The cold environs of the deep, winter, months cry out for naught in which the summer rejoices; the bold, emblazoning, of the air with the breath of malicious frost is only defeated by venturing into despair, dark and descending into an abyss of forever. Black. Shadow. Smoke… the quest begins for a new chalice to raise
THE BREWDYSSEY CONTINUES!
In plain speak….
Here we go again…well, sort of.. Now that we’ve (basically) replicated our triumphant first beer, as all of our ardent followers will know (for those new to the page check out this and this), we felt ready to progress to the next level, and then decided to jump the next level (and several after that; It’s what we do!- Dwalin) and tackle a brew of monster proportions. Porter…. not sure that emphasised the monster proportions…
Ok, that’s better.
Anyway, porter; we fucking love the stuff. It’s deep, dark, and soothing. A winter brew that warms the cockles, lines the belly and makes you fall into a fantasy world in which you are a humble 19th century peasant supping on London’s sweet alcoholic teat… erm… yeah, we stand by that.
We’ve discussed the build up to the recipe in our last brewing post so I wont go to much into the details of the grains we selected and why (though a slight recap, Dwalin just wanted to throw everything in) so without further ado I recount for ye all, fair purveyors of fine internet based writings, the actual event of brewing…
1st stage – Grain, and lots of it. We doubled the volume of grain we normally use and used many more varieties (this is all about getting the most colour and the most flavour into the beer)
Having learnt our lesson last time we added the grain to the water. (for those who don’t remember last time we brewed we added water to a bucketful of grain and… well jump here and take a look). This is where we ran into our first minor miss-step on the road to Porter. Now listen carefully whilst I impart a vital piece of brewing lore, I shall not repeat myself… Grain has volume.
What do you means that’s obvious?
We hadn’t thought about it, and by the time we’d got most of the grain in with enough water to keep it in a nice porridge like suspension we were starting to spill over the top of our mash tun. In fact we had to leave out half a kilo of Maris Otter as it wouldn’t have fit in the mix… We will be bearing this fact in mind for future recipes and so should you, I reckon
that our tun (which has around a 25 litre capacity… we think) will hold, at most 8 kilos of grain in a nice mix (oooo, get you with your mathproximations- Dwalin)
Panic over and mess (mostly) cleaned up we wrapped the tun up and left it leeching for roughly an hour for the water to fully rob the grain mix of its precious sugar and flavours.
Hour over and now was the time to see whether a reversion in our method would help or whether we are just shitty at brewing; we nervously began the sparging process.