Monday, February 27, 2012

Final Porter Measurements

I checked in on this beer over the weekend and I was somewhat displeased with where it finished off in the final gravity. This is obviously due to forgetting to aerate the wort with the aeration wand I have. I checked in brix and also verified with a hydrometer sample. It only came in at 1.020. Now, all that really means is that the beer will come in slightly on the sweeter side which is not a bad thing for a porter. It should still reach almost 5% abv if my calculations are correct.

I tasted the warm hydrometer sample and I was pleasantly surprised in the beer's flavor and character. It is very chocolaty. It has a bit of a roast character but not like the heavy roasts found in stouts. It's slight, maybe slight hints of caramel. The hop bitterness is there but the chocolate flavors seem to overpower it. The first taste test and the second reminded me of eating a chocolate snowball. Not too sweet but kind of a dull chocolate taste. I was hoping the hops would show through just a little more than they did here but overall I think I am pleased and his will not last long in this house being that Porter is a favorite of mine. I may brew this recipe again Friday and see if I aerate properly this time and maybe keep the yeast slightly warmer what the taste differences would be. My goal here is to enter this into a competition but I want to make some adjustments to it to see if I can perfect it a little bit. I will brew it once more with the same recipe but aerate and then brew it a 3rd time but this time taking the IBU's from 50 to say 70 or so. I want it to hit you with a little bitterness with the chocolate as I think they will blend well. I would say I am 75% of the way there in where I want this recipe.

On brewday Friday, look for pictures and some possible live blogging as I brew. I have a few other variables Friday. I have added a water filter to the brewery. I got a cheap in-line water filter from one of the big box stores and plumbed it up so I can use garden hose fittings on there. I have a drinking water marine hose and I need to get one more. I tasted the water out of the tap versus this filter yesterday and the difference was night and day. Chlorine is gone, harsh smells are gone. So my brewing water Friday will be a lot different for sure but in a good way. The other addition is a plate chiller. Still on the fence whether to break it in Friday or not. I may plumb it up but still place my immersion chiller into the kettle in the last 20 minutes as a backup in case I get a low flow or something. 

Next recipe to be brewed after I perfect this Porter will be either a Cream Ale or a Koelsch. I want to perfect one of those styles next to my tastes as spring is on its way and happy hours on the deck will commence. 


Ramsey Flynn said...

'Chocolaty' sounds good but I'm weirdly averse to any hint of 'sweet' in a beer. I'm curious about which recipes give beer a steely edge. IE: What is the common denominator between San Francisco's Anchor Steam and Germany's Beck's?

Chris Trompeter said...

Most of it has to do with the malts and how you mash. We shot for a low mash temp which shouldn't be too sweet. Typically mashing upwards of 158 or 159 degrees would produce a much maltier sweeter beer. Mashing lower near 150/149 would be a dryer beer. Then comes the yeast. The yeast will determine the relative sweetness or non-sweetness. I fermented at 59/60 degrees which produces a clean dry characteristic. I used the chocolate snowball example because typically it's not a syrup, it's a liquid. Think diet chocolate.