Too many times lately my Black ales have been getting a distinct porter edge to them after a few minutes in room temperature (which says something about my black ale!), so I wanted to actually try and make a porter, intentionally. The idea was to find a recipe for a porter and make it a bit more chocolaty, but I wasn’t really successful here – it came out with a clear coffee note, not chocolate. The recipe was taken and adapted from John Palmer’s book, How to Brew, based on his “Port O’ Palmer”. The problem was that I accidentally read the recipe wrong and used roasted barley instead of crystal malt, resulting in a more “stouty” porter…. I guess I should try it again, but with the right malts!
1000g Pale Malt
160g Roasted Barley
160g Chocolate Malt
50g Carafa Special III
5 litres of boiled Brita filtered London tap water, start temp before grains: 71°c, after grains addition: 65°c
Grains taken out and drained (+ squeezed) after 90 minutes total at 60°c.
Roughly 4.5l mash was left with 1062 gravity at 48°c.
6g Nottingham Gluten Free yeast dissolved in 500ml Brita filtered London water (23°c) and 5g dextrose
Left to activate from the start of the boil, about 2 hours.
4.5l mash water brought to an immediate boil on a very high flame and another 1L boiled Brita water added
60 minutes: 400g light spraymalt, 10g Target hops (9.89%)
40 minutes: 15g Saaz hops (3.1%)
0 minutes: Ice bath
Took 25 minutes to bring to 22°c, sieved. Gravity is 1110.
3.5L of the cooled wort was added to 3L Brita filtered London tap water and the yeast mix
Total of 7L with OG=1052 at 20°c.
Drinking while making
Bottling (2 weeks after brewing)
FG=1014 at 19°c, making it a 5.1% ABV beer.
Total of 7L, really black in colour with a distinct coffee aroma.
28g dextrose added for priming to achieve a CO2 volume of 1.8.
Black, opaque colour, with very creamy head when poured but doesn’t last long.
Strong coffee roast aroma with a burnt malty caramel note. Smells more like a stout than a porter (for what are, now, obvious reasons).
Tastes like coffee straight away, but not as creamy as I would like it to be (maybe add some oat flakes to this?). Not too bitter and very clear stout character.
Tasted again after it warmed up a bit – much better! The coffee flavours are rounder and the beer tastes fuller. Still not really a poster but not too bad to drink!