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Old 12-27-2010, 11:24 PM   #1
JRDroid
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Default Tips on my Porter recipe for my first batch

I am going to make a variant of Goat Scrotum Ale from Joy of Homebrewing. My interpretation of the recipe is as follows:

6 lbs Dark malt extract (calls for 5, but 6 is easier to find/cheaper to buy)
1 lb crystal malt (i'm thinking of using 40L)
1/4 lb black patent
1/4 lb roasted barley
1 1/2 oz Cascade hops (open to other suggestions, recipe says my choice)
1/4 oz. Willamette hops (Also open to suggestions, same as above)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. blackstrap molasses
2 tsp. gypsum
1 lb. corn sugar
1 packet Ale Yeast
3/4 c. corn sugar (for bottling)
6 oz. Dark chocolate baking cocoa powder
4 oz. Raspberry extract (added at bottling)

I know its a lot of ingredients for a first beer, but the instructions are very straight forward and I want to make it my own, not just do a cookie cutter kit. Any suggestions for alternate hops or a particular variety of yeast that are better for porters than those I have listed would be much appreciated.

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Old 12-27-2010, 11:36 PM   #2
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I understand your desire to experiment, but I'd keep it relatively simple for the first batch. If you want to tweak the recipe, do it in one key way, not ten


Brown sugar is just sugar + molasses....so if you really want to add the molasses you might as well just ditch the brown sugar all together.

Definitely ditch the gypsum. You're getting yourself into brewing water chemistry there, and gypsum is generally designed to make beers more bitter....which is something you generally DON'T want in a porter. I'd probably ditch the raspberry extract, or maybe just reserve some for 1/2 of the bottles. This way you can determine the impact that it has on the flavor without potentially overdoing it for an entire batch. I'd also ditch the corn sugar as it's designed to dry out a recipe and with a porter you generally want a relatively sweet finish with a nice mouthfeel. The recipe you've got promotes a dry, bitter beer!

I can't speak to the cocoa powder as I've never used it....but it's not something I'm interesting in doing personally. You can get plenty of chocolate flavors from chocolate malt....the Dark Extract should have some of that character already in it.

Cascade/Willamette is a good combo for a porter. Fuggles is another popular variety.

Good luck with your first brew...and TRY to keep it relatively simple! You don't want to get turned away from the hobby because something went unexpectedly wrong

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Old 12-27-2010, 11:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by snowveil View Post
I'd also ditch the corn sugar as it's designed to dry out a recipe and with a porter you generally want a relatively sweet finish with a nice mouthfeel. The recipe you've got promotes a dry, bitter beer!
Well, he should keep the corn sugar for bottling, but ditch the corn sugar in the brew, unless you're looking for a really high gravity beer that you need to age a long time for your first batch (and may not even turn out all that great). I would also agree that picking one or the other with brown sugar and molasses, and maybe just cut out one without replacing it with anything. Molasses will likely have the most flavour impact, so I would say drop the brown sugar and the corn sugar from the brew, and stick to just the molasses.

I'm not a fan of using dark extract for anything. You never know what is in dark extract and could end up with way more of a specific flavour than you planned for. I would go with regular light/pale DME, the 1/4# of black patent and roasted barley should be enough to give you a nice, dark colour (I would also argue this is a stout as it contains roasted barley, but not everyone goes by that rule).

I fully support your desire to go outside the packaged kit box and does something a little different, but this recipe might be TOO different. I would definitely forgo the chocolate and the raspberry addition.

The hop choices seem fine, though you might want to get the recipe into a calculator and come back with IBU and Gravity numbers for us to take a look at too. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:04 AM   #4
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according to the recipe the OG should be 1.050-1.060. He doesn't have a final gravity listed. I think I will either ditch the raspberry or only do 1/2 or 1/4 of the batch. The raspberry is the only thing in the recipe (aside from the amount of extract) that I tweaked, the rest was just how it was written lol. Could I substitute some chocolate malt to get the chocolate flavor and how much would I use?

Also, is Crystal 40L good or should i use something darker in a porter?

Also, I am glad people approve of not using a kit. The whole idea of homebrew was to get away from whats commercially available and create something uniquely you.

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Old 12-28-2010, 02:49 AM   #5
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How does this sound for an amended recipe?

6 lbs Dark malt extract (calls for 5, but 6 is easier to find/cheaper to buy)
1 lb crystal malt (i'm thinking of using 40L)
1/4 lb black patent malt
1/4 lb roasted barley malt
1/4 lb chocolate malt
1 1/2 oz Cascade hops (open to other suggestions, recipe says my choice)
1/4 oz. Willamette hops (Also open to suggestions, same as above)
1 c. brown sugar
1 packet Ale Yeast
3/4 c. corn sugar (for bottling)

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Old 12-28-2010, 03:10 AM   #6
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This is a partial mash recipe correct?

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Old 12-28-2010, 03:13 AM   #7
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no, I'm going to steep the the grains.

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Old 12-28-2010, 06:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JRDroid View Post
How does this sound for an amended recipe?

6 lbs Dark malt extract (calls for 5, but 6 is easier to find/cheaper to buy)
1 lb crystal malt (i'm thinking of using 40L)
1/4 lb black patent malt
1/4 lb roasted barley malt
1/4 lb chocolate malt
1 1/2 oz Cascade hops (open to other suggestions, recipe says my choice)
1/4 oz. Willamette hops (Also open to suggestions, same as above)
1 c. brown sugar
1 packet Ale Yeast
3/4 c. corn sugar (for bottling)
Sounds much easier to do, though I would still ditch the dark malt for pale malt. You've got plenty of specialty grains in there to give you the colour you're looking for.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 View Post
Sounds much easier to do, though I would still ditch the dark malt for pale malt. You've got plenty of specialty grains in there to give you the colour you're looking for.
I meant to change that to pale.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:10 AM   #10
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Did this color turn out pretty black? I had made a stout that only went to a deep dark brown and i was using dark dme. I also didnt have roasted barely and was afraid of using too much black malt because of the bitterness.
Recipe sounds good though, i would prime with brown sugar if you want to try to get more flavor. I dont know this from experience. I just primed a brown ale with maple and a vanilla bean. Hope this works out for you.

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