Crepuscular Porter

Fall is here – time to do away with the lighter summer beers and start brewing rich, dark, beers that warm the soul on cold winters nights.  Dark beers – browns, porters, stouts, olde ales & Scottish exports – are among my favourite beers.  Of these, porters top the list.

Porters are not a commonly encountered style – at least, not here in Canada.  It is too bad – aside from being important historically, porters stand as one of the most diverse styles of beer out there.  On one extreme porters are medium-brown in colour, differing from brown ales in their extra hoppiness.  On the other extreme are dark porters – would-be stouts but for a bit more dark malt bitterness.  Between those two extremes is a huge range of beers – sweet to dry, mild to hoppy, some with toasty nuttiness, others with the coffee-like flavour of roasted malts.  Swap out the ale yeast, substitute a lager yeast and lager fermentation conditions, and you get a baltic porter – every bit as diverse as the ale version, but with the mellower nature of a larger replacing the flamboyance of ale yeasts.  For the brave soul, one can take a sweet porter, subtract the hops, add in some/all of vanilla, wintergreen, licorice root, sarsaparilla root, nutmeg, anise, molasses, cinnamon, clove, or honey – and you have a real rootbeer.  Alcoholic, richly flavoured, sweet and spicy.  Its the great-grandpa of the soda enjoyed by so many.

Today’s brew is a middle-of-the-road Porter.  Crepuscular Porter is named after crepuscular animals – animals active at twilight and at the dawn.  Accordingly, this beer lacks the midnight blackness of darker porters and stouts, bearing a medium-brown colour (30SRM).  With a hoppiness on the higher-end for the style (32IBU), 5% alcohol, and with a rich nuttiness imparted by a rarer adjunct grain – pale chocolate malt – this beer will be a nice brew to enjoy while racking leaves or while warming up after a chilly bike ride home from work.

More Below the Fold…

This brews signature ingredient is pale chocolate malt – unlike classical chocolate malt, it’s not as dark (300SRM instead of the usual 350-400), nuttier, and has less of a roasted character.  This grain should  provide this beer with a mellow nuttiness, well balanced with a bit of sweetness and a counterbalancing bitterness. Rounding out this brew are hints of roasted and toasted barley, black patent, and bitterness imparted by Northern Brewer and Cascade hops.

The Recipe:

Recipe Specifications:
Boil Size: 27.14 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.88 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 21.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 20.50 l
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 29.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 31.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 71.2 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt         Name                                       %/IBU
4.00 kg     Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)             74.9 %
0.45 kg     Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)       8.4 %
0.40 kg     Chocolate Malt (Light) (300.0 SRM)          7.5 %
0.20 kg     Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)                3.7 %
0.16 kg     Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM)                    3.0 %
0.10 kg     Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM)             1.9 %
0.03 kg     Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)                  0.5 %
18.00 g     Northern Brewer [9.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min   21.6 IBUs
12.00 g     Cascade [6.40 %] - Boil 90.0 min           10.2 IBUs
1.00 tsp    Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.0 pkg     Nottingham Yeast

Mash Schedule: 
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 5.34 kg
Name       Description                   Step Temp   Step Time
Mash In    4.15 l of water at 73.5 C     66.7 C      60 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, 18.58l) of 75.6 C water

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