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Old 11-25-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
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Default Walker's Holy Grail Porter


Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 1028 - London Ale
Yeast Starter: nope
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.055
Final Gravity: I don't bother checking
IBU: 38
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 38 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 10 days @ 70*F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 3 weeks @ 70*F
Tasting Notes: took me forever to get this right. the molasses is the key!

See notes at the bottom for an extract version

Grain Bill
  • 9.00 lb 2-row
  • 1.00 lb Crystal 60L
  • 0.75 lb Carafa II (or Chocolate)
  • 0.25 lb Black Patent
head retention isn't that great on this one. add one of the following if you want:
0.5# Carapils or Wheat
Misc Ingredients
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup Black Strap Molasses - this is the secret ingredient that makes or breaks this beer, IMO
Hop Schedule
  • 1.50 oz EK Goldings @ 60 minutes
  • 0.75 oz Fuggles @ 20 minutes
  • 0.50 oz EK Goldings @ 5 minutes
Mash/Sparge
  • 60 minute mash @ 154*F to 156*F w/ 3.5 gallons of water
  • mash-out @ 200*F w/ 1.5 gallons of water
  • batch sparge @ 170*F w/ 3.25 gallons of water
Yeast
  • 1 large smack-pack of Wyeast 1028 - London Ale
Notes

Boil for 1 hour, cool to below 80*F rapidly, transfer into fermenter, shake it like mad to aerate, and pitch yeast.

I end up with 5.5 gallons of cooled wort in the kettle at roughly 1.055OG. Only 5 gallons makes it into the fermenter due to hop absorption and kettle deadspace.

Ferment in primary until done, rack to secondary for 2 or 3 weeks, transfer to keg and force carbonate at about 12psi.

Extract Version
  • Replace the 9lbs of 2-row with 6lbs of light DME.
  • Steep the other grains for 45 minutes in 150*F water, then rinse into kettle before bringing to a boil and adding DME.
  • Yeast and fermentation schedule are the same.

History


It took me a loooooong time to get this recipe dialed in to where I wanted it. The missing key was the molasses. Once that was put into the recipe, I was finally satisfied.

This really doesn't nicely fit into the "Brown" or "Robust" Porter categories. It's right about in the middle.

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Old 11-26-2009, 01:31 AM   #2
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Looks good, is molassas a late wort addition or at the start of the boil? When you use smack packs do you make a starter also? I haven't been and I get fermentation usually in about 11-20 hours depending on temp. What temp do you ferment this at?

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Old 11-26-2009, 01:34 AM   #3
Walker
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I put the molasses in right away (if I remember). Else, it gets added near the end when I notice the bottle sitting on the table still.

I used to make starters with the smack packs back when they were smaller. With the large smack packs, I've found that it isn't necessary for most beers.

This one can ferment at room temp. I have a temp controlled fridge and set it around 65*F.

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Old 11-26-2009, 01:36 AM   #4
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One more thing... I've done this with "regular" (not black strap) mollasses, too. The current batch used regular. Results are better with the black strap because less of it is fermentable, so it leaves more flavor behind.

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Old 01-11-2010, 01:49 PM   #5
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latest batch had the following tweaks:

Grain Bill

  • 8.00 lb 2-row
  • 1.00 lb Crystal 60L
  • 0.75 lb Carafa (or Chocolate)
  • 0.25 lb Black Patent
  • 0.50 lb Red Wheat Malt (want some head retention)
  • 0.50 lb DME (added this unnecessarily because I thought my gravity was too low - I goofed my reading)
I also had much greater efficiency than normal (81% rather than 74%). That combined with the DME I didn't really need to put in gave me an OG of 1.064 (slightly overshooting the 1.055 target.)
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Default Mmmmm... good!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
latest batch had the following tweaks:

Grain Bill[LIST][*]8.00 lb 2-row[*]1.00 lb Crystal 60L[*]0.75 lb Carafa (or Chocolate)[*]0.25 lb Black Patent[*]0.50 lb Red Wheat Malt (want some head retention)[*][COLOR=Red][B]0.50 lb DME
Just enjoyed a bottle of this at lunch. Followed your recipe, with some slight substitutions for ingredients I had on hand: I did not have sufficient Crystal so used half-Crystal, half Munich-3, and added 250g raw Wheat (40litre batch).

Head is great, but most of all the flavour is a winner! Thanks for sharing this recipe - I'm going to have to brew it again tomorrow.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
Walker
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Thanks! I've been working on this recipe for a long time, so I'm glad you like it. I finally like it, too.

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Old 09-13-2010, 03:45 PM   #8
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After you mentioned this recipe, I looked it up, as my next batch will be a porter. So dumb question- which carafa do you use, and do you prefer it to chocolate? I assume it's a bit smoother with the carafa, but probably a bit less flavorful.

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Old 09-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkdog View Post
After you mentioned this recipe, I looked it up, as my next batch will be a porter. So dumb question- which carafa do you use, and do you prefer it to chocolate? I assume it's a bit smoother with the carafa, but probably a bit less flavorful.
As this recipe evolved, I switched from using chocolate to carafa because I felt that I could taste some harshness from the chocolate (I think I had 0.5# of chocolate in it the last time I actually used choclolate). I did bump up to 0.75# with the carafa.

As for WHICH carafa. I prefer Carafa II, but will use whatever I can find. Sometimes the shop in Raleigh has carafa, sometimes carafa II. Brewmasterswarehouse.com has all three roasts. If you can get the III, you can pretyt much omit the patent.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:16 PM   #10
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Thanks! I made a porter with molasses once before and loved it- this recipe looks great, especially with that hefty shot of crystal and the London Ale yeast. I plan to brew it in a couple of weeks here.

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