Tuesday, March 19, 2013

LowTech Brown Porter v4

Quickly becoming a household favorite, I've brewed this brown porter on 3 different occasions, subtle changes each time.  For batch #4, the hop schedule remains intact.

However, due to limited supplies as well as an effort to reduce the malt bill's complexity, I've switched out the Canadian Two-row base malt in favour of Muntons Maris Otter.  The Maris Otter adds enough character that I figured the 2% Melanoidin used in previous version was redundant.  I've dropped the primary crystal malt, CaraMunich I, which had previously accounted for near 5% of the grist and increased CaraAroma from 2% to 7.5%.  I am hoping with a slight increase in the total crystal malt as well as increasing the mash temperature to 154F, I have enough dextrines to make up for 7.5% Flaked barley which has also been eliminated.

LowTech Brown Porter v4

OG 1.050/ IBU ~23/ SRM ~23/ ~41L

87.0% Muntons Maris Otter
7.50% Weyermann CaraAroma (130L)
03.7% Muntons Chocolate Malt
01.9% Muntons Black Patent Malt

8.95 AAU of Chinook @ 60 minutes
5.60 AAU of Willamette @ 15 minutes
5.60 AAU of Willamette @ 5 minutes

I am now brewing on a 50L Keggle so I was able to use two different yeasts.  One half received WLP005, the other a special Whitelabs strain, Essex Ale Yeast WLP022.

Recipe brewed March 17th

As noted previously, mash was conducted at 154F for 60 minutes.  I then batch sparged and boiled the wort for 60 minutes hopping according to the schedule above.  At the end of the boil, I whirlpooled for 20 minutes and then proceeded to chill the wort to 68F in 17 minutes.  The wort was given a chance to stand for 40 minutes where most of the cold break and hops and fallen to the bottom of the boil kettle.  

The wort was then transferred to each of the fermentation vessels where it was aerated with a Fizz-X wine degasser for 5 minutes.  WLP005 showed signs of activity within 3 hours.  The Essex Ale yeast was pitched directly from the Whitelabs vial and took near 30 hours before showing signs of krausen.  Should have used a starter.

1.5 tsp Calcium chloride, 1/2 tsp Gypsum, 1/2 tsp Epsom and 60g Acid malt added to the mash for pH of 5.50.   Final water numbers:

Ca 44, Mg 6, Na 18, Cl 51, S04 64 

Update March 19th

Both batches are actively fermenting.  I've completed a first "brown skim" off the WLP022 and have top cropped the second rise.  The WLP005, which is fermenting in a glass carboy, is showing vigorous activity.  The WLP005 yeast had been reclaimed from a previous batch of low gravity bitter, it appears very happy in it's new Porter environment.  Ambient temperatures in the fermentation room have ranged from 62 to 66F. 

Update March 20th

Essex Ale Yeast has been skimmed a third time.  This crop was extremely clean. 

Update March 24th 

Essex Ale Yeast (WLP022) - Gravity tested @ 1.0185 (4.7°P), 64% Attenuation
British Ale Yeast (WLP005) - Gravity tested @ 1.0169 (4.3°P), 66% Attenuation 
I have roused the WLP022 and increased the ambient temperature in the fermentation room.  I'd like to see the attenuation higher.   The ratings on either yeast is near 75%, so I am well below at this point.  Since both yeasts are behaving similarly, I am attributing the low attenuation with my mash.  7.5% crystal malt and 154F conversion temperature may have produced more unfermentable sugars than I had planned for. 

Update March 25th

Essex Ale Yeast (WLP022) - Gravity tested @ 1.0182 (4.64°P), 64% Attenuation
British Ale Yeast (WLP005) - Gravity tested @ 1.0162 (4.13°P), 66% Attenuation 
It appears neither yeast is moving much.  I sampled both tonight, I'd say at this point, the WLP005 is the better of the two.  Finishes slightly drier, more bready although the nose on the WLP005 is fruitier.  The WLP022 Essex Ale smells slightly of green apple and clearly needs more time to condition.  As far as flocculation, it's close with WLP005 being slightly clearer. 

Update March 27 

WLP005 racked to keg.  Pressure set to 36psi.  Recovered 600ml of slurry (300ml x 2 jars), topped off with boiled and cooled water.  

Update March 29th 

Vented the WLP005 keg and dropped to serving pressure.  Pulled a couple pints tonight.  Nice beer.  A little too bitter, might consider a different hop at 60 on future batch.  I am also missing the complexity some of the dropped specialty hops had provided in previous batches.  Little cloudy still.  

Update March 30th 

Racked WLP022 Brown Porter to secondary.  ~ 250ml of slurry recovered from the bottom of the fermenter and added to a 500ml mason jar filled with boiled and cooled water.

Update April 1st

WLP022 wort currently sitting in secondary, looks very clean.  Almost completely free of all yeast and other materials. 

Update May 16th 

WLP022 beer racked to keg, pressure set to 38psi.

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