CoCo Porter

I like brewing beer, for sure, but I love brewing beer with friends even more. Too many cooks may spoil a stew, but they add something when it comes to beer. When our dear English friend Chris Mear said he would be visiting and bringing his fiancé who makes wine with him, I suggested we have a brew day whilst they were here. I decided to brew something dark as I had promised Sarah, and settled on an interesting recipe I found on Brewer’s Friend by someone who goes by Jeremydgreat. I chose this recipe not just because I promised a dark winter beer for my wife, but also because I had cocoa nibs that had been in my supply kit for at least a year. Plus, if you haven’t already, check out the name of Chris’ website. When it came time to brew we had a rainy Autumn day on our hands, which was just perfect. Chris and Amelia were great helpers, and my only disappointment is that I wasn’t able to share the final product with them. The name of the beer is a reference to brewing with company, and stands for Company Cocoa Porter.

I am sure I made some slight modifications to this recipe but not enough to change it. I rounded the grains to quarters, and used half the amount of cocoa nibs as the recipe originally suggested, which the recipe’s author also did with future batches. Rounding up a bit meant I was right at the capacity of my mash tun and had to run off some of the wort immediately to add all the grains. This may be the last batch I brewed with a 5-gallon mash tun as I tire of doing that!

Fermentables

  • 12lbs American – Pale 2-Row
  • 1.75lbs American – Wheat
  • 0.75lb American – Caramel / Crystal 90L
  • 0.75lb American – Chocolate
  • 0.75lb United Kingdom – Chocolate
  • 0.75lb American – Carapils (Dextrine Malt)
  • 16.75lbs Total

Hops (pelletised)

  • 0.5oz Nugget (60 mins)
  • 0.25oz Cascade (30 mins)
  • 0.25oz Tettnanger (5 mins)

Other Ingredients

  • 4oz Cocoa Nibs (Secondary)

Yeast

  • White Labs – English Ale Yeast WLP002

The strike was at approximately 156ºF with a 60-minute boil time. We sparged using the fly method and water at 170ºF for approximately 45 minutes. The beer spent 1 week in the primary, and 4 weeks in the secondary as I got busy. I then racked it to my keg system. I met most of the same targets that Jeremydgreat did, and the resulting brew was not too chocolatey and absolutely delicious!

Double Sunshine Daydream

This Imperial IPA recipe is based on a clone found on www.brewtoad.com. I have dubbed it “Double Sunshine Daydream” because I would be dreaming to believe I could come close to Sean’s masterpiece. I didn’t change the Brew Toad recipe up too much, other than using Citra with different AAU than the author’s source, and a bit more of the Columbus at the start of the boil. I still am under the AAUs of the original, but I expect it to still be bitter and fragrant. I also chose to blend a U.S. 2-row pale malt with the Crisp pale malt I had success with in the American India Pale Ale recipe from 2013.

At ~8% ABV this is a nice, big, Imperial IPA. The OG was ~1.070.

FERMENTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • 6.0 lbs Crisp pale (mash)
  • 3.5 lbs of Briess U.S. 2-row pale (mash)
  • 2.5 lbs. Briess Vienna Malt (mash)
  • 1.0 lb. Flaked Oats (mash)
  • 1.0 lb. Corn Sugar – Dextrose (boil)
  • 0.75 lb. Briess Carapils® Malt (mash)
  • 0.38 lb. Weyermann® CARAMUNICH® I (mash)

Mashed in at ~150°F using 15.9 qts (~4 U.S. gallons) for 75 minutes maximum in an effort to achieve a lighter color. I sparged with 16 quarts (4 U.S. gallons) of water at ~165°F. The boil was 60 minutes exactly to avoid darkening the beer.

HOP SCHEDULE

  • 1 oz. Columbus (19.5 AAU) for full boil
  • 1 oz. Citra (13.3 AAU) at 20 mins from end of boil
  • 2 oz. Citra (13.3 AAU) at 5 mins from end of boil
  • 3 oz. Citra (13.3 AAU) at removal from heat
  • 2 oz. Citra (14.5 AAU) upon racking to secondary (dry hop)

The original recipe called for Wyeast 1056 (White Labs 001), but I decided to use the SO-5 dry yeast for a more neutral yeast profile.

The primary fermentation was 7 days. I allowed the beer to stay in a secondary for 2 weeks, and bottled at the end that time.

Winter Bear Stout

This stout is my take on Scott Russell‘s clone recipe in his excellent book, North American Clone Brews. Not being a huge fan of Fuggles hops I opted for Styrian Golding, Kent Golding, and Bramling Cross.

Winter Bear Stout

5 gallons, all-grain

Ingredients:
7lbs Pale Malt
8oz Roasted Barley
8oz Dark (90ºL) Crystal Malt
4oz Chocolate Malt
1oz Styrian Golding
1oz UK Kent Golding
1oz Bramling Cross

Procedure:
Crush grains. Heat 3 gallons of water to 165°F. Dough in grains and hold 90 minutes at 152°F. Heat 3.75 gallons water to 167°F. Begin runoff and sparge. Bring to a boil, add Styrian Golding. Boil 30 minutes and then add Kent Golding. Boil another 30 minutes and Bramling Cross. Chill to 80°F and take a hydrometer reading. Pour into a sanitized fermenter, splashing well to aerate. Pitch Irish ale yeast, seal and ferment at 65 – 68°F for 2 weeks. Rack to secondary, condition 3 to 4 weeks. I transferred this to a clean keg and pressurized to 15 PSI for about 5 days before tapping.

OG: 1048

American India Pale Ale

This recipe came about as a desire to create a nice “session” IPA for the new keg tap set up Nancy and Sarah got for me for my birthday. At 5.2% ABV this is a little more than a traditional session beer, but it will do.  The target OG of about 1052 based on a mash of about 9 lbs.

  • 7 lbs. Crisp Pale Ale
  • 1 lb Light Crystal Malt
  • 1 lb light wheat (for body, for creaminess)

A low-temperature mash of 149° or so used to create a thin mash using 1.2 quarts per pound of grain (10.8 qts = 2.7 gallons)  for 75 minutes maximum to ensure a light color.

Sparged with 13.7 quarts (3.425 gallons) of water.

Boil was 60 minute boil exactly to avoid darkening the beer.  1 oz. of Galaxy hops were added at the beginning of the boil and
1 oz. of Citra hops were added in the last 10 minutes.

I used the SO-5 dry yeast for a more neutral yeast profile and I dry hopped with 1 oz. whole leaf of my own Chinook hops from the garden in the secondary.