Brew Day - Anniversary Day Porter
It was Anniversary Day here in Auckland today so I got a day off which I decided to use to lay down a Robust Porter. One of my aims for this brewing year is to master 3 or 4 basic recipes which I can then tweak to create variations on a them. One of those styles is Porter - I want to master a basic porter so that I can then do variations such as Honey Porter, Chocolate Hazelnut Porter, Bourbon Porter etc.
Today's recipe was based on a recipe from the Brewing Network's Jamil Show. Jamil Zainasheff, John Plise and their guests have created some superb podcasts over the last couple of years - a great blend of goofball humour and reliable brewing knowledge. Anyway, this recipe is similar to Jamil's Black Widow Porter, but obviously I had to substitute the hops with varieties I could get locally.
The recipe is:
4kg Pale Ale malt (I used up the last of my Maris Otter, plus a bit of Golden Promise)
550g Medium Crystal (60L) malt
550g Munich Malt
350g Chocolate Malt
200g Black Patent Malt
40g NZ Fuggles @ 60 mins
40g NZ Styrian Goldings @ 15 mins
20g NZ Styrian Goldings @ flameout
This was the first time I'd done an all-grain brew of a dark beer and the mash looked amazing - see the photo below:
BeerSmith software) must have been slightly off, however, as I ended up with more wort than I expect (30 litres as opposed to 28 litres) and the specific gravity was a bit lower than my target. I made an on-the-spot decision to increase my boil time to 75 minutes from 60 minutes in the hope that the extra evaporation would bring the volume down and the SG up. So into the pots it went (I'm still using the two-pot stovetop boil method as I haven't got round to converting my old keg into a kettle):
I then rehydrated a sachet of Safale S-04 dried yeast as I didn't have a suitable liquid yeast to hand. That was pitched and the fermenter is now sat in the temperature-controlled fridge at 19 degrees. I'll inspect it in the morning for signs of activity.
All in all a good day's brewing, and if the look (and taste!) of the unfermented wort are anything to go by, this will be a good beer!