually:

    Excellent.. just what I'm looking for. Brown instead of the chocolate, or in addition to it?
    Also, my LHBS has 'Crisp Brown', Goldswaen Brown Malt, and Briess Carabrown. Which one would fit best?

    Again, very helpful guidance. I like using crystal instead of carapils since the latter doesn't help with flavor. As long as I can get the body and head retention from the crystal, I'm good.

    I'm using dead soft water, so all minerals must be added. I have been working from the Bru'n Water spreadsheet, using the Brown Full profile built-in:
    upload_2016-11-26_8-17-43.png

    I'm using mostly Baking Soda and just a bit of chalk which brings the calcium to just above the recommended level. Everything else is nailed pretty closely. The sulfate/chloride ratio (S/C) is shown as 0.83 (50/60 ppm). This works perfectly to bring the Mag. to the recommended 5 ppm. If I pull the Epsom, S/C would drop to 0.5 and Mag. to zero. Or I could pull the Gypsum and S/C would be 0.36, and that would leave a little room for more calcium from elsewhere...

    I have it set to mash at about 5.4.. I could bring that up a bit, but adding more baking soda would push my sodium above recommendations (I don't really want a salty porter) so I would have to increase the chalk to avoid that. My plan for chalk is to bottle it up in some carbonated water a week in advance to give it a chance to dissolve. That should work, shouldn't it?

    I've not used them either... LHBS lists them as 'WGV'. I wanted to stick to English varieties and what's available at LHBS. BYO describes WGV as "Quite pleasant and hoppy, moderately intense, slightly spicy." Thought I'd give them a try.

    So true - just in time for the indoor months!
     
  4. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Well, calcium carbonate should never be used in adjusting mash pH, and I think Martin's paid supporter version of his spreadsheet leaves that out (I can ask him if you want). Also, you don't ever need to add magnesium as malt supplies plenty. The only time you'd want to add magnesium if if you want to accentuate a dry, sort of "sour" but not quite, flavor like in an IPA for dryness (and in that case you'd want the sulfate as well). You probably don't want the sulfate, so I'd totally leave out the magnesium sulfate. Remember that the profile is not a "target" but instead a reasonable profile of water. You want calcium at 50-100 ppm generally to precipitate oxalates in the mash, but even that's not necessary for yeast health- it's just a great way to help avoid beerstone. Sodium can easily be higher- up to 150 ppm or something like that before it becomes discernable.

    The sulfate/chloride ratio is immaterial. in the newer versions of his bru'n water, I believe that is even left out. The reason is pretty simple- you want to look at the TOTAL amounts. What I mean is this- say you have 10 ppm of sulfate and 5 ppm of chloride. Thats a 2:1 ratio. If you have 300 ppm of sulfate and 150 ppm of chloride, that is also. But the first beer is going to be bland if you're looking for flavor from the additions, while the second beer will likely be undrinkable. In likening that to cooking, adding more salt doesn't counterbalance the pepper. A tablespoon of salt will be too much, no matter how much pepper you add. Remember that the brewing salts you add are for flavor- "seasonings" if you will. So always ignore the ratio and look at the raw numbers. And then think about WHY you are adding what you are adding. Why are you adding magnesium? If you don't know, consider leaving it out.

    You want chloride and calcium (supplied by calcium chloride), and enough baking soda to keep the mash pH at 5.5 or so. That's really all you need.

    As far as the brown malt, avoid anything with "cara" in front, as that is a crystal/caramel malt. I like Crisp brown malt- http://www.northernbrewer.com/crisp-brown-malt but there are probably other maltsters that are just as good. I'd probably go with a pale chocolate malt, if you can find one, in about 7% of the grainbill, with the brown malt around 10%. If you do the crystal malt at 10%, that would give you around 73% basemalt. I wouldn't want any less maris otter than 73%, as I think that's a good balance. I would definitely keep the chocolate (or pale chocolate) for the restrained roasty notes, and the brown malt will help pull that out with its toasty chocolate note.
     
  5. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    OK, here's the updated grain bill, apportioned by percentages, and using Pale Chocolate Malt (available at my LHBS :)):

    upload_2016-11-26_12-0-35.png

    ABV is unchanged, and SRM went from 23.5 to 26.1

    Now I'm gonna take your suggestions and make a stab at a reasonable 'target' profile to adjust to...
     
  6. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    So, if I go with 2.5 g Calcium Chloride (in 5 gals), and 1.875 g Sodium Bicarbonate (in 2.5 gals mash only), I have a mashing water profile thus:

    Ca: 49 ppm
    Mg: 0 ppm
    Na: 58 ppm
    SO4: 1 ppm
    Cl2: 86 ppm
    HCO3: 144 ppm

    providing an estimated mash pH of 5.50

    Seem reasonable?
     
  7. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I have my bru'nwater files on my other computer, but that seems like a pretty high HCO3 for only 7% pale chocolate malt. If it's correct (and the SRM looks fine), then yes, it seems ok. I like a little bit more calcium so maybe I would go ahead and add some gypsum to get the Ca above 50 ppm, but that is really splitting hairs now. I'm just weird about stuff like that, and I'd ignore me..................
     
  8. Thurston Brewer

    Thurston Brewer Active Member

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    The HCO3 all comes from the Baking Soda I added to get the mash pH up to 5.5. I'd need to remove some of the dark malt to bring that down. It's a London Porter, though, so I think it should be OK.

    I know there's zero chance I'll get exactly what I want in this first iteration - what I'm really looking for is the best guesstimate that I can use as a baseline. This will be revision A, and revisions B, C, etc. will be zooming in on the perfect porter.

    With your help, I feel pretty confident with the recipe now, so I'm gonna release it as is and set plans to brew it next weekend. It'll be ready in time for the Holidays!!

    Thanks for everything, Yooper... now go and have a home brew. Or perhaps another ;)
     
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