Sunday, April 22, 2012

#20 - HopChoc Porter [All Grain]

After making (and drinking) quite a lot of pale ales I was starting to get a bit sick of them and wanted to try something with a completely different flavour profile. I decided I would try to make a Porter with a chocolatey flavour and hoppy aroma. The freezer already had Warrior, Amarillo hops leftover and WLP007 yeast which I had harvested from the previous batch (#19). Normally I attempt to find recipes that are tried and trusted but for various reasons such as left over hops and lack of availability of ingredients in the home-brew store,  I made a unique brew this time. Due to my unfamiliarity with combinations of different dark malts I had to consult some brewing forums to make sure I wasn't making nasty additions. After a few suggestions and subsequent tweaks I settled on the final recipe (added at end of this article). 

I had ordered the grain from the home-brew store the previous week and unfortunately forgot to buy some DME for making the yeast starter. I had a quick look in my local store, as I had seen discussions before about some stores stocking malt extract for cooking, no luck unfortunately. I decided that I would try my hand at making an all grain starter for the first time. I had seen this video a while ago and it seemed fairly straightforward. I was making this starter to fit into a 1 litre conical flask for using on a stir plate so I halved all the ingredients he was using and followed the same technique. 

Mash In
In the oven for 60m
I put a thermometer in the oven to keep an eye on the temperature and needless to say it was fluctuating wildly! I checked it once and the temperature had dropped to 135deg F and later it had risen as hight as 170F! While this was the 'ambient' temperature of the oven, I didn't really know what was happening to the grain in the pot. I didn't wait to find out and took it out of the oven and put it on the cooker at a low heat. I spent the next stressful 50 minutes turning on and off the heat to try and maintain a temperature of 152deg F. I don't know if I needed to be that accurate but I made a decision at the end of that mash and hour of cleaning up the kitchen. Never again will I make an all grain starter unless it is an emergency. It is NOT worth the hassle. I pitched the yeast and put it on the stir plate. It must have been nearly all dead as it took nearly 48hours to really get going. 

I made an additional mistake when ordering from the home brew store, I accidentally ordered whole chocolate malt and the crystal malt I got didn't look crushed either. I don't have a grain mill so that left me with 3 methods of grinding the grain; rolling pin, hand blender and adjustable coffee grinder. There was no way I was going to the trouble of using the rolling pin so I tried a small portion of chocolate malt in both the hand grinder and the coffee grinder at its coarsest setting. I got the following result:
Chocolate Malt - (Hand blender and coffee grinder)
The coffee grinder pulverised the grain (with surprising ease) no matter what setting I had it at. If I wanted a stuck mash, this would be one way to achieve it. The hand blender gave a much coarser blend with 2 or 3 pules being enough per half cup of grain. I figured that the chocolate and crystal malt were only contributing around 25% to the total amount of grains so it should be OK if they are ground finer than usual. I finished off the rest of the grains with the blender. 
Ingredients weighed out and ready for mashing
This was an impromptu brewday so I hadn't filled the kettle with water the night before to let the chlorine seep out. I decided to use water from the hot tap which some people use to save money but I am using as the chlorine has already seeped out. From what I understand the water from my cold storage tank feeds into the hot water tank and the cold water tank would have been sitting for several days thus the chlorine will have already seeped out. This is particularly noticeable when brushing my teeth, I can't taste any chlorine when brushing in the bathroom(tank fed) but it reeks of chlorine when brushing in the kitchen(mains fed). Our hot water tank is boiled every night with electricity at the night rate so I'm assuming it is a hostile environment for any nasties to survive in. It would be boiled again in the kettle anyway.   

Mash after 60m
First Runnings
I undershot my mash temperature as I think the grain was cold and I hadn't put that into Beersmith. In future I will always assume it is cold and stir for a few minutes if I overshoot rather than have to add boiling water which is a pain. I subtracted all the boiling water I added from my sparge volume but somehow still ended up with a much higher pre-boil volume than expected. I should have had only 26L but I ended up with more like 29Litres which was very close to the top! 
Watching for a boil-over 
11 Brix (1044) pre-boil gravity
Nothing much to talk about during the boil other than I didn't know what to do with myself as it was only 3 additions compared to the 90+ additions I had in the previous (#19) batch. I also had a massive volume at the end of the boil with nearly 25Litres going into the fermenter. I pitched the starter and it took off about 6 hours later.  I will add the hops for dry hopping once the Krausen has fallen. 

Recipe: HopChoc Porter TYPE: All Grain
Style: Robust Porter
---RECIPE SPECIFICATIONS-----------------------------------------------
SRM: 69.8 EBC SRM RANGE: 43.3-69.0 EBC
IBU: 48.4 IBUs Tinseth IBU RANGE: 25.0-50.0 IBUs
OG: 1.055 SG OG RANGE: 1.048-1.065 SG
FG: 1.012 SG FG RANGE: 1.012-1.016 SG
BU:GU: 0.883 Calories: 427.1 kCal/12 oz Est ABV: 5.6 %
EE%: 70.00 % Batch: 19.00 l      Boil: 26.21 l BT: 60 Mins
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
3000.00 g             Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC)         Grain         1        61.2 %        
500.00 g              Amber Malt (43.3 EBC)                    Grain         2        10.2 %        
500.00 g              Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC)                   Grain         4        10.2 %        
500.00 g              Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (78.8 EBC)    Grain         3        10.2 %        
200.00 g              Black (Patent) Malt (985.0 EBC)          Grain         5        4.1 %         
200.00 g              Chocolate Malt (886.5 EBC)               Grain         6        4.1 %         
Total Grain Weight: 4900.00 g Total Hops: 95.00 g oz.
---MASH PROCESS------MASH PH:5.40 ------
Name              Description                  Step Temperature  Step Time       
Mash In           Add 9.75 l of water at 171.5 152.0 F           60 min          
Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (23.87l) of 168.1 F water
---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG Est OG: 1.055 SG
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
10.00 g               Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min        Hop           7        16.4 IBUs     
20.00 g               Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min        Hop           8        25.2 IBUs     
15.00 g               Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min         Hop           9        4.9 IBUs      
10.00 g               Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min    Hop           10       1.9 IBUs      
---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 01/04/2012 - 4.00 Days at 67.0 F
Secondary Start: 05/04/2012 - 10.00 Days at 67.0 F
Style Carb Range: 1.80-2.50 Vols

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