Update: Olde Persica Porter

My smoked porter has been in the primary fermenter for 13 days, coasting along at around 66°. So, I kegged it tonight. Final gravity was 1.016, down from 1.060, for 5.8% abv. The aroma and flavor are pretty darned delicious! The level of smokiness is just about perfect for my palate, too. Everything is carbonating and conditioning now at 40°.

Accretion Porter

My oatmeal stout is popular–and so it is just about all gone, thanks to the able efforts of many friends and family members. I do like to have a “dark beer” on tap at all times, though, so it’s time for another brew. I had thought about doing a “session porter,” but thought instead I’d use up a bunch of ingredients and go for something a little bigger instead. I haven’t done a robust porter in awhile, so that seemed like a good style to aim for.

In formulating this recipe, I had a two things in mind. Firstly, I wanted/needed to use up a bunch of ingredients. Secondly, I wanted a rich and complex brew. The intersection of these two sets brought in a ton of dark grains–pale chocolate malt, roasted barley, de-bittered black malt, and black patent malt, along with a healthy dose of honey malt and dark crystal malt to bring some rich caramel characteristics. I was okay with having a high percentage of ultra-dark grains, because I felt the beer would need some of that to balance out any sweetness from the honey and crystal malts. I elected to use WLP002 (English Ale yeast), because I had a culture of that in the fridge. Plus, I figured that would add a nice complex and fruity dimension to the beer.

Thus, Accretion Porter was born! The name references the geological process by which some landmasses are formed–successive addition of a random smattering of crust–that mimics the assembly of the grain bill.

Accretion Porter

  • 9.5 lbs. Maris Otter (pale malt)
  • 1 lb. honey malt
  • 0.75 lb. crystal dark malt (77°L, Crisp)
  • 0.5 lb. flaked barley
  • 7 oz. pale chocolate malt
  • 4.4 oz. roasted barley
  • 4 oz. de-bittered black malt
  • 2 oz. black (patent) malt
  • 0.84 oz. Northern Brewer hops pellets (9.9% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade hops (whole; est. 4% alpha), 30 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade hops (whole; est. 4% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss, 10 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. English ale yeast (White Labs WLP002), prepared in 1.5L starter.
  • A day in advance, prepared a 1.5L starter of the yeast, which I had cultured previously. Because I don’t know when I’ll next get a chance to use this strain, I elected not to overbuild the starter.
  • I mashed in with 4.5 gallons of water at 168.5°, to hit a mash temperature of 155.5°. After 50 minutes, I added 0.75 gallons of water at 200°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. I added another 3.5 gallons of water at 180°, which raised the mash bed to 165.5°. I let this sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the remainder of the wort. In total, this was 6.9 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.048, for 70% mash efficiency.
  • I brought the wort to a boil, and added the hops and Irish moss at the indicated schedule.
  • After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled the wort to 76°.
  • 5.1 gallons of wort went into the fermenter, with a starting gravity of 1.058. I am starting fermentation at ambient temperature (65°), and will move it into the fermentation chamber within 24 hours, for a fermentation temperature of 66°.
  • I brewed the beer on 19 March 2016.

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone Bottled

After 12 days in the secondary fermenter, I bottled the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone on Friday, September 26. The yeast had settled out the rest of the way quite nicely, with a thin and compacted cake at the bottom of the carboy.

I elected to bottle the entire batch of beer, rather than kegging. Thus, I measured out 3.2 oz. of priming sugar; with ~4.75 gallons of beer, this works out to around 2.1 volumes of CO2 for the batch. The end result was 18 12-oz. bottles, 14 18-oz. bottles, and 6 22-oz. bottles.

At bottling, final gravity was unchanged from the last check, at 1.016. With a starting gravity of 1.060, this translates to 5.8% abv.

Beer Update: Vaalbara Session IPA & Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone

Today was a bit of “housekeeping” with my two latest brews–one batch to bottle, one batch to transfer to the secondary fermenter.

Vaalbara Session IPA
After two weeks of dry-hopping, I was ready to bottle this batch. The final gravity was 1.011; with a starting gravity of 1.045, this works out to 4.6% abv. The flavor and aroma are both quite pleasant!

The final yield as two 5-L mini-kegs (each primed with 1.5 tbs corn sugar), 3 12-oz. bottles (primed with one carbonation drop each), and 2 22-oz. bottles (primed with two carbonation drops each). Given the small volume that was not kegged, I didn’t feel the desire to mess around with corn sugar.

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Clone
This beer has been in the primary for just over two weeks, so it was high time to move it to the secondary fermenter. The gravity is down to 1.016 from 1.060, or about 5.8% abv. Even better, it’s delicious! The beer has a nice roasty flavor (thank you, roasted barley!), black color, and is very definitely a “robust” porter. I’m going to let it sit in the secondary fermenter for at least two weeks, at around 66°.

In other news…
I tapped one of the Gondwana Pale Ale 1.1 mini-kegs. The beer is quite tasty, with well-balanced hops and malts, as well as a fantastic Citra hop aroma. The recipe is a keeper! If I have any minor complaint at the moment, it is that the carbonation is a little lower than I might like. I suspect this is because the keg has been kept cool (~66°), so a few more weeks of conditioning and carbonation are in order for the other keg.