Olde Persica Porter 1.1

20170402_154913My homebrew club is serving at an upcoming regional festival, and I volunteered to provide a keg of beer. In order to highlight the stuff our group of brewers is doing, I figured something outside of the ordinary (i.e., a generic American IPA or whatever) would be best. What better than a smoked porter?

A few months back, I made a smoked porter that turned out pretty darned delicious (in fact, it was one of my favorite beers of 2016). So, it was an easy decision to bring that recipe back! Once again, I’m using the peachwood smoked malt from Copper Fox–it’s really delicious stuff. Try it out if you can! Otherwise, I made a few very small tweaks for ingredients–in particular, I made some minor adjustments to use up a half ounce of Willamette hop pellets, and I also used dry yeast instead of liquid because I didn’t quite have time this past week to spool up a starter.

Olde Persica Porter 1.1

  • 7 lbs. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
  • 3 lbs. peach wood smoked 2-row malt (Copper Fox Distillery)
  • 1 lb. 80° crystal malt
  • 1 lb. 40° crystal malt
  • 0.5 lb. black (patent) malt
  • 0.5 lb. chocolate malt
  • 2 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 0.8 oz. Willamette hop pellets (5.1% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Willamette hop pellets (4.1% alpha), 5 minute steep/whirlpool after flame-out
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • Safale American ale yeast (US-05), 1 package

Target Parameters

  • 1.065 o.g., 1.017 f.g., 6.3% abv, 37 IBU, 36 SRM, 5.5 gallons into the fermenter


  • I added 4.3 gallons of water at 172°, and let it cool until it hit 166.5°. This was a little below my target (I got distracted by some other tasks in the brewery), so the mash temperature only hit 154°. Thus, I added 1 quart of boiling water to hit 154.5°. The mash was only down to 153° after an hour.
  • After 60 minutes of mashing, I collected the first runnings and then added 4 gallons of water at 190°, to hit a mash out temperature of 169°. I let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
  • Altogether, I collected 6.25 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.052, for a mash efficiency of 69%. I’m not entirely sure why I was a bit below my target–maybe a volumetric issue when measuring out the mash and sparge water?
  • I brought the runnings to a boil, and added hops and other stuff per the schedule. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled the wort to 75°. Just to see if the whole Cascade hops would create enough of a filter to keep the pelletized gunk out, I left the hop pellets loose rather than bagging them or using my hop spider. That was a mistake! The kettle screen ended up clogged, and I only got about 4 gallons into the fermenter. This lessened volume is OK in my view, because past experience shows that we generally use only 2-3 gallons of a typical beer during a typical festival pour.
  • After transferring to the fermenter, I pitched the yeast. Starting gravity is 1.061. I will be fermenting at 67°.
  • This beer was brewed on 1 April 2017, with vigorous fermentation underway within less than 24 hours.
  • Update: Final gravity was 1.018 on 23 April 2017, which works out to 5.5% abv.