Homebrewing: 2010 Jubilation Chocolate Porter

Chocolate Porter Homebrew

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Now that's what I like in a woman!

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

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Molasses and Dutch-process cocoa (it's stored in a Hershey's container, but the cocoa actually came from the bulk foods section in Winco)

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.

Recipe Time

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Warm, happy ale.

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!)

Ingredients

  • 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.

Notes

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Bottling day

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Happy birthday, Jodie!


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Globetrotter, homebrewer and writer Anthony St. Clair has walked with hairy coos in the Scottish Highlands, choked on seafood in Australia, and watched the full moon rise over Mt. Everest in Tibet. Anthony’s travels have also taken him around the sights and beers of Thailand, Japan, India, Canada, Ireland, the USA, Cambodia, China and Nepal. He and his wife live in Oregon and gave their son a passport for his first birthday. Anthony's first Rucksack Universe e-book, The Martini of Destiny, is available now.


9 comments on “Homebrewing: 2010 Jubilation Chocolate Porter
  1. Taylor says:

    We will have to do a tasting when Sam’s chocolate-cherry stout is drinkable…

  2. margaret says:

    happy birthday jodie!!! and what a cute picture of you!!! the beer looks and sounds wonderful!
    love, m

  3. Mathew Quigley says:

    Just out of curiosity, what type of DME did you use for bottling? Thanks for the recipe, the sample from the primary tastes great!

  4. We get it from Home Fermenter Center on 1st & Monroe. Jim has pre-measured bags for bottling — I believe it’s just light DME. Though your question has me wondering if there’d be any perceivable difference between using light vs. dark DME.
    Glad to hear your beer is coming along well, can’t wait to hear how the final is!

  5. Mathew Quigley says:

    Thank you for getting back to me on that. My homebrew store is here in Hillsboro. I used a light DME the other day to prime an amber clone recipe (which called for the DME) and was a bit surprised by the level of flavor that was added to to the beer. I think the porter could benefit from a little dark DME though, I am thinking it may boost the body just a little bit more. I’ll check with my homebrew shop too.

  6. Jodi says:

    We just finished a batch. Smelled like a dark chocolate bar. Time for fermentation. We added a bit more cocoa. Excited for the outcome. I was looking for a nice porter recipe and my name is Jodi as well so I thought it must be fate. Thanx!!!

  7. Oh, now this is just freakin awesome! Jubilation for another Jodi (well, a variant, as my Jodie has the ‘ie’). How much more cocoa did you add?
    Stoked to hear how it comes out, please let me know.

  8. Mathew Quigley says:

    Hey I forgot to get back to you on how my batch turned out. The first few tastes after fermenting about 3-4 weeks were good but were feeling like an overly sweet brown porter. I thought about kicking it up a notch and added cocoa nibs to each bottle before bottling. After about another 3 weeks in the bottle the color completely morphed and created a VERY dark smooth, smoky and faintly chocolately porter. I loved it… right up until the bottles left to condition even longer started to show signs of infection :( Highly carbonated, and the color fell back to a murky brown. Oh well. I’m going to make up the batch again (with more cocoa powder) then briefly boils the nibs before letting them sit with the beer in a secondary. Should be great! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Spatchmo says:

    Hi, my birthday is 8th April and I’m looking into starting Homebrew, just bought an all in one kit, but once thats done I’ll want to do a cherry chocolate porter! Strange coincidence

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Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

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