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Old 04-22-2012, 02:30 PM   #1
kman42
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Default When to add coconut to porter with no secondary?

I'm brewing the all-grain Austin Homebrew Coconut Porter. The recipe says to add the coconut after 3-4 days in the secondary. I don't plan to use a secondary and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with adding coconut to the primary? I'm planning to add a pound of toasted coconut to a 5 gallon batch. Is a week long enough? Do I need to put it in a bag?

Thanks!

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Old 04-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
Desertups
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I just recently did a coconut porter. You can go ahead and dump it in the primary if you want. I did transfer to a secondary but I don't think it will matter. I had done this porter once before and used 1.5 # of toasted coconut. Second time around I used only 0.75# coconut and to be honest the coconut flavor was still huge so don't think you have to use a whole pound to get a really big coconut flavor. 1 week on it is plenty as well. If you are siphoning off, which I did, you don't need a bag. If you try using a bag, you're going to have a hard time getting a pound of coconut into the primary unless you are using a pail to ferment. If you are, go for it, will make clean up much easier. Just make sure the coconut gets good and soaked. Maybe put a sanitized weight in the bag. I use better bottles, so the whole bag thing is out for me and clean up is a bit of a pain. The end result is worth the trouble though. Delicious!

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 06-03-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
kman42
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This beer was a real pain the butt. I had some serious issues getting the coconut into the fermenter--I spent a good half hour banging the funnel on the top of the carboy trying to get the coconut to go in. It floated, so I shook the carboy periodically to get it mixed around, but this was probably unnecessary and bad for the fermentation.

Then the real trouble started. Since it floated, I tried to rack from under the layer of coconut and I thought it worked fine, but enough made it into the keg that the poppet clogged. I couldnt draw more than a 1/4 pint before the tap stopped flowing. So I had to figure out how to get it to another keg without making a foaming mess. I failed. I ended up putting a bag over the dip tube to filter out the coconut, but that required opening the keg and pulling up the tube to zip tie the bag around it. I starsan-ed my hands, but this was definitely not the most sanitary procedure. I then had to remove the poppets from the two kegs and connect them with a line to transfer the beer under pressure. It ended up taking an hour and I still had a foaming mess because the beer foamed out the top when the lid was off and then it foamed out the 'liquid out' when I was removing the poppet. Still, I'm convinced it was less of a mess than trying to siphon carbonated beer, the keg flows now, so that's a success.

The beer was mega-coconutty when I first tried it and I didn't like it at all. It has since mellowed considerably and the coconut is a nice subtle flavor throughout the sip and it lingers just long enough. The beer has a nice chocalatey backbone and great head. In the end, the beer is a keeper and I'll definitely brew it again now at I have learned a few hard lessons, but probably not for a while.

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