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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Why Special B?
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:30 PM   #1
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Default Why Special B In a Porter?

Howdy guys, I need a bit of help with a porter recipe.

I'm trying to come up with 6 beer styles that I like and want to have around most of the time. I'll have 2 all the time and "seasonalize" the other 4. Since I'm doing this I want to try and keep the recipes simple so I can one day buy in bulk....plus I like the KISS rule.

So, here is a recipe for a porter. It's the Santa Nevada Porter from howtobrew.com

Of the 6 recipes I've put together this is the most complex, which is fine since porters should be a bit complex but is there anything I can do to simplify it? The main thing that sticks out to me is special b but there might be more or it might be perfect and maybe I shouldn't mess with it.

Thanks guys! Any help is appreciated!

It's scaled down for 2.5 gallons

Grain:
3.5 lb. American 2-row
7 oz. British brown
4 oz. Belgian Special B
4 oz. British chocolate
7 oz. American crystal 60L

Hops:
0.25 oz. Galena (13% AA, 60 min.)
0.25 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA, 40 min.)
0.25 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA, 20 min.)

EDIT: I also might cut the Galena and just use strait Kent Goldings...

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Old 07-23-2007, 06:28 PM   #2
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A simple brown porter only needs pale malt + chocolate + crystal. If it was me I'd use a good English 2 row such as Crisp Marris Otter as a base malt as you wiill get more flavour/complexity then an American 2 row. You can't go wrong using only Goldings as hops.

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Old 07-23-2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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Right on thank you!

What percentages of chocolate and crystal are normal? And we're talking probobly crystal 60 right?

Yeah I've got a question about that....but maybe for another thread

Whats the real difference between American 2row and Marris Otter?

Just the way it's malted right?

You could "cheat" and use 2row plus something that would add flavor/complexity like Munich right?

Thanks again

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Old 07-23-2007, 07:06 PM   #4
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So, does this look better? It's deffinatly simpler...

Charlie Porter


Beer: Charlie Porter Style: Brown Porter
Type: All grain Size: 2.5 gallons
Color: 56 HCU (~24 SRM)
Bitterness: 28 IBU
OG: 1.047 FG: 1.012

Grain:
3.5 lb. American 2-row
4 oz. British chocolate
4 oz. American crystal 60L

Hops:
.5 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA, 60 min.)
.25 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA, 20 min.)
.25 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA, 10 min.)

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Old 07-23-2007, 07:07 PM   #5
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Marris Otter is just the name of a certain cultivar of barley. Who and how it is malted also affect the final product, but generally speaking MO is a maltier culitvar.

I think the special B is in affect adding that certain extra something. If you buy in bulk in the future you really can not go wrong IMHO with MO as your base malt.

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Old 07-23-2007, 07:22 PM   #6
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I've used Special B in porters, and the one I entered in the Dominion Cup came in 1st in its category if that says anything. I think Special B is basically a dark crystal malt, but it adds some slight raisiny taste if used in quantity. It's one of my go-to malts when making porters, even if I alter the rest of the recipe. I really like the quality it gives the beer.

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Old 07-23-2007, 07:33 PM   #7
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Huh right on...

Well, the goal of all of this is to perfect recipes for 6 styles that I like.

I guess I could always start out simple and build from there...maybe I'll give this simple porter a shot then next time add a bit of special b

Thanks Buford

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Old 07-23-2007, 07:50 PM   #8
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Smuttynose also uses Special B in their Robust Porter, which is one of my favorite commercial examples.

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Old 07-23-2007, 09:05 PM   #9
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I like special b a lot. It definitely adds a unique flavor to any beer. Also, Marris Otter would be good in a porter, but it's not great for some other styles of beer. Like, you can't pull off a german pils and probably not a hefeweizen with it and I doubt you could get a belgian to taste right... I'm sure there's others. So, if you are buying in bulk, keep that in mind.

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Old 07-25-2007, 02:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhornet
Right on thank you!

What percentages of chocolate and crystal are normal? And we're talking probobly crystal 60 right?

Yeah I've got a question about that....but maybe for another thread

Whats the real difference between American 2row and Marris Otter?

Just the way it's malted right?

You could "cheat" and use 2row plus something that would add flavor/complexity like Munich right?

Thanks again
~10% Crystal 60 would be fine
~4-5% Chocolate
British 2 row malt is malted differently then American. You could add Munich but that would not give you the same flavour profile. I would start simple and then make changes to tweak it how you would like. If you are serious about creating 6 different "house" beers I would highly recommend getting a copy of Ray Daniels book "Designing Great Beers"
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