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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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Olympic Oak Porter

Dedicated to the proud men and women who once worked at The Olympic Tyre & Rubber Co Ltd in West Footscray #WeFo which is now the post modern frontage to the modern Banbury Village, the Olympic Oak Porter is inspired by the mulit-award winning Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter from California, USA.  This robust porter should restore a factory worker to health in autumn and winter months after a hard days work making tyres and reward the patience of the brewer for use of oak age barrel technique.  Thanks Matt @Firestone and John @Grain&Grape and @Beer&Brewer for the recipe to which I of course pay some regard with mild variations unknown to many including thyself.

Ingredients:

2.8kg Briess Golden Light Dried Malt Extract
0.63kg Joe White Medium Crystal
0.32kg Joe White Chocolate
0.32kg Joe White Wheat Malt
0.13kg Joe White Dark Crystal
0.13kg Weyerman Carafa Special III
0.32kg flaked Oats
36g of Warrior Hops @Alpha Acid 16.7% (2010 Harvest)
26g Hallertau Mittelfruh Hops @Alpha Acid 5.5% (2011 Harvest)
40g Cascade Hops @AA 6.2% (2011 Harvest)
32g American Oak Chips Toasted
Fermentis Safale S-04 yeast

Brought 4L of water to the boil then cooled to 70C before adding my grains for the mini mash.  Upon doing that realised I needed to add another litre of water which cooled my mash to high 60s where it stayed most the 30mins before straining adding another 3L of water and 1Kg of Dried Malt Extract and 20g of Warrior Hop pellets and experiencing a boil over.  Definitely writing a letter to Santa for a Crown Urn for Christmas to control my boils.  All that extract in a pressure pot is simply not doing it for me anymore.  Added another 16g of Warrior Hops split over two pots and continued the boil for 30 mins before adding 26g of Hallertau Mittelfruh and boiling for another 25mins before adding the Cascade hops, Oak Chips and remaining 1.8Kg of dried malt extract across two pots which was tricky to say the least.  While all the fun and games was happening on the stove in between messy clean ups I pitched the S-04 yeast in 350ml of water and pitched that at temp 40C to hydrate then added to the fermenter at 26C.

Just dropped into put my Olympic Oak Porter to bed for the night with a nice picnic rug and she is looking ready to roll at a comfy 26C and cooling slowly.  Meanwhile for past two weeks and next two weeks I have been conditioning my little 5L port barrel with some Jameson I had lying around that was not getting drunk and expect to continue rolling that through the barrel for next two weeks before putting  a quarter of the brew into barrel for aging post racking in two weeks time.  Looking forward to Autumn already but lets get on with summer first eh Olympians.

Sun 16.12.12 bottled the brew with a FG of 1010 and racked off a quarter into the Oak Barrel for a secondary fermentation adding an additional dry hopping dose of Hallertau hops and some toffee like brown sugar (200g) in 300ml of water.  Pulled off some of the Olympic Oak Porter into my 2L Growler and 3L Harrington’s stubbie (thanks Carl).  Looking forward to seeing how the Double Olympian in the Barrel tastes in two weeks time.  Tasting the Olympic as it came out of the fermenter it was dry and hoppy on the front palate but nice and sweet finishing.

Big Bottles for a Big Beer

Sat 29 Dec 12 – last Sat of the year and opportunity arose to bottle the oak barrel Double Olympic Porter portion of the brew. Pulled off 11 stubbies including one stone bottle see pic. Tasting was good. Very woody nose, deep amber tones and smooth balanced malt with higher alc noticeable and needed to match all that wood and whiskey. Be interesting to see how this turns out and suspect an extra quarter on the DOP maybe beneficial. ABC Jazz on the digital radio kept the bottler in suitably mellow moods while patiently filling raw sugar primed stubbies at a snails pace through the tiny port tap!