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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Getting Port-Like Flavors?
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:09 AM   #1
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Default Getting Port-Like Flavors?

I've been hankering to start up a heavy duty beer like a RIS / Baltic Porter / Wee Heavy / Quad that will give some very nice porty, dark fruit flavors - cherry, raisin, and all that.

Bought a bottle of great tawny port (Sandeman) this week after my buddy put me on to it. I also had the last bottom of Sam Adams Wee Heavy I've been holding on to for six months and it was awesome after all the heat had subsided and all those rich flavors were allowed to come out.

What's actually making these flavors possible? I've been browsing Radical Brewing and there's the "port-like beer" recipe. That's certainly on my to-do list but I want to start experimenting with these flavors on less time-involved projects.

Crystal 120 and Special B appear to be good sources from malt. Randy Mosher does make a valuable sidenote in that some malts are prone to more favorable oxidation products than others.

Dark shades of candi syrup/sugar are also reported to have these flavors when cooked with something like DAP to allow Maillard reactions to occur.

I haven't seen a beer yeast that gives sherry-like flavors. Is there one out there? I imagine a Scottish ale yeast might give something similar if stressed a bit.

And are there styles of beer that rely on controlled oxidation to get the flavors in there?

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Old 07-04-2013, 03:21 AM   #2
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"Sherry flavors" come from oxidation, so aging a beer is what brings that out. I don't think of it as controlled oxidation, as usually it's just aging a beer with special B and dark malts that brings it out.

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Old 07-04-2013, 03:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
"Sherry flavors" come from oxidation, so aging a beer is what brings that out. I don't think of it as controlled oxidation, as usually it's just aging a beer with special B and dark malts that brings it out.
Dang Yooper you beat me too it. +5 on the Special B.....raisins all day long. "Sherry flavors" can also be considered a flaw in a lot of beers too.
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:26 AM   #4
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Sounds great. Special B is definitely a malt I want to get more familiar with.

As far as allowing oxidation to happen on purpose, I'd need to actually allow contact with oxygen? I'm thinking keg it with no CO2 blanket and set it aside in the attic for a spell. Maybe use a better bottle with it's supposed higher permeability. Then again, oxidation doesn't require O2.

Another way I'm considering is to prepare a masterbatch of older beer and add a portion of this to newer beers. Sort of the Guiness technique.

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Old 07-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #5
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If you're going for the aged sherry flavors you can try a sherry flor yeast and use a bung on the carboy that doesn't exactly seal all that well. I don't know how that'd work in beer and in a 5 gal fermentor vs a 60gal or larger barrel.

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Old 07-05-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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What I read from Mosher was that you already need high alcohol content to really activate the sherry yeast flor.

I got pretty wicked temps in my place right now (70F in the cellar which will get to 80F in the season's eventual 100F heatwave). If that'd help I'll take a shot now.

I'm thinking a quad-like beer - get a 8% beer on grain alone with abbey yeast. Then add candi sugar and sherry yeast with some nutrient.

I get flavor contributions from Special B, amber candi syrup, and maybe I can promote some from the Belgian yeast if there's a smoky one.

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Old 07-06-2013, 03:31 AM   #7
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D90 Candi Syrup in my Belgian Dubbel along with the WLP 530 Abbey yeast created port like flavors. Oh and I had Special B in there too, along with a lot of aromatic malt.

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Old 07-06-2013, 04:06 AM   #8
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Sounds like a good recipe.

I suppose if I really want port flavors I could just add port. -_-

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Old 07-06-2013, 04:18 AM   #9
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Brewers best Belgian Tripel. Was my 3rd kit ever. Tonight I opened my 4th or 5th bottle at 16 months out from brewing. Got all the flavors you are looking for. Wonder if this will get better as more time passes.

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Old 07-06-2013, 06:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrheinous View Post
Sounds like a good recipe.

I suppose if I really want port flavors I could just add port. -_-
Dubbel Agent- Belgian Dubbel
11 gallon recipe

13.75lbs. 2 Row
6lbs. Belgian Pilsner
2 lbs. White Wheat
2 lbs. Aromatic
1 lbs. Munich - 10L
1. lbs. Special B
.25 lbs. Biscuit
2 lbs. D-90 Candi Syrup

2 oz. Willamette (4.0 AA) 60 min
2 oz. Hallertau Mittlefrue (4.0 AA) 60 min

WLP530- Belgian Abbey Ale Yeast
Yeast Nutrient
Whirlflock - 1 tab

Mash at 150 for 75 minutes
Boil for 75 minutes
Ferment at 66 and ramp to 70 in the final days of primary

1.065 OG
1.010 FG
21 IBU
18 SRM
215 calories/ 12 oz.
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