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Robust Porter... maybe?

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prah

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Hi folks, i'm a farly new all grain brewer (currently on my 5 batch), I absolutely need your advice on this one: on my last batch i was ready to brew a Stout so i bought a good amount of Maris otter as base malt and some specialties... except roasted barley (LOL) so i decided not to go for the stout way for this time. i Googled for a porter recipe since i had more than enough dark malts and a recipe showed up, i swear to god i find it somewhere but right now i can't recall where, anyway i wrote it on my notebook and made so modifications:

4Kg maris otter (8,82 lb)

1Kg Brown malt (2,2 lb) it should have been 1,5kg tho, following the recipe

700g carafa III (1,54lb) the recipe called for crystal but i didn't have it at the moment

400g light chocolate malt (0,88lb)

150g flaked barley + 50g flaked oats

the flaked barley and oats was a personal addition, i wanted to see if i could improve head retention.

Mash: 15,5L water at 66C for 1 hour

Sparge: 14,67L at 77C

pre boil close to 23L

Boil: 90min

47g challenger + 8g super styrian aurora for 90min

15 minutes from finishing:

14g challenger

OG 1,060

Yeast: 1 pack White Labs english ale yeas WLP002 pitched at 21C.

fermented for two weeks now at 18.4-18.8 C almost steadily, tho one.day for.an.hour or two i had a jump to 25C for a temperature controller misfunction.
today i tasted the beer and it's reeeeeally complex.in taste, has a wonderful smell, but i must admit it has a very hars taste, lots of coffee and chocolate. now here comes the part where i need you: i let 3 person with different tastes taste the beer in the primary and they all told me it was terrible, like.really terrible. every time I taste it i fall in love with it. does it really goes down to just personal.preferences or i might be so blind becouse it is my beer that i'm missing something crucial? maybe i misbalanced the specialties o i went for completely wrong malts, or I might have done something wrong in the procedure? as of today the beer is still fermenting, even tho it isn't bubbling i can se a lot of pressuer in the airlock, and Fg is currently at 1,020 so it's still gonna take some time. what do you guys think? is the harshness going to lower at some point? Am i doing lots of.mistakes? should i raise ferm temp a.little bit to encorouge fermentation a little.bit?
thank you guys
CHEERS.
n.b new to the forum aswell, nice to meet you all!
 

kevin58

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Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Ron Pattinson, English beer historian, and my suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt or completely dismissed if you don't care about historically accurate recipe design. If you are interested in learning the history of English, Scottish and other European beers then check out Ron's blog at http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com.

First off... Porter and Stout were very often partigyled from the same mash so the notion that porter did not have roasted barley is wrong.

Now to your recipe... if it were me I would drop the carafa and the light chocolate. I'm flipping through one of Ron's books right now and the most common grist combination for porter from the beginning of the 1800's to the mid 20th century is pale malt, brown malt and black malt. Amber malt is used quite often. You will run across invert sugar frequently and even some corn, oats, chocolate malt and roasted barley.

Over the course of the past year I brewed over half a dozen porters and stouts using recipes from Ron Pattinson's blog and books. By far my favorite was a porter taken from the brewing logbook of Whitbread Brewing in London. It was brewed sometime in 1880.

Scaled down to a 5 gallon batch...
Pale malt 10.75 lb (81.3%)
Brown malt 1.75 lb (13.21%)
Black malt 0.75 lb (5.66%)
Cluster 90 min 0.50 oz
Spalter 90 min 0.75 oz
Fuggle 60 min 1.25 oz
OG 1.055
FG 1.010
ABV 5.95
IBU 37
SRM 29
Mash at 150 F
Boil time 90 min
Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale yeast
 
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day_trippr

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The carafa 3 is a 500L malt. At 11% of the grist I'm not surprised the beer is a throat biter right now.
By contrast I use just under 2.2% of 500L malts in my imperial stout.

Most characters attenuate to some degree with time. This one might do well cellared for a few months...

Cheers!
 
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prah

prah

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thank you all guys for the awsome advices! i'm going to try kevin58's recipe in a few day before my exams, unfortunately my LHBS doesn't have neither spalter or cluster (out of stock, btw i have never seen them on stock) and it's also lacking the regular maris otter pale, it just has the extra pale. what hops can i use insted of those two? will the extra pale be an ok substitute for the regular pale? i stil have a couple of kg of the regular pale, shall i do a blend of the two? Also Wyeast 1099 is also out of stock too, can i just use the WL002 as before or it's not in style? sorry but currently is a pain in the ass managing to get proper ingredients to italy as they all come from abroad and HB shops don't stock so much of each product, so when i see something that i like i buy it in advance to use it later.
link to the extra pale malt : https://www.birramia.it/malto-in-grani-extra-pale-maris-otter-5-kg-crisp-malting.html
 

RM-MN

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fermented for two weeks now at 18.4-18.8 C almost steadily, tho one.day for.an.hour or two i had a jump to 25C for a temperature controller misfunction.
Depending on which day of the fermentation this occurred it may not have done anything. Your fermentation was probably complete by the end of day 4 and maybe sooner. After the yeast get done eating the sugars raising the temperature can be a good thing as it encourages them to clean up the intermediate products of fermentation.

as of today the beer is still fermenting, even tho it isn't bubbling i can se a lot of pressuer in the airlock
Bubbles in the airlock are for the entertainment of the brewer. It really isn't an indicator of how the fermentation is going. During the initial ferment, there is a lot of CO2 dissolved in the beer, more than it can hold for a long period. As this CO2 is expelled from the beer it will make the airlock bubble or show pressure but the beer was done long before that. The only tool to use to determine if the fermentation is over is the hydrometer.
 

kevin58

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thank you all guys for the awsome advices! i'm going to try kevin58's recipe in a few day before my exams, unfortunately my LHBS doesn't have neither spalter or cluster (out of stock, btw i have never seen them on stock) and it's also lacking the regular maris otter pale, it just has the extra pale. what hops can i use insted of those two? will the extra pale be an ok substitute for the regular pale? i stil have a couple of kg of the regular pale, shall i do a blend of the two? Also Wyeast 1099 is also out of stock too, can i just use the WL002 as before or it's not in style? sorry but currently is a pain in the ass managing to get proper ingredients to italy as they all come from abroad and HB shops don't stock so much of each product, so when i see something that i like i buy it in advance to use it later.
link to the extra pale malt : https://www.birramia.it/malto-in-grani-extra-pale-maris-otter-5-kg-crisp-malting.html
I didn't realize you had limited availability of ingredients. I have made that recipe using just Golding hops. Any English variety or equivalent works. Blending the malt you have on hand is fine. I have also subbed regular pale malt when I ran out of Maris Otter. The WL002 is a good choice too. Another yeast I like for this style is Imperial A-09 Pub but use whatever English/British strain you have available.
 
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prah

prah

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Depending on which day of the fermentation this occurred it may not have done anything. Your fermentation was probably complete by the end of day 4 and maybe sooner. After the yeast get done eating the sugars raising the temperature can be a good thing as it encourages them to clean up the intermediate products of fermentation.



Bubbles in the airlock are for the entertainment of the brewer. It really isn't an indicator of how the fermentation is going. During the initial ferment, there is a lot of CO2 dissolved in the beer, more than it can hold for a long period. As this CO2 is expelled from the beer it will make the airlock bubble or show pressure but the beer was done long before that. The only tool to use to determine if the fermentation is over is the hydrometer.
thank you man that's always good to know :D
 
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prah

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I didn't realize you had limited availability of ingredients. I have made that recipe using just Golding hops. Any English variety or equivalent works. Blending the malt you have on hand is fine. I have also subbed regular pale malt when I ran out of Maris Otter. The WL002 is a good choice too. Another yeast I like for this style is Imperial A-09 Pub but use whatever English/British strain you have available.
sorry if I keep on bothering you, i was choosing the hops for the beer and i chaous instead of spalter and cluster to use east kent golding and target, what do you think? i also have challenger or super styrian aurora laying around if target is not a good option (LHBS website is not recommending target for bitter).
 
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prah

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The carafa 3 is a 500L malt. At 11% of the grist I'm not surprised the beer is a throat biter right now.
By contrast I use just under 2.2% of 500L malts in my imperial stout.

Most characters attenuate to some degree with time. This one might do well cellared for a few months...

Cheers!
yep, I think i learned a big lesson, thank you ;D
 

kevin58

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sorry if I keep on bothering you, i was choosing the hops for the beer and i chaous instead of spalter and cluster to use east kent golding and target, what do you think? i also have challenger or super styrian aurora laying around if target is not a good option (LHBS website is not recommending target for bitter).
I don't know why your LHBS would not recommend Target for bittering, it's considered a dual purpose hops. While it is very well suited for late addition aroma purposes that doesn't mean its bittering characteristics should be discounted. You can use whatever you have on hand to achieve the IBU's you are after.
 
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prah

prah

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thank you :D thanks at everyone for the awesome advices, i'll post some updates when i finally manage to brew it :D
 

Northern_Brewer

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First off... Porter and Stout were very often partigyled from the same mash so the notion that porter did not have roasted barley is wrong.
They were partigyled, but that meant that stout generally didn't have roast barley, rather than meaning that porter generally did. Guinness didn't use roast barley until relatively late, in the late 1920s/early 1930s, by which time Dublin stout and London porter were well on their way to diverging.

4Kg maris otter (8,82 lb)

1Kg Brown malt (2,2 lb) it should have been 1,5kg tho, following the recipe

700g carafa III (1,54lb) the recipe called for crystal but i didn't have it at the moment

400g light chocolate malt (0,88lb)

150g flaked barley + 50g flaked oats

the flaked barley and oats was a personal addition, i wanted to see if i could improve head retention.
Well, it depends what you're trying to achieve. If you're going for a London-style porter, then we have a recipe of sorts direct from Fuller's for their version which is pretty much the benchmark for the style :
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...m-the-horses-mouth.642756/page-3#post-8674860

14% UK crystal 60L, 10% brown, 1.5% UK chocolate to 1.056, with 37 IBU of Fuggles and maybe a bit towards the end of the boil.

Southern England drinks its beer without a sparkler so head retention isn't a particular issue for London styles.

Target produces a fairly rough bitterness which 50% of people don't like, but 50% of people do like - it's a personal choice, there's no right or wrong there.
 

kevin58

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I didn't say generally did or didn't. Just that they were very often partigyled from the same mash meaning that if one did then so did the other.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I didn't say generally did or didn't. Just that they were very often partigyled from the same mash meaning that if one did then so did the other.
You said "the notion that porter did not have roasted barley is wrong".

Yes they were originally partigyled together but they had pretty much diverged a century ago, so saying that stout and porter share the same mash is like saying IPAs should always be hopped with Goldings. It's of historical interest but not really relevant to how beers are made now.

Likewise stouts being stronger than porter is baked into the name, but these days the average UK stout is actually a touch weaker than the average UK porter, as measured by Brewlab, because a lot of stouts are pandering to drinkers who associate "stout" with (4.2%) Guinness.
 

kevin58

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You said "the notion that porter did not have roasted barley is wrong".
And I stand by that statement because it is true.

Yes they were originally partigyled together
Right there is the proof. If they were partigyled from the same recipe and the stout had roasted barley then so did the porter.


but they had pretty much diverged a century ago,
Whitbread were partigyling stout and porter until 1940.

so saying that stout and porter share the same mash is like saying IPAs should always be hopped with Goldings.
Shared. Shared the same mash.

It's of historical interest but not really relevant to how beers are made now.
I do seem to recall that I couched my entire answer to the OP on the fact that I am a fan of historic beers. I never claimed I was talking about beer made now. Re read the part you quoted here... "the notion that porter did not have roasted barley is wrong"... it says "did not" not "does not". There is a difference.

History is always relevant. Knowing the history of beer broadens the brewers horizons.
 
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