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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Too many specialty grains?
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
Tantalus
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Default Too many specialty grains?

This is a recipe I wrote up for a Vanilla Brown Porter. Am I going overboard on the specialty grains? I'm getting closer to brew day and don't want to ruin a good batch.

Thanks!

Wyeast London Ale III - 1318
6.5 gallon pre-boil volume
5.5 gallon post-boil
Mashed at 152 for 60 min

Original Gravity: 1.05
Final Gravity: 1.014

Recipe:
6 lb Marris Otter Pale
1 lb Crystal 60L
1 lb American Victory
1 lb Flaked Oats
.5 lbs Special B
.5 lbs Chocolate Malt

1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50%] (60 min) Hops 14.7 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (15 min) Hops 8.1 IBU
(0.50 oz each if looking for IBU ~ 21.3)

2 Vanilla Beans, either:
- Extract made from soaking beans in grain alcohol
- Split, seeds scraped into and husk into secondary

Primary fermentation - 7 days - Start at 64 degrees ambient, let rise naturally to 68 degrees for 4 days, finish at 64 degrees for 3 days. Cold crash, keg, force carbonate.

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantalus View Post
This is a recipe I wrote up for a Vanilla Brown Porter. Am I going overboard on the specialty grains? I'm getting closer to brew day and don't want to ruin a good batch.

Thanks!

Wyeast London Ale III - 1318
6.5 gallon pre-boil volume
5.5 gallon post-boil
Mashed at 152 for 60 min

Original Gravity: 1.05
Final Gravity: 1.014

Recipe:
6 lb Marris Otter Pale
1 lb Crystal 60L
1 lb American Victory
1 lb Flaked Oats
.5 lbs Special B
.5 lbs Chocolate Malt

1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50%] (60 min) Hops 14.7 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (15 min) Hops 8.1 IBU
(0.50 oz each if looking for IBU ~ 21.3)

2 Vanilla Beans, either:
- Extract made from soaking beans in grain alcohol
- Split, seeds scraped into and husk into secondary

Primary fermentation - 7 days - Start at 64 degrees ambient, let rise naturally to 68 degrees for 4 days, finish at 64 degrees for 3 days. Cold crash, keg, force carbonate.
For a porter I don't think there are too many but if you are looking for suggestions I would change some of the percentages. My take would be to decrease the quantities of the Victory and crystals by about half of what is listed and add that 1.25 lb to the pale malt total. On the other hand I don't think a half pound of chocolate (5%) is going to make this beer dark enough for even a brown porter. I might try upping the chocolate to 3/4 lb.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #3
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Doesn't need the victory or special B. Too much flaked oats. Could probably do with a little more chocolate malt.

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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As said, I don't think this is out of line for a Porter (rather broad style definition), but I would double check the %'s versus grain bill recommendations for each grain. Maybe see a reference like Designing Great Beers and run through good brewing software like BrewSmith.

My personal preference is not to have a lot of specialty grains in any recipe (Porter or not) or a lot of different hops (which you don't in this case). It just "muddies" up the flavor for me so that the distinct characteristics of a given grain or hops are not clearly distinguishable, but hey its not my recipe. And, this recipe is certainly not excessive in that regards as some I have seen. If you like the added complexity then that is of course your call.

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #5
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I'm down with the Victory, but otherwise agree with the general assessment. I'd lose the Special B and cut the C-60 and oats by a third to a half. Bumping the chocolate or adding a couple ounces of roasted barley or black malt sounds good too, but now I suppose we are no longer talking about a brown porter...You can run that wonderful yeast a few degrees hotter if you want extra fruitiness. Wyeast's range is 64-74.

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Old 09-15-2012, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
Doesn't need the victory or special B. Too much flaked oats. Could probably do with a little more chocolate malt.
Definitely agree on the chocolate after having done some research. However, I based the flaked oats percentage on Lil Sparky's Nut Brown recipe, which gets great reviews, particularly for its silky mouthfeel (which is something I'm looking for). Is there any particular reason why oats in that volume might be problematic for this recipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingwood-kid View Post
I'm down with the Victory, but otherwise agree with the general assessment. I'd lose the Special B and cut the C-60 and oats by a third to a half. Bumping the chocolate or adding a couple ounces of roasted barley or black malt sounds good too, but now I suppose we are no longer talking about a brown porter...You can run that wonderful yeast a few degrees hotter if you want extra fruitiness. Wyeast's range is 64-74.
I was basing the yeast temperature profile on the British yeasts discussion thread. That seemed to be the right way to get a British-style malt expression without too much diacetyl or muddying of the malt flavors.

Is there experience that suggests I should run it hotter, and if so, for how long?

Thanks for all the great feedback guys!

By the way I'm thinking now that I'll ferment it open in a 6.5 gallon bucket.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:30 PM   #7
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I think it looks good.

Make it, taste it, tweak it.

I think everything about this recipe makes sense from a certain perspective. The above suggestions are probably more personal opinion because you will be able to enjoy that beer. If I were going to change anything I'd probably cut the victory malt by 50%.

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Old 09-17-2012, 01:50 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Tantalus;4415457]I was basing the yeast temperature profile on the British yeasts discussion thread. That seemed to be the right way to get a British-style malt expression without too much diacetyl or muddying of the malt flavors.

Is there experience that suggests I should run it hotter, and if so, for how long?
QUOTE]

The folks on that thread know that yeast much better than I do, so I'll yield to their collective wisdom. I fermented it at room temps in an IPA and it was very fruity, but great. Obviously it'll be cleaner at lower temps. Like everything else, it's about what you want.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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It's hard to nail the distinctive quality of a brown porter without brown malt. I'd ditch the oats and the special B, drop the victory to 4 oz and add 12-16 oz of brown malt. Could go up to 10 oz on the chocolate malt if you like.

Be careful with the vanilla beans, Id start with just one and see how it goes.

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