Chocolate Porter Homebrew
Every year since 2007, I've brewed Jodie a batch of beer for her birthday. The style is up to her, and we've brewed Belgian witbier (2007) oatmeal stout (2008), and a Magic Hat #9 clone (2009). My wife has excellent taste.
This year's choice was easy. "I'd like a chocolate porter," Jodie told me, so I got to work.
Brewing a chocolate porter is easy, and by and large it's pretty simple.
Research before brewing
To develop the recipe for Jodie's birthday chocolate porter, I first cracked some books and hit up the Internets. Here are links I used as food-for-thought.
Now all this in mind, it was a bit anti-climactic when I ultimately decided on a porter kit from my local brew shop. I've had success with this recipe in prior modified porters though, and it makes a good baseline for when I brew a beer like this. I've used the research below to develop further changes for subsequent batches, and those ideas are noted at the end of this post.
- The Hop Vine :: View topic – Chocolate Porter or Stout recipe suggestion? – Extract only!
- Chocolate Porter – Home Brew Recipe | Ask The Beer Guy
- Double Chocolate Porter
- Home Brew Recipe For Chocolate Porter | Home Brew Beer Secrets
- Winter recipes: Chocolate Porter (The author, Melissa Ward, had a great ingredient suggestion that I worked into Jodie's brew: "The ingredient molasses also adds depth to the beer, giving it a pleasant richness.")
- Chocolate Porter
- Chocolate Stout
- Doggers Cherry Chocolate Porter
- Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine – Recipes – Bonus Porter Recipes
- Chocolate Porter? – MR.BEER®
- Brewing Chocolate Porter with Northern Nutwood « Chuck Smith's Blog
With a few modifications, here is the extract recipe I used to brew Jodie's Jubilation Chocolate Porter birthday beer:
Source/Based off Entire Porter (Beer #10) Recipe, Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, Oregon.
- Brew Date: Feb. 7, 2010
- Initial Gravity Reading (O.G.): 1.074
- Secondary Fermentation Date: none
- Bottling Date: Mar. 7, 2010
- Bottling Counts:
- 22 oz.: 17
- Flip-top: 7
- 12 oz.: 5
- Final Gravity Reading (F.G.): 1.015
- Alcohol: 5.7%
- Open Date: Apr. 8, 2010 (Jodie’s 28th Birthday!)
- 6-1/2 lbs. amber malt extract
- 1 lb. crystal malt from Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, OR (put in grain sock)
- 1/4 lb. chocolate malt
- 1/4 lb. black patent malt
- 8 oz. molasses
- @60 minute boil, 2-1/2 oz. Cascade hops
- @15 minute 1/2 tsp. Irish moss
- @2 minute aroma/boil, 1 oz. Cascade hops
- 8 oz. dutch process baking cocoa
- Ale Yeast (supplied with kit)
- @ bottling: 1-1/4c. dried malt extract
- 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Brewing & Fermentation
Place crushed grains in 2 gallons of 150-160ºF water and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain out and sparge with ~2 quarts hot water. Bring to a boil, while adding malt extract, molasses and 60-minute hops.
Clean/sanitize carboy and other equipment during this time. Add 1 gallon cold water to sanitized carboy. At 45 minute mark, add Irish moss. At 1 minute mark, add aroma hops.
Remove from heat. Once off boiling point, add cocoa and vanilla. Cool wort to 90-100ºF.
Strain wort into carboy, sparging through hops. Add cold water until total amount of liquid in carboy is 5 gallons. Shake to aerate. Take a sample for initial gravity reading.
When wort temperature is between 68-76ºF, pitch yeast. Cap carboy and set in a warm, quiet place.
Ferment at approx. 72 degrees F for 3-30 days. Bottle with DME solution. Age one month.
2/7/10 Great chocolate aroma!
2/8/10 Fermentation underway; mellow so far, but good constant bubbles. Rich brown color. Thin, brown krausen, but good fermentation.
2/10/10 Much thicker krausen.
2/11/10 Beer settling down and krausen clearing. Temp ~71ºF at 6 p.m.
3/2/10 Ready to bottle!
3/7/10 Bottle day!
3/10/10 Instead of working ingredients into the name, how about a total departure? For example, what about “Jubilation Chocolate Porter”? Jubilation has a J, plus it’s for a happy occasion, and what better to celebrate than chocolate and a birthday?
4/8/10 Opening day! Flavorful, but the flavor is hoppier and the aroma not as chocolate-rich as envisioned. Good starting point though. For subsequent batches, may try "dry-hopping" with cocoa and vanilla. May also reduce hops, or use aged hops (retaining preservative characteristics but reducing hop aroma and flavor). Still, overall a flavorful, enjoyable brew — and above all, my wife is happy with her birthday beer, and that's what matters most.
A fan of chocolate beers from Rogue and Samuel Smiths and more, I've long wanted to try brewing with chocolate. This first experience has gone very well, and I'm looking forward to working chocolate into more future beers.