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Plum porter recipe help please

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Robusto

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hi all. Looking for some help recreating my favorite winter beer. I'm trying to put together a recipe the clones or gets close to Southern Tier's "Plum Noir". Its an imperial plum porter. Its no longer made,, but the label from says:
18 ° Plato
2 row
Caramel malt
Barley flakes
Chocolate malt
Debittered black malt
Plum puree
Chinook & Willamette hops
8%ABV

Any ideas on how to assemble this? I typically use Marris Otter for "English" beers, but not sure if they used regular 2 row or something else.

Thanks
 

VikeMan

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Disclaimer: I don't think I've ever tasted this beer.

Generally, when someone says 2-Row, they mean something like Briess 2-Row Brewer's Malt or Rahr 2-Row Malt. That's not to say you couldn't use Maris Otter. But I suspect that if Southern Tier were using it, they'd probably say so, since it's both relatively expensive and somewhat of a point of interest.

The fact that they used Chocolate Malt and Debittered Black Malt is a clue that they wanted to limit roastiness, but wanted dark color. Is that in line with your recollection of the beer?

As a general approach, I'd recommend writing down everything you can remember about the taste and mouthfeel of the beer, then start fitting ingredient amounts to that. "Caramel" may be a tough one, but perhaps there's something in the flavor you remember that would suggest a certain C-Malt color range.
 

RM-MN

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Make a small batch with C-20 as the caramel. If that doesn't give the right flavor, make another small batch with C-60. With no more to go on than the words "Carmel malt" a guess is all you have. Small batches work well for experimental recipes.
 
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Robusto

Robusto

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Thanks Vikeman.
I do remember it being somewhat dry, aka, not too sweet. Also don't remember it being too hoppy. Mouth feel was a bit thin for a porter. This is going from memory, but could make sense from the extra fermentables from the plumbs.
 
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Robusto

Robusto

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Any good rule of thumb for adding the plumbs? Lbs/gallon?

Thanks!
 

VikeMan

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This is going from memory, but could make sense from the extra fermentables from the plumbs.
I wouldn't look at the plums as "extra" fermentables, because in an 8% ABV beer, they are likely to, if anything, lower the ABV slightly, due to their water content.

Any good rule of thumb for adding the plumbs? Lbs/gallon?
I haven't used plums in a beer, but I've seen 1-2 lbs per gallon mentioned by others.
 
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Robusto

Robusto

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Thanks Vikeman.
"I wouldn't look at the plums as "extra" fermentables, because in an 8% ABV beer, they are likely to, if anything, lower the ABV slightly, due to their water content."

It was my understanding that they were added in primary, but I could be wrong... it happened once before. 🤪
 

VikeMan

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Thanks Vikeman.
"I wouldn't look at the plums as "extra" fermentables, because in an 8% ABV beer, they are likely to, if anything, lower the ABV slightly, due to their water content."

It was my understanding that they were added in primary, but I could be wrong... it happened once before. 🤪
You could add them in the primary or in secondary. Either way, my point is that they are not going to raise the ABV of an 8% ABV beer. The "effective combined OG" of the wort plus the fruit will be lower than the OG of the wort alone. The plums' sugars will ferment, but their water will dilute.
 
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gunhaus

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I could suggest a somewhat unscientific stab in the dark for a start if you like,

Use 1.5 lb flake barley
1 lb C60
.5 lb Chocolate
.5 lb Carafa III
Then use enough 2 row of your choice to get you to 8 or 8.5 ABV using something like beer smith to calculate. I don't know your system or typical efficiency but the software will get you your numbers.

I would use enough of the hops to hit 35-38 IBU, and probably all 60 minute additions to start.
I would mash at 149ish based on your description of thin and dryer in profile.

For the fruit start with 1lb per gallon. Clean freeze, thaw then add to a paint bag, and plop into the fermentor about three to five days into primary ferment.

Let it go 2-4 weeks, then proceed according to your preferred method.

I would probably start with a good attenuating yeast like Notty or 1056. This should get you a drinkable porter at least, and a jumping off point to adjust to memory.
 
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