I've long been a fan of smokey flavors - BBQ and hickory-smoked bacon of course, but also a nice Islay single malt scotch, lapsang souchong tea, and Bramberg rauchbier. Amazingly, I hadn't tasted any smoked porters until recently, but once I sampled Clipper City's Smoke on the Water and Alaskan Brewing Company's Smoked Porter, I knew this style was going on my short list to brew. Looking to brew something rich, flavorful, and smooth, I did some research and came up with this recipe. I actually wanted Chinook hops, thinking a nice piney flavor/aroma would complement the smoke nicely. Unfortunately, my LHBS was out of Chinook so I decided to give Columbus a try. I've never used this hop and hope it works out OK.
Brew day went without a hitch. I am getting used to my new set-up - all-grain, small batch, split boil - and am quite happy with the results so far. As for the grist I decided to go with approximately 20% Weyermann's beechwood-smoked malt - I want the smoke character to have a real presence, but not dominate like in a rauchbier. I've become a fan of honey malt in lieu of crystal malt - I find it less intense. I also like to add some wheat to my brews for increased head retention and overall body and since my LHBS carries chocolate wheat, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, getting my wheat and my roasted grain in one. I threw in a dash of black patent so the beer had a bit of acridity to it. I wasn't looking for anything special from the yeast, so I went with the clean-fermenting dry US-05.
After listening to the BN podcast with Shea Comfort on using oak, I decided to add some oak cubes to the primary, which Shea suggested can add mouthfeel, but little oak flavor to the finished beer. Not sure what kind of effect this will actually have - or if I will be able to detect it - but I figured it was worth a try.
I'm thinking this will need some time to condition in the bottles, so I'm looking at mid-March before it will be ready.
Fireside Smoked Porter
Brewed on 1/12/11
Batch Size: 3.50 gal
Boil Size: 5.00 gal
Estimated Color: 29.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 46.7 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 70 Minutes
4 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt - 57.62 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Smoked Malt (Weyermann) - 19.21 %
1 lbs Munich I - 12.80 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Wheat - 6.40 %
4.0 oz Honey Malt - 3.20 %
1.0 oz Black Malt - 0.77 %
0.18 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.50 %] (60 min)
0.5 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.50 %] (30 min)
0.5 oz Williamette [4.80 %] (1 min)
0.5 oz Oak Cubes, Hungarian, Med Toast (Primary)
SafAle (Fermentis US-05)
Single Infusion, 152°F, Batch Sparge