Brown Porter (all-grain)

This is a recipe by Gordon Strong for a Brown Porter that he presented in his slides at an MDHB talk.  His American Pale Ale was excellent, so why not try another? The original recipe called for 3/4lb Chocolate malt, but I switched that out for 3/4lb Victory malt because 1) I didn’t want this beer to get too dark on me, and 2) Victory malt is awesome. I’m hoping this beer should be a malty, hearty, amber style with some good body.
  • 9 lb Marris Otter Malt
  • 1.75 lb UK Crystal 60 (or, Medium Crystal)
  • 1.5 lb Amber/Brown malt
  • 1 lb Munich Malt
  • 0.75 lb Victory Malt
  • 1 oz Fuggles hops (60 min)
  • 1 oz Fuggles hops (10 min)
  • WYeast 1968 London ESB

// BEGIN BEER-NERD INFO // 17.5 qt water @ 166F (1.25 qt/lb), settled at 156F mash. Mash for ~60min, added 2 gals of 200F water to bring to 162 for ~10min.  Sparge to collect 7.75 gal 1.042 pre-boil wort. Boil 90 minutes. Chill to 85, whirlpool for 5 minutes, pitch yeast (no starter). 5 gallons, 1.059 OG. // END BEER-NERD INFO //

The mash seemed reeeeally thick for some reason (when I dipped my thermometer in and then let go of it, it stood straight up on its own), but I hit my mash temperature spot on. Started fermenting just a few hours after pitching.

UPDATE: Racked to secondary after 6 days. Gravity read 1.015. Tastes great thus far – bold, nutty, toasty brown-ness and great body.  Initially I thought it was a little astringent coming out of the primary, (no doubt from mashing so many specialty grains that don’t need the full hour) but just prior to kegging it seemed to have smoothened out.  Kegged after 4 days in secondary, FG 1.014.

THE VERDICT:

I like this beer. The nose is great – malty, rich, and brown. By “brown” I mean a mix of every flavor that could encompass that color – toasty, nutty, bready; straight-up brown. To taste, when warmer, it seems to have great body, too. Once carbonated and chilled, it brought out a much drier and thinner mouthfeel though.  The overall “brown”-ness is still there, but just a little masked by the other elements. The bitterness could afford to be a little higher – maybe 1.5 oz or even 2 oz of at the start of the boil.  I think there are two potential paths forward with this beer. 1) Ramp up the hops into overdrive and make it a little more in-your-face; along the lines of Dogfish’s India Brown Ale, or Peak Organic’s Amber Ale. Not sure what kind of hops, but probably something on the slightly potent side and hopped fairly continuously throughout the boil. 2) Change the base-malt to a mix of Marris Otter and something else. I really liked the way the malts tasted in the Citra Pale Ale, which was a 50/50 mix of two base malts. So maybe 50/50 Marris Otter and Munich, for example. I have a feeling that would take the maltiness to the next level, and increase the implied body. Overall, I’m very happy with this, though. 7.2/10

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Filed under Stout / Porter

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