Homebrew: Birthday Porter

Submitted by DM on Wed, 28/12/2011 - 17:30

A substantial porter that will be ready to drink for my wife's (it ends in a "0") birthday. She wanted it chocolatey.

Mash - 1 hour total - initial temperature 63°C rising to 67°C after 10 minutes, unfortunately reaching 75°C after a further 10 mins before being corrected to 67°C for the remainder of the mash.

4.0 Kg pale malt

510g crystal malt

300g Amber malt

300g Brown malt

300g Chocolate malt

30g treacle

20g Maple syrup

Boil - 1 hour 20 mins

Chinook hops (11.8% alpha acid): 10g at start of boil & 10g after 20mins.

Fuggles hops (4.2% alpha acid): 10g after 40mins, 12g after 50mins.

Final volume 22 litres & OG not measured. From the handy calculator this should give me 32 IBU & 4.5% alcohol roughly.

Yeast strain used: Safale us-05 dry ale yeast resurrected from my Chinook 58.

Verdict on bottling: Very black, viscous, big bodied, chocolatey beer. Very little hop character or bitterness. A thumbs-up from Mrs DM!

Verdict after 1 week: Still much as above but absolutley perfect clarity can be seen through the very dark beer. Mrs DM is not such a fan anymore now it's dried out a little & carbonated up. Shaping up nicely.

Verdict after 4 weeks: A little of the body has gone to make a drier beer, but still a big, full mouthfeel beer. Good roasted malt flavour & very smooth.

Partly - Mrs DM wants a "chocolatey creamy" porter so I've gone a little heavy handed on the Brown & Chocolate malts. The crystal was all that I had left in the cupboard, but I would have used more as 200g in 40 pints of pale ale is barely noticable & when I made Molasses Mild it had 1Kg of crystal in with no bad effects at all.

I find that crystal malt has a positive correlation with clarity in the final beer, but can't find any literature that supports this. Have you come across this?

I still have enough in my bag of pale malt for another strong brew - around 5.5Kg.