Well, after mashing too hot (~157.5)
, the beer still came down to 1.018 after a week - close enough. It is a bit hoppy for treating half the batch with fruit, but I still went ahead with that. After all, porter in the 1700's was around 60 IBUs or up to even 150 IBUs, so 38 IBUs isn't over the top. Otherwise the recipe tasted very nice.
Anyway, yesterday I added the fruit and chocolate, 10 lbs of my thawed cherries (mix of sweet and tart), that I first pitted + ~8 oz. of "Tart is Smart" montmorency 100% cherry juice concentrate + 8 oz. Hershey's unsweetened cocoa. I put it altogether in a pot and pasteurized at ~160F for 20 minutes. This wasn't too hard since I have a quick read thermocouple digital thermometer for numerous quick checks. I stirred a lot with a clean plastic spatula (gets into the corner where the pot wall meets the base) to keep the temp uniform throughout the batch. I poured that into a sanitized 6.5 gal bucket and then chilled that in a cold water bath until below 70F. There was one gallon of it. Next, I racked 5 gallons of the 1-week old porter on top, and added some anti-foam drops just in case! I don't think I sucked up enough of the yeast cake when transferring. After 24 hrs there was still minimal pressure out the airlock, so I just added another packet of US-05 and it is doing well now.
Man, my kitchen smelled great with the cherry chocolate goodness! After 10 - 11 days I will cold condition for a day or 2 and then rack to a keg, with a small sock of sanitized cheesecloth or similar clamped over one end during racking to keep fruit sediment out of the keg.
Oh, I also checked again and in case you don't know, the diacetyl rest for a porter is done solely by leaving the beer an extra couple days in the fermenter before kegging or bottling.
And, I found that toasting the flaked oats went well at 325F, stirring every 6 minutes until done. I used a hotel pan that had a lot of surface area to make it go a bit quicker. It took about 30 minutes, while the strike water was heating.