As I said in my 2015 Brewing Goals post, I was going to focus on a few styles (saison, hoppy beers, sours) and I have done almost exclusively that so far this year. As much as I love re-brewing the same beers with little tweaks and making them better/honing in on them, every so often you need to switch things up.
I decided I wanted to brew a porter for a couple of reasons. 1) A stout/porter/dark beer is a nice change of pace from saisons/hoppy/sours. 2) Some of my favorite beers that I've had (and some I haven't had, but desperately want) are porters ie: Funky Buddha Last Snow, Angry Chair German Chocolate Cake, Hill Farmstead Everett. 3) Porter is a great style to serve as a base for different treatments (Last Snow has coffee, coconut, white chocolate, German Chocolate Cake has cacao nibs, coconut and vanilla) and if you've read a little of my blog, you'll notice I love splitting a batch 3 ways to get different beers.
Now, I've read countless arguments about porter vs stout and it seems like nobody knows what differentiates the two styles. Personally, I don't really care about putting this beer into a style category as I don't aim to enter this in competitions. Initially I was shooting for a lower ABV, sweeter, lighter (brown to dark brown) beer with little roast character (which is what pops into my head when someone describes a porter). In researching recipes, I think I actually drifted away from that in an effort to get something like Hill Farmstead's Everett. I think the beer I ended up with will be a little roastier (maybe too much roasted malt?), but should end up with a higher finishing gravity to add some sweetness and hopefully a little bit of syrupy-ness, which I actually like. Either way, I think this beer will get tweaked a few times because I'd love to have a good porter in my back pocket.
60 minute boil
5.5 lb 2 Row
0.75 lb Chocolate Malt
0.75 lb C60
0.75 lb Roast Barley
0.25 oz Chinook (60 min)
0.5 oz Chinook (15 min)
Wyeast 1318 @64F. Mashed at 154F.
OG 1.066 | FG 1.022 | ABV 6.0% | IBU 33
Ca 237 | Mg 2 | Na 87 | Cl 219 | SO4 253 | HCO3 269
3/21/15: Brewday. OG 1.063 (Ended up with > 3 gal). Seriously dark. Mash pH high (5.6), added lactic to lower.
3/22/15: Cooled overnight to pitching temp, added decanted 1L starter. Fermentation was visible within hours.
3/24/15: Down to 1.026.
4/8/15: Racked 1 gallon onto 12 oz of frozen raspberries. Racked 1 gallon onto 49 g toasted unsweetened coconut.
4/14/15: Bottled the 2 variants and the plain batch.