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Old 11-13-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
BasedBiff
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Default Semi-new to brewing, looking for some help

Hi All,

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

I have been involved with homebrewing for several months now, and have had the pleasure of brewing 4 batches in that time with a friend who has far more experience than I do.

We have made a double IPA, a chocolate milk stout, a surly furious clone, and the White House's Honey Ale. All been a lot of fun, taste is almost there (primary sits at about 1-2 degrees higher than it should)

Anyways!

We are looking to make a vanilla porter(or stout), and my friend has tasked me with getting a recipe together. I've had many stouts and porters in my lifetime, and I know what flavor(s) I want to hone in on. I need your help in guiding me given the layman descriptions I'm about to provide:

First, I'm looking for a porter that is CRISP. I've had many a porter that felt like I was drinking down some molasses and syrup - which many like - but I prefer a crisper bite upon initial tasting.

Second, I want it to have a dark, nearly black coffee flavor on the bottom end.

Third, I want the vanilla to be present, but just barely so. I've read about using either beans in the secondary or adding in vanilla extract...given the light vanilla flavor I'm seeking, which would be the better route?

Thanks all, and I'm excited to join this community of experts...Eventually I will know what I am doing. Until then, my novice brain looks forward to any input.

Edit:

I want to be sure that folks know I'm not asking for them to make my recipe for me. I'm mainly just looking for a few tips folks have run into from experience.

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Old 11-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
bobbrews
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Originally Posted by BasedBiff View Post
First, I'm looking for a porter that is CRISP. I've had many a porter that felt like I was drinking down some molasses and syrup - which many like - but I prefer a crisper bite upon initial tasting.
You probably want a lower FG than usual. I would shoot for 1.011-1.015 for a target range according to your palate. Also, limit the amount of cara- malts, oats, and other fluffy fillers that add to a full mouthfeel and/or a caramelly flavor. Some hop bite will also lessen that full, sweetness. The water profile also matters very much, so do your research.

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Originally Posted by BasedBiff View Post
Second, I want it to have a dark, nearly black coffee flavor on the bottom end.
Use roasted barley. This will help with coffee notes and black color. I would use this in tandem with chocolate malt for a porter. Each of these are typically used in concentrations of 2-6% for the style I would say. Black patent is another option, but it can add a burnt acrid bitterness in higher concentrations.

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Originally Posted by BasedBiff View Post
Third, I want the vanilla to be present, but just barely so. I've read about using either beans in the secondary or adding in vanilla extract...given the light vanilla flavor I'm seeking, which would be the better route?
I would make a Rum tincture with 2 split vanilla beans and add it to the secondary (5 gal).
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
BasedBiff
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Thank you for your input!

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