Black Tsunami Porter From Rossa
Late last year I was invited to the Abbeyleix Beerfest to conduct a brewing demonstration. I quite enjoy these demonstrations and spreading the good word of homebrew, so I loaded up the car and went on an adventure to the mid-lands. I arrived at the venue and set up the equipment, the demo went well but due to a mini crisis I was drafted in as a late judge at the competition so I was lucky enough to be involved in scoring and tasting all the beer entries. One of the top entries was a magnificent porter. This porter was perfectly carbonated and loaded with subtle complementing flavours. All the tastes in the beer were extremely well balanced and while the ABV was high at 9.2%, the complexity was such that it was able to hold this ABV without the boozy whiff that you may expect. I do remember tasting it and thinking this is in the same league as the ‘Brooklyn Black OPS‘, or perhaps even betters it - and a bottle of that beer costs €20!
Rossa is one of the top homebrewers in Ireland and as such I was not surprised when I learned, after the judging, that he brewed this spectacular beer. I was equally not shocked when the beer went on to win the porter/stout category and also the prestigious ‘Best of Show’ by a country mile. We were all delighted when he kindly donated the recipe to the NHC to try and review. Now onto the recipe…
The chosen procedure is a very simple all grain brewing procedure, that uses a picnic cooler and one batch sparge step – numbers, temps and volumes will vary according to your system. It’s more of a checklist – but you should make an effort to hit the target temperatures. If your hop additions are in hop bags you may consider bumping up 10-15%.
Batch Size: 26.00L
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%
Presumed Mash/sparge Water loss: 5.00L
Presumed Evaporation / Boil loss: 10%
Presumed Yeast Attenuation: 75%
Presumed Hops: Whole-leaf hops added loose
BJCP Sttle: 12C Baltic Porter
Original Gravity: 1.085 (20.5 Plato)
Terminal Gravity: 1.015 (3.5 Plato)
Color: 55.51 EBC
Bitterness: 43.8 IBU
Summary of Ingredients:
- 5000g Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt
- 250g Amber Malt
- 1000g Carapils
- 300g Crystal 55
-2000g DME (Dry Light)
- 30g NorthernBrewer (8.5%)
- 45g Fuggles (3.6%)
- 55g Fuggles (3.6%)
- 1 tab Whirlfloc/Protofloc
- 2 x Danstar 3767 Nottingham or similar
- 50g French Oak Chops for 3 weeks (Secondary)
- Crush and mix your grains well.
- Prepare big 2-3L starter (if you’re not using 2 packs of dry yeast)
- Water treatments – you might consider filtering your 30L of water
- Heat 17L to 73°C
- Add to you mashtun – temp will drop to 70°c
- Dough in your grains – target temp is 66/65°C
- Mash for 60 minutes – this is a single infusion mash
- Drain off to kettle – remember to recirculate first 2L (helps with clarity)
- Heat 17L sparge water to roughly 82°C
- Add sparge water to mashtun. Target temp for the grain bed should now be 76-77°C
- Give it a good stir and leave for 10 minutes
- Turn on kettle
- Slowly add sparge water to kettle – but remember to recirculate first 2 litres (helps with clarity)
- Top up if necessary to bring to 30 litres.
-It may take some time to get to boil
- once you hit 100°C and hot break (foam head) start the boil clock
- 60 mins add NorthernBrewer
- 55 mins add DME
- 20 mins add Fuggles 45g
- 15 mins add Whirlfloc/Protofloc
- 5 mins add Fuggles 55g.
- Chill wort to target 20°C as quickly as you can
- Sterilise fermenter
- Add wort to fermenter
- Aerate wort as best you can and check temp of wort one final time
- Hydrate yeast if using dry yeast or get wet yeast ready
- Add yeast and seal it up with an airlock.
- Ferment at 20-22°C – Primary should be complete in 7-10 days.
- Move to secondary and add Oak Chips – leave for 3 weeks – steam oak chips to ensure sterile
- Bottle or keg at 2 Volumes – 10 psi in keg or 120g dextrose for bottling.
Article by Partridge (J Keane)