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Siberian Tiger Baltic Porter

April is officially the first month of Autumn so time to start brewing something malty, dark and warming for the coming winter.  April is also significant in the brewing calendar downunder as ANZAC day approaches and lest we forget the tributes to soldiers past and present with the popular ‘raise a glass’ campaign to toast the fallen and forgotten.  With these themes in mind I set about rebrewing an old favourite – my Siberian Tiger & Tigress Baltic Porter and Oaked Baltic Porter from yesteryear!

Going to go more true to style and in the spirit of the ANZAC combine craft Kiwi and Aussie malt to partner the lord admiral’s English noble hops – they did sent the ANZACs into battle into some seriously questionable strategic decisions – lest we forget!  And let’s not forget somewhere close to the Baltics, at least closer than here – the Czech republic for some fine Saaz hops and a nobly made by the Belgians (Flanders Fields) Lager Yeast to close out the combination of armed ingredients!

Malt Bill

100% | 7.45Kg Malt Bill – its a big Tiger! GRRRR

Hops

  • 40g Fuggles (UK) 5% AA @60 mins into a 90 min boil
  • 35g East Kent Goldings (UK) 6% AA @60 mins
  • 30g Saaz (CZ) 3.5% AA @15 mins
  • 270g Saaz (AU home grown – 2 year old 2015 Harvest) whole cones @0 mins flame out
  • 150g East Kent Goldings (AU home grown – 1 year old 2015 Harvest) whole cones @0 mins flame out

Yeast

Mash:

  • 90 mins for full extraction/conversion using a single step infusion mash (don’t have the goodies to do step mashes yet, also not required for fully modified Gladfield Malt) @68C to give a good body / mouthfeel

Boil:

  • 90 mins – really important as we are effectively brewing a heavy dark beer with a lager style ferment so wanted to make a good clear wort and drive off any DMS, not that I was expecting much if any.  If time poor 60 mins will suffice.
Water Treatment & Brewing Aids:
  • 2 tsp of Gypsum (Calcium Sulphate) + 1 tsp of Calcium Chloride in the pre-mash boil water.  Possibly a bit hard but lets see.
  • Brewbrite @10 mins for trub drop out in the boil
  • Wyeast yeast nutrient 1/2 tsp @10 mins from flameout as this yeast has a lot of malt sugar to munch through!

Fermentation Control

  • Pitched Yeast @11C and set temp controller at 12C allowing a slow 0.5C rise from day 5 up to 15C where I will hold for 2 days diacetyl rest before racking and lagering for a long as possible – ideally 4-6 weeks @2C.

Bottling

  • Finally got around to bottling the Tiger & Tigress after an extended cold lagering at 2 degrees celcius for well over 4 weeks.  The Tigress was tasting mighty fine with the slick whisky oak flavours coming through very strongly and very impressed by the colour and clarity and chocolate notes of the beer at bottling. Time to bottle condition and then enjoy by the fireside 🙂

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Bottling a Tiger & Tigress

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Siberian Tiger & Tigress – Baltic Porter

Born on Sun 9 March 2014:

With autumn and winter coming around the corner not to mention the Westgate Brewers Baltic Porter comp. in May I decided it was time to turn my hand to a style I have wanted to brew for a long time and one that would showcase Gladfield Malt in all its glory and pay respect to an endangered animal I much admire – the Siberian Tiger. Having watched a film on the flight home with Mazzy on a crazy Korean who camped out for 5 years to film Siberian Tigers only to see all of them shot over the course of his camping by poachers I thought who better to be the figure head for this wonderful style of Porter originally brewed with a lager yeast in cold conditions with high abv for a journey from London to the Baltic States.

Mining the wonderful world of the Tinternet I stumbled across BrewToad.com and a wealth of good recipes some of which recommended an Irish Ale Wyeast so why not break with brewing convention. I adapted, tweaked and put my own flavour on the grain bill and a moderate hop regime. Ingredients below:

Gladfield Malt Bill (Kg)

Hops:

  • Northern Brewer & Magnum
  • 25g Northern Brewer A/A 10.6% & 15g Magnum A/A 14.4% at start of boil
  • 15g Northern Brewer @Flame out

Yeast:

Adjuncts:

  • 2 x Vanilla beans (split) in secondary

Fermentation:

  • 18C

Sources: Brewtoad, Homebrew Handbook, Key concept in water treatment, The complete Joy of Homebrewing, Beer & Brewer

Mash:

Decided to try a step mash not that Gladfield Malt (fully modified) required it but more because I have been extremely unhappy with my mash results in the untrusty Crown Urn brew in a bag set up:

  1. Step 1: 30 mins @55 degrees Celsius
  2. Step 2: 30 mins @66 degrees Celsius
  3. Rest: 10 mins @66 C
  4. Step 4: Mash off @70C for 15 mins

Racking: to create a Siberian Tigress

Sun 16th March racked off 16L into a secondary fermenter and 5L into an Oak Barrel which had been presoaked with Victorian Muscat and was primed with 200g of Dark Belgium Candy Sugar. Upon tasting there was some nice roasted malt flavour and good body, hop tones and a mellow finish. My hope was this Tigress would be gentle but lethal just the same 🙂

Bottling

Bulk primed 500ml of boiling water with 160g of dark brown sugar and bottled off the Siberian Tiger. The Tigress was bottled a week later with just 12 bottles of this lethal she cat that will benefit from extended bottle conditioning.

Tasting

Been enjoying a few of these Tigers in May as the mercury drops and they are very morish 🙂 Have not tempted the Tigress but plan to showcase her in all her glory with a heavy lamb shank, rich red meat dish or a saucy chocolate dessert to round out her malty smooth character and muscat on oak charms. Just need to be careful as the Tigress will have a bite!