Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association
Homebrew Recipes

Sparrow Hawk Porter

Treat yourself to this gloriously bittersweet black porter, and your heart will “soar like a hawk” at first taste. Served cold, the bitterness is enhanced; served at temperatures above 50°F (10°C), its sweet character will take the forefront. Its distinctly bitter bite does not linger long enough to be bracing. Its sweetness is like an impatient songbird, hidden in the darkness of midnight. As Sparrow Hawk lingers it becomes more enjoyable.

This recipe was originally featured in the Charlie Papazian’s column “World of Worts” in the November/December 2013 issue of Zymurgy.

Sparrow Hawk Porter | Robust Porter


  • For 5 gallons (19 L)
    • 4.5 lb. (2 kg) German or other light or amber malt extract syrup
    • 3.3. lb. (1.5 kg) plain dark malt extract syrup
    • 1 lb. (450 g) black malt
    • 1.5 oz. (42 g) Northern Brewer hops (boiling), 13 HBU
    • 1 oz. (28 g) Tettnang or Santiam hops (aroma)
    • 0.25 tsp. (1 g) powdered Irish moss
    • American Ale yeast or White Labs Cry Havoc yeast
    • 0.75 cup (175 mL) corn sugar or 1.25 cup (300 mL) dried malt extract (for bottling)


    • Original Gravity: 1.060
    • Final Gravity: 1.016
    • ABV: 5.8%
    • IBU: 38
    • SRM: 50
    • Boil Time: 60 minutes


    Add the crushed black malt to 2 gallons (7.5 L) of water and let steep at 150–160°F (65–71°C) for 30 minutes, then remove the grains with a strainer. Add the malt extracts and boiling hops and boil for 60 minutes. Add Irish moss for the last 10 minutes of the boil. Add the aroma hops for the final few minutes of the boil. Strain, sparge, and transfer immediately to 2 gallons (7.5 L) of cold water in the fermenter. Top off with additional water to make 5 gallons (19 L). Add the yeast when cool and ferment to completion. Bottle when fermentation is complete.