Author Topic: Porter/Stout - help me out  (Read 1306 times)

Offline Hand of Dom

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Porter/Stout - help me out
« on: January 25, 2016, 11:17:18 PM »
Having enjoyed a couple of glasses of Beavertown Smog Rocket at the weekend, I'd like to try my hand at making a smoked porter.

My prior attempts at stouts/porters have turned out lacking body, and struggling with head retention.  I've only been brewing all-grain since Feb 2015, using the BIAB method and a 90 minute mash.  Unless anyone advises me otherwise, I'm going to try a 60 minute mash at about 69c/156f.  Is this approach likely to improve the body of my beer, and the head retention of it?  Any suggestions on water profile?
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 03:13:45 AM »
I've only tried one smoked beer (added some smoked malt and a smoked acorn squash to a brown ale... came out bad) but after buying a stout faucet I've been on a stout kick lately brewing 3 in recent sucession.

Stout 1: This one I tried to get close to Guinness.

Grain: 76% Muntons Marris Otter, 14% Flaked Barley, 10% Muntons Roasted Barley
Hops: 35ibus from a Hop Shot (made from Apollo)
Water: I forget the water profile TBH but pH was a big factor hear. I ended up reserving the roasted barley until the last 10m or so of the mash. So when I added they Roasted Barley it brought down the pH. The serving pH of the beer was ~3.85 (which ended up being close to Guinness). The acidty/"tang" definitely was a driving factor of the beer.
Yeast: WLP 004, Irish Ale (65f then diacytel rest ~69f).

I liked the beer, I mostly brewed it for my girlfriend (a wine drinker who after spending a decent bit of time in Dublin took a likeing to Guinness). I set her up blind with this beer and a Guinness. The beers were noticeably different and she guessed wrong as to which was which citing some weird flavors from the Guinness (I fermented pretty cool and did a diacytel rest so I think the cleaner yeast flavors were why).

Stout 2: Here I decided to try to brew the smoothest stout I could.

Grain: 73% Breiss 2-Row, 14% Flaked Oats, 11% Debittered Black Malt, 3% Lactose
Hops: 25ibu's from a hop shot
Water: Here I added the dark grains at the beginning and targeted a high mash pH of 5.6 (4.1 final beer pH)
Yeast: US05 (65f)

This beer came out almost too smooth. Went down pretty easy - the debittered malt really kicks off a nice chocolate flavor though (as supposed to the more sharp roast like taste of roasted barley).

Stout 3:

Grain: 75% Crisp Marris Otter, 10% Flaked Oats, 5% Victory, 5% Muntons Roasted Barley, 5% Weyerman Caraffa III Special. I mashed higher than expected accidentally (158f)
Hops: 30ibus from CTZ
Water:  Ca 66, S04 54, Cl 126 - 5.6 mash ph (4.3 final beer pH)
Yeast: WLP 002 (66f then 70f diacytel rest) was chosen for low attenuation (going for low alcohol/full body).

This is on tap now and I've been enjoying it. The only complaint is the CTZ bittering is a bit rough (although it seems to be mellowing out nicely).

Next time I'm going to switch back to the hop shot (or maybe Magnum) and see if I like 5% UK crystal malt.

So anyway - that was a long answer to a short question. I've found that I personally prefer my stouts mashed high (again, going for malty, full bodied, low abv) so 156f sounds good - should result in less attenuation, higher final gravity/body. Water wise I prefer targeting a higher mash pH (5.5-5.6) unless you're specifically going for that Guinness feel.

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 11:01:21 AM »
Hi Brody.  Thanks for the response, Stout 3 looks like the sort of thing I'm looking for.  Might use 15% smoked malt in place of some of the Maris Otter, and go with a hop such as Magnum or Goldings.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  Cheers.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 03:07:38 PM »
No problem, yea Stout 3 is my favorite thus far. Goldings were a thought I had as well, I imagine traditionally stouts/porters used low alpha EKG like for bittering.

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 11:59:48 PM »
Here's the recipe I'm going to try tomorrow:

55% Maris Otter
15% Smoked malt
10% Flaked oat malt
5% Biscuit malt
5% Dehusked Carafa 3
5% Brown malt
5% Roasted Barley

30 IBU Magnum for 60 mins.

CaCL, and NaHCO3 added to get to a mash pH of 5.65, and a chloride/sulphate ratio of 1.99
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 10:35:08 PM »
Reduced the CaCL a bit, ended up with a ratio or 1.55.  Missed my target volume too, and finished with about 25% more than intended, with the consequential dip in gravity (1.050, rather than 1.059).
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline beersk

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 02:36:44 PM »
Brody, what kind of "high FG's" are you talking about? 1.016? 1.018? I like dark beers to finish around 1.016, as I feel that's the sweet spot.
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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 01:56:27 PM »
Had a taste of a gravity sample earlier (1.018 down from 1.050), and it tastes fantastic.  Not really bothered if this gets any lower (expecting 1.015 at 71%AA, would have been 1.019 had I got my numbers correct when brewing).  Looking forward to drinking this, and making more.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2016, 05:59:00 PM »
Been drinking this for the last week, and I've got to say I'm happy with it, but there is room for improvement.  Firstly, I'd up the ABV by getting my volumes right next time.  Secondly I'd up the smoked malt percentage in place of the equivalent Maris Otter, probably go equal amounts of MO and smoked.  Lastly, my head retention remains poor.  On initial pouring, it's generating a decent head, but that fades pretty rapidly.  Not sure how to address this, maybe a quantity of carapils/dextrin malt or a darker crystal malt.  Overall I'm happy, this is the best stout I've produced thus far.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline denny

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2016, 06:03:19 PM »
Been drinking this for the last week, and I've got to say I'm happy with it, but there is room for improvement.  Firstly, I'd up the ABV by getting my volumes right next time.  Secondly I'd up the smoked malt percentage in place of the equivalent Maris Otter, probably go equal amounts of MO and smoked.  Lastly, my head retention remains poor.  On initial pouring, it's generating a decent head, but that fades pretty rapidly.  Not sure how to address this, maybe a quantity of carapils/dextrin malt or a darker crystal malt.  Overall I'm happy, this is the best stout I've produced thus far.

Re: foam...if you have other problems, adding carapils or any other ingredient won't help.  Start by reading this...it has tests to help you diagnose the problem.....http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Porter/Stout - help me out
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2016, 06:46:47 PM »
Cheers Denny.  I have suspected my glass washing regime may play a part (plain old washing up liquid, possibly don't rinse them well enough), but I don't appear to have the same problems with "brown" beers (belgian strongs and brown ales), just my saisons, pale ales and stouts. 
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017