Thirsty Thursday: Porter Ahoy!

OK. I actually started this brew more than a week ago. But then suddenly… time passed, and I didn’t blog about it. What’s up with that?

So I started a porter two Sundays ago. A honey porter. This weekend, it’s due to be racked into the secondary fermenter (unless I do that today, of course).

This one was a new experience, because I had to steep some grains before starting the boil.

The fancy-schmancy grains are in a muslin bag for steeping.
The fancy-schmancy grains are in a muslin bag for steeping.

After steeping, it was time for the one-hour boil.

After steeping the grains, it was time to add the malt extracts, honey, and hops and let the wort boil.
After steeping the grains, it was time to add the malt extracts, honey, and hops and let the wort boil.

I can never quite understand how something that tastes so good can smell so bad in preparation.

One of the next challenges is to rapidly cool the unfermented beer, now called wort. Snow can be helpful for this.

One of the convenient things about snow is that it is helpful to cool the wort after the boil. I need to invest in a wort chiller...
One of the convenient things about snow is that it is helpful to cool the wort after the boil. I need to invest in a wort chiller…

Then the wort has to be moved from the kettle to the carboy for primary fermentation. This is never a pretty thing. But once it’s done, there’s a pretty thing.

The boil is finished. The wort is cool. The yeast is added. Now for fermentation.
The boil is finished. The wort is cool. The yeast is added. Now for fermentation.

Then the carboy is moved somewhere warm and dark and the yeast takes over. This porter bubbled hard for a few days then stopped, leaving a ring of mess on the inside of the carboy.

After a couple of days, the fermentation calmed down. In a few more days it'll be ready to move to a smaller secondary fermentor.
After a couple of days, the fermentation calmed down. In a few more days it’ll be ready to move to a smaller secondary fermentor.

It’s time now to rack this beer – to move it from this 6-gallon carboy to a 5-gallon carboy to let it finish fermenting. Then the 6-gallon carboy will be clean and available for the next batch of beer.

Coming up next: a tasty honey wheat beer!

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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