Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I needed to brew (Pecan Porter)

It's been a long time. So long that I'm forgetting things that I've learned. Brewing is a skill like any other; use it or lose it as they say. So I thought about recipies, cleaned up all of my gear, and set to work. I wanted to brew something that I'd like to drink so I thought about what I could put on tap at my new house and enjoy drinking through summer into the fall. So nothing too sweet, nothing too heavy, nothing too much... I settled on a porter since my last beer was an imperial IPA with all of the hops.

So I went to the AHA webpage and looked for inspiration. Enter the recipe for 512 Pecan Porter. It was a good jumping off point, but what I wanted to change was the potency; 6.8% is a bit heavy for a summer beer. So I dialed it back down to a more modest 5.3%. I reduced the ingredients by 20% keeping the recipe ratios the same.

(Please read more after the break.)

What makes the 512 pecan porter special as you may have guessed are the pecans. The brewer's recipe started with one pound per five gallons. For my purposes that's 12.8 oz for three gallons. After I factored in the 20% reduction in fermentables I did some math and rounded up to 11 oz.

Toasting nuts is relatively simple. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay your chosen nut out on a baking sheet and roast 5+ minutes stirring frequently. They're ready when fragrant, don't overcook them.

The recipe I'll be using:

5 lbs 8.0 oz   Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           80.0 %
11.0 oz        Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)   10.0 %
5.5 oz         Black Malt (Thomas Fawcett) (660.0 SRM)  5.0 %
5.5 oz         Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)               5.0 %
11.00 oz       Pecans (Mash 0.0 mins)                   0.0 %
1.00 oz        Glacier [5.60 %] - Boil 60.0 min         31.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg        American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) 

The mash:

Mash In    Add 9.59 qt of water at 164.7 F    154.0 F    50 min
Sparge     Add 2.6 gallons of 168. F water    168.0 F

The other pertinents are.:

Boil Size: 4.35 gal
Post Boil Volume: 3.64 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 3.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 3.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 41.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 31.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 84.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


This was my first brewday at my new place. That included new challenges and new opportunities to learn. I found out that simple things I took for granted before like having all of my tools unpacked and ready was sorely lacking. I also relearned a lesson about never brewing on the last day of a weekend. Nothing went particularly wrong, except that my yeast was so inflated that it was hard to sanitize. The mash smelled great so that's a positive sign. The airlock briefly fell off but I think it'll be okay. If it's not then it's not, I'll have to wait and see. There will be another post about taking 18 months off and how brewing again felt.

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