A beer for me


When it comes to homebrew I seem to have more beers I want to make than the time to make them. Take the beer I just bottled a day or so ago. It’s a chocolate coconut porter. That stems from an idea I had about six months ago to brew a Cherry Ripe porter, which would be a porter with chocolate, coconut and cherries.

But six months and a number of homebrews passed before I decided to make that beer. Well, a version of it anyway. I took the cherries out and went choc-coconut this time out. Figured that way I could work out a few kinks with the chocolate flavouring and how to use the coconut before ramping things up and including the cherries.

There’s another reason to make this beer – my wife hates dark beers. She likes most of what I make and it’s not unusual to hear her say “I’ve opened one of your beers, I hope you don’t mind”. Usually I don’t but sometimes she’s managed to go through some tastier batches faster than I would have liked. I’ve gone out to the garage to get a certain homebrew, only to find there’s only a few bottles left when I could have sworn there was a least half a batch left. So making a porter means more beer for me because she won’t touch it.

I found a chocolate porter recipe in the most recent issue of Beer and Brewer. It advised to add cocoa for more chocolate flavour, and then I worked out where to add the coconut as well as how much. The cocoa and coconut are the two flavour variables and, judging by the hydro samples, I didn’t get it quite right. The chocolate flavour is slightly stronger than I would like, which is odd because I added 190g when the recipe called for 250g (I used 190g because that was the size of the container I bought from the supermarket, only realising when I got home that it wasn’t enough. I’m glad of that, can’t imagine how chocolately this would be with 250g of the stuff).

When it comes to the coconut I added 225g, which wasn’t really enough. I can taste the coconut but I wonder if that’s because I know it’s there. Anyway, if I end up making that Cherry Ripe Porter, I’ll be upping the flaked coconut and dropping the cocoa count.

Notes for the homebrewers: the coconut was added with 20 minutes to go in the boil and the cocoa at flame-out. I’d thought about dryhopping with coconut as well but was dubious about how much flavour would get in that way (or even aroma, given how much aroma drives flavour). Also, I really undercarbonated the beer, because my assumption was the chocolate flavour wouldn’t mix well with too much carbonation.

The name of the beer. Well, I figured since I brewed it myself it was okay to name it after myself. And so this beer is called The Bear. Is that egotistical? Nope. It would have been egotistical if I’d called it “Me”. But I didn’t, so….not egotistical.

Categories: homebrew

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