[This recipe was featured in the September/October 2017 issue of Zymurgy magazine.]
In the mid-1800s, Baltic porter as a style relieved a formative transformation: lager yeast. Cold shipping of the first strong porter exports had mellowed the English-brewed porters, but beers brewed in the Baltic countries needed yeast adapted to ferment cool, not just condition cold.
Lager yeast therefore became the Baltic brewery standard; ale yeasts were unsuitable, and strong porters lost much of their ale yeast-derived ester and phenols,, gaining signature lager smoothness.
Continental-Style Baltic Porter | Baltic Porter
- 5 lb. (2.27 kg) Pilsner malt
- 4.25 lb. (1.93 kg) 10° L Munich malt
- 4 lb. (1.81 kg) Vienna malt
- 1 lb. (0.45 kg) Caramunich malt
- 8 oz. (227 g) Special B malt
- 8 oz. (227 g) Briess Extra Special malt
- 8 oz. (227 g) Carafa II malt
- 0.5 oz. (14 g) Marynka, 10.5% a.a. @ 60 min
- 2 oz. (57 g) Lublin, 5% a.a. @ 20 min
- White Labs WLP802 Budejovice lager yeast (4L starter)
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet or 1 tsp. (5 g) Irish moss @ 15 min
- Original Gravity: 1.077 (18.75° P)
- Final Gravity: 1.012 (3° P)
- ABV: 8.6%
- IBU: 29
- SRM: 29
Mash in at 148° F (64° C) and monitor pH if necessary. Hold for at least one hour. Mash out at 168° F (76° C), and sparge at 170° F (77° C). Sparge enough volume for a 120-minute boil.
After 60 minutes of boiling, add the 60-minute hops. At 20 minutes, add 20-minute hops. At 15 minutes, add either 1 Whirlfloc tablet or 1 tsp. (5 g) of Irish moss.
After the boil, stir wort vigorously to create a whirlpool and precipitate out the trub. Chill wort to 48° F (9° C) as quickly as possible, run off into a fermenter, oxygenate, and cold-pitch yeast starter.
Ferment at 48° F (9° C) until signs of fermentation are evident (usually within 36 hours). Ferment at 50° F (10° C) for the next two weeks, and then allow temperature to free-rise to 55° F (13° F) and ferment until activity slows. Conduct a long diacetyl rest at 60° F (16° C) until terminal gravity is reached (7 to 14 days) before crashing the beer to lagering temperature. Cold condition for at least 1 month at 35° F (2° C) before packaging, although 3 months is better.
Substitute Pilsner malt with 4 lb. (1.81 kg) Pilsner liquid malt extract. Substitute Munich malt with 3.5 lb. (1.59 kg) Munich liquid malt extract. Substitute Vienna malt with 3 lb. (1.36 kg) Vienna liquid malt extract. Decrease Caramunich to 8 oz. (227 g). Steep grains in 155° F (68° C) reverse osmosis (RO) water for 30 minutes. Remove grains, rinse, dissolve extracts, and top up to desired boil volume with RO water. Proceed as above.