Turtle Toe Porter

As the weather swings cooler, my tastes swing to darker beers–porters, stouts, and such. So, I found a clone recipe for Deschutes Black Butte Porter on the AHA website and made a few modifications for yeast (American ale instead of English ale) and hops (to use up on-hand varieties).

The name comes from a fossil specimen in the museum lab at the moment–it’s a ~67 million year old turtle from Wyoming, which unexpectedly had complete hands and feet. “Turtle Toe Porter” is a very alliterative title for a beer, so the name stuck!

beer label image, showing foot skeleton of turtle on left side, text saying "Turtle Toe Porter" on right side, and "Farke Brewing, Claremont, California" at the bottom.
(bone image from Williston’s 1925 Osteology of the Reptiles)

Turtle Toe Porter

  • 9.5 lb. California Select 2-row malt (Great Western)
  • 14 oz. chocolate wheat malt (Weyermann)
  • 10 oz. 80L crystal malt (Warminster)
  • 4 oz. carapils malt (Briess)
  • 0.75 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.1% alpha), 90 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 0.5 oz. Mt. Hood hop pellets (8.0% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. US-05 American ale yeast (DCL/Fermentis)

Target Parameters

  • 1.050 s.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.2% abv, 39 IBU, 30 SRM
  • Full volume mash at 152° for 60 minutes, with 10 minute mash-out at 168°
  • Claremont tap water, treated with Campden tablet


  • I mashed in with 7.5 gallons of water heated to 157°, to hit a target mash temperature of 152°. I added 5 mL of 88% lactic acid to bring down the mash pH. I recirculated the mash at this temperature for 60 minutes, before raising the mash to 168°. Then, I removed the grains and brought the runnings to a boil.
  • In total, I collected 6.4 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.044, for 69% mash efficiency.
  • I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and finings per the recipe. After a 90 minute boil, I turned off the heat and chilled to ~80°, before transferring to the fermenter. I chilled the wort the rest of the way in the fermentation chamber, before pitching the yeast.
  • I brewed this beer on 11 September 2021. Starting gravity was 1.051, and I fermented it at 66°.
  • On 18 September 2021, I pulled the beer out to ambient, around 70° to 72°, to finish out fermentation.
  • I kegged the beer on 24 September 2021. Final gravity was 1.014, which works out to 4.9% abv.


  • Appearance
    • Brilliantly clear, deep brown beer with garnet highlights, that pours with a decently persistent tan head.
  • Aroma
    • Roasty aroma of coffee and chocolate at the front. No significant hop or yeast character evident.
  • Flavor
    • Roasty and cocoa notes dominate, with a touch of dark caramel behind that. The base malt profile has a slightly grainy character. Bitterness is moderate and fairly clean, with perhaps a slight woody character.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium body, moderate carbonation, dry finish.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Yes! This is exactly the American porter that I wanted. It is flavorful, yet very drinkable. I like the roasted character in it, and it is a good beer to bridge the summer to fall transition. If brewed as a winter beer, I might add a bit more character by using Maris Otter, but that’s a fairly mild critique in the scheme of things.
  • Overall
    • 10/10

1 thought on “Turtle Toe Porter

  1. Pingback: What’s Brewing? October 2021 | Andy's Brewing Blog

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