Friday, April 8, 2011

Bourbon Oaked Raspberry Porter

I went back and forth on this beer for a couple weeks on exactly what it was going to be. It started out that I was just going to brew a nice simple porter, but anyone who knows me and my brewing style would know that idea was short lived. I then decided that I would clone Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Porter, with a secondary on toasted coconut. Meh.. I will eventually do that one day but I wanted to go a bit further with it. I was at my LHBS pulling grains for a porter and walked down the accessories isle. I saw the oak chips, I saw the can of Oregon brand raspberry puree, I saw a lightbulb turn on in the air a few inches above my head Saturday morning cartoon style. Done and done, I had my idea.

The Recipe:

7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)

2 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)

1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)

8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM)

1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50%] (60 min)

1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50%] (30 min)

3.00 lb Raspberry Puree (Secondary 8.0 weeks)

4.00 oz Oak Chips (Bourbon Soaked) (Secondary 7.0 days)

1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001)

Beer Smith has a funny way of showing times on additions. Obviously I'm adding the hops at 60 and at 30 in the boil, but the raspberry will be added at the start of secondary and will remain for 8 weeks, with 7 days left I will add the oak chips. Glad I could clear that up.

While I was mashing I decided it would be a PERFECT time to fry up some super fresh smelt I had picked up that morning from my local premiere fish market.
Wow, they were delicious and really hit the spot. Right right, back to the beer. After my mash I took my first runnings and was very pleased with the color and flavor. I continued with the sparge and boiled as usually for 60 adding fuggles at first sign of boilage and again at 30. I could have boosted the bitterness, and actually intended on it by adding goldings at 60 and fuggles at 30/15, but I omitted the goldings at the last minute to avoid too much of a contrast between the flavors I am adding and bitterness.
After my boil I cooled this thing down to 72F and pulled a sample for hydrometer testing. I was very pleased when I took this reading. 1.064 adjusted for temp. This means that I achieved between 80-90% brewhouse efficiency, a personal best that I figured was unobtainable with a cooler mash tun. Awesome.

So the porter is bubbling away in primary for 3 weeks before being racked onto the raspberry puree in secondary, and then another 7 weeks to clear up before adding medium toast french oak chips that I've soaked in Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon. This is going to be one hell of a beer, and I for one can't wait to give it a taste.

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