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Dark Inception Imperial Porter was contributed by Marcus Baskerville of San Antonio’s Weathered Souls Brewing Co., and the leading force behind the Black Is Beautiful collaborative brewing project.
This recipe was inspired by 2013 AHA Homebrewer of the Year Annie Johnson. Seeing an African American woman win Homebrewer of the Year provided Marcus with a bright hope for his future in homebrewing and inspired his love of brewing big dark beers.
Dark Inception Imperial Porter is a thick-bodied, flavorful beer that features additions of raspberry, cacao, and vanilla, and is bursting with notes of toffee, caramel, coffee, chocolate, malt, liqueur, and fruit. It’s a perfect pairing with rich desserts or as a standalone finale for your evening.
If you are new to homebrewing, visit our How to Brew section for homebrewing tutorials and head to your local homebrew shop to pick up your gear and ingredients.
- If these specific malts/hops/yeasts aren’t available, substitutes are readily available. Your local homebrew shop can point you in the right direction!
- 6.6 lb (3.0 kg) Briess CBW® Pale Ale LME
- 4.0 lb (1.8 kg) Briess CBW® Traditional Dark DME
- 0.5 lb (230 g) Simpsons DRC™ Double Roasted Crystal 105-120°L
- 0.5 lb (230 g) Weyermann® Munich Type 2 10°L
- 0.5 lb (230 g) Simpsons Chocolate Malt 400-500°L
- 0.13 lb (60 g) Simpsons Black Malt 550-700°L
- 0.13 lb (60 g) Weyermann® Chocolate Wheat Malt 375-450°L
- 1 oz (28 g) Cascade 6.0% AA @ 60 min (6 AAU)
- ½ oz (14 g) Cascade 6.0% AA @ 15 min (3 AAU)
- Additional Ingredients
- 1 lb (450 g) Maltodextrin
- 2 Liters Boiron Raspberry Puree
- 7.8 oz (221 g) Cacao Nibs
- 2 Madagascar Vanilla Beans to be soaked in Bourbon for 1 week (or 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract)
- 1 Tbsp Fermax Yeast Nutrient (optional if your yeast is fresh)
- 2 sachets of Lallemand LalBrew® BRY-97 West Coast Ale Yeast 11g
- (2 sachets of any other brand of “Chico” strain may also be used)
Yield: 5 US gal (19L)
Original Gravity: 1.085 (20.5°P)
Final Gravity: 1.023 (5.83°P)
Bring 1 gallon (3.8L) of water to 175°F (80°C). Place grains in a strainer bag, and add to water, making sure that they are completely saturated. Steep grain for 30 minutes at approximately 165°F (74°C), stirring occasionally. Remove, rinse, and top off kettle to your normal boil volume.
Stir in the 4 lbs of DME, making sure that it is completely dissolved, then bring to a boil. Total boil time will be 60-90 minutes (depending on desired level of caramelization and desired OG). 30 minutes after reaching boil, add the 60-minute hop addition.
With 15 minutes of the boil remaining, turn off burner. Stir in the 6.6 lbs of LME, 1 lb Maltodextrin, and 1½ tsp Yeast Nutrient, ensuring that they are completely dissolved before turning burner back on. Once having reached boil again, add second hop addition and complete the final 15 minutes of boil.
Chill to 70°F (21°C). Transfer to fermenter, top off volume with water if necessary, and sprinkle yeast directly into wort.
Once you’ve pitched the yeast, you can create the vanilla bean tincture. Slice the two vanilla beans lengthwise, and place in a pint-sized canning jar. Add 1 cup (235 ml) of your preferred bourbon. Seal jar, set aside, and allow the beans to macerate (soak) for at least a week, shaking jar occasionally. The vanilla beans will be added to the fermenter 1 week before packaging (2 Tbsp of Pure Vanilla Extract can be substituted in place of the vanilla beans just before bottling or kegging).
Ferment at 64-72°F (18-22°C) for 14-21 days.
On 6th day of fermentation: Add 1½ tsp Yeast Nutrient, and 2 Liters of fruit puree to your fermenter. Gently swirl fermenter, if possible, to rouse yeast.
1 week before kegging or bottling: Pre-heat your oven to 300°F. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and spread the cacao nibs out evenly in a single layer. Place sheet on middle rack and bake for 10-12 minutes until aroma is released from cacao. Remove, and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place vanilla beans and cacao nibs in muslin bag, add to fermenter, and infuse for 7 days before packaging (if using vanilla extract add it just before packaging).
All Grain Version
Replace malt extract and specialty grains with:
- 11.5 lbs Crisp Finest Maris Otter
- 2.25 lb Weyermann® Munich Type 2 10°L
- 1.5 lb Simpsons DRC™ Double Roasted Crystal 105-120°L
- 0.75 lb Simpsons Chocolate Malt 400-500°L
- 0.25 lb Simpsons Black Malt 550-700°L
- 0.13 lb Weyermann® Chocolate Wheat Malt 375-450°L
Please note that grain bill is calculated for a brewhouse efficiency of 65%, adjust as needed. Mash at 151°F (66°C) for 75 minutes. Marcus recommends a 180-minute boil for the all-grain version of this recipe, but a 90-minute boil may be sufficient.
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