Chocolate Habanero Porter - Vanilla Chocolate Porter - Robust Porter

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eko

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I started a batch last November that I decided to split up into multiple experiments. They turned out so good I thought I'd share. I'm sure there's room for improvement here but I'd happily take each of these as a full batch.

I started with a goal of getting about 5.5 gallons to the fermenter. Here's the grain bill:

10.0 lb Maris Otter (UK) 72 %
1.0 lb Munich Light (DE) 7 %
1.0 lb Caramel/Crystal 80L (US) 7 %
0.75 lb Black Patent (UK) 5 %
0.5 lb Chocolate (UK) 3 %
0.5 lb Pale Chocolate (UK) 3 %

Mash for 90 minutes at 156 F. Stirred after 60 minutes.

60 minute boil, 7.5 gallons to 5.5 gallons.
2.5 oz Willamette (US) 60 minutes
0.5 oz Willamette (US) 15 minutes

London ESB ale yeast - Wyeast 1968
OG 1.068
FG 1.019
6.4% ABV
42 IBU
46 SRM

In the primary for 16 days. 24 hours in the temps started rising, hooked up a box fan for the night to keep the winter air circulating around it. After that, activity dropped and a thermawrap and stc-1000 kept it steady around 69F.

During this stage I picked up some vanilla beans, habanero peppers, and 100% unsweeted cacao. I split the vanilla beans, cut them in 1-2 in strips, and soaked them in 2 oz of bourbon. I took 3 habaneros (~0.7 oz), cut the tops & stems off, deseeded, sliced and baked at 350 F for 20 mins, finally soaking in 2 oz of bourbon. Finally I divided the 100% unsweetened cacao into two groups: 0.5 oz and 1.5 oz. Both groups I chopped, sliced, even shaved a little (these came in bar form), then I soaked the 0.5 oz in 2 oz of bourbon and the 1.5 oz on 3 oz of bourbon. This was basically enough bourbon to fully cover the pieces in the small dish they were in. Those all sat for 9 days.

Then I took my primary and racked to 3 secondaries: 1 gallon went into a 1 gallon bucket, 1 gallon into a 1 gallon carboy, and the remaining 3.5 gallons into a 6 gallon carboy.

The 1 gallon plastic bucket I set aside as my control. I poured the habaneros and 0.5 oz cacao into a hop bag over the 1 gallon glass carboy (so that all the extract went in) and dropped the bag in. In the same way, I poured the vanilla beans and 1.5 oz cacao into a hop bag over the 3.5 gallon batch and dropped the bag in. They all sat at around 66 F room temp for 17 days.

Finally I bottled, and basement-aged them for 2 weeks before sampling my first bottles.

The porter itself is good. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the other two. The vanilla cacao batch is smooth, with plenty of flavor, a velvety mouthfeel and a subtle cacao-dryness lingering. However, the habanero is by far my favorite. It is hot without slapping you in the face. It's more of an in-the-throat-heat, so you get a chance to enjoy the taste first before the temperature rises. I only wish I got more than 10 bottles of this stuff. I have shared with friends and it has received rave reviews.

As much as I enjoyed these, I realize I'm biased. If anyone has tweaking suggestions, or if you try it and have feedback or make your own adjustments, please share.

https://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/fuerte-navidad
 

Hello

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Sounds like a nice one, that habanero Porter. I'll put this in the recipe bank.
 

bucksox

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What is the benefit to baking the peppers first at that temperature? Very curious. This looks like something I might be working on soon.

Cheers
 
OP
E

eko

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I can't say I recall exactly, I might have baked them to 'clean' them up. Although since I soaked them in bourbon, too, it doesn't seem like that should be necessary. As a side effect, I found it took away some of the heat. Maybe I knew that and that's why I baked them? Again, that wouldn't make a lot of sense since you can change the heat by adding/removing peppers. It was probably an overzealous attempt to make sure they were 'clean'.

One note on the recipe: I made this again last winter and split it into 3 gallons for the habanero cacao (scaling up the habanero and cacao) and left the rest untouched. For some reason my OG came in much lower than the first go around, 10 points lower. The final product was also too bitter. And I think it may have been bitter the first go around. Not bitter as in overly hopped bitter, bitter as in too much dark grain. If I make this again I'll be reducing the black patent to 0.25 lbs.
 

jinjorge

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@eko, thanks for sharing this recipe.

Brewed this beer with the grain bill, hops and yeast from the op.
Brewed Sept 24th, 2017
Ended up mashing at 154 F for 90 mins, stirring at 60 mins (temp is different from the op not for any scientific reason other than I couldn't hold the mash temp at 156 F. Need to make an adjustment for next time)

My OG came in at 1.078

I went with 2.0oz of unsweetened cacao soaked in 10oz of bourbon and 2.0oz of habanero soaked in 10oz of bourbon. Soaked for 10 days.

Secondary Oct 10th, added the cacao and habanero. Gravity was down to 1.030

Kegged it Nov 2nd. FG 1.030

My OG and FG started higher and finished higher than the OP. The ABV is almost the same as the OP.


Thanks again @eko. Looking forward to tasting this beer after carbonation.
 

jinjorge

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This brew is incredible!!! I've been sitting on it since the beginning of November, tasting it every now and then. Just bottled 12 bottles to share with friends.
 

JoeJoe_13

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I decided to brew this beer. I am ready for secondary and just wanted to know why you used bourbon for the peppers and caco. Could I just put them directly into the secondary?
 

JoeJoe_13

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Well I ended up roasting the peppers which hopefully killed anything on it and the chocolate hit some starsan so hopefully that and the alcohol with the beer will be good. I was in a rush to finish the beer
 

Rev2010

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Nice! I currently have my Imperial Spicy Pumpkin Stout on tap at home. Used 2 habanero's sliced up and put into a jar with some Tito's vodka seeds included. Let it soak for 7 days and at kegging time I added 3ml of the tincture at a time, did a gentle stir with sanitized spoon, then tested the taste. Wound up with 12ml is what I stuck with. I felt that had the nice warm heat / slight burn in the throat without being too much to be able to drink a few. Went over VERY well with friends. My only think is I thing in the future I might just skip the vodka tincture. Being I also used vodka for the spice tincture I think it's detectable in the smell and slightly in the aftertaste. Think for next time I'm gonna sanitize the outside of one large habanero by letting it sit in StarSan for a minute or two, then slice it up with a sanitized knife and drop it into the fermenter for the last 7 days. It may take some tries before I nail the heat perfectly doing it this way but I think one habanero should suffice to start.


Rev.
 

jinjorge

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Brewed this(similar) beer a couple weeks ago and planning to add the habanero's and cacao (both soaked in bourbon) tomorrow.

changed I made to @eko recipe
Substituted the 10# Marris Otter with:
4.5# Admirals Malting Feldblume
5.5# Admirals Malting Gallagher’s Best

My local home-brew store was out of Pale chocolate malt, used English brown malt in place.

OG was 1.068
Pitched one pack of Imperial A10 yeast.

I'll post an update in coming days once in the secondary.
 

jinjorge

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moved to secondary. Gravity reading was 1.021. Added cacao and habanero's. Plan is to keg it in about 3 weeks
 
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