With the temps dropping here in Portland it’s time to get the strong fall/winter beer all brewed up to enjoy for the rest of the cold season and on into next year. I usually brew two batches a year that are bigger beers and the whole batch gets bottled for extended aging. Spring of 2014 I brewed my 1st attempt at a Baltic Porter and just recently finished off the last bottle and I really loved how it turned out. It was rich, malty and dry enough where you could enjoy a whole bottle as it was really nicely balanced. For this version I made a few subtle changes but kept it very much in-line with the original, with the biggest changing out the Scottish yeast for the Anchor Steam hybrid lager strain.
Mash: 150 (45 min.), 162 (15 min.)
Boil: 90 min.
Mash pH: 5.3
34.1% Goldpils Vienna
34.1% Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt
11.9% Bonlander Munich
5.9% Melanoidin Malt
4.4% Crystal 60
3.0% Brown Malt
3.0% Dextrose (added last 10 min. of boil)
2.2% Blackprinz Malt
1.5% Special B
1.00 Galena (10%) 60 min.
1.00 oz Pacifica (4.9%) 30 min.
1.00 oz Crystal (6%) 10 min.
0.50 oz Galena (10%) 10 min.
Imperial L05 – Cable Car
Made a 2 liter starter a couple days before brew day. Estimated cell count was 375 billion, which is a pretty big pitch but right in the neighborhood for a hybrid fermentation as this one will ferment at 60.
There was about a quart of blow off after the 1st day of fermentation, which given the lower temperature I was a little bit surprised. But this is a pretty big beer with a very fermentable wort so it makes sense and I’m glad I attached the blow off tube.
Bottled on 12/4, finished at 1.017 – just a touch drier than I was anticipating. Bottled with 4.4oz of dextrose and targeting 2.4 vols co2.
Tasting notes #1 – 1/15/16
Aroma: Big, rich malt nose with some figgy/dark fruit sweetness.
Appearance: Dark brown & boarding black with a fluffy off white head. Ruby highlights when held to direct light and clarity is excellent.
Taste: Super malty with a plum and dark fruit sweetness and just a touch of ethanol. There’s a hint of baking cocoa roast right in the finish but is extremely subtle.
Mouthfeel: Medium with medium plus carbonation.
Overall: I’m pleased with how this one turned out so far. There’s a nice malty and dark caramel sweetness with just a tiny bit of roasted character that will only meld together as it ages. The sweetness is a little intense now, but that’s to be expected with the age of the beer. There’s a nice balance with the hops, it’s a sweeter beer but its well attenuated and isn’t cloying or a dessert beer. Looking forward to aging this batch and checking back in later in the year. Cheers!
Update: 8.14.16 – This one has help up really well and is drinking great. It’s smooth, clean and really quite delicious. Nice aroma of fruits and coffee and a similar taste profile. The sweetness that was present young has smoothed out and doesn’t drink sweet at all. This recipe is really solid and will need to brew this one again.