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Old 08-25-2010, 08:02 PM   #1
Mar 2009
San Diego, CA
Posts: 289
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Well, I finally decided to take the plunge and go for what will be the most expensive (and anticipated) batch I've done next to a (extremely delicious) Pliny clone. I've never actually had the luxury of getting my hands on a Baltic Porter, but this beer would best be related to one, even though the ingredients bring it out of style quite a bit. I'm curious what it will taste like.

This will also be my first lagered brew, and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for me? Should I do a Diacetyl Rest even though I'll be fermenting it around 55?

I've found no talk of this recipe at all, anywhere, so I'm wondering what any of you more experienced brewers might have to say with a first glance. Since you should all go out there and support Zymurgy, I won't post the recipe in TOO much detail. I'm not familiar with some of the malts (Honey, Aromatic, Smoked) nor have I ever used Strisselspalt hops. And I have access to some tasty organic Agave Nectar, which should prove to make the brew very interesting.

Papazian calls it the "Black Samba.":

Starting at 1.089, 42(?) IBU

Pale Malt (I went for Maris Otter)
Briess Smoked Cherry Wood Malt
Corn, Flaked
Caramunich (60L)
De-Bittered Black
English Roasted Barley
Honey Malt
Belgian Aromatic
Chocolate Malt

Dry Malt Extract
Agave Nectar

Sterling (60 min)
Glacier (30 min)
Mt. Hood (15 min)
French Strisselspalt Pellets (0 min)

2 Vials White Labs Cry Havoc (with the largest starter I can make), 55F fermentation followed by another good month at 35-45 for lager.

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Old 08-26-2010, 01:45 PM   #2
Oldsock's Avatar
Sep 2007
DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,237
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I'm not sure if Cry Havoc needs a D-rest, but it certainly won't hurt.

Without knowing the amounts it is hard to comment on the recipe, but it looks overly complex to me. I'm doing a smoked Baltic porter in the next few batches with, pils, Weyermann smoked, flaked rye, brown, carafa, with a single hop addition near the start of the boil.
Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

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Old 08-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
Nov 2008
Posts: 135
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Maybe I am missing something, but if you are making a starter, shouldn't you only really need one vial of yeast and then step it up from there?

As far as a diacetyl rest, it depends on the yeast and typically what temp you pitch. If you pitch at 50-55 you may be able to get away without one. If you pitch at 70, wait for ferment signs, and then lower to 55, then you will more likely need one. Like oldsock said, either way, it won't hurt to do one.

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Old 08-26-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
Mar 2009
San Diego, CA
Posts: 289
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I was just going off the Mr. Malty calculator. There's no way in hell I'm even going to pull off a 9L starter (even with stepping up) which is using TWO vials. Using one vial it calls for some ungodly amount. Apparently lagers really need a lot more yeast. Especially with a gravity of ~1.09.

I'm planning to pitch around fermentation temp, 55F. To play it safe I might allow it to rest for a day or two when transferring to secondary though.

Oldsock, the recipe is definitely a bit complex, but as it's put together by Papazian, I trust it enough to not taste like a complete disaster ;-) I guess you could call it moreso a specialty beer, with inspiration from the Baltic Porter style. But I love doing new and different things, it's part of what inspires me to brew.

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Old 08-26-2010, 06:21 PM   #5
Sep 2008
Wilmington, NC
Posts: 246
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Instead of making your crazy starter with 2 vials of yeast, brew a smaller beer and pitch on the yeast cake? Sounds like a win-win for everyone, you get an extra batch of beer, and your yeasties will be nice and healthy for the big beer.

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