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!
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)
- 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.
- Brilliantly clear, deep brown beer with garnet highlights, that pours with a decently persistent tan head.
- Roasty aroma of coffee and chocolate at the front. No significant hop or yeast character evident.
- 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.
- 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.