Friday, March 29, 2013

Belgian Porter Tasting

Back in late January, after I kegged my first batch of patersbier, I decided to reuse a portion of the yeast cake and brew a Belgian porter with it. While I can't say I've drunk many commercial Belgian Porters, my hopes for this recipe was that it would make an easy drinking and lighter flavored porter that showcases some of the stone-fruit esters from the Rochefort yeast. Or something along the line of Allagash Black, but without the heavy roasted malt flavors. Looking back, I probably should have used a more characterful yeast and adjusted the grain bill for more specialty malt flavor, given how neutral the WLP540 yeast fermented out. With that said, while this beer might not have turned out exactly as I had planned, I would still like to try my hand at a few more darker Belgian beers in the coming months.

Belgian Porter : Specialty Beer

Recipe Specifics: 
Batch Size (Gal): 4.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 10.00
Anticipated OG: 1.060 
Anticipated FG: 1.012
Anticipated SRM: 30
Anticipated IBU: 35
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

72.5% - 7.25 lbs. Pale Malt
10.0% - 1.00 lbs. Munich Malt
7.5% - 0.75 lbs. Caramunich II
5.0% - 0.50 lbs. Chocolate Malt
2.5% - 0.25 lbs. Aromatic Malt
2.5% - 0.25 lbs. Special B

1.25 oz. Tettnang @ 60 min for 28 IBU
0.50 oz. Tettnang @ 30 min for 7 IBU
0.50 oz. Tettnang @ flame out

Yeast: WhiteLabs 540 Abbey Ale IV
Mash 152F for 60 min
Brewed on 27 January

Tasting Notes:
Appearance - Pours a clear, black color with ruby highlights and a large-bubbled, tan head that slowly settles to a thin ring. Somewhat over-carbonated.

Aroma -  Clean and neutral malt with a mellow toffee-dark caramel aroma. Little to no roastiness and the yeast character is nearly imperceptible, with the barest hints of stone fruit, banana, and raisins.

Taste - Pretty tame. Dark toffee/prune caramel flavor with a very slight chocolate/roast character. Hops lend a mellow bitterness with little to no flavor and the beer finishes dry and clean. As the beer warms, the esters become more evident, with the some of your typical "Belgian" flavors, although it is still quite reserved.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation out of the tap is too high and after some de-carbing, the beer has a medium-thin mouthfeel and drinks like a much smaller beer. 

Drinkability & Notes - Hmm. Not exactly what I was expecting when I brewed this, as the beer lacks those big Belgian flavors and tastes more like a 3.5% dubbel or a Belgian version of an English mild, but the flavors are still nice. Even with a decent amount of alcohol, this beer is very sessionable and it is easy to put away two or three pints at one sitting. Given how fast this beer fermented and how clean/neutral the yeast character is, I probably over pitched the yeast and/or fermented it too cold. In short, the yeast behaved the same as it did with my patersbier. I don't know if I'd go out of my way to use this yeast again. Recipe could use some tweaking.

6.0% ABV, 35 IBU, WhiteLabs 540 Abbey Ale IV.

Patersbier Tasting Here

1 comment:

  1. Man up and don't be such a nancyboi. This yeast is a cleanish Belgian yeast. If you want something more pronounced, try 500 or 530.


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