Posts Tagged 'bourbon'

PM#5 – Pork Chop Porter

A wise Englishman I know eschews food when out for a few drinks claiming “there’s a pork chop in every pint, mate!”. This brew is in honour of him.

This is my beer for supping over the Christmas period so I’m hoping for something with plenty of mouthfeel, good alcohol warmth and plenty of roastiness. The recipe is based on the Robust Porter contained in Jamil Zainasheff’s Brewing Classic Styles. For robust porters, Jamil recommends a 40/60 blend of lighter and darker roasted malts to give a balanced roastiness to the beer. For this 19 litre batch, that means 225g of black malt and 340g of chocolate malt. I’ve decided to use amber malt in place of his Munich as I liked the flavour when I used it in an English pale ale recently. I’m bittering with Northern Brewer because I have a full bag in the bottom of my fridge which is feeling very unloved. I’m also using two flavour additions of East Kent Goldings. US-05 yeast for a nice clean profile which will allow the malt flavours to shine.

Category: Robust Porter
Recipe Type: Partial Mash
Batch Size: 19 L
Volume Boiled: 12 L
Total Grain/Extract: 4.09 kg
Total Hops: 72.0 g

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Maris Otter Pale
  • 0.45 kg Crystal 40
  • 0.17 kg Amber Malt
  • 0.34 kg Chocolate Malt
  • 0.225 kg Black Malt
  • 1.1 kg Dry Light Extract
  • 1 kg Dry Light Extract
  • 30 g Northern Brewer (Whole, 8.00 %AA) boiled 60 min.
  • 21 g East Kent Goldings (Pellets, 6 %AA) boiled 15 min.
  • 21 g East Kent Goldings (Pellets, 6 %AA) boiled 1 min.
  • 0.5 ea. Whirlfloc Tablets (15 mins)
  • Yeast: Fermentis Safale US-05

Original Gravity: 1.065 (1.048 – 1.065)
Terminal Gravity: 1.015 (1.012 – 1.016)
Color: 29.63 °SRM (22.00 – 35.00 °SRM)
Bitterness: 37.9 IBU (25.00 – 50.00 IBU)
ABV: 6.6 % (4.80 – 6.50 %)

Notes
Targets (Brewing Classic Styles Robust Porter): OG: 1064, IBU: 37, SRM: 35

I did the mash for my first porter last night and I plan on doing the boil tonight. The wort smells and looks great but a few things are concerning me. I was using a new stainless steel steamer basket to protect the grain bag from scorching but I figured there wouldn’t be enough room in my smaller pot, which is around 10 litres. I hastily made the decision to do the mash in my 20 litre brewpot and use the full boil volume of water including an extra litre for grain absorption. So, that makes about 13 litres in total. Strike water was 72C and I used heat to bring back up to 68C. Mash for 1 hour, applying heat at the 30-minute mark to maintain the mash temperature. I also used an extra 30% (or 300g) of base malt to account for a no-sparge. I’m thinking now that I should have upped the specialty malts too. I gave the bag a decent squeeze too but I’d say there’s plenty of goodness left in the grain. I’m hoping it won’t be too lacking in flavour.

I’ve also been reading lately about the challenges of partial mashing dark beers, where the pH level can encourage tannins to be leached out of the grain husks. The wort doesn’t taste tannic or astringent at the moment so I hope there’s no problem there. I didn’t want to squeeze the grain bag too hard for this reason.

If I have problems with this I think the solution might be to steep the darker grains separately from the mash. But this is a bit of pullaver and I wanted to avoid that work this time around. I might also have to examine my water volumes and see how I can best accomplish a “dunk-sparge” after I finish mashing. I might try this for my next beer in any case, just to increase my efficiency.

13/10/2012 – Worried about the lack of sparge, I added an extra 100g of spraymalt in some vague and unscientific  attempt to hit my intended OG. As it turned out, I hit my OG following water top-up, but that was only with the extra base malt and spraymalt. Serious issues with efficiency obviously, but I’m happy enough with this one. Any worries I had about getting enough colour out of the roasted malts were unfounded. This thing is as black as soot. Pitched a good quantity of yeast slurry from the Leann Dearg and it was bubbling away within the hour. Excellent.

23/10/2012 – Bottled using 130g dextrose (actually Dunnes Stores glucose). Looks completely different from the Shamrock variety when it’s dry. Got a FG of 1.014. Had a quick taste from the trial jar and it’s quite promising given the beer is quite young. Lots of sweetness and very pleasant alcohol warmth, but not “hot” alcohol. Plenty of chocolate and roasted character coming through which should develop further as it bottle conditions. I got 32 bottles from the batch.

I also steeped 50ml of Jim Beam bourbon and soaked half a vanilla pod with the seeds scraped out. Steeped for 2 days, the aroma of the bourbon was intense!! I dosed 5 of the bottles as follows: 2 x 6ml, 2 x 8 ml, 1 x 10ml. I’m guessing the vanilla bourbon porter might take a little longer to age into something drinkable. I’d say it will be pretty potent in terms of alcohol, but I think the bourbon/vanilla flavour will go well with the porter. Will open this during the festive season, a nice winter warmer!

06/12/2012 – I was expecting this one to take quite a while to condition but it’s fantastic after only 6 weeks in the bottle. Amazing, in fact. There’s big sweetness and caramel up-front but balanced by a robust hop bitterness. The caramel then morphs into chocolate and coffee. The after-taste is burnt toast with more coffee and burnt toast on the burp. I can’t see myself changing the recipe much with this one. The proportion of chocolate to black malt is spot-on, as Jamil promised.

Although, I might try a dry English yeast as I think it would work well. I might also try using Munich malt (as specified in Jamil’s recipe), instead of the amber malt I used. I wonder what using roasted barley for the black patent would do? A keeper!

05/01/2013 – A “keeper” indeed. At the moment, I can’t even fathom changing this recipe in the slightest way. It’s just perfect. I’m currently sipping a bottle of the bourbon porter (and “sipping” is advisable with a beer like this) and it’s excellent. This is a bottle of the 8ml version. Even in the 6ml version there is a perceptible note of vanilla and bourbon. The 8ml version is sublime – there’s a serious hit of oak coming through from the bourbon and the vanilla is there in spades also. But the roasty porter is still the cominant flavour. If anything, the bourbon only accentuates the chocolate flavour of the beer. After doing the vanilla beer in this fashion, I can’t see the merit in batch aging the porter with the vanilla-infused bourbon. Dosing the bottle is definitely the way to go and I can see myself doing with with future brews. I’ll probably dose a few bottles of the Foreign Extra Stout I plan on doing in the near future. I think the extra alcohol and mouth-feel would work very well with the bourbon. After that, a Russian Imperial Stout!!

16/01/2013 – A fantastic recipe. Only three bottles of this left. Sweet, roasty, carmelly, bitter. Great head that lasts to the bottom of the glass.

03/03/2013 – Happy days! Pork Chop Porter scored 38 in the NHC competition. The beer was scored by Anil Godinho (professional beer taster with Diageo) and Liam Hanlon (formerly head brewer at O’Haras). Anil detected traces of “hexanoate”, whatever the hell that is! Comments from Anil included “great balance of flavour but slightly too much alcohol for style”, but he scored the beer highly on both “Technical Merit” and “Intangibles”. Liam Hanlon noted “Licorice, malt, caramel all there. Slight acetylaldehyde, very slight phenolic”. “Head retention is good, no clarity at all, colour is good”. “All the flavours required are here, but masked and knocked out of balance by the alcohol. There is too much alcohol for this style”. “Too warming, too much alcohol, otherwise this would have been very good”. “This beer may have been entered into the wrong category, tastes like at least 7.5% ABV”.


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