Having got pretty comfortable with my Coffee Stout (which after much soul-searching I’ve started calling a Coffee Porter instead), I decided that I should really try and produce a ‘natural’ porter. While I love my coffee beers, sometimes you just want a beer flavoured beer – besides, for some strange reason I find the coffee porter oxymoronically soporific.
The recipe is based loosely on my coffee porter, but with a few tweaks. The amber malt is tweaked up a little (because you can never have too much amber malt in a beer) and the hop bill is changed around – not least because I have far too many Bramling Cross hops from the garden and I’m getting into the habit of throwing them in just about anything I make!
- 3500g Pale Malt
- 480g Brown Malt
- 300g Amber Malt
- 260g Flaked Oats
- 260g Torrified Wheat
- 150g Black Malt
- 100g Crystal Malt
- 10g Summit hops for the full boil
- 10g Summit hops for the last 30 minutes
- 25g Bramling Cross hops for the last 10 minutes
- 25g Bramling Cross hops at flame out
- Windsor yeast
I was aiming for an ABV of 4.2% and managed to come surprisingly close, at 4.3%. I’m clearly getting the hang of this brewing malarky, because it was safely tucked up in the fermenter by lunchtime.
As you can see from the picture, it’s become quite a lively beer, with a frustratingly huge open-textured head on pouring. The colour is bang on though, a very dark, slightly reddish brown ale and once all those bubbles have settled down it leaves a long lasting, fine bubbled light tan head on top.
The aroma is toasty – well roasted grains, freshly baked wholemeal cookies with a hint of bitter dark chocolate.
In the mouth it’s smooth and velvety; an initial touch of dark honey sweetness quickly washed away with a complex bitter character which starts out as burnt sugar and slowly transforms into a slightly resinous hop bitterness. The finish becomes tannic and drying, driving you take another sip and then another…
The carbonation, which after seeing the head I was worried would be overdone, is spot on – giving some sparkle to the beer without filling you up with fizz.
Overall, I’m damn pleased with the way this beer turned out!