Bad Kitty Vanilla Porter

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dhutchings

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I got to visit York, UK again this past Spring and at the smallest pub in York, the Blue Bell, had a Vanilla Porter that blew me away. By local(ish) Brass Castle Brewery, Bad Kitty Vanilla Porter was one of the best brews I tried while I was away.

Once I returned to Canada I emailed the brewery, as it's a small shop, and got the grain bill, boil time, hops used, etc. I used that to convert to an extract with steeping grains recipe:

90 minute boil

Extract:
1 lb Light DME
6.6 lbs Light LME most of which as late addition

Steeping Grains:
1 lb Munich Dark
.75 lb Crystal 10L
.55 lb Chocolate
.35 lb Black Malt

Other:
2 oz Pure Vanilla Extract @5 min

Hops:
3 oz East Kent Goldings @ 90min

2 packages S04 yeast

Brewed it up on May 4th, and fermentation was fast and vigorous. Started within 12 hours, which was great. The basement smelled like chocolate cake.

Estimated OG was 1.059 and estimated final was 1.016. I measured OG 1.050, likely due to not mixing top-up water well enough and a final of 1.014.

I just bottled it on Sunday night, May 25th. I kept the priming sugar low enough to give me 2 volumes of CO2 as English Ales are undercarbonated compared to North American and I specifically remember this brew having low carbonation. I confirmed with the brewer that 2 volumes was pretty much what they got out of it carbing in the cask.

I did add 3 oz of Pure Vanilla Extract into the bottling bucket as per the brewer's directions as well. I'm really hoping this turns out well as it truly was an excellent beer.

Don't just take my word for it though, this guy seems to really dig it:

 
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vNmd

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Do you still have the original grain bill? I have been trying to get a good vanilla porter recipe. The ones I have tried so far have not been what I wanted. Let us know how yours turns out.
 

Wine2Beer

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Pretty interesting, looks like something worth trying out. A couple of questions:
- Why 90 minute boil?
- How late did you add the LME?
- So was the total 2oz of VE at the end of the boil, and another 3oz at bottling?

Thanks!
 

Hello

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With an OG of 1.059, you do not need two packages of S04. Save your money.

Otherwise, looks good.
 
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dhutchings

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Original grain bill was:

Malt:
Pale 73%
Munich 10.5%
Low colour crystal 7.5%
Chocolate 5.5%
Black 3.5%

I did a 90 minute boil as that was the brewer's instructions were.

I added the LME with 30 minutes to go. I'm trying to experiment more with late additions to prevent some carmelization of the LME in the wort. This is the first time I've tried it in any brew so the verdict is not yet in.

2oz of VE was added with 5 minutes left in the boil (by instruction from the brewer), the rest I added at bottling time with the priming sugar in my bottling bucket.

In about 2 weeks I'll try my first sample bottle and see how it turned out.
 
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dhutchings

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With an OG of 1.059, you do not need two packages of S04. Save your money.

Otherwise, looks good.
Too late for this batch. When I plugged in the recipe into Beersmith it recommended a yeast starter. I thought that 1 vial of liquid yeast was approximately the same cell count as one packet of dry so pitched two packets of S04. Is that not the case?
 

rocketsan

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Sounds delicious - please let us know how it turns out :)


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 

ong

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Too late for this batch. When I plugged in the recipe into Beersmith it recommended a yeast starter. I thought that 1 vial of liquid yeast was approximately the same cell count as one packet of dry so pitched two packets of S04. Is that not the case?

A packet of dry yeast has about twice as many viable cells as a vial of liquid (200 vs 100 billion). No big deal, though!
 
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dhutchings

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A packet of dry yeast has about twice as many viable cells as a vial of liquid (200 vs 100 billion). No big deal, though!
Crap. Good to know, thanks for the heads up for my future brews!
 

Pickle29

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Can't wait to hear how this one turns out. I may just give it a try someday.
 
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dhutchings

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I've tried my first sample bottle today and while the beer's still a little "green", there are strong cocoa notes there. The vanilla, even at 5 oz total for the batch, is much more subtle than in the original beer. Maybe they'll develop later, but I'm suspecting I should take the 2oz out of the boil and add them to the total amount for bottling. 5oz of Pure Extract at bottling time, rather than 2 at the end of the boil and 3 at bottling.

Carbonation is nice and low, at 2 volumes and the look and mouthfeel are how I remember the original.

Even without the full Vanilla flavour, it still turned out very nice, I'm interested in seeing how it will age.
 
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dhutchings

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I tried another last night and wow, it's mellowed. The vanilla is also much more present, though not as much as the cocoa flavour is - I'm suspecting the vanilla flavour was masked by the "sharpness" of a green beer. I'm really happy with this and will be brewing it again next May 4th!
 

Genghis

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Just got cleaned up after brewing up a batch of this. 5 Gallons into the fermenter (had to top off after boiling off a bit more than I expected. OG 1.065. Only change I made was to replace the 6.6 lbs of LME with 6 lbs of DME, because I hate working with LME. :)

Wish I had a mill for all those steeping grains. That was pushing my limits with the Ziploc/rolling pin method. :)
 
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dhutchings

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Glad you tried it out, let me know what you think! I'm lucky in that my FLBS has a mill available and I could mill what I needed at the shop.
 

Kblandfo

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Ill be brewing this at the end of august. Ill be making it scaled up to 10 gal. Any tips?

Haven't decided if ill be doing 60 min boil or 90 though.
 
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dhutchings

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Not sure, I've never done a 10 gallon batch of anything yet. I stuck with the 90 minute boil based on what the brewer recommended but ultimately I think that only gets you a marginally greater amount of IBUs. Not sure that 60 minutes would make much of a difference other than saving you some time!
 

Aarong2008

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Have you tasted this recently? How did it age? I plan on making a 1 gallon batch to see how I like it.
 
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dhutchings

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I actually had a bottle only last week. It turned out to be a very good porter, though the Vanilla is really subtle compared to the original I was cloning.

Next time I'll hold off on any vanilla in the boil and will add all of the extract at bottling time to see if that gives the blast of vanilla that was there in the original.
 

Genghis

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I'll be cracking my first bottle this weekend. What brand of extract did you use, just out of curiosity?
 
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dhutchings

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Some pure vanilla extract that I picked up during a visit to Mexico this past spring (the final 2 oz in the bottle) and the remaining 3oz were Canadian grocery store "president's choice" control label brand pure vanilla extract. Both contained alcohol so I figured they'd be sanitary.

Is there a direct conversion to #oz of extract to actual vanilla beans in case I want to try vanilla beans next time around?
 

CJ-3

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Is there a direct conversion to #oz of extract to actual vanilla beans in case I want to try vanilla beans next time around?
From vanillareview.com

Depending on the quality of your vanilla bean there are from 7.5-10 beans per ounce of extract.

http://www.vanillareview.com/2008/how-many-vanilla-beans-to-an-ounce/
 

Kblandfo

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Update and Question,

So my group of brew buddies went to work on this brew on Aug 25th. Brewed outside on the fire. There is a question at the bottom!

Also enjoyed lunch from the oven.

Notables from this brew:

LHBS talked us out of buying one of the grains. I can’t recall which one as my notes are not with me. Ill check and update. He suggested that it was not an appropriate steeping grain; Not giving much color, aroma or flavor to the beer.
We brew in an eight (8) gal pot and top off @ 10 gal. Basically a double batch.
We kept the 90 min boil on this brew. Two things we learned from this. First, 90 minutes to boil is more relaxing. Not having any hop additions gave us the 90 mins to clean up, cook and socialize more than we usually do. We didn’t feel rushed. With that in mind, we will be trying this brew with a 60 min boil next month.

US 04- should have looked into this yeast a bit more! We pitched one package. We rehydrated and added some sugar to this when the boil was on going. We have only used US 05 up to this point and do this same procedure. The US 04 seemed to be much more aggressive and was bubbling up out of our mason jar. The same thing continued after we pitched. Blew up our air lock. We learned the importance of blow off tubes :)
We will be bottling using a homemade vanilla extract that is about 1.5 yrs old. The full 6oz at bottle time.

This beer is sitting in secondary and ageing.

We are thinking of kegging this beer. This would be our first kegged beer. Any one see any problems with this idea?

brew paddle.jpg


brw.jpg


photo 4.JPG
 

Kblandfo

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Definitely can’t wait to drink it!! Ill let you know how brew day 2 goes and how batch 1 drinks in a few weeks when its carbed up! THANKS AGAIN
 

heckler73

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I've made an excellent vanilla stout by splitting a single vanilla bean into a 5 gallon secondary for a week.

and i'm off to go do it again now!
 

CJ-3

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When you are bottling this, are you using priming sugar or DME?
 
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dhutchings

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Definitely can’t wait to drink it!! Ill let you know how brew day 2 goes and how batch 1 drinks in a few weeks when its carbed up! THANKS AGAIN
I've got my Hops Harvest brew coming along right now but once that's done I'll be making this again with my revised vanilla schedule. I can't wait!
 

Genghis

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I used priming sugar. The only adjustment I made to the recipe was replacing the LME with an equivalent amount of DME. Turned out nice. Vanilla flavour was somewhat uneven from bottle to bottle, so I may need to stir the bucket a bit more when I bottle.

Next batch of this will likely be an AG version with two-row as the base. I'll probably do it sometime before the snow starts flying.
 

Kblandfo

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Update:
We have bottled and keg our 10gal batch of this beer;
Forgot the DME at my house (bottled at my buddies) so we used regular table sugar.
This has been carbing since Sept 22. (just shy of two weeks)
Had a special guest over to the house last night so I cracked one bottle of this. I am very happy with the results. The other two consumers gave positive reviews.
Going to try and hold off on the keg and make the bottles stretch for a while. Luckily I have other stuff to drink.
I will be brewing this again likely later this month. We talked about splitting our next 10 gal batch up and using coffee instead of vanilla.
Ill keep updating as I drink and brew this beer!
After typing this I find myself nearly salivating and craving this specific beer. I really need to get a more established pipeline!
Again, Thanks for the recipe!
 
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dhutchings

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Glad you liked it! I should be bottling my latest brew this coming weekend and then I'll get another batch of Bad Kitty on the go myself.
 

Genghis

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Just brewed an all-grain version with Maris Otter yesterday. Hope it's as good as the first batch.
 
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dhutchings

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Just brewed an all-grain version with Maris Otter yesterday. Hope it's as good as the first batch.
You'll have to let me know how that turns out. The brew I have fermenting now is my first with MO but if you get good results with it for Bad Kitty I may try it that way.
 

Genghis

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Will do. I was going to use 2-row, but I decided I should use a British malt instead.

I actually just bottled a MO/Fuggles SMaSH to make room for this batch. That was my first go at using MO. Hoping it turns out well.
 
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