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Bully! Porter Clone Critique

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BeerChemistWhiskey

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I'm attempting a clone of my favorite porter, Bully! Porter from Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Missouri. I've done a bit of research and come up with this, leaning heavily toward what I can obtain through my LHBS and/or have on hand this weekend:

OG 1.062 (~15 Plato)
FG 1.016 (4 Plato)
IBU 48.8 (Tinseth)
Color 131.1 EBC
Yeast S-04
Mash @ 152F for 60 min, batch sparge

80% mash eff.

8# Pale Malt, 2-row (Rahr) 3.5 EBC
2# Chocolate (Crisp) 1241.1 EBC
12.0 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) 118.2 EBC
8.0 oz Special B - 300.2 EBC
8.0 oz Wheat, Unmalted (Rahr) 3.2 EBC

1.10 oz Bullion (8.10%) - 60 min
1.00 oz Citra (12.00%) - 10 min
0.50 oz Cascade (5.50%) - 5.0 min

This seems like a lot of chocolate malt to me, BUT adding this much was the only way I could figure to come near the color stated on the Boulevard website (131 EBC). The commercial example is very heavy on chocolate/coffee for sure...

Here is what the Boulevard website has listed for the homebrew info:

ABV 6.0% --------------- IBU 49 --------------------- EBC 131
  • SPECIFICS ------------------ MALT ----------------- HOPS
  • Original Gravity 15.0 --------- Cara 120 -------------- Cascade
  • Final Gravity 4.0 ------------ Cara 300 ------------- Magnum
  • Ferment. Temp 66 F ---------Chocolate malt ---------- Topaz
  • Yeast English Ale ------------Pale malt
  • ------------------------------- Raw Wheat

https://www.boulevard.com/beerinfo/bully-porter/ - beer info page, see specs listed and "homebrew" tab toward the bottom

http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=38561 - another source, but very old and outdated

Any thoughts or recommendations?
 

Northern_Brewer

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This seems like a lot of chocolate malt to me, BUT adding this much was the only way I could figure to come near the color stated on the Boulevard website (131 EBC).
It's a common mistake it seems, particularly with British styles, to try and target colour numbers using "flavour" ingredients. Don't! The flavour is far more important than the colour, and the colour can be adjusted using non-malt ingredients such as caramel that would not get listed under "malts".
 

kevin58

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It's a common mistake it seems, particularly with British styles, to try and target colour numbers using "flavour" ingredients. Don't! The flavour is far more important than the colour, and the colour can be adjusted using non-malt ingredients such as caramel that would not get listed under "malts".
Keep in mind too that when old British brewing records say "caramel" they don't mean the type of caramel malts that we use today. What they often used was something called "Brewers Caramel" which is only a coloring agent.
 

Omahawk

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I like Bully! as well. I haven’t had it for several months, but a couple of thoughts based on memory: As noted by the others, that’s lots of chocolate. I’m wondering if you could cut it in half. Also, I recall a touch of burnt, roast malt in the Bully! flavor. I’m wondering if maybe a few ounces of Black Patent malt might add that roast edge.

Edit: perhaps the Special B at 1/2 lb adds the subtle burnt roast touch. I’m curious how this turns out - report back.
 
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BeerChemistWhiskey

BeerChemistWhiskey

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Thank you all for the replies, I was aware of British beers being colored with non-malt ingredients but I did not consider that at all in this case!

I ended up emailing Boulevard for further information, and they sent me more details on their recipe. They call for:

Pale Malt – 64.4%
Cara 300 – 7.9%
Cara 120 – 15.1%
Wheat – 6%
Chocolate malt – 6.6%

So I'm obviously way off on this first attempt. And I don't get anywhere near their claimed 131 EBC adding this version to Beersmith, more like 85 EBC. Not sure whether this indicates that they are definitely using some sort of coloring agent, as they didn't address that part of my email in their response.

Is it possible that they are somehow using a color measuring technique on their beers that would produce a value so different from what brewing software estimates for these ingredients?
 
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