Chocolate Hazelnut Porter

>> Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This is round 2 of the Brewing Classic Styles recipes. For this one I tried scaling down to a half batch (2.5 gallons finished beer rather than 5). This ended up being kind of a pain because I designed my system for 5 gallon batches (e.g. the thermometer in my brew kettle was barely touching the wort with the half batch). So in the future I'll be sticking with full batches.

For this batch the domestic pale two-row is from Rahr and the Munich, Crystal 40, Crystal 80, Chocolate, and Black Patent malts are all from Briess. Hops are East Kent Goldings and Williamette. Per Jamil's recommendation, I'm omitting the late addition hops. Yeast is Wyeast 1056 California ale. The hazelnut extract is from Sunflower Market and is Flavorganics brand Organic Hazlenut Extract.

Brewing Notes: I ended up modifying my pick-up tube manifold. The original design got clogged with hops particles on the first run. This time I've added stainless steel hose braid to filter out hop particles. I'm using tea infuser balls to help keep hop particles contained.
We had a major snow storm last Saturday night, and a blizzard moved through last night. I was going to brew inside but my wife is busy preparing our Thanksgiving meal so I thought it best to brew outside and de-clutter the kitchen as much as possible. So there's a good 12 inches plus of snow on the ground and the temperature is a balmy 17 degrees. It's cold enough that I actually had some ice build up on the temperature probe wires. On the bright side, I should be able to chill 3 gallons down to pitching temperature in no time.

Update 1/2/2011: I just realized I never got around to publishing this post. I'm just getting around to bottling this one today. I ended up missing my starting gravity on this . This will likely be lower ABV than what Jamil intended. I went with 6ml of hazelnut extract. The hazelnut is there but it's subtle; very balanced with the dark chocolate. One note, the pick-up tube still partially clogged. Next time I'll try a stainless or copper scrubby and/or maybe hop bags.

P.S. 17 degrees is freaking cold for brewing. By the time I was wrapping things up the sun had started to go down and I was in the "shade". I'm not sure how cold it was but it was colder than 17. Before my next brew session, I tapped into my electrical so now I have the ability to brew in my garage. It's still cold, but it's warmer than outside.

Brew Day pic:

A couple days before Brew Day:


Carbon Water Filter

>> Saturday, November 13, 2010

This is another upgrade I'd been planning for a while. A carbon water filter helps remove chlorine which can contribute to off-flavors in beer. There's seems to be some debate on whether or not carbon filters can remove chloramines. I contacted my local water provider and at this time none of the water providers for West Jordan, Utah are using chloramines to treat the water, so this is good news for me.

My filter setup is pretty basic. On the "in" side I have a 3/4" hose adapter connected to a 3/4" nipple. On the "out" side I'm using a 3/4" male copper fitting soldered to a length of 3/4" copper pipe, to a copper elbow and another section of pipe. The filter is connected to the water faucet with a hose rated for drinking water.

To use it, I connect everything and set the flow rate fairly low. I could probably run it a bit higher, but I want to make sure the water has plenty of contact time with the carbon so as to remove as much chlorine as possible.


No Short Measure - Ordinary Bitter

I recently bought the book Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. The reason I bought it was Jamil has a reputation for brewing some great beer and I wanted to get a bit more familiar with classic styles and what differentiates each style. My goal is to brew most of these recipes at some point. I don't know that I'll brew every style, such as Light Lager because these sound too close to beers like Coors, Bud, etc. and I prefer a bit more flavor in my beer. I won't be posting the recipes here because I'm pretty sure that would violate copyright this is a great book so if you don't have it go out an buy a copy.

The recipe I'm brewing today is titled No Short Measure and is an Ordinary Bitter.

Brewing Notes: I've added a carbon filter to my equipment list and this is the first brew I'm using it on. I also picked up a digital kitchen scale for my daughter's science fair project, but this will also come in handy for accurately measuring brewing ingredients. I'm in the middle of the mash right now, but if all goes well this will also be the first batch that I use the whirlpool chiller on. Malts used for this recipe are Briess Crystal 120, Briess Special Roast, and Maris Otter pale 2-row. Yeast is Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale Yeast.