Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Polecat Porter

With a limitless number of beers to be created, it’s rare that I’ll spend the time re-brewing something I’ve made in the past.  If I do, it’s usually because the first batch wasn’t quite right and I want to tweak the recipe to see if I can make the final product match my expectations.  With our Baltic Porter however, the first batch was so delicious that I’d rather not make any adjustments to it and rather just see if I can replicate it exactly.

Back in early 2010, we designed this beer for entry in to the Puget Sound Pro-Am.  While we fanaticized about having our beer brewed on a commercial scale, we figured the odds were against us and the chances long.  As luck would have it though, not only did a brewery select our beer, but our favorite local brewpub at that:  Elysian Brewing.  Although the beer didn’t place in the top three in the pro-am competition at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival,  the commercial version turned out just as good as we could have hoped for. 

Whether or not it’s due to the history that I have with this beer or because of my general liking of the style, our Polecat Porter easily has edged its way into my top 3 favorite beers we’ve brewed.  It’s probably a little less roasty than a classic example, but I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much too.  Hopefully this re-brew will not disappoint and once again we’ll have managed to capture lightning in a bottle.

 Polecat Porter

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 6.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 19.88
Anticipated OG: 1.085
Anticipated SRM:  25.9
Anticipated IBUs:   39.1
Wort Boil Time:  90
Anticipated ABV:  8.7%
Final Gravity: 1.0195
ABV: 8.7%

57.4% - 11.5 lbs Munich Malt
33.7% - 6.75 lbs Pilsner
2.5% - ½ lb Special B
1.9% - 6 oz. Carafa
1.2% - ¼ lb CaraMunich47
1.2% - ¼ lb Chocolate Malt
1.2% - ¼ lb Crystal 80
0.9% - 3 oz. Molasses

60 grams Czech Saaz (pellets, 5.0% AA) @ 65 minutes
20 grams Hallertau (pellets, 4.1% AA) @ 25 minutes

Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager (3rd generation slurry from a 10 gallon batch)

Water Profile and Additions
Charcoal filtered Seattle Water
Mash and HLT Additions:  1.3 grams/gallon of Calcium Chloride

Mash Schedule
60 minute rest at 151°
15 minute mash out rest at 168°
Sparged with 170° water


8/27/2011 – Yeast slurry had been in my fridge for 2 weeks, so I decanted off what little beer was sitting on top and transferred the yeast to 4000ml flask with 1600ml of fresh starter wort. 

8/28/2011 – Brewed solo

Doughed in at 157 and came to a rest at 151.  Added mineral additions and then let rest for 60 minutes.  Sparged until I had 8 gallons of 1.0745 wort.  Because of the higher efficiency, I replaced a half gallon of the wort with filtered water.

Boiled for 90 minutes with hop additions as noted.  Molasses added at 20 minutes, Irish moss and yeast nutrient were added at 15.  After the boil, I ended up with exactly 6.5 gallons of 1.085 wort.

Chilled wort down to 60°.  Air temp was about 75, so I didn’t want to let it sit and settle for as long as I would normally like.  As a result, when I racked into the carboy, a bit more hop material made it in.  Carboy was then placed in fridge and left overnight until temp reached 53°.  Aerated for 60 seconds with pure 02 and then pitched in all but a small amount of trub in the yeast slurry (which was also at 53°).  
Brewing our Polecat Porter with Dick Cantwell at Elysian Tangletown back in June 2010.
10/1/2011 - Racked over to secondary.  Gravity down to 1.021

12/16/2011 - I needed the carboy, so I racked over to a keg.  Gravity down to 1.0195.  Since there was about 1.5L left in the carboy, I sanitized and C02 flushed a 2L bottle fitted with a carbonator cap, and then transfered in the remaining volume.  I'm low on time, but when I get the chance, I'll try eising the remainder.

1/2/2012 - Placed 2L bottle in the freezer and swirled about every hour.  Once a significant portion of the mixture was frozen, I placed it in the fridge while I prepared for bottle conditioning.  I mixed 100ml of sterile water with 1/4 tsp dry t-58 yeast and let bloom.  From this mixture, I placed 0.5ml into each of my 4 bottles.  Next, I mixed 5 oz of table sugar into 8 ounces of boiling water, which resulted in 10 oz total volume, and then placed 6ml of the solution into each bottle.  From there, I flushed each bottle with C02 and then racked over the eised beer.

After the ice melted in the 2L bottle, the left over beer had a gravity of 1.011.  If the alcohol transfered over in the same manner that the gravity units did, then I expect the Baltic Eis to have about 10.5 - 11% ABV.

2/19/2012 - First Tasting

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