My journey of trying to make a decent porter has been long and fraught with way too many mistakes, notably the last time I tried making a porter and used a stout grain profile! The idea of making a chocolate porter came from my desire to have a dessert beer – how many times have you gotten to the end of a meal and just wanted a finishing beer: heavier, darker, roasted, chocolaty with a bit of coffee flavour – the perfect dessert. Many times the problem with chocolate porters (and the like) is how sweet they end up: too sweet to really taste like a beer, but not mine!
This Chocolate Porter is first and foremost a porter: dark roasted flavour, coffee hints and light bitterness. I used a cocoa slurry (pure cocoa) to give it a nice aromatic finish and you get just that: at the end of the sip there is a lingering chocolaty taste and aroma, but of bitter chocolate, not sweetened milk chocolate. I find this beer perfect at the end of the day or an afternoon where I feel like replacing a coffee for a beer.
1000g of Crushed Pale Malt (Marris Otter, UK, EBC: 4.5)
160g Crystal Malt
160g Chocolate Malt
50g Carafa Special 3
5 litres of boiled Brita filtered London tap water, start temp before grains: 75°c
Single stage, 90 minutes mash: 67°c at the start of the mash, 62°c at the end
Roughly 4.5 litres mash was left with 1062 gravity at 57°c.
6g Nottingham Gluten Free yeast dissolved in 500ml Brita filtered London water (29°c) with 5g dextrose
Left to activate from the start of the boil, about 2 hours.
4.5l mash water brought to an immediate boil with another 1l boiled Brita water added
60 minutes: 350g Light Spraymalt, 100g Dextrose, 10g Traget hops (9.89%)
40 minutes: 5g high alpha Saaz hops (3.1%), 15g low alpha Saaz hops (2.2%)
20 minutes: 10g Fuggles hops (3.91%)
0 minutes: in the ice bath, cocoa slurry (2 tbsp 100% cocoa powder in 200ml boiled Brita water)
Wort was a total of 3l with a gravity of 1120 at 24°c
3l of the cooled wort was added to 3.5l Brita filtered London tap water and the yeast mix
Total of 7l with OG=1060 at 21°c.
Drinking while making
Bottling (12 days after brewing)
FG=1018 at 18.5°c, making it a 5.63% ABV beer, IBU=49, EBC=79, SRM=40
Total of 7l
35g dextrose added for priming to achieve a CO2 volume of 2.0.
Black and opaque, practically no light penetrates. At the end of the pour a thin and creamy head appeared, but dissipated very quickly.
Out of the fridge:
Strong roasted aroma that is a bit thin on the nose. A slight note of coffee and green grass.
Nice full flavour of roasted malts which is actually much creamier than it appears with a delicate and surprising dark chocolate flavour.
There is some hoppy and fruity undertone, but it is not distinct enough to pin point what it is, maybe peach.
After 20 minutes, cool temperature:
Most of the aroma except the coffee roast has dissipated. The flavour is full and creamy but sweeter than before, stronger malt taste.
This chocolate porter is really nice but the thin aroma makes me wonder if my water profile is not the best. I used filtered water, changing the very hard London water to softer water that is better for lighter beers. I’d like to try to brew the same Chocolate Porter again but using hard water.