Monday, December 19, 2011

Chocolate Chili Pumpkin Porter and Other Stuff

I apologize to the three people who read this blog for the severe lack of activity. But all has been quiet on the yeastern front here for the last few months.

First an update on the Utopias clone. The original plan was to add some honey and maple syrup to the fermenter to push up the abv. Then leave it to age for a year or more on oak and then to bottle it completely still. However after tasting it I just couldn't bring myself to mess with it anymore. So I decided to bottle it and carb it to about 2 volumes.

I haven't opened any yet but I did have a few tastes upon bottling and here is what I have to report.

As you can imagine a 14%ABV beer being it was quite boozy. Fortunately it's not fusel in any way, just lots and lots of alcohol coming through the nose; almost port like. The oak shines through nicely, and there's a small degree of sweetness, but not cloying.

In other brewing news. I've been craving good dark beers here lately. With all of the saisons and kolsch etc etc... that I've brewed for the summer months I've really been wanting something nice and roasty. So I brewed a batch of chocolate chili pumpkin porter.

I wanted to keep it small and sessionable, but still with enough going on to keep it interesting.

The base is pale malt with a pound of homemade brown malt. Specialty malts included some chocolate and pale chocolate malts, along with roasted barley and a little 60L crystal. For the pumpkin I wanted to use a light hand because in a beer this small pumpkin can easily become vegetal. So I only used 3 lbs. in the mash. There's also 1 cup of coco powder in the mash. Then I seeded and stemmed 5 ancho chilis and put them right in the fermenter. I went with anchos because I wasn't really looking for a lot of chili heat, more of a nice chili taste with a touch of smoke. If you've never had an ancho chili before, they taste like a smoky raisin.

Calabaza de Fuego - Chocolate Chili Pumpkin Porter

5 lbs. Pale Malt - UK
1 lb. Homemade Brown Malt
8 oz. 60L Crystal
6 oz. Pale Chocolate
4 oz. Roasted Barley
2 oz. Chocolate Malt
3 lbs. Canned Pumpkin
1 cup coco

1 oz. Targer Hops - 30 minutes

5 ancho chilis - in the fermenter for 1 week

Dry Nottingham Yeast

Carbonated to 2.1 volumes