Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tasting and Recipe: Cherrywood Smoked Porter

Well screw it: I was going to save this for later but after drinking half a glass of the Calypso Pale Ale, I decided I'd wash my mouth out with something I like a little better. This is a new beer I had not posted a recipe on yet: a smoked porter using Briess Cherrywood smoked malt. We have a sack of of this malt at the brewery and it smells really damn good, like a barbeque in the summertime. Pork ribs come to mind as well as BBQ potato chips, although it's much better than that. It's very tasty to eat on it's own. I was going for a well-balanced recipe, so I erred on the more reserved side as far as percentage of smoked malt, using only 12% in the grist. Well, let's get to the tasting first and then the recipe:

Appearance: Reddish-tan head, not quite black body but could pass for a stout. Nice head retention!

Aroma: Smoke, but light, slightly burnt roast character with a hint of molasses, unsweetened cocoa, and sharpness. A touch of warming alcohols, not surprisingly hardly any hop aroma. No Diacetyl, low esters. Very enticing.

Flavor: Caramel, followed by a quick hit of dry roastyness, and a subtle but lingering smokey finish. A touch of that "cherry cola" sharpness I get from certain proters and stouts. Hop bitterness is moderate, this is not a sweet beer. Finish is roasty, chocolatey, with a mild campfire-smoke that stays for a while.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but not cloying, slightly creamy, moderate carbonation, spicy and dry roast with just a touch of roasted astringency.

Overall: Lovin' it. This beer has been a real hit so far with other people. I am in some ways tempted to tweak it (maybe dial down the black malt by just a smidge since it is toeing the line of stout, or up the smoked by a hair and the bitterness down by just a few IBU's), but then again, sometimes you start doing all this stuff and realize you had it right the first time. For now I'm just drinking it. One thing I think really works for this beer is it's smokey enough for people that are looking for a touch of smoke, but not so much that it would turn off a regular porter drinker. This keg will kick fast, and then I'll want more.

Here's the recipe:

BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Cherrywood-smoked porter
Asst Brewer:
Style: Robust Porter
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
OG: 1.061 SG
FG: 1.019
ABV: 5.5%
Estimated Color: 34.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 78.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1 lbs 8.0 oz Cherrywood Smoked malt (5.0 SRM) Grain 2 12.2 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.1 %
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.1 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.1 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.1 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 7 2.0 %
8 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 69.4 %
18.00 g Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] - Boil 60.0 Hop 8 27.0 IBUs
28.00 g Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] - Boil 15.0 Hop 9 11.2 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast 10 -

Mash: 4.25 gal + 3 gr. chalk, 1 gr. Gypsum, 2 gr. CaCl
to 151, rest 45 min, fell to 146
bring up to 162 over 10 min, rest 10 min
Sparge: 5 gal at 168, no salts, 30 minutes

Collect 7 gallons @ 1.052
Boil as noted, nutrient & whirlfloc at 10 min

Whirlpool & rest 15 min
Chill thru plate chiller over 20 min to 70
oxygen 60 seconds
pitch 2nd gen Wyeast 1056 (1 week refrigerated)
Ferment at 68, then keg.

Created with BeerSmith 2 -


Ryan said...

I did a beer with the cherry malt last year, I ran with 50% and its still sitting in a keg "mellowing" I still have high hopes for it though

I really like the almost sweet smoke that the cherry wood brings

Kyle said...

Hey, longtime reader. I love this malt. It makes for some very sessionable smoked beers. Your recipe looks awesome and I may borrow from it a few batches down the road.

Seanywonton said...

Borrow away. You might like to try it with a little more smoked malt if you want a noticeably smokey beer. I'm tempted to up it by a half pound next time.

Kevin said...

Yes, this one really looks nice and I am confident enough that whoever will read it fully, will be impressed by the ingredients and flavors you have utilized in this mix. Cheers.

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Ryan said...

for refernce, compared to something like Schlenkerla how smokey is your beer?

Seanywonton said...

Not very. I have heard form a brewer friend who worked in Bamberg for a while that Schlenkerla is 97% smoked malt and 3% carapils.
I think smoke is largely a personal preference thing so feel free to increase the smoke if you want.
Check this out for recommendations on percentages to use: