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Tasting – Brown Porter

31/10/2013

Brown_porter

The session strength Brown Porter has had time to mature in the bottle for about a month now. This one turned out ok though the recipe needs a bit of tweaking.

Appearance : The beer seems to be very dark when poured but when held against light it’s not as much brown but rather a deep red around the edges. It’s very clear, not that it matters that much in a dark beer. No head to speak of and it doesn’t leave much lacing.

Smell : There is a roasty malt smell with some nutty overtones. Not that much else going on in the nose.

Taste : When sipped the first taste is of biscuity malt  and some roast. There is a bit of nuttiness evident as well. The taste disappears abruptly which I think is a consequence of the low abv as this one finished at 3,7%. Since there is not much bitterness in this one nothing really lingers on the tongue and the beer feels kind of “short”.

Mouthfeel : Mashing high and using flaked oats helped to compensate the high attenuation of the yeast and the beer has a bit of body.  You certainly wouldn’t mistake this one for a 6% abv porter but it’s not as thin as some other beers brewed with the Nottingham strain. The carbonation is low which helps as too much carbonation in a small beer makes it feel like fizzy water, a lesson learned when a 3% abv “Ipa” I brewed earlier this year over-carbonated.

Notes : Given the handicap that I gave this beer with the choice of yeast (I feared that a lower attenuating yeast would activate after bottling leading to gushers as has happened in the past) it turned out ok. However this beer is prove that small session beers really are more sensitive to the choice of yeast. Without hop flavour or malt backbone to give the beer some character it is a bit lacking. A flavourfull yeast that would attenuate less leaving more mouthfeel and sugars would help to compensate.

So when I re-brew this one I’ll use a different yeast (the Fullers strain would probably work well) and keg it. I also think the recipe would be better with some more roast character so upping the brown malt a bit and maybe using a very small amount of black patent would be a good idea.

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