The last couple of summers I've visited Holgate Brewery on my birthday. They've always got a whole bunch of great beers available, but my favourite at that time of year is their seasonal Summer Black Forest Porter it has a real hit of cherries that are in perfect balance with the roasty flavours of a great porter.
With the Merri Mashers case swap fast approaching I thought it was great opportunity to do something a bit different and throw some cherries in a porter myself.
The base for this recipe comes from Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. I often reach for this book when I'm after a simple recipe that I want to add something extra to. That way I know the base recipe is going to be strong.
I'm going to rack the beer onto a couple of kilos of cherries once it's finished primary. Adding the fruit during secondary fermentation should retain a lot more of the flavour and aroma than it would in the boil or in primary fermentation. Because it's for a case swap this beer will be going into bottles rather than being kegged.
Robust Cherry Porter
Target OG: 1.064
- Maris Otter (76%)
- Munich I (10%)
- Medium Crystal (6%)
- Chocolate Malt (5%)
- Carafa Special III (3%)
- 10 min at 52°C
- 60 min at 66°C
- 10 min at 72°C
- Mashout at 78°C
Boil: (60 min)
- 68g East Kent Goldings (pellet, 5.7%) at 60 to 33 IBU
- 18g Fuggles (pellet, 5.10%) at 15 to 4 IBU
- 25g East Kent Goldings (pellet, 5.7%) at flameout
- No chill to 16°C
- Pitch 1.5 litre starter of Wyeast 1084 (Irish Ale)
- Start fermentation at 16°C and rise to 20°C over 5 days
- Rack onto 2kg canned sour cherries after primary`
THE BREW DAY
Everything went off without a hitch, my numbers were all spot on and I collected the 25 litres of wort I expected. The irish ale yeast is currently working away. I'm hoping that once I return from ANHC next week the hydrometer should read about 1.014 and I'll rack it onto the cherries.
I just arrive home from ANHC - where I won a 20L Braumeister (I'll be posting about that soon!) - and checked my fermenting fridge as soon as I got home. There was no airlock activity on the porter and the kreusen had dropped so I went ahead and did a hydro reading. It was a little higher than expected at 1.021 but I went ahead and racked it anyway.
After adding the cherries there was still about 24 litres in the fermenter. I should have taken another hrdro reading after adding the wort to the cherries so that I could figure out how much sugar the cherries contributed but I forgot and I don't really want to open the fermenter again... I'll monitor the F.G. over the next couple of weeks to see when it's ready to bottle.