Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Coconut Porter Dry Coconutting And Sample Tasting

I'm making a coconut porter. The base is a porter I've brewed several times now. I actually have the recipe locked and after 5 years of brewing it's only the third recipe I consider unchangeable. It's perfect for adjuncts because it's not too roasty or hoppy. It's english style, slightly chocolaty with very low esters so it's an easy drinker. I most recently used it for a vanilla porter and that turned out fantastic.

I've read several articles on the best way to add coconut to beer. I've also tasted a few samples and there seems to be a couple ways to make the flavor really stand out. One is to use a shit-ton of coconut, like 2lbs/gallon. That seems extreme. Another I gathered from tasting and that's to use a tincture or spirits barrel aging to enhance the flavor. The best coconut beer I ever had was aged in a rum barrel. I had that side by side with the version not aged it the barrel and it was like night and day.

Some people said to lace it through the entire brewing process (mash, boil, secondary), others say to roast the coconut and still others say to use sweetened coconut. With all this advice there's only one way to find out what really works and that's through trial and error. Here is what I did and some partial results. I'll be sure to post final tasting notes on this beer.

I brewed my porter per my normal process and added 1lb of unsweetened organic finely shredded coconut at knock out. After 1 week of fermentation I roasted 3 lbs of coconut in the oven at 300F making sure to turn it frequently (about every 4-5 minutes) to make sure it wouldn't burn. I stuffed all of that into a sanitized hop bag (I don't think it would filter out well).


Before adding the dry roasted coconut into the completely fermented porter I drew a sample to see how the 1 lb at knock out affected the beer. Unfortunately it didn't seem to add any coconut to the beer. The sample tastes exactly how I remember this beer tasting after fermentation and before carbonation. Slightly chocolatey very smooth and delicious but no coconut. Next time I do this I'll triple the coconut at knock out, hopefully the dry roasted coconutting will add some of the flavor I'm looking for. It it's not to my satisfaction I have another 4 lbs of coconut and I'll continue with a second dry coconutting.