Monday, April 9, 2012

What I am Brewing: Kitsteiner Porter #4

Initially brewed 16 Sept 2011.
Updated article with photo: 9 April 2012.

My finished Porter #4!

Temporary Name: Porter Number 4
Finished Name: Still debating...

History of this beer:  Porter is a dark, rich traditional English ale.  First documented mention of porter was in 1721 as a beer that was popular with the street and river porters in London.  It was likely produced for dozens of years before this.  There developed two versions of this beer: regular porter and stout, or stronger, porter.  The name "stout porter" soon lost the second half of its name, and it is now known only as "stout".  For more on the very interesting history of this beer, check out these articles:
Wikipedia - Porter (beer)
Beeradvocate - What the hell is a porter?

Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs - Muntons Dried Plain Dark Malt, 3 lbs
  • 3 lbs - Muntons Dried Plain Light Malt, 3 lbs
  • 1 lb - Grains: Briess Black Malt
  • 1/2 lb - Grains: Simpson's Dark Crystal
  • 1/2 lb - Grains: Briess Chocolate Malt
  • 1/4 lb - Grains: Simpson's Coffee Malt
  • 6 oz - Hershey's Cocoa Unsweetened, Natural
  • 8 oz - Grandma's Original Molasses
  • 1.5 oz - Hops: Challenger Pellets (AA 7.0%), boiling hops
  • 1.0 oz - Hops: USA Fuggles, (AA 4.8%), finishing hops
  • Yeast - Nottingham Ale Yeast 11 gram package

Method:
  • Simmer crushed grains in 2 gallons of water at 160 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  • Remove grains.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Add malt extracts, cocoa, molasses, and boiling hops, and return to boil.
  • Boil for 60 minutes.
  • Add finishing hops for last 2 minutes of boil.
  • Strain into 5 gallon carboy with 2 gallons of cold water.
  • Top off for total of 5 gallons.
  • Add yeast when cool (below 75 degrees F).
  • Ferment, rack, prime with 3/4 cup corn sugar, bottle, age, drink!

Notes:
I actually wanted to use Wyeast London Ale yeast.  I had the carboy sitting on the counter cooling off for a few hours.  We went out for the afternoon.  Before bed, I prepared the yeast and then pitched it (added it to the carboy) without checking the temperature.  I then checked the temperature, and it was 88 degrees F.  Ughh!  Likely too hot for the yeast to survive.  But I thought I would give it some time to see.  Well, after about 18 hrs with no activity in the carboy, and with my paranoia rising that another life form would start to grow, I made up and pitched the Nottingham yeast.  Within about 6 hrs, there was good activity in the carboy, and within 12 hrs, there was substantial fermentation going.  Is this a mix of just a few rugged Wyeast yeast and mostly Nottingham, all Nottingham, or mostly Nottingham and whatever was starting to grow before I added the new yeast... I don't know.  But so far so good.

Two weeks after bottling: Very rich, soapy odor, medicinal aftertaste... is this batch ruined???

Five weeks after bottling: Still very rich, very flavorful, great head, no soapy odor or medicinal aftertaste. Deep flavor, slightly coffee and chocolate with some bitterness. Very smooth, but not creamy.


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