Irregular Zymurgy presents Autumnal Spiced Porter - batch number 02-8

The weather in the East Bay has begun its turn towards winter. Not that we have seasonal delineation, there may a week of summer even yet, but now foggy and drizzling days are the rule. Every time this happens I am surprised at how much I love it. The dark grey skies in the morning; the light grey of midday; wearing sweaters and coats. Yesterday I went to the brewing store to get supplies for two batches. Perhaps I didn’t get enough from the keg I sent north, perhaps it was the faint woodsy smell of autumn. Whatever it was, in addition to the supplies for the Basil IPA, I got stuff for a porter. And today, I shall brew the porter, for basil was way too expensive at the grocery store.

What I’m shooting for is a dark ale that, on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, will anticipate the spices in the roasted butternut squash, the pumpkin pie, and the dried fruit tart that will be feasted upon later.

    For those of you who have just tuned in, this evening we are brewing a spiced porter for autumn. We start with our simulation of a mash, that is, soaking the crushed malt to bring out the starches and the enzymes that the germination produces that would convert that starch to sugar. Take an 8 quart stockpot, and fill with
  • 1/2 gal filtered water,
  • 3/4 lb crystal 80L malt, and
  • 1/4 lb black patent malt.
    This pot is brought to about 180 deg F. Hold this temperature for about 30-45 minutes or while
  • 2 gal filtered water comes to a boil in a 5-gal stockpot.
    Once the larger pot is at a boil, strain the contents of the smaller pot into the larger. Sparge the steaming grains with about a pint of water.
    Add to the large pot, stirring so it won’t stick to the bottom,
  • 6 lbs dark malt extract,
  • 1 lb light malt extract, and
  • 1 lb honey.
    Allow the pot to return to boil, and add
  • 1 oz Hallertauer hops.
    After 45 minutes of boiling, add
  • 20 cloves,
  • 6 cinnamon sticks,
  • 3 oz grated fresh ginger, and another
  • 1 oz Hallertauer hops.
    Let this boil for 20 minutes. Then we strain the hops and spices out of the wort as we pour it over ice. In a hour or two we decant the bucket of wort into carboy, and add water to bring it to 5 gallons. This should cool the wort enough to pitch in Wyeast strain #1087 "Ale Blend".