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Justin McClenahan of Silver Spring, MD, member of the The Brewing Network, won a gold medal in Category #6: Strong European Lager with a Baltic Porter during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. McClenahan’s Strong European Lager was chosen as the best among 269 entries in the category.Read More
The following recipe was featured in the January/February 2019 issue of Zymurgy magazine.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of homebrewers Rafa Palacios and Sergio Medina from Cádiz, Spain. Zymurgy editor-in-chief Dave Carpenter loved drinking this beer at the 2018 annual meeting of the Associación de Cerveceros Caseros Españoles (ACCE), the Spanish homebrewers association. We contacted Rafa and Sergio, and they kindly shared their recipe. Lace up your Docs and brew a batch of Black Hole Sun today. You won’t regret it.
The following recipe appears in "The Winners Circle: 18th Annual Peach State Brew Off" by Amahl Turczyn in the July/August 2011 issue of Zymurgy magazine.
This Baltic Porter is complex but well worth the wait, per its creator Ryan Stansbury with the Brewmasters of Alpharetta homebrew club. With this recipe and a meticulous process, he won best of show at the 2011 Peach State Brew Off in Atlanta, GA.
"There are two keys to brewing this beer. The first is the malt bill. It's fairly complex, and for that reason some patience is required. In my experience, the more complex the grain bill, the more conditioning the beer needs for the flavors to meld. I also recommend sourcing the debittered dark malts to keep the roastiness restrained. The other key is fermentation. The strain of yeast is largely unimportant and can be either lager or ale as long as esters are restrained. I used an ale yeast that ferments cleanly at lower temperatures just because it was available. The recipe is also fairly dry for the style, which is a personal preference, so just look for yeast that ferments cleanly, attenuates well, and can handle the higher ABV."
The beer styles that we are familiar with today have, of course, evolved for many years. A few years ago, Alastair Kocho-Williams wrote a piece in Zymurgy magazine about how Soviet beer styles evolved from four standardized Soviet beer groups in 1927 to many styles encompassing dark ales, dark lagers, “black” beers, “caramel” beers, and much more. We imagine that the Baltic porter would have fit into the black category, which requires that the beers have a minimum original gravity of 1.052 and a minimum ABV of 1.2%. This brew certainly fits into that category ending in a whopping 10.2% - the rye malt adds a nice spice to complement the traditional flavor profile of a Baltic porter.
This recipe was originally featured in the March/April 2012 issue of Zymurgy magazine.
[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.
Scott Boeke of North Augusta, SC won a gold medal in Category #12: Porter during the 2014 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Grand Rapids, MI. Boeke’s Porter was chosen as the best among 364 final round entries in the category.Read More
Jeffrey Oberlin of Friendswood, TX, member of the Bay Area Mashtronauts, won a gold medal in Category #12: Porter during the 2013 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Philadelphia, PA. Oberlin’s Porter was chosen as the best among 335 final round entries in the category.Read More
This recipe is featured in Stan Hieronymus' article "Amateurs, Pros Connect at GABF" in the January/February 2007 issue of Zymurgy magazine.
In October 2005, Tom Nolan brewed a Baltic porter that would go on to be one of his most successful beers to date. At a monthly homebrew competition held by the Winston-Salem WortHawgs, Nolan's recipe was chosen by Foothills Brewing to scale up and brew in their facility. Small adjustments were made to the homebrew recipe, resulting in a higher gravity and slightly lower IBU, but it was still noticeably Nolan's creation.
After spending a hard day brewing with the Foothills crew in June 2006, which to Nolan's surprise was quite similar to his homebrewing routine (complete with boil-over), the beer sat in fermenters getting ready for competition. The collaborative effort of Nolan and Foothills Brewing was rewarded with a gold medal at the 2006 GABF Pro-Am Competition as well as silver in the Baltic porter category in that year's commercial competition.Read More
Recipe located in Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. (Pages 160-161)
This Baltic-style Porter is a big, complex, and flavorful malty, dark beer with a balanced roasty character. Sounds perfect for any occasion if you ask us, but during the cold fall months before winter it could save your life. The name for this recipe was inspired by Soviet gulags, where the inmates were commonly referred to as "zeks," so pay your respect by enjoying this beer in the most comfortable, American way possible (couch, TV, and greasy food recommended).Read More
Karl King of Colleyville, TX won a gold medal in Category #12: Porter during the 2010 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Minneapolis, MN. King’s Porter was chosen as the best among 293 final round entries in the category.Read More