Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adventures in Homebrewing: Maple Bacon Smoked Porter Brewday

It's strange to be thinking and brewing in preparation for the quickly approaching colder months but it must be done. Last year I waited until it was actually Fall to brew my Blazing Pumpkin Ale (I still have some that I'm excited to try after a year) which wasn't at it's prime until months later. Hopefully by brewing this dark and smokey brew in the dog days of Summer it will be good and ready by the time those crisp Autumn nights come around and demand such a beer.

The brewday for my not yet named Maple Bacon Smoked Porter was quite normal, the strange stuff won't happen until I add the bacon and maple syrup to the secondary. That's when I'll be nervous. The only set-back here was that I was missing a bag to steep my grains. I was used to Joe at Princeton Homebrew automatically putting the cracked grains in a steeping bag without even asking. When I went to get everything ready to brew I realized that the grains were just in a plastic bag so I had to improvise. One of the benefits of living at home is having a few pairs of nylon stockings somewhere in the house which work just as well to steep the grains!

Steeping the grains for 30 minutes or so I cracked open a bottle of my Front Porch Pale Ale while enjoying the fantastic aroma of the smoked malts. It was almost like lighting a campfire right there in the kitchen, who doesn't love that smell?

Everything else went along with little to note. I ended up with an OG of 1.045, a bit lower than expected but nothing that I'm concerned about. I was surprised by just how rapidly my yeast started going to work and how aggressive it began fermenting. Within 12 hours it was reeking havoc in my carboy, probably the most forceful fermentation I've seen in my own brew. Let's just say that the blow-off tube was a good choice this time around.

I'll be racking and adding the bacon soon along with a cup or so of pure maple syrup that I will be picking up from a local farmer's market. Let's hope the addition of the bacon doesn't ruin this batch!


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