Brew Day – Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter – 8/5/18

This is a collaboration effort between me and my wife. HOORAY!

Even though I have a bigger all grain set up in my garage, I’ve decided to also brew some BIAB (brew in a bag) 1 gallon batches on my stovetop. Doing so will allow me to brew more while I’m watching my son (I don’t want him baking the garage during my 5 gallon brew sessions). By doing this 1 gallon BIAB on my stovetop, I can do it in the house while he’s playing on his bouncer.

Win/Win.

I came to the realization that I want to brew my high gravity beers in smaller batches, and leave the larger batches that I’ll keg for lower ABV beers. The reality is that a 5 gallon batch of 9-10% beer will be in my keg WAY TOO LONG. I’d prefer to have smaller beers on tap, so I can drink a couple of them in a session and not regret it the next day. Right now, I have a 4% Belgian on tap, and once I keg my session IPA, I’ll have another 4% beer on tap. The next 5 gallon batch I’m planning is a Burton-style Ale. It will be around 6% which is probably as high as I want to go with kegging from here on out. When I do some imperial pumpkin stouts in the fall, those bad boys will be bottled.

Anyway, so the wife was intrigued by my smaller batch strategy, and decided she wanted to give it a shot with me. So, we picked a recipe she wanted to make, and we are going to do it!

I spent some time really getting to know how to use my BeerSmith 2 app, so I can work on my efficiency AND scale down recipes w/o doing a crazy amount of math. It was kind of fun learning how to set up equipment and mash profiles. It’s a great program if you take the time to learn it. AND, there are a ton of recipes in the cloud if you don’t want to write your own. That is where we found our Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter recipe – in the BeerSmith 2 cloud.
The Recipe (all grain):

Chocolate peanut butter porter recipe

Never brewed with PB2 before, but most of the chatter in the forums advocated for putting it in towards the end of the boil. There seemed to be a little concern about it infecting the beer as a secondary dry add – not definite, but enough to concern me. Most of the forum posts said it worked great as a 10 minute boil add.

This is also my first BIAB experience, so I’m kind of excited. I started my brewing journey with messy stovetop work, so coming back to that approach as a wiser man with a BIAB strategy excites me.
Brew notes (I’m not going to regurgitate all of the steps – just the ones that are important):

  • Single step mash @ 160 F
  • 2.45 gallons strike water
  • Northern brewer hops @ 60 min
  • Willamette hops @ 20 min
  • PB2 add at 10 min left to boil
  • Cacao nibs add at 0 minutes left to boil

Target numbers:

  • Pre boil SG: 1.022
  • 1.15 gallons
  • OG – 1.047, FG – 1.010

This will be bottled once it reaches its final gravity.

Bought ingredients at my local homebrew store (Bacchus & Barleycorn).

Brew day notes:

  • Date: 8/5
  • Stove top BIAB set up (used nylon paint straining bag)
  • Total time (including cleaning): 5 hours
  • Brew day beer of choice:
    • Lawrence Beer Company Big Peach Saison
      • Wife brought home a crowler
  • Brew day music of choice: n/a – had baby stuff going in the background
  • Actual OG: 1.034
  • Final OG: 1.010
  • Final ABV: 3.15%
  • What went well: BIAB works nice – not a lot of debris in the process. Note to self – use the larger pot from the start next time. A 3 gallon pot will not get the job done from start to finish.
  • What went bad: Failed to hit pre-boil and final gravity. Third time since I started buying grains at my new place. Decided to break down and buy my own grain mill. Really looking forward to using it. Added some sugar during the boil to boost up the gravity. Overfilled the 1 gallon carboy, and had to siphon out some liquid after pitching yeast (didn’t leave enough head space). Good news is that beer is fermenting vigorously less than 24 hours later, so the yeast didn’t come out when I siphoned out some wort. PB2 was fairly easy to work with – even by loading it into the hop screen, its amazing how much still goes into solution. There is already a nice light brown layer at the bottom of the carboy.
  • Hardware notes: use bigger pot from the get-go next time. Ice bath with 24 ice bottles was revolutionary. Beer cooled in the ice bath in about 45 minutes.

Have you ever brewed this style beer before? Please let us know about your brewing experiences. If you enjoyed this post, please like and share. Thanks!

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