06 December 2010

Pecan Porter

Inspired by Can You Brew It? on The Brewing Network and (512) Brewery's flagship beer, I decided to make a Pecan Porter. And thereby hangs a tale. . .

In August 2009, Can You Brew It? came up with a clone recipe for Obsidian Black Butte Porter.  I have had it floating around just in case I ever wanted to brew it.  Here's the recipe, converted to my efficiency.

6 gallons | 58% Efficiency | OG 1.058 | FG 1.012 | 37 IBUs | 76 SRM | 90 minute boil
13 lbs 2 Row
1.5 lbs wheat malt
.70 lb Crystal 80L
.5 lb US Chocolate malt
.5 lb UK Chocolate malt
.5 lb CaraPils
17g Galena or Nugget/90 minutes
7g Cascade/30 minutes
7g Mount Hood or Tettnanger/5
WLP002 English Ale yeast

Mash at 150F 10 minutes. Raise to 156F for 60 minutes. Mash Out at 168F 10 minutes. Ferment at 64F.

Then in September, "Can You Brew It?"  did a clone recipe for Australia's Holgate brewery's Nut Brown Ale.  It was a great interview.  Kudos to my friend Peter Symons, who filled in for Jamil in the interview segment.  In that segment, they described how they toasted the nuts they use for their beer.  Thinking about (512) Pecan Porter.

Wheels began to turn in my head.

Why not make Pecan Porter?

On Thanksgiving day I did just that (our family would have our Thanksgiving on Saturday, so I had a free day), and here's what happened.

I screwed up the brew day pretty early.  In fact, I screwed it up when I ordered my ingredients.  My Local Home Brew Shop doesn't carry English chocolate malt, so I ordered one pound of American chocolate malt. On unpacking, I discovered that I had, instead, ordered 1 pound of chocolate wheat malt.  So this recipe now has 2.5 pounds of wheat in it.

Since Ninkasi protects fools and brewers, and the LHBS was closed, I forged ahead.   The day before brewing, I took 2.25 ounces of chopped pecans, purchased at the local supermarket (it's Thanksgiving time and there was a nice big display or fresher pecans than are on the rack), spread them on a cookie sheet and toasted them at 350°F oven for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.  I let them cool a bit, put them in a bowl and covered with cling wrap.  (As an aside, did you know that cling wrap only clings to itself?)

Then next morning, I got up before the sun.  A cold front was scheduled to blow through Paradise, so I wanted to get as much accomplished before the temperature dropped too much.  I fired up the HLT, hit my strike temperature, and doughed in.  The folks at Holgate stressed that the pecans were added to the top of the mash, so I poured the pecans into water, and let it sit for an hour and sparged.  I hit my pre-boil gravity and boiled 90 minutes.

In May, I bought a Blichman burner, and I am still trying to figure that thing out.  I had a very vigorous boil.  Too vigarous, in fact.  Instead of collecting six gallons, I collected five.  And I would have gotten all five gallons into the fermenter, but somehow, I pulled the out hose off the chiller.  It was like a three stooges routine as I struggled to get it back on.  I figure I lost at least a quart, maybe more.  I checked the gravity, and instead of 1.058, I got 1.069.

Check back in three weeks and see how I did.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:06

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