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Old 03-21-2009, 07:48 PM   #1
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Default Robust Porter help!

8 lbs Maris Otter
2 lbs Munich Malt
1 lbs Smoked Malt
1/2 lbs Crystal 40
1/2 lbs Chocolate malt
1/2 flaked oats
1/4 lbs Black Patent

1.5 oz cluster 7.8%AA (60 min) 35.8 IBU


Expected OG 1.060-1.064

I plan to brew this beer in 3-4 weeks and then let it sit and allow the flavors to blend together and mellow out until the fall. Planning 4-6 months in the bottle prior to drinking. I know the malt profile will be pretty complicated at first but will this much time allow things to become cohesive? Any thoughts or suggestions? Any help will be appreciated.

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Old 03-22-2009, 12:11 AM   #2
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I've never worked with flaked oats, but I've made quite a few porters using quite a few variations on the recipes, and in my experience, every one of them has benefitted from 4-6 months of conditioning -they've mellowed out nicely. My best was actually 13 months old (that wasn't on purpose, though. Going through my cabinet full of empties, in preperation for santizing, I discovered (happily) 4 bottles dated 13 months prior, and full. Excellent beer.

Kegged: Big Bad Brown Ale (Brown Ale and Porter blend).

Plans: Oak-Smoked Porter, Honey Brown Ale.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:03 AM   #3
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4-6 month aging sounds perfect for a beer like that. I have no experience on the amount of smoked malt, I would try to get a bit of advice from those that have used smoked malt.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:49 PM   #4
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I think you will be dead on and really enjoy that brew! The Yeast strain you are using works pretty dang good for that type of beer. While the Robust porter gets even better with age, especially given your grain bill, I think (think being a loose word) that anything after 6-7 months will be refined at best. Your starting gravity is high but not outrageous for the style, so the yeast should work well. I would suggest pitching a bit more yeast than normal to allow for a quicker rest period. ( I was suggested this by a excellent brewer in the area on a stout I am crafting).

This is a very similar type of recipe that I have brewed in the past and am looking to brew again. One suggestion that worked well for me was to condition it around 60 degrees. That is a little easier for me living in MN! It might be a pain, but if you can keep the secondary in a tub of water with a towel over it to help evaporative cooling, it helps refine the conditioning and bring complex malts together in a more crisp and dry sense. Your flaked oats will be a very nice compliment to the perceived roast of this bill. I also like your hop bill, I think your target BU/GU ratio is excellent for the style. Sounds like a very enjoyable brew that offers more than one mug of enjoyment at a time. I do think some of the robust porters aim for too high of a SG with high attenuation - they get a little more harsh than intended. (spoken like someone who did this a few times - eh?)

Sounds like a great brew!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only other suggestion that I would have, and this is if head retention is a goal, is to substitute some of the Crystal 40 or Black Patent for a similar anount of CaraPils. I admit this is more of a personal preference, not at all important. I might steal your recipe!!!!!!

Good luck, I would love to hear how everything turns out.
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