Monday, September 26, 2016

Modern English Porter 13C - Smoked Pork Back Ribs

Last weekend I brewed a British Brown Ale using White Labs WLP002 yeast. Since the price of yeast is so damn high anymore (my LHBS is selling white labs for $9 and wyeast for $10, geesh) I try to get as many uses as possible out of it. Normally I would make a starter and scavenge some yeast form the starter before pitching but last weekend's brew day was impromptu, the yeast was only a month old and the brown ale had a low enough gravity for a direct pitch. So I decided to line up my next few brews for dumping on the brown ale's yeast cake.

So this weekend was 5 gallons of an English Porter (why in hell the BJCP switches from British to English in these styles is beyond me) and next weekend will be a stout then a barley wine. I may skip the stout, we'll see. I've brewed this porter before and it turned out exceptionally well.

Most the brew day went pretty smoothly except for one little thing. The recipe calls for 3/4 lb of chocolate malt and I didn't have any plus my LHBS is 40 miles away, blah. So I had to adjust the recipe on the fly. I ended up substituting 1/2 lb pale chocolate and 1/2 lbs midnight wheat for the chocolate malt. It bumped the SRM up a few points but I'm okay with that, I just didn't want to add any strong roast flavors to this beer. We will see how it turns out, to bad I don't have any of the last batch for comparison but I drink the beer I make, I don't tend to let it sit around for long :).

Since I racked on top of the entire yeast cake from the brown ale a very fast and vigorous ferment started within a couple hours. This is the data from just 18 hours of fermentation.

Beer Overview
Brew Date9/25/2016
BeerNakota Porter 2016
OG1.065Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 1:29:38 PM
SG/FG1.013Monday, September 26, 2016 at 9:14:38 AM
Current ABV6.83%
Highest Ferm Temp73° F
Average Ferm Temp69.9° F
Lowest Ferm Temp64.2° F
Days to Ferment0.80

You can see the beer started at 64F, the fermentation room was a steady 67F and the beer rose to 73F just from vigorous fermentation. That's a lot of happy yeast partying it up for less than a day to almost completely ferment this beer in 18 hours. I'm not sure if the excess yeast will keep esters down or the added fermentation temperature will drive them up but I'm excited to find out. The estimated FG was 1.024 which has already been blown by. I didn't expect the large pitch to make the yeast more attenuative but it seems to have done just that. Hopefully there will still be a little body left in the beer, I dislike dry, thin or watery porters and stouts. This may be a lesson learned, I did consider removing a significant amount of the yeast cake before pitching but decided against it. I may regret that decision.

The Recipe:


Keeper: Nokota PorterAmerican PorterWilby1.0641.0215.7 %36.9 SRM35.1 IBUs


AmountNameDiastatic PowerColorNotes
9 lbsBrewers Malt 2-Row (Briess)140.00000001.8 SRMFlavor:Mild Malty Smoother, less grainy flavor than 6-row
1 lbsBarley, Flaked (Briess)0.00000001.7 SRMUse at 10-25% to produce a light colored, mild flavored, dry beer.
1 lbsBrown Malt0.000000065.0 SRMImparts a dry, biscuit flavor. Used in nut brown ales, porters and some Belgian ales.
1 lbsCaramel/Crystal Malt -120L0.0000000120.0 SRMAdds body, color and improves head retention. Also called "Crystal" malt. Very Dark
12.0 ozVictory Malt50.000000025.0 SRMToasted malt that adds a "Biscuit" or toasted flavor to English ales. Use for: Nut brown ales, porters
8.0 ozChocolate Wheat Malt0.0000000400.0 SRMIntensifies aroma and color in top-fermented beers such as dark wheat beers.
8.0 ozPale Chocolate Malt0.0000000300.0 SRMDark malt that gives a rich red or brown color and nutty flavor. Use for: Brown ales, porters, some stouts Maintains some malty flavor, not as dark as roasted malt.
8.0 ozSpecial B (Dingemans)0.0000000147.5 SRM


AmountNameAlpha AcidsTimeNotes
1.50 ozMt. Hood6.000000060.0 minUsed for: European Lagers, finishing Aroma: Mild with a clean aroma, neutral flavor. Somewhat pungent. Substitutes: Hallertauer, Liberty, Crystal
1.50 ozMt. Hood6.00000005.0 minUsed for: European Lagers, finishing Aroma: Mild with a clean aroma, neutral flavor. Somewhat pungent. Substitutes: Hallertauer, Liberty, Crystal


35.49 mlEnglish Ale WLP00270.0000000

Mash Steps

4.70 galInfusionMash In1.250 qt/lb68.888888945.0000000Add 4.70 gal of water at 167.6 F


Ver 1.1 - Changed batch size to 5.5 gallons - Changed water profile from a mix of RO and tap to pure avoca tap - good for malty beers with dark grains - removed 1 lb cara 8 - added 0.5 lb special B - added 1lb Victory (Briess buiscut malt) - adjusted hops to gain a IBU/GU ratio of 0.5 - Added flaked barley for some creamy body -When I went to brew this beer I found I didn't have any chocolate malt, thought I had 5 lbs so the recipe changed on brew day to the following --removed 3/4lbs chocolate --added 1/2 lbs pale chocolate --added 1/2 lbs midnight wheat --hit my numbers dead nuts

Espresso anyone?

Smoker BBQ Pork Back Ribs

This is the third time I've smoked on a brew day and I'm here to tell you the two things just go together. If you prep the meat the day before it's so easy to toss it into the smoker and just check on it occasionally while you're brewing. Plus you have a delicious meal after all your hard work with minimal effort.

Here is the recipe and process for Fervent Brewer's Smoked Ribs.

  1. Remove the membrane from the back of your ribs (if it's there).
  2. Use a coffee base pork rub ( I like it spicy) and apply to ribs 24 hours before smoking.
  3. Smoke with hickory wood for 2 hours then apply butter with a brush every 30 minutes for the next hour.
  4. Lay out foil. Apply butter to the foil with brush then honey about 2-3 tablespoons (your choice of type) and a handful of dark brown sugar. Place top of ribs down into the butter,honey,brown sugar mixture. Wrap with foil and place back in smoker for another hour with the top facing back up so the honey and sugar run down over the ribs.
  5. Remove ribs from foil and brush on your favorite BBQ sauce, place back in smoker for another 30 minutes.
  6. Enjoy! So damn good!

Happy Brewing!

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