Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brown Porter with home-toasted Special Roast (All-Grain)

Yesterday was brew day, so we hiked our excited asses up to the Miami Valley Brewtensils for the freshest ingredients to brew our first 5 gallon all-grain batch, a basic brown porter.  We got there and found everything for this recipe easily, except one pound of British brown malt.  When I asked if they had it, Jeff Fortney told me they didn't, but they were getting it in soon with their bulk grain order.  He told me there was no straight substitute for British Brown, but he would use Special Roast 50L, with an added step: spread the grains on a flat pan, and toast them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes, checking periodically.  They would be done when the inside was a brownish white color.  Of course we decided to give it a shot.  Here we go:

Brown Porter #1 (All-Grain)
5 gallon batch

OG: 1.046
FG: 1.018
ABV: 3.7%

-6.5 lbs US 2-row Pale malt
-1 lb Caramel 40L
-1 lb toasted Special Roast 50L
-0.75 lb Chocolate 350L

-1 oz US Fuggles 4.8%AA (90 minutes)

-1 packet (11g) Danstar Nottingham dry yeast

-1 tsp Irish Moss (15 minutes)

 (Special Roast on right is pre-toasting)

First we had to toast the pound of Special Roast.  And boy, did it ever smell good!

First, we spread the grains out on a flat baking pan.

 While she spread the grains, I set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the oven was heated, we popped the grains in and set our timer for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating.  When we took the pan out, it looked like this:

When we cut one in half, the inside was brown-white, and we knew we were done.  We heated 3 gallons of strike water in our pot to 166 degrees, to try to attain a mash temperature of 152.  While that heated we crushed the toasted Special Roast.  Since we brew in a nylon mesh bag and don't have to worry about stuck sparges, we just ground them in our food processor.

Once the water hit 166, we turned off the stove and poured the grains into our already-secured mesh straining bag.

We stirred profusely with the mash paddle to break up clumps, and wrapped our trusty towel around the brew pot.

Always remember to write everything down!
There's no use in a good recipe if it can't be remembered.
After a 60 minute mash, we removed the grain bag to a drip bucket, and poured the wort into a separate bucket.  Time to sparge!  We heated 3 gallons of sparge water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit in the brew pot.  Then we replaced the grain bag, stirred a bit,

And let it sparge for 10 minutes.  After pulling the swollen sack from the sparge water and removing it to a drip bucket,

We poured the wort back in to mix with the sparge water and bring to a boil.

Holy crap!  That's way too full!
We cut it extremely close with our pot's headspace, and preferably would have had more, but still suffered no boil-over.  Needless to say, we hovered over the pot with brew paddle ready.
Once the wort came to a rolling boil, we put our ounce of Fuggles hops in a nylon bag, dropped it into the wort, and set the timer for 75 minutes.

After that 75 minutes had passed we added 1 tsp of Irish Moss (a fining agent) and stirred the boil periodically for 15 more minutes.
Then it was time to chill the wort, so we filled our sink with ice water, put the kettle in, and removed the hops bag.

After the wort cooled to around 115 degrees, we poured it into our fermentor.  It only reached the 4-gallon mark, so we brought another gallon of water to a boil, let it cool for a moment, and topped off our "Ale Pail" to achieve 5 gallons of raw porter.

We pitched the yeast straight into the fermentor without rehydration, at a higher temperature (around 104) than most would recommend, sealed the lid on tight, and fit with an airlock.  Then we sent it to the corner.

When we awoke this morning, it was bubbling away!  This should be a good mid-range Brown Porter.  Rest assured, we'll let you know how it turns out!

-Myles and Carla

1 comment:

  1. Funny, my ale pail looks just like yours! :-)

    I've been curious about roasting grains. I've never tried it because my local homebrew store always has what I want. But I've heard (as you say) that it smells delicious, and I figure it's got to impart an interesting flavor to the brew.

    I add heather to my brown ale and call it an Entish Brown Ale. It's pretty good.

    Good luck on yours!