Friday, 13 May 2016

Brown stout porter

I learnt a lot from making my first old style porter using 100% brown malt. It certainly tasted quite different from the beers that you can buy today, and adding Brettanomyces had, in the end, got the fermentability to a respectable level.

Adding a pure culture of B.claussenii seemed a rather sanitised subsitute for ageing in an oak vat for a year though. The old porters will have been exposed to a range of bugs back in the day so for added authenticity I really needed to add a mixed culture. Looking at the cultures available Wyeast Roeselare blend seemed like it was just what I was after. The name Wyeast have given to the mix is hinting very strongly the Rodenbach brewery, which is surely the closest that we have to an old porter brewery today in terms of how they age beer. I was a little peeved that they're not totally forthcoming with what the bugs are, as it made my research a little uncontrolled, but then again a bit less controlled was what I was after anyway.

I added the Roeselare blend after primary fermentation and then left the beer under an airlock for a year. I wasn't overly optimistic when it finally came to bottling the beer as  I suspected it might well be undrinkably sour. So I was very pleasantly surprised with how it had turned out.  There's the roasted flavours from the malt, some residual sweetness and sherry like flavours from the ageing.

This was as dark as I could get it to look

It's dark brown, not black, so in both taste and appearance it's nothing like a modern stout or porter. I'm really pleased with how this one has turned out, it's time to do one aged in wood next.




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