Beer Goodness, Step 1: Chocolate Porter

So, me_not_you and I made the first of three (!) beers that we’re making this weekend yesterday.

3.3 lbs Dark Malt Extract
3.3 lbs Amber Malt Extract
0.5 lb Black Patent malt
0.5 lb Crystal malt
4 oz cocoa
1 oz Cascade hops (boiling)
1 oz Tettenang hops (boiling)
1 oz Cascade hops (aroma)
Wyeast European Ale yeast


Step Time Instruction
1 X Place the bags of malt extract into hot water to make them more manageable.
2 X Make a slurry by combining the cocoa with four cups of boiling water. Set aside.
3 X Add 2 gallons of water to the brewing pot.
4 X Pour the Crystal and Black Patent malts into a muslin bag and tie the bag closed.
5 14:28 Place the bag into the cold water and allow the grains to steep. Raise the temperature to 130-140 degrees F but no hotter.
6 14:58 After 30 minutes from turning on the burner, turn off the burner.
7 X Lift the bag from over the water with tongs. Pour 0.5 gallons of hot water through the bag. Discard the grain bag.
8 15:05 Add the Dark and Amber Malt Extracts to the pot.
9 X Stir the pot until everything is completely dissolved. Make sure no syrupy liquids remain on the bottom of the pot.
10 15:07 Restart the burner and bring the pot to a boil.
11 X Place 1 oz. of Cascade and 1 oz Tettenang hops into a muslin bag.
12 15:27 When the pot begins to boil, add the Cascade hops to the pot.
13 X Monitor the pot for the first 20 minutes to make sure it does not boil over. If it appears ready to boil over, turn down the heat.
14 X Place 1 oz. Cascades hop pellets into a muslin bag.
15 16:22 55 minutes after the pot started boiling, add the Cascades hops to the pot.
16 16:22 55 minutes after the pot started boiling, add the cocoa syrup to the pot.
17 16:27 Five minutes later, turn off the burner.
18 X Place 2.5 gallons of cold water in a sanitized carboy.
19 X Cool the pot as quickly as possible.
20 16:37 When the temperature of the wort is below 120º F, pour it into the fermenter.
21 16:40 When the fermenter temperature is at 70º F or below, pitch the yeast.
22 X Pull a sample from the fermenter and measure and record the Original Gravity: 1.046

This had an incredibly dark look to it, with a reddish tinge due to the cocoa. Tasted fairly normal for an unfermented wort – the hop bitterness certainly overshadowed any flavor from the cocoa.

The original recipe called for making something analogous to hot chocolate – combining the cocoa with one pound of dextrose. This seemed to be to be a bit unnecessary, since the dextrose, being a fermentable sugar, isn’t going to be around when fermentation is complete to provide any sweetening. It might up the alcohol a bit, but it also introduces the possibility of that nasty “cidery” taste you get from brewing with large quantities of dextrose. So out it goes!