Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brew Day: St. Stephens 1834 Porter

Been a bit busy around here. I didn't have a chance to test the diastatic potential of my homemade brown malts but I did manage to find a recipe to test it on; St. Stephens 1834 porter, courtesy of Ron's blog "Shut up about Barclay Perkins." This particular recipe interests me as it contains three malts (pale, brown, black) and has a higher % of black malt than many similar recipes. As I will be using my homemade brown malt (kilned over hornbeam wood), I suspect the smokey-coffee flavor of my malt will go nicely with the massively dark, roast character of the black malt. Something that will (hopefully) age well over the course of a year and pair nicely with some brett character. Aside, it is interesting to note that while my brown malt didn't exhibit much of a smokey character off the fire, when I went to grind the grain this morning, it had a definite smokey character to it. In fact, it immediately reminded me of fresh, dark roasted coffee beans. It smelled wonderful! Also, while I have heard people say modern brown malts are similar enough for these types of historical reproductions, I find that unlikely; especially if my brown malt is remotely similar to the types of brown malt they were making 150+ years ago.

Lastly, I'll be following the recipe pretty closely, although I will be reducing the IBU down from 80 to 45. Not historical I know, but I am more interested in getting a sense of what type of flavors the brown malt contributes than making an exact historical reproduction. Also, as I have a healthy batch of washed West Yorkshire yeast (wy1469), I will be fermenting this beer with it.

St. Stephens Porter : Historical Porter                                                                                                     Recipe Specifics:
Batch Size (Gal): 3.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.4
Anticipated OG: 1.067
Anticipated FG: 1.015
Anticipated SRM: 35
Anticipated IBU: 45
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

74.3%  - 6.5 lbs. Pale Malt, Maris Otter
20.0%  - 1.75 lbs. Brown Malt (homemade)
5.7%    - 0.50 lbs. Black Malt
2.0 oz. UK Fuggles @ 90 min for 40 IBU
0.50 oz. UK Fuggles @ 30 min 5 IBU

Yeast: WY1469 West Yorkshire
Mash 156F for 120 min
Brewed on 18 December

Half the batch will be fermented for three weeks and bottled for extended aging while the other half will be racked into a secondary with brettanomyces claussenii.


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