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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Caramel Porter
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:42 AM   #1
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Default Caramel Porter

I was thinking of making a caramel porter similar to Saranac's Caramel Porter. I want the taste of caramel to be noticeable.

The only problem is I don't know how much caramel to add or even if I can add caramel. I figure most of the caramel would be eaten up by the yeast. This would leave little caramel taste, similar to how very little of the taste of Belgian Candy Sugar makes it into a tripel. I also think most caramel has some fats in it that would mess up the head retention of the beer, though I'm willing to sacrifice head retention if I can get the flavor.

I was just curious if anyone knew how to get the taste of caramel into a beer. If so, how much or what kind of caramel should I add? Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 03-23-2008, 03:07 AM   #2
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Take about 8oz of granulated sugar and spread it out in a foil pan. Put it in a 350f oven for 20-30 minutes until it is liquid and the color you wish it to be(the darker the more flavor)just don't burn it, then let it cool and pop it out toss in boil pot. That is pure caramel

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Old 03-23-2008, 05:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewbeard
I was thinking of making a caramel porter similar to Saranac's Caramel Porter. I want the taste of caramel to be noticeable.

The only problem is I don't know how much caramel to add or even if I can add caramel. I figure most of the caramel would be eaten up by the yeast. This would leave little caramel taste, similar to how very little of the taste of Belgian Candy Sugar makes it into a tripel. I also think most caramel has some fats in it that would mess up the head retention of the beer, though I'm willing to sacrifice head retention if I can get the flavor.

I was just curious if anyone knew how to get the taste of caramel into a beer. If so, how much or what kind of caramel should I add? Thanks in advance for any help.
Why not just add a good amount of Caramel/Crystal Malt? If you check the Recipes/Ingredients posts, there's a sticky entitled "Ingredients Guides" with websites that have some fantastic descriptions of the different crystal/caramel malts and the tastes they add. In fact, I like to taste the malt I use if its the first time I use it. If you taste the caramel/crystal malt it really tastes caramel-y I think.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:35 AM   #4
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I find Crystal malts usually add sweetness and a hint of caramel taste, but not the candy sweet kind of caramel taste. Though, I've never used Caramel malts above 80L, so I don't know if those make a more pronounced caramel taste.

I'll switch out the 0.5 lb Caramel 60L in my recipe for 120L to get more caramel flavor. I'll still throw in the caramel per niquejim's instructions. Just one question, would pure caramel made by that method ferment at all or would all the caramel be retained in the beer?

Thanks for both of the responses.

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Old 12-10-2010, 02:04 PM   #5
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I emailed Saranac to ask about this, as this is one of my favorite beers. We'll see if I get a response.

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Old 02-13-2011, 10:44 PM   #6
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I emailed Saranac to ask about this, as this is one of my favorite beers. We'll see if I get a response.
Did you ever get a responce on this. It's one of my favorite beers as well and I was just in the process of devising a recipe. Though I wasn't going to add any caramel itself. I was going to use a lot of 120 and I was going to add special-b as well.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:28 AM   #7
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Probably a bit late for the OP, but homemade toffee/caramel is an easy way to get the flavor you're looking for. For simplicity, about 2 cup table sugar and 2-3 tbsp water, boiled until the sugar melts/carmelizes, takes about 20 mins and is almost completely fermentable, leaving a sweet toffee-like flavor. You can darken more or less depending on the flavor you're looking for. For extra flavor, I add a dash of salt and vanilla extract, and spray the cooling tray (foil) with cooking spray.

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Old 11-21-2014, 04:22 PM   #8
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gonna resurrect this thread hoping someone has had good luck with a Saranac Carmel Porter clone.

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Old 11-22-2014, 03:33 AM   #9
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Unrelated, but want to add to this thread for people who will inevitably google this later.

It's not the best idea to brew with real caramel. It's made with milk and butter, the fat content will kill your head retention.

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Old 11-22-2014, 03:49 AM   #10
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I've never had the Saranac beer but if I were trying to make such a beast I'd use appropriate amounts of base malt, chocolate malt, and patent to get the base beer down. Then I'd consider what I wanted from the crystal malt which if you want a sense of sweetness/sweet-caramel you're gonna want to go just a bit heavier than you usually do (along with adjusting the mash temp up 2-4 degrees to make the wort less fermentable).

Thus for the caramel I'd either use a combo of say 6 oz crystal 40 & 6 oz crystal 80 or 6 oz crystal 60 and 6 oz 90.

Then I'd probably cook up some homemade caramel-hard candy to a very light color as if you haven't done this it's easy to burn. Pour the finished boiling hot candy into a silicon tray for cooling. True caramel such as the small square ones from the store contains fat. What I mean by a caramel-hard candy is as described above with sugar and a little water.

Finally I'd add perhaps something between 1.5 - 3 tblsps of caramel flavoring available at most any grocer. Something like Watkin's brand 'Imitation Caramel Extract'.

Voila! Lots O Caramel! If i were going to eliminate one of the above it would be the homemade caramel. I think crystal malt and caramel extract/flavoring will get you where you want to go. I'm sure a touch of vanilla would play well here also.

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