I lucked out and had a really nice, although cold, November brew day. I brewed up my first robust porter and I decided to make it a smoked porter. I’m mildly obsessed with smoke beers so went for a solidly smoked porter using 3 kinds of smoke malts I had around the house. I’m using Rauch, Oak smoked wheat and Cherrywood for about 35% of the grist. I also tried to keep some unfermented sugars in the beer for a little bit of sweetness and body.
Here’s the recipe:
Mash: 154 (60 min.)
Added 3g CaCl & 2g Gypsum to mash
Boil: 60 min.
45.2% NW Pale Ale Malt
13.9% Cherrywood Smoked Malt
12.2% Rauch Malt
10.4% Oak Smoked Wheat Malt
7% Extra Dark Crystal
5.2% Dark Chocolate Malt
0.9% Roasted Barley
0.5 oz Bravo (16%) 60 min.
0.5 oz Perle (7.5%) 15 min.
0.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) 5 min.
Wyeast 1098 British Ale
Looking at the final gravity I initially thought it ended up high but I was looking for a fuller porter. I then checked what Black Butte Porter’s numbers are and they finish it at 1.019 when they get an 1.060 original gravity so this beer will probably drink very similar to that. The smoke was very noticeable at bottling so I think it will be pretty smokey but not too intense. The gravity sample was smokey, but had nice notes of roasted malt and chocolate. I’m pretty excited to start drinking this beer in a few weeks.
Tasting Notes – 1.20.2013
Appearance: Black with a small foamy white head that lasts through the entire pint.
Aroma: Fairly subtle smoke aroma fills the nose, like barbecued meat.
Taste: Smokiness is the prominent then gives way to a very slight bitterness followed by some roasted notes of coffee. A sweeter smoke flavor comes back around in the end leaving a lingering, although subtle, smoke flavor. A really well rounded smoke flavor that really meshes well with the coffee and roasted malt flavors of the porter.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a full and almost creamy mouthfeel.
Overall: I really enjoy this beer. The smoke as mellowed out from when I first starting tasting it, but is now every complementary with the other flavors in the beer. Using the 3 different smoked malts really turned out to be an interesting idea. It seems like the rauch flavors are prominent in the aroma and the beginning of taste with the oak and cherrywood coming in toward the end of the taste. The residual sweetness of the beer really balance the smoke flavors quite well and kept the alcohol in check making it quite easy to drink a few pints in one sitting. At this point I’m not sure there is too much I’d change for next round.
3.7.12 – This beer continued to drink really well and it got really great comments by those who tried it. The smoke remained pretty much the same during the last few months (probably the cold storage).Even those who usually aren’t smoke or dark beer people dug this one. As the keg is about to kick, I’ll have to come back and brew this one later in the year as it was a nice winter beer to have on tap.