Posts Tagged 'raspberries'

#AG21 – Pork Chop Porter


It’s that time of year again – time to get Pork Chop Porter on! This recipe did very well in last years competition, and so I’m doing nothing to it except changing the yeast strain back to an American ale yeast, instead of the less attenuative English strain. As good as last years attempt was, I thought the previous years was nicer and more drinkable.

This year I’ll be getting creative, post-fermentation. I’m planning on racking different portions of the beer into demi-johns for some creative flavour additions. One gallon is going to be aged on raspberries (fresh or frozen, I’m not sure yet). Another gallon will be aged on oak chips and bottled with a little vanilla-infused bourbon. And another gallon will end up as some some of spiced beer. I’m not sure about this one yet – might be vanilla or chipotle chilies. And of course, I’ll be bottling some plain porter too.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 26.40 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.40 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.068 SG
Estimated Color: 76.0 EBC
Estimated IBU: 41.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 71.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


5.800 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 82.9 %
0.450 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (78.8 EBC), 6.4 %
0.350 kg Chocolate Malt (886.5 EBC), 5.0 %
0.225 kg Black (Patent) Malt (985.0 EBC), 3.2 %
0.175 kg Amber Malt (43.3 EBC), 2.5 %
26 g Northern Brewer [9.70 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 32.2 IBUs
25 g Goldings, East Kent [6.00 %] – Boil 15.0, 5.6 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
25 g Goldings, East Kent [6.00 %] – Boil 1.0 min, 3.5 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) (400ml yeast slurry from Mulligan’s Irish Red)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 7.000 kg
Mash In           Add 19.60 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 14.31l) of 77.0 C water

12/10/2014 Brew Day – Mash temperature was a good bit lower than I wanted at 64.5C, so I did a 90 minute mash to ensure good conversion. In screwing around trying to correct the mash temperature I might have added too much mash/sparge water and ended up with a larger pre-boil volume than intended. Took a pre-boil gravity reading though, and all seemed fine. Boil was uneventful, all additions made at the correct times. Was a bit worried about the rate of boil-off though, and had both elements on, furiously boiling down the wort. Again, my post-boil volume was only barely over 23 litres, so I wasn’t concerned. My OG came in at 1.060, which is disappointingly low. I need to watch my volumes more, I think. I also need to tighten my grain mill a little bit and I’m not sure my crush is fine enough and may be losing a lot of efficiency as a result.

01/11/2014 – The porter has been sitting in the fermenter a couple of days longer than I intended, but tonight I set about splitting the batch of beer and bottling and adding various flavourings. I bottled 10 bottles of plain porter. Laziness got the better of me though, and I ended up using carb drops instead of batch priming. However, I did 5 bottles with 1 carb drop, which I’m expecting to be under-carbed, going on past experience. I also did 5 bottles with 2 carb drops per bottle, which will obviously give a livelier carbonation, but might end up being too lively. At least I have some insurance with the other 5 bottles.

I racked 4.5l onto 350g of thawed frozen raspberries from M&S. The raspberries tasted lovely. I squashed them to a puree as they went through the funnel into the demijohn. This batch was refermenting within a couple of hours. Might be difficult to separate this beer from the fruit debris and might involve a secondary, as I did with my berry cider some months back

I also racked 4.75l to a demi-john and added 11g of sanitised, American, medium-toast oak chips. The chips were sanitised in a steamer beforehand. My experience with oak chips in the Trade Winds Imperial Stout has shown that it’s best to tread carefully with the oak. The stout ended up tasting very astringent, possibly due to the oak chips not being sanitised first. I suspect the steaming process draws some of the harsher flavours out of the oak before it goes into the beer.

Finally, I racked 4.5l onto 250g of coconut flakes. 200g were toasted lightly in the oven and 50g were left untoasted. This batch might give me some difficulty when siphoning due to the tiny, broken coconut flakes.

The batches look mad sitting side by side. Not like beer at all, yet looking very tasty. more like dessert than beer! I’m not sure yet how long I’m going to leave the beers on the flavourings, more research needed, but I’d say the raspberry batch will be in the fermenter the longest as I want to make sure the sugars in the fruit are fully fermented out.

12/11/2014 – I was all geared up for a mammoth bottling session of my flaovured porters, not expecting that one of the worst disasters of my home brewing career was right around the corner. The oak batch was a breeze and got 8 bottles from that batch. The coconut was a complete diaster, however. The bits of coconut blocked the siphon as I feared it would. I got one bottle done before putting the bung back in the demi-john to deal with on another day. The raspberry was looking to be the same pain in the arse – i had to restarter the siphon a couple of times. But I eventually got seven bottles done. To further add to my woes, I had taken samples of all three beers and all extremely disappointing – the oaked version was completely over-oaked. The raspberry porter was far too acidic, with the porter flavour struggling against the fruit. The coconut had an impressive whack of coconut off it, but far too much. Again, I struggled to taste the porter behind all that coconut. I’m not sure what to do with the rest of the coconut porter now – it’s probably not worth the inevitable hassle that I would have trying to bottle it. Some important lessons learned with this one – tread more carefully with these flavourings and use muslin bags to contain the mess!

19/11/2014 – Got around to bottling the coconut batch. It is surely the most disastrous batch of beer I’ve ever done. Nothing good can come of this. I knew trying to siphon this again was doomed to failure, so I figured it was either a case of dumping the batch or dispensing with brewing best practice. What’s the worst that could happen? So I ended up straining the beer through a sanitiised muslin hop bag into a 5l fermenter. Looked pretty clear and free from coconut debris, so I was happy enough. I figured there was no point in siphoning into bottles at this stage – after all, I just want a finished beer now so that I can get a sense of the level of coconut required if I ever do a coconut beer again. (Which at the moment, is highly unlikely..) So I just poured through a funnel, then carbed with 1.5 carb drops and put the caps on. After the bottles had settled a few hours later I noticed that a load of oily scum had risen to the top of the bottles! An absolute disaster, but a few lessons learned.

03/01/2015 – Time to do a long overdue update on these beers. The base porter is tasting really good, though perhaps not as good as previous attempts. The raspberry version was vile on the first couple of tastes, far too acidic. Great raspberry flavour but not showing enough porter flavour. But it has started to grow on me, I have to say. Not sure if it’s competition standard though. The coconut version is cursed with a layer of white scum around the top of the bottle, but actually tastes decent. Far too heavy on the coconut flavour though, and masks the porter flavours once again. The oaked version has completely failed to carbonate, as of this writing, but I’m trying to rescue it. A noble experiment, but overall, a disappointing result. Especially given the amount of planning, work and expectation involved.

12/01/2015 – after taking the oak-aged porter into the house again for a couple of weeks, it’s actually carbonated. Carbonation level isn’t great though. Flavour-wise, it’s not bad, but not as good as the oaked Winterfell.

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