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Old 02-11-2013, 06:02 PM   #1
BrewChem
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Default Help with an AG Porter

This beer won it's category at the recent UMMO but, both judges said that it had a nutty profile but would benifit from more complexity and more malt character. One also said that it was slightly solventy on the nose. I'm looking for some input on how to tweak this recipe to address these comments:


Batch Size: 5.25 gallon
OG: 1.062
FG: 1.022
IBU: 26
AVB: 5.2%
Color: 21 SRM

Grains:
6.0 lbs UK Pale 2 row
2.0 lbs Munich 10L
1.5 lbs Crystal 60L
1.0 lbs Brown Malt
0.5 lbs Carapils
0.25 lbs Special B

Mash:
14 qt water + 1/2 tsp CaCl2
temp - 158F for 60 min
mashout - 170F for 10 min
fly sparge - 8 qts at 170F

Hops:
1.0 oz fuggles - 60 min
1.0 oz EKG - 30 min

Yeast:
1 pk Safale S-04
Fermented at 65-68 for 2 weeks


Going solely by the numbers, this gave ~90% efficiency... surprized me. I was thinking about maybe upping the Special B to 0.5 lbs because I couldn't taste any of its usual contribution. My water is from a well that has been passed through a standard softener and, other than ~20ppm sodium, is quite clean.

So... whaddya think..? Any suggestions about how to address the judges comments..?

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Old 02-11-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Solvent points to fermentation issues- S-04 is a finicky bastard- I'd really try to keep it cool while fermenting. With that high of an FG, 18% crystal + 15% "character malts," and all those ingredients I'm surprised you got dinged for lack of malt character. I can't see any changes *I* would make without grossly changing the character of this beer. Maybe try a different yeast like WLP005 or WLP006.

Maybe swap the pale 2-row for a higher kilned pale malt like Maris Otter?

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Old 02-11-2013, 07:14 PM   #3
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I like daksin's suggestion of using Maris Otter, might give it more depth. I know it's a polarizing yeast and I really dislike it in most beers, but I used Ringwood in a porter once and when it had aged about 6 months it was one of the most complex and delicious porters I've ever had. It was actually Northern Brewer's St. Paul Porter extract(!) recipe. Wish I had not drank them as quickly as I did!

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Old 02-11-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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I hear ya daksin... thought I'd gone overboard too. I do like the MO idea. I currently have a Southern English Brown that used MO for the base. It also used S-04 but I put it in a spot that's a steady 64F for the first week. Now that the krausen has fallen and things have calmed down, I've moved it to somewhere at ~68F or so. I'll see how that comes out.

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