California Vanilla Porter

California Vanilla Porter

  • 5 lbs. US pale malt (2 row)
  • 5 lbs. Maris Otter pale malt
  • 1 lbs 60° crystal malt
  • 1 lbs. Vienna malt
  • 0.75 lb. chocolate malt
  • 0.5 lb. carapils malt
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (60 minutes bittering)
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (30 minutes bittering)
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (15 minutes boil)
  • 1 pkg. Danstar Nottingham yeast
  • 4 Madagascar vanilla beans (cut up and soaked in a 2 ounces of vodka), added to the secondary

Steps

  • I added a tablespoon of 5.2 pH stabilizer to the grist prior to mashing in, to help counteract previously suspected pH problems.
  • Mash in with 16.8 quarts of water at 170°. This resulted in a mash that stabilized at 153° within 10 minutes. The temperature was down to 152° by 30 minutes, and 151° by 60 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 0.5 gallons of water at 170°, and collected the first runnings. The gravity from these was 1.074 (at 60°).
  • I then added 3 gallons of water at 170°, stirred the mash, and let it sit for 10 minutes. I collected the rest of the wort for a total starting volume (pre-boil) of 6.25 gallons. The gravity at the start of the boil was 1.052 (at 60°), indicating a mash efficiency of around 70%.
  • I started the boil, adding 1 oz. of whole Cascade hops. After 30 minutes, I added an additional ounce of whole Cascade hops. For the final 15 minutes, I added 1 tsp. of Irish moss.
  • I cooled the wort down to 78° using my cooling coil, which took ~25 minutes.
  • I pitched the rehydrated yeast. Fermentation had visibly started within 12 hours.
  • Starting gravity was 1.064 at 60°; approximately 4.85 gallons of wort were in the fermenter.
Notes
  • I plan to add the vanilla to the secondary fermenter.
  • This is the first all-grain batch for which I feel like things went fairly smoothly–finally a decent mash efficiency (I suspect I fixed a lingering pH issue), and a good batch of wort at the end.
  • This beer was brewed on Saturday, March 15.
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