Cooking with Beer: Chocolate Stout Cake

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Vanilla Porter

So, this is my first full batch of all grain beer. Loving porters n' stouts, I figured "I'll brew a porter!" Well, kind of. I calculated my stuff wrong using Hopville before I had Beer Alchemy, got my supplies, then ran it through Beer Alchemy and turns out I am .01 too high on the final gravity and 2.5 SRM too dark for it to be a porter so its really a stout but hey, I can't tell the difference and neither can you.

I should also point out, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to measuring. This is because I rarely care about repeatability. If it tastes good, I'm fine with it and if I repeat everything exactly the same the next time, it'll probably end up the same next time... right? (ehh, probably not, but who cares. You're reading the blog called The Lonely Boner so are you surprised I don't care about this stuff?)

Anyway, here's the recipe:

10# Maris Otter two row 80%
1# German CaraMunich III 8%
1# US Chocolate Malt 8%
.5# US Pale Chocolate Malt 4%

1 oz 11.4 alpha Chinook pellets @ 60 minutes

Wyeast Irish Ale Yeast

5 Madagascar Vanilla Beans soaked in just enough vodka to cover them for a few weeks

Ok, so for the process. I crushed the grains a bit too fine, got a bit more flour than I meant to, and ended up getting a stuck mash.

I don't even know what the mash process I used is called. I mashed a bit hotter than I wanted to and ended up mashing for 1 hour at 156 degrees F. I ended up with a stuck mash, which was fun dealing with... not. I took the first runnings and recirculated them, then sparged with enough water to end up with 6.5 gallons of wort. From then on, it was pretty easy.

Fermented at around 68 degrees F for 12 days. At that point I bottled one 22 oz bottle and racked the rest onto a carboy with the vanilla extract and gave it a good shake to mix it up. I also took a 4 oz sample and it tasted spot on, with chocolate, roasty malt flavors and a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. I was worried about it being too bitter but it wasn't bad and by the time I bottle it, the hops will have died down a bit.

The 22 oz bottle is so that I can taste the beer fully carbonated and without the vanilla, so I can compare and see if I nailed it on the vanilla front.

The theoretical stats of this beer are:
Style: quasi-Robust Porter
Original Gravity: 1.065
Final Gravity: 1.017
ABV: 6.4%
IBU: 43.3
SRM: 37.5 (black)

I have pics uploaded to Facebook that maybe I'll get around to posting here but for right now, Facebook is being a real bitch. Next post will probably be a tasting of the porter. Cheers!

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