Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I am Brewing: Azorean Blackberry Porter

A previous Porter I brewed. One of my favorite styles of beer!
Name: Azorean Blackberry Porter

My goal with this beer was to make a dark, dessert style beer for the Winter months. It is bubbling along right now, the blackberries slowly giving up their flavor and aroma (I hope!) into the dark brown Porter. Should be perfect for a cold night on the island sitting in front of the fireplace listening to the wind howl and the waves crash outside.
Azorean Blackberries (Rubus hochstetterorum) from my backyard garden wall.
  • 6 lbs - Midwest Liquid Malt Extract Dark
  • 3.3 lbs - Midwest Liquid Malt Extract Gold
  • 1/2 lb - Grains: Caramel 120
  • 1/4 lb - Grains: Chocolate Malt
  • 1/4 lb - Grains: Black Malt
  • 1.5 oz - Hops: Tettnanger, US (AA 6.1%), boiling hops
  • 1.0 oz - Hops: Willamette (AA 6.4%), finishing hops
  • 3 lbs - Azorean Blackberries (previously frozen - picked from my garden)
  • Yeast - Safale S-04
  • Simmer crushed grains in 5 gallons of water at 155 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  • Remove grains from water
  • Add more water to bring total to 5 gallons (some water lost in heating/steeping time)
  • Bring to boil.
  • Add malt extracts and return to boil
  • Add boiling hops for 60 minutes
  • Add finishing hops at T-2 minutes
  • Transfer hot wort to 6.5 gallon brewing bucket containing thawed blackberries (the wort was just below boiling, so the blackberries were sterilized but not boiled)
  • Add yeast when completely cool (below 75 degrees F)
  • Rack off the fruit at 7 days
  • Allowed to settle for a day or two in a 5 gallon carboy - If the fermentation is still moving along, I may keep it in here for a while longer
  • Rack, prime with 3/4 cup corn sugar, bottle, age, drink!

  • I would loved to have used more blackberries, but that was all I had. The blackberry season is over here, so I will need to wait until next year for more berries... local ones at least. Ideally, I would have at least double that amount. Hopefully I didn't destroy all the flavor with the hot wort. Hopefully I won't lose the small amount of berry essence to the fermentation gasses, krause, or trub. No worries though!
  • Depending on the taste of this beer, in the future I may consider adding the fruit to the secondary instead. The alcohol and pH at that point will likely inhibit any wild yeasts and bacteria, so I may be a better flavor infusion from the blackberries. This experimenting is why homebrewing is so fun!