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Old 10-31-2008, 02:08 AM   #1
Tripod
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Default Seeking tips for brewing a porter...

Hello Fellows (and ladies...)!

I will finally be brewing the next batch this coming Monday and I'm getting my game face on! I'll be trying my hand at a porter for the first time and was wondering if any of the more experienced brewers had any tips for making a porter.

It's just a simple extract recipe with steeping grains. Nothing fancy. I've been studying the style and have a good idea what I'm shooting for. Anything special about a porter (technique wise) that I should keep my eyes open for?

Thanks as always!

-Tripod

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Old 10-31-2008, 03:24 AM   #2
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Actually, same as any thing else. Nothing jumps out at me to be careful of. Enjoy.

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Old 10-31-2008, 04:17 AM   #3
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Keep the hops simple - just bittering, you want a good malty backbone I've had my best results with using Brown Malt with a nutty roasty flavor. Maybe 1lb if you are just steeping.

Keep the fermentation cool

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Old 10-31-2008, 11:26 AM   #4
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Get a copy of Terry Foster's Porter. It's a bit late for Monday (unless your LHBS has a copy), but...

I consider the Classic Styles series indispensable. The authors have really gone deep into the particular styles. The background they provide helps quite a lot when it comes time to investigate or perfect a certain style.

For Porter specifically, there's nothing really glaring that you need to worry about. It's an ale, generally mid-range in gravity and IBU. I like mine with flavor hops and a detectable level of fruity yeast esters; others don't. I don't think roasted barley has any place in Porter; others disagree.

Tell us what you have in mind so we can pass judgement on it and by extension you.

Bob

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Old 10-31-2008, 01:01 PM   #5
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I am brewing one this weekend as well, here's my recipe, it is based on one I found here with a little tweak here and there:
----------------
3 lbs of Marris Otter
3 lbs light DME
.75 lb Chocolate Malt
.75 lb Crystal 120
.25 Black Patent
.25 Victory
.25 smoked malt (a touch of smoke...)
.25 wheat (body)

2 oz fuggles 60

Nottingham yeast
----------------

I added the wheat and smoked malt to the original recipe, apologies to whomever I liberated and bastardized this recipe from, I scan through the recipe DB and create a separate document with ones that look promising.

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Old 10-31-2008, 01:06 PM   #6
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I like Northern brewer hops for bittering and just a touch of Cascades for the finish

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Old 11-01-2008, 07:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNQ3X View Post
Get a copy of Terry Foster's Porter...It's a bit late for Monday (unless your LHBS has a copy), but... ...
Thanks, All for the Input!

Bob, thanks for the link to the books by Foster...I'm thinking I may have to ask Santa for those but I'm not sure if I've been good enough!

I have mostly been gathering my style info from the BJCP Styles Guidelines at BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines - Index. That, along with other sites have provided a ton of surface-level info to get me started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNQ3X View Post
Tell us what you have in mind so we can pass judgement on it and by extension you. ...
For what it's worth, following is the recipe. I am basing it on a clone recipe for Sam Adams Honey Porter that I found on the web (can't remember where but I'll try and find that site...). However, most of the extract recipes I found called for LME and I made a conversion or two to sub the equivalent amount of DME so it is a bit "bastardized" as Mr. Sparkler would say. Here it is:

Sam Adams Honey Porter Clone (subbing DME for the original 6# of Amber LME)

1/2# Black Patent Malt (crushed)
1/2# Chocolate Malt (crushed)
1# Medium Crystal Malt (crushed)
5-1/2# Amber DME
3# Light Honey
1oz Perles @ 60 mins
1/2oz Fuggles @ 30 mins
1/2oz Fuggles @ 5 mins
Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale

The Honey is the only factor that is totally new to me. I have an excellent source from the UGA Entomology Dept and all of their honey is freah and natural and mighty tasty. After a LOT of reading, I'm thinking that I might only use 2# of Honey for the wort and then maybe add some to the secondary after taking a sample and seeing how it tastes. I'm not shooting for super sweet but I don't might a bit of honey flavor since we're heading for the holidays.

OK, sorry for the long post. FIRE AT WILL!!

-Tripod
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Last edited by Tripod; 11-01-2008 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripod View Post
Bob, thanks for the link to the books by Foster...I'm thinking I may have to ask Santa for those but I'm not sure if I've been good enough!

I have mostly been gathering my style info from the BJCP Styles Guidelines at BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines - Index. That, along with other sites have provided a ton of surface-level info to get me started.
I like the Classic Styles series because they're so in-depth. The authors really really love the styles they're covering; the depth of knowledge is often astounding and always educational.

Quote:
Sam Adams Honey Porter Clone (subbing DME for the original 6# of Amber LME)

1/2# Black Patent Malt (crushed)
1/2# Chocolate Malt (crushed)
1# Medium Crystal Malt (crushed)
5-1/2# Amber DME
3# Light Honey
1oz Perles @ 60 mins
1/2oz Fuggles @ 30 mins
1/2oz Fuggles @ 5 mins
Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale

The Honey is the only factor that is totally new to me. I have an excellent source from the UGA Entomology Dept and all of their honey is freah and natural and mighty tasty. After a LOT of reading, I'm thinking that I might only use 2# of Honey for the wort and then maybe add some to the secondary after taking a sample and seeing how it tastes. I'm not shooting for super sweet but I don't might a bit of honey flavor since we're heading for the holidays.

OK, sorry for the long post. FIRE AT WILL!!

-Tripod
Honey will not make it sweet. On the contrary, honey will ferment out almost completely, leaving honey flavors. Doesn't matter when you add it. One acquires honey sweetness by stabilizing finished beer - through chemical sterilization, pasteurization or sterile filtration - and adding honey after the fact.

I can't really fault the recipe beyond recommending Light DME over Amber and cutting the Black Patent back by a third (a half-pound is quite a lot, too much, IMO).

Bob
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNQ3X View Post
I like the Classic Styles series because they're so in-depth. The authors really really love the styles they're covering; the depth of knowledge is often astounding and always educational.

I can't really fault the recipe beyond recommending Light DME over Amber and cutting the Black Patent back by a third (a half-pound is quite a lot, too much, IMO).

Bob
Totally agree on both suggestions. Keep the BP to a minimum.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:32 AM   #10
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Listen to the Jamil Show for the porter style that you are looking to make.
The Jamil Show - Porter.
Whenever I am brewing a style that I have never brewed before, I always listen to the show for that style.

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