Monday, February 21, 2011

Brewing Now: Prior Restraint Coffeehouse Porter

My first big batch is fermenting right next to my desk as we speak. A soft ticking sound coming from the airlock tells me everything is working out just right.

It was an arduous process yesterday, getting this beer made. As much as I learned from first batch, I learned a lot more from this third batch. A flat top range isn't the best for heating large pots of liquid. That's lesson #1. Most of the time taken up during the making of this beer was waiting for the water to reach steeping temp. and then waiting (forever) for the wort to reach a rolling boil when I could add the hops and LME (liquid malt extract, a syurpy additive that is going to give this beer it's porteryness.)
Lesson #2: The hops, once in the boil give off one hell of an aroma! My wife, Amanda, said it smelled like "burnt carpet samples".
So, what is this beer gonna be like? I took a recipe for a smoked porter, with chocolate, caramel, and smoked malted hops, and added 2 oz. of cracked Tanzanian Peaberry coffee. Peaberry is one of my favorite types of coffee, the name refers to the very small beans that are usually looked over because of their size. They have a great concentration of flavor, though, and with a medium roast, they shouldn't be too oily for the brew. I'm hoping that with the coffee, the smoke, chocolate, and caramel it'll kind of bring to mind spending hours in Cup A Joe on Hillsborough (before the smoking ban) the superstrong coffee competing with cigarette smoke from the other side of the building, and a nice brownie on the table to be picked at while you talk about revolution. (What revolution didn't have a nice brownie at it's inception.) Though I don't smoke, and really am not a fan of the smell of billowing clouds of the stuff, it's indelibly linked in my head with those countless hours spent drinking coffee with friends. So, here, I'm trying to recreate that.

The name is an arcane Big Lebowski reference, after The Dude is shown Bunny's toe, he meets Walter in a coffee shop. As the tension escalates between the two, the waitress asks Walter to quiet down, to which he takes umbrage, and starts spouting off about the Supreme Court "roundly rejecting" prior restraint. Working on the bottle art for it, hoping to get the acorn head on Walter's body with his sunglasses on.

The beer started fermenting today, so it has about 6 days before it will be ready for bottling. Then another week after that for the secondary in bottle fermentation. I'm wondering if I should get a carboy for secondary fermentation, though. It would certainly be less time consuming than priming 50 some bottles... Anyway, it should be ready in two weeks, either way, so look forward to that.

No comments:

Post a Comment