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Old 10-29-2011, 01:36 PM   #1
Flatspin
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Default Holiday Porter - Spice Amounts?

My weekend plans are to make a spiced porter that will be ready around Christmas, and I was curious what people thought about the spice levels. This is a 4 gallon batch with some odd ingredient amounts mostly because I am trying to use up the sorghum syrup and malted oats that I have left in the house, and according to Hopville this will give me an OG around 1.055 which is right where I was hoping to get .

3.75 lbs Sorghum Syrup
2 .5 lbs Oats, Malted (Thomas Fawcett)
1.5 lbs Dark Toasted Oats
¼ lb Dark Molasses
1 oz Fuggles
1 oz EKG
Nottingham Dry Yeast

The additional ingredients are:
1 oz Irish Moss
1 Tbsp Vanilla (5 minutes)
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (5 minutes)
3 Cinnamon Sticks (7 days before bottling)
12 oz Cold Press Decaf Coffee (at bottling)

I am hoping that there will be enough time for this to mellow out by Christmas, two months seems like about the minimum time according to some of the other threads I’ve been reading.

So what do you think, does this recipe sound like it will be a good beer by Christmas? What about the spices – too much, not enough, wrong spices…?


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Old 10-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #2
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Sorry flatspin, haven't got much experience with spices. However three cinamon sticks looks a bit much, unless you want that to really come through.

Other than that it sounds tasty as.


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Old 10-30-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Yeah, I thought 3 might be a bit too much also, but I'm not sure how using whole cinnamon sticks compares to powdered cinnamon. I'll probably go based on how much spice flavor is present in the beer when I take a gravity reading in the fermentor. Anyways, thanks for the advice!
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:24 AM   #4
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This looks yummy. I miss having a Porter since going GF, how did this come out?
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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I haven't bottled it yet, but I took a gravity reading last week, and the sample was very good. The spices weren't overpowering but I think it will be a nice little bite once carbonated.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:36 PM   #6
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How did you malt your oats? Did you have to buy a specific kind? How does the malted oats taste?
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
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Northern Brewer sells malted oats,and they taste pretty good. They are a little nutty and very different from the taste of oatmeal. The only thing with them is that they are smaller than barley so if your LHBS crushes them for you they might need a couple pulses on a coffee grinder.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:33 PM   #8
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You need more molasses for flavor and body. Give it a full pound of molasses. Don't be a prude. It's a holiday ale. Molasses has a nice heavy body. Use black strap...the non fermentables will have a roasted astringent flavor but that's not a bad thing.

I wouldn't recommend Vanilla or Pumpkin spice. If you havent bottled yet I'd recommend boiling some licorice root with your priming sugar solution. Anchor Christmas ale uses licorice root to give it that holiday character. However current releases have been more conservative on the application of licorice root.

It's the holidays...spice it up, have fun. Sassafras also works great...Dry hop with it...Allow the Sassafras to steep in the wort for at least a 5 days to a full week...The aromatics are awesome.

I think the biggest common mistake of spiced brews is that most newbies want to concentrate the flavors of the spice rather than aromatics...The aroma of herbs and spices will completely alter the perception of the taste.

Fresh is always better. If the spice does not smell pungent and fresh then it's probably not going to smell good in the finished product. Have fun...Good luck.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great ideas! I do think a bit more molasses would be a nice touch. I was surprised that my beer didn't turn out with a strong spice flavor. Personally, I'm not a real licorice flavor so I won't do that, but I'll try the rest of these ideas on my next spiced beer.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:22 PM   #10
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Do we have confirmation that the Thomas Fuwcett malted oats are in fact gluten free?


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