#Brewday – Vanilla Porter

20160201_091122_resizedSweet Jesus that was one busy freaking week. We checked out plenty of drinking holes, ate far too much food and drank plenty of beer. All in celebration of my Wife and her sisters birthday.
As a result, I didn’t quite give Hop Pilot the effort it deserved so over the course of the next week, I’m going to add some reviews and features on some the places we checked out.

I’m kicking things off with a suitable soundtrack to get the blood pumping, and thought a touch of Machine Head would do the job.
Starting back in 1994 with ‘Burn My Eyes’, this contains everyone’s favourite song – Davidian which itself has provided enough energy brew like a psychopath!
Next I pumped in ‘The Burning Red’ which is where my love for Machine Head started. From This Day and their cover of The Police’s Message in a Bottle really stood out here. Also loved the copious amounts of build up’s and breakdowns.
The next album on is ‘Supercharger’ which had some great songs but didn’t hold my interest as much as The Burning Red did. Same to happen on this occasion too.
I turned to enjoying some old School gaming on the Nintendo including Mega man, Ghosts N Goblins and Mario.

Onto the part you’re here for then. I’m going to brew the last of my Dark ales and produce what I hope will be a more perfected Vanilla Porter.
I’m also bottling the Black IPA which has had a couple of days over It’s fermenting time but will be fine.
The recipe has undergone a number of changes and I hope that the bottling stage keeps the beers at a more sensible carbonation level.20160201_102840_resized
Take a look :-

640g Marris Otter
140g Chocolate Malt
90g Cara Malt
90g Black Malt
11g Fuggles Hops
15ml Vanilla Extract
British Ale (Mangrove Jacks M07)

The grain content of this beer is lower than most of the more conventional beers I’ve made but also includes more darker grains.
The idea here is provide plenty of the roast flavour through the darker malts, a good level of sweetness with the cara-malt which will balance with a smooth vanilla flavour. The chocolate malt should also help here too.
A small quantity of will add a floral aroma to the beer without adding too much bitterness and an old fashioned British Ale Yeast to bring everything together.
The finished product should be smooth and creamy with a sweet vanilla flavour.

20160201_110818_resizedWhilst preparing the IPA for bottling, I prepared a pan of water and heated to 71 Degrees ready to steep the grains in.
With the grains added, the liquid very quickly changed from a light brown to a deep dark colour before my very eyes. The aroma was a sweet toffee with plenty of roasted notes. All this within the first two minutes of dunking the grains.
I proceeded to sparge the grains once an hour had passed and placed the pan back on the heat for it’s boil.

With the temperature up to maximum, I measured out the 11g of Fuggles. Three quarters of the hops were added at the beginning and the rest added
after 45 minutes. Once an hour had passed and the boil was complete, I added the 15ml of vanilla extract and gave the pan a stir.
The finished wort has a good level of vanilla both in flavour/aroma whilst the flavour still has a subtle bitterness with a light flavour.

With everything added and the timer beeping away, The pan needed to be cooled in an ice bath down to around 20 degrees.
As usual, I’m only adding around three quarters of the yeast. If there isn’t much activity then the rest can be added the following day.
20160201_130616_resizedThe airlock is half filled with sanitized water, a bung is attached and the demijohn is sealed ready for fermentation.

Lets see what tomorrow brings huh?

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