Thursday, October 6, 2016

Modern English Porter (Vanilla) - Tasting Notes

This is the beer I pitched onto of my brown ale yeast cake that fermented in 1 day. I wrote about that here. I kegged and fined with gelatin 4 days after brew day then added 2 vanilla beans for 36 hours tasting it along the way. After only 2 hours I could taste vanilla in the 5 gallon batch. At 18 hours it was probably enough pull the beans but I let it go a bit more just to make it a little more prominent. Then I forgot to pull the beans out the next morning and so we hit the 36 hour mark last night. I was worried but I needn't have been. This beer is so smooth and the vanilla is not overpowering in the least. It's just adding some complexity to a pretty good base beer.

Appearance - Nice black color except around the edges where it's more brown. Not out of place for a porter. The head is a fluffy tan color. It has decent staying power but eventually the oils from the beans do wipe it out.

Aroma - You can smell the vanilla, other than that I don't get much on the nose of this beer.

Mouthfeel - Better than I expected. Because of the overpitch the F.G. was much lower than predicted at 1.010. I would have expected a thin, dry beer but it's not. There's some body and slickness like you would get from an oatmeal stout. This might be from the flaked barley in the recipe or maybe the vanilla beans but I think that was there pre-dry-beaning.

Taste - Vanilla for sure. Not sharp alcohol vanilla like you get from some cheap extracts or faked vanillas but a smooth fresh and tasty vanilla. There's absolutely no roast in here. In fact if there wasn't any vanilla in this beer it would be pretty plane. Some chocolate but not much at all.

Future Changes - Some roast would add character to this beer, but not too much. This would be a good beer to introduce people to dark beers with because there's nothing in your face or over the top. A very good base to allow adjuncts to shine like chocolate, coffee or vanilla.