Monday, April 26, 2010

Munich (Malt) Porter

Sorry about the ugly towel...Nate (not to be confused with Nathan) and I have been beer buddies for about a year now.  He is an extract brewer, but that doesn't stop him from brewing some really tasty beers.  Over a couple beers one night a few months back we decided to brew an all-grain batch together so I could show him how I brew.  We wanted to do something that would be difficult/impossible for him to do as an extract beer, an oatmeal porter using Munich as the base malt was the result.  The only other Munich malt based black ale I'm aware of is Bell's Double Cream Stout (not that we were trying to clone it).

Munich malt gives some great bready/toasty flavors, and is most commonly used in Bocks and Doppelbocks.  When using small amounts I don't mind using the American version (which is often produced from six-row malt), but when using it as a base malt I always go with high quality German Munich malt.  It has enough enzymatic power to convert itself, but not enough to convert much adjunct grain.  We were probably pushing our luck with a pound of flaked oat/wheat, so we added a pound of American pale malt and extended the saccharification rest to 75 minutes to ensure full conversion.

In addition to the Munich base, the other twist to the malt bill was the use of dark American grains.  That may not sound like much of a twist, but all of the homebrew stores around DC only carry roasted barley, chocolate malt, and black patent from UK maltsters (Muntons Malt, Simpsons Malt etc...).  These grains tend to be extremely dark (475-600 L) and give more acrid/burnt flavors and not the lighter coffee/chocolate flavors often found in American Porters.  I wanted to give the American grains a test run (Briess Roasted Barley is only around 300 L) so I ordered them from Midwest Supplies along with some other items I'd had trouble procuring locally. 

Nate and I kept the hop bill pretty simple with two additions of Willamettes, aiming for solid bitterness and a bit of earthy flavor.  The yeast (Fuller's strain) was harvested from the ESB I had brewed a week earlier.  Nothing too exciting on this batch technique or process-wise, but it seemed like an interesting combination of ingredients.  I'm really looking forward to trying a sample in a couple weeks once we get together to bottle it. 

Sadly we were enjoying ourselves so much on brewday that I neglected to take any pictures, but I just brewed yesterday and took a photo of just about ever step (I've had calls for a "process" post to detail exactly how I brew, so that will be coming shortly).

Munich (Malt) Porter

Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)
Batch Size (Gal): 5.25   
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.064
Anticipated SRM: 30.8
Anticipated IBU: 39.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 71 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 min

76.9% - 10.00 lbs. German Munich Malt                  
7.7% - 1.00 lbs. American Pale Malt             
3.8% - 0.50 lbs. American Chocolate Malt                             
3.8% - 0.50 lbs. American Roasted Barley
3.8% - 0.50 lbs. Oatmeal
3.8% - 0.50 lbs. Flaked Wheat

2.00 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.80% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Willamette (Pellet, 4.80% AA) @ 10 min.

0.50 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min.
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

WYeast 1968 London Extra Special Bitter

Water Profile
Profile: Carbon Filtered Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest 75 min @ 151

Brewed 3/21/10 with Nate

No water adjustments.

Collected 7.5 gallons of 1.050 runoff.  Hop AA% adjusted down since they were 18 months old.  Irish Moss and yeast nutrient rehydrated in water for 45 min before adding to the boil.

Ended up a bit high on volume.  Chilled to 69, racked onto the yeast cake from the Golding Medal Bitter.  Shook to aerate.  Left in the basement in the mid-60s. Pretty smooth brewday.

The color of the wort was lighter than expected for 1 lb of dark malt in a 5 gallon batch (even considering the lower Lovibond of the American grains). 

Within 12 hours there was a borderline explosive fermentation going on, probably lost 1/2 gallon of wort to the blow-off.

3/31/10 Racked to secondary, yeast had flocced out completely.  Left in the basement mid-60s.

5/06/10 Bottled with 3.00 oz of table sugar.

6/30/10 Tasty, but the roast character is much more subdued than I was aiming for.  Those Breiss malts really are worlds apart from the English roasted barley and chocolate malt I have used.


HolzBrew said...

Random question not related to the post. Do you oak your flemish ales? If so, how much and for how long? I'm mainly talking cubes here, I don't have a barrel.


The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I unusally do about an ounce for the entire time my Reds are in secondary. That is using cubes that I boil/steam first to remove some of the fresher oak flavors. You can always add more down the road if you want it oakier.

Hope that answers your question, good luck.

Mark said...

I can't wait to hear your tasting notes on this one. Looks awesome!

Thomas said...

You may not have it in your area but there are Munich extracts on the market. I used it when designing an Alt for a shop kit at our LHBS so Nate might be able to make his own version. Just as an fyi, sounds like an interesting recipe.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Munich extract would get you close, but the unmalted grains would still require at least a mini-mash to convert.

We just bottled this batch a couple days ago, sample was very tasty, nice light coffee flavor and toasty malt character.