Monday, October 09, 2006

BrewV - Porter (John Palmer)

OG1.054 IBU35
Somewhere between a brown ale & a stout this beer is perfect for using up some spare ingredients I had knocking around, mostly darker malt extracts I bought during my original mix and match purchase at the HBS. Loosely following the Porter-Palmer recipe with the addition of 250g crystal malt and using Challenger & Goldings in place of the American hops. The addition of crystal malt in previous recipes provided a vast improvement in flavour over straight extract beers adding a caramel flavour & better head. Before moving on to all grain brewing I thought I'd take the chance to try out a full boil for the first time. I feel that I can divulge the recipe for this one becuase I have completely adapted it from the published porter recipe all previous recipes are as per Palmers book.

Challenger 8% - 60minutes - 22g 21IBU
Goldings 5% - 40minutes - 23g 12IBU
Goldings 5% - 20minutes - 14g 5IBU

(19L recipe)
1.6kg diastatic malt extract
1kg medium spraymalt
0.5kg dark spraymalt
250g crystal malt - steeped

Procedure- Full boil 22L (19L final)
Given that this is quite a strong flavoured beer it's a good one to experiment with. I completely reworked the hopping, taking into account the new full boil gravity & different alpha acid% hops. I maintained the same boil shedule & IBU's. Unlike previous boils this has a schedule of hop additions (in 1hr count down fashion) of 60minutes, 40minutes & 20 minutes. This means I guess I'll get little or no aroma but some very strong flavour from the hops, the procedure inkeeps with the style of this beer.

As per advice from the HBForum (where I have learnt so much) it's best to dissolve the spray malt in the boil water whilst it is still quite cool and then liquid malt extract when it is really hot, mixing it in with a large whisk. The 8.5kw burner achieved a rolling boil within 20 minutes and I added the hops in cotton hop bags to keep them enclosed.

Cooling-
The only original ingenuity I used in this brew was with my cooling method, the counterflow cooler uses hose water to cool the hot wort which is let through the exchanger slowly. Blikman engineering claim the unit will cool 5gal of boiling wort to ~25oc in 20minutes. I purchased a small pond pump for £10 and used it to recirculate 5gal of cooling water (in a brew bucket) through the exchanger in order to dramatically reduce water wastage. The wort ran a little fast and was cooled to 40oc in ~ 5minutes. The spent cooling water was leaving the exchanger at a dramatic 78oc and left the 5gal body terminally at ~ 50oc -> perfect for me to clean the boil kettle & hoses with. In future I recognise that I will need more cooling water to cool the wort more effectively possibly 10gal.

For the 3rd sucessive brew (after topping up the wort to 19L) I pitched the yeast at 35oc and saw activity in under 10minutes. Overnight a healthy 2" krausen (foam head) grew with some agressive airlock activity. Hydrometer readings indicate that the brew is stronger than anticipated with a gravity od~ 1.060, this would be due to the additioal 250g crytsal malt .

Results-
Dark brown & very drinkable, a pleasant caramel flavour works well with the strong bitter tone. The beer has almost no nose. I could drink this beer all day & it could work well with mixed gas and a creamer nozzle (like guinness.)

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