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!
With an admittedly unimaginative name, I give you Pete's Porter.
- 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!
This post was originally published 16th May, 2015. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.