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Old 05-13-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
sd_tom
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Default Imperial Porter w/ lots of other stuff development

So locally there was a one off beer produced by a local brewery on contract from a beer bar in town (Hamilton's in SD). It was a "Imperial Chili Spiced Chocolate Milk Coffee Porter w/ Vanilla Bean". I had it on cask the other day and while I thought there was going to be so much going on that it would just be a bit mess; they had really made all the flavors work. It reminded me of speedway stout in a lot of ways. I've since searched found mole porter recipe over on BYO magazine and that has a lot of the same things going, with the description of the chili flavor unnoticeable until the aftertaste where there's just something lingering around.. pretty good.

The beer was also 11.5% , which sort of blows it out of the water for being a porter but oh well.. I figure this is one to get done and really enjoy in the fall/winter.

So shooting for something approximating this. I'm also wanting to try some of the Dark2 candi syrup here for grins since I'm limited to 20lb of grain with my rig anyway I'm going to have to be using sugar or DME to boost the alcohol (esp since I batch sparge).

So what I've got right now:


14 lbs Marris Otter (70%)
3 lbs Munich - I keep going back and forth on this, (15%)
1.5 lbs Crystal 40 (7.5%)
0.75 lb Chocolate (350L) (3.75%)
0.5 lb Pale Chocolate (215L) (2.5%)
0.25 lb Chocolate (450L) / or Black Patent (1.25%)
2 lb Dark2 Candi Sugar @ last 1/3 of primary fermentation

1.00 oz Nugget(13%AA) @ 60
1.00 oz Liberty(4.3%AA) @ 30

Mash @ 153F

Ferment at 64-66? - I've had bad experience with big beers and hot alcohol.. thinking slow(cold) and steady wins the race

WLP001 or US-05

Color Est: 43
IBU Est: 48.1



So variables left:
- Backing down to to 1lb Dark2 Candi Sugar, and leaning more on DME (only 9% as is anyway, so DME is coming regardless just haven't done an estimate yet)
- "Milk" - 0.75 lb Lactose @15.. although with a beer this big, I'm a little worried that there will already be a lot of residual sweetness? Then again with sugars + DME (highly fermentable) maybe it'll be ok.
- "Chocolate" - Cocoa Nibs in Secondary; Even though Chocolate was the strongest of the flavors, a bit hesitant with the cocoa powder so far but could be convinced. I've done jamil's hazelnut chocolate porter and was overall pleased with it, just thinking with the other things going on; nibs in secondary is enough.
- "Espresso" - thinking a packet or two of instant coffee or cold seeped coffee in secondary
- "Spiced" - from the BYO mole porter thing, making a tea out of ancho porters and pouring in to taste at bottling. Might also think about cayenne and/or chipotle.
- "Vanilla Bean" - 1 bean split in secondary

As I'm looking at this realizing this might be a good "split batch" opportunity of breaking all these secondary/tertiary additions into different bottling sessions to see how the individual flavors work as I haven't played with too many of these ingredients yet.

Comments? Suggestions?

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Old 05-13-2010, 03:21 PM   #2
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I think either 1 or 2 pounds of candi syrup would be fine in such a big complex beer.

I would add the lactose at bottling, that way you can add just the right amount based on how the beer tastes.

I like using cocoa powder, since it is lower fat than cocoa nibs (which killed the head retention when I used them). Make a paste with hot water and cocoa powder (makes it easier to dissolve) and add it to secondary.

I've had the best luck adding whole beans directly to the secondary for ~24 hours right before bottling.

Ancho works great, I had good luck blending them with guajillo (which is a bit hotter) in a cinnamon/vanilla/chocolate imperial stout I did a few months back. I did 1/2 a pepper of each (seed removed) in secondary for two weeks. It just has a gentle heat in the finish, capsaicin is alcohol soluable so you might need more if you are doing a tea with them.

Split batch sounds like a good plan with so many variables

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Old 05-14-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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Thanks those are some good tips. I'll update this with the final game plan and recipe here when I get going. Was thinking of doing it this weekend but work might get in the way

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