And what wonderful news it was to receive the July/August issue of Zymurgy, the journal of the American Homebrewers Association, and its included recipe for a clone of Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.
So with all haste, once the 2008 Carolinian Smoked Porter was bottled, the ingredients would be gathered and the burner would be fired up for another round of outdoor garage homebrewing. Giddy with anticipation.
The Great Lakes t-shirt is worn, the Great Lakes pint glass is used to consume some Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, the Cleveland Indians baseball cap is adorned, all in hopes of good brewing karma. The recipe Chris used, although a smidge different from the Zymurgy article due to the hop shortage, is as follows:
55 L Crystal malt, 0.75 lb
Black Patent malt, 0.5 lb
Roasted Barley, 0.5 lb
Light Dried Malt Extract (DME), 8 lb
UK Kent Golding hops, 5.5% alpha acid, 1 oz @ 60 minutes
UK Kent Golding hops, 5.5% AA, 0.5 oz @ 35 minutes
UK Kent Golding hops, 5.5% AA, 0.5 oz @ 10 minutes
Irish Moss, 1 tsp, @ 10 minutes
WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast
It was a fun brew day, albeit a touch muggy with an upcoming thunderstorm. A late afternoon spent sweaty and slaving over a hot cauldron of magic liquid. Speaking of, enjoy the enthralling video of steam from a boil. (No Irish drinking songs as the muse this time; rather, Miles Davis and his Kind of Blue was inspiring the brewer.) Anyway, boiling steam videos? Riveting:
A new twist this time yeast-wise. Instead of pitching two tubes of yeast directly into the wort, Chris made a "starter". Essentially making a mini-wort on the stove, then adding the yeast to that to propagate the yeast and greatly increase their numbers. More active yeast hungry for sugars = a quicker fermentation = less likely for bacterial infection. Pre-brewday planning is involved, as the starter was made two days beforehand. Then once the yeast settle to the bottom, a 2nd "batch" was cooked on the stove the morning of and added to the growler to wake up the yeasties and get them good and hungry for more sugar. Growlers are fantastic for this:
The Therminator again did a stellar job in cooling the wort down to a pitchable temperature. ("Pitching" of course being the fancy term for "throwing yeast in".) Cooled from boiling to 75 degrees in less than 10 minutes? Incredible. (Cooling quickly is another key aspect in brewing good beer, as when it's hot, nasty flavors can occur if it becomes oxidized.) The set-up:
Brewing and clean-up were completed at 8:00pm Tuesday, and as of 5:00am Wednesday morning as Kimberly went downstairs to take the dogs out before work, she discovered "quite a bit of foaminess" in the carboy. By 9:00am when Chris checked on it, the airlock was blown off and there was a bit of gunk to clean-up:
Cosmic clouds in the atmosphere of Jupiter were rolling and swirling in the carboy. The dogs were wondering why in the hell Chris was laying on the floor in the half-bath staring at it (when they weren't trying to lick up the froth and beer off the floor...) The quickest fermentation yet. Starters are kewl.
Can't wait to give this batch a whirl and drink it down. It looks to be a good one. So, the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter clone is hereby christened Gordon Lightfoot Porter. Give a listen: