Some weeks ago I brewed the following porter:
4kg Pale Ale Malt 500g Chocolate Malt (800 EBC) 500g Amber Malt 500g Crystal Malt 25g Simcoe Pellets (60 mins) 25g Saaz Whole (20 mins) 290g Demerrera sugar (20 mins) 1 tsp Carrageen (10 mins)
Mash with 18L , sparge with 15. 60 minute mash at 64°.
OG was 1.064, with about 19L collected
Ringwood Wyeast yeast starter
slightly less wort than expected, but I’m still getting used to the new boiler. My plan for this porter was that it would serve as a base for a chocolate beer, so when primary fermentation seemed to have wound down, I racked 5L of it into a mini demijon, on top of some cocoa. I had read somewhere that secondary would work with the cocoa because it didn’t contain any fats or oils, which would normally need to be boiled off vigorously, or they will destroy the beer’s head retention. I also read that an alcoholic (i.e. post fermentation) liquid would take up the flavour better. The hydrometer sample tasted great. Very rich, just as I wanted. I used 30g of Green and Black’s cocoa, dissolved in some water and pasteurised (70° for 15 mins or so).
Some days later I decided to try something I was meaning to do for some time. There is a fig tree (yes, in north county Dublin) in my Parents’ garden that produces lovely figs, so I decided to rack the rest of the porter onto a figgy purée, which should be nice and mature in time for Christmas. Now bring us the figgy porter! We won’t go until we get some!
I picked about 4 or 5 figs I think, in any case they weighed 330g (the remaining amount of porter was 13.5L) . I chucked the whole lot in the blender, with a little water to thin it all out, and whizzed it up good and proper. I read some places that it might be a good idea at this point to freeze it, which breaks up the structure of the fig, but I figured they were pretty mashed up already. I simmered this lot at 70° for 15 or 20 minutes so that there were no wee nasty beasties left to disrupt my orderly fermentation. I racked the rest of the porter in on top of it and the brothers porter are conditioning side by side, happy as Larry. The gravity when racking was 1.016, making the Porter about 6%, if no further fermentation occurs. This choco beer incidentally will be the one I bring to the Temple Bar Chocolate festival. The Figgy porter on the other hand, will warm me in mid November as I lament my birthday and inescapable mortality.