Homebrew: Connor Porter 2011

Holding my newborn son, Connor
Holding my newborn son, Connor

Baby needs a beer. Or, rather, the birth of my and Jodie’s first child merited a homebrew to commemorate bringing our first wee kiddo into the world.

When thinking about what to brew before baby arrived, I thought too about going back to my roots, so to speak. I wanted to brew again the very first beer I’d ever brewed.

My first solo beer was a porter, brewed in 2007, and it turned out not too shabby at all for a first-timer. I recall mocha and chocolate notes, and a rich dark color. I looked forward to seeing what would be different, now that I was more experienced.

The Recipe

We worked with a NW Mocha Porter recipe from Falling Sky (formerly Valley Vintner & Brewer), with a few slight modifications.


All ingredients from Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, OR

  • 1 lb. amber DME
  • 4-3/4 lb. light DME
  • 1 lb. British Chocolate Malt
  • 1/2 lb. Crystal Malt (40L)
  • 1/2 lb. Munich Malt
  • @60 minute boil, 1 oz. Sterling hops
  • @30 minute boil, 5/8 oz. Goldings hops (5.7 alpha)
  • @30 minute boil, 3/4 oz. Fuggles hops (6.0 alpha)
  • @15 minute 1/2 tsp. Irish moss
  • @5 minute aroma/boil, 1/4 oz. Sterling hops
  • 1275 Wyeast Thames Valley Yeast
  • @ bottling: 1-1/4c. dried malt extract

Our Brew Stats

The recipe did not list target values

  • Brew Date: Nov. 27, 2011
  • Initial Gravity Reading (O.G.): 1.078
  • Bottling Date: Dec. 18, 2011
  • Final Gravity Reading (F.G.): 1.022
  • Alcohol: 5.6%
  • Bottling Counts:
    • 12 oz.: 28
    • Flip-top: 1
    • 22 oz.: 12

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 and 60-minute hops.

Clean/sanitize carboy and other equipment during this time. Add 1 gallon cold water to sanitized carboy. At 30 minute mark, add Goldings and Fuggles hops. At 45 minute mark, add Irish moss. At 5 minute mark, add aroma Sterling hops.

Remove from heat and 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.


Mon., 11/28/11 – Will name beer after kid’s first name [we wanted gender to be a surprise]. New carboy location, in kitchen near fridge/shelves. Will use space heater as needed to modify and maintain temperature. 7 a.m., 67ºF, just starting fermentation. Ran space heater, turned off once strip read 72ºF. Evening, 74ºF. Nice thick, foamy krausen.

Thur., 11/29/11 – 74ºF. Krausen not as thick.

Sat., 12/1/11 – Fermentation slowed, let sit another week.

Sun., 12/18/11 – Bottling day! Beer has been 60-64ºF for the past couple weeks. Cloudy, medium-brown; like chocolate.

Last call

It’s so, so much easier to brew beer than to bring a baby into the world. But both have worked out well. The porter has good flavor and body (though I wish it had a bit more mouthfeel). The baby, wee Connor, is amazing. Can’t wait for him to start brewing with Dad…

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