Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Printing Press Porter

After I created my 2012-2013 brew calendar, I went out to my LHBS and purchased ingredients for my next 3 beers.  The third was to be this porter which I planned to brew in December.  My homebrew store had received their chocolate and black patent malts pre-crushed.  I didn't think about it at the time of purchase, but when it came time to brew this beer, I just didn't want to risk using the pre-crushed dark malts from 3 months ago (I failed to store them properly).  This meant I had to get new chocolate and black patent malt for brewday...

Brewday was scheduled for Saturday December 22, 2012.  This was my first day of vacation for the holidays (had use or lose time by the end of the year).  The day before I decided to take the metro and walk to the DC Homebrew Store located at 3 Stars in D.C. on my way home from work.  A quick check of google maps, and I figured I would be able to hit the brew store, and only increase my commute by a 45 minutes...well it ended up being a good 25 minute walk from the nearest metro station each way.  In addition, when I got to the train station to catch the MARC commuter train, the schedules had been rearranged for the holidays and I had to wait an extra 30 minutes for the next train.  In addition to the time, the weather was not in my favor as it was low 30s and snow flurrying - if you don't consider that dedication to brewing with fresh and quality ingredients, then I don't know what you would.

On the aforementioned MARC commuter train I spend my time reading.  Recently, I was reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and in a passage he described how at the Printing house he worked at, all the other workers would be drink beer all day - before, during, and after every meal.  Around the early 1700s I would assume the ale they were drinking were similar to a porter style, and have therefore deemed this beer, a modern interpretation of the style, Printing Press Porter.

Printing Press Porter Label

Printing Press Porter

Brewed On: December 22, 2012
Kegged On: January 12, 2013
Style: 12B - Robust Porter
Batch Size: 6 gallons (5 gal into fermenter)
Efficiency: 75%
OG: 1.061
FG: 1.016
IBU: 41 calculated (Rager) 
ABV: 5.9%
Yeast: Safale S-05 American Ale Yeast (Re-hydrated) Fermented at 62° for 4 days then rise to 67°

Grist Mashed at 154 for an hour
84% - Maris Otter (Muntons) - 11.5 lbs
7%  - Crystal 40 - 1 lb
5%  - Chocolate - 12 oz
4%  - Black malt - 8 oz

Hop Additions 
0.67 oz - Columbus 14.6% AAU - 60 minutes - 37 IBUs

1.00 oz  - EKG 5.8% AAU - 5 minutes - 4 IBUs

Water Adjustments
Montgomery County, MD Water - 1/2 Campden Tablet for all brewing water
4 grams gypsum to mash water
4 grams CaCl to mash water

Tasting Notes

This porter appears almost black in the nonick pint glass I am drinking from and has a tan head of foam, with great lacing.  Smells of sweet malt, slight roast and earthy hops dominate the aroma.  The beer has medium body and medium to high carbonation.  The flavor is dominated by english hop character and a clean malt backbone with just enough dark malt character to produce a crisp bitter finish.  This beer is easy drinking and could definitely be consumed throughout the day at your printing press job.

I really enjoy drinking this beer.  The inner beer nerd can continually sip and pick out subtle nuisances, but the regular beer drinker will be able to toss them back as each sip finishes with a dryness, not expected from the final gravity.  The bitterness of the hops and the dark malts keep this beer in check.  I plan on trying to keep a variation of this in the pipeline in the future.  Its a versatile style which can showcase english, or american hops in the finish.  Be on the lookout for future additions.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

35th Annual NHC 2013 - Brewing up a Revolution

Wow...Sold out in 20 hours with nearly twice as many tickets available!  I am glad I was able to secure my tickets for myself and my friend.  This will be my first year attending the National Homebrewers Conference.  You can check out the full info here.

Brewery News

I finally kicked my 5lb CO2 tank..lasted me abut 15 months! Got it refilled and my porter is carbing up.  Should have a review of that soon.  IPA in the fermentation chamber soon to be dry-hopped this weekend.