Chicago Ted’s Outdoor Illinois Evil Dark Porter

ted | beer | Monday, October 16th, 2006

Yeah, this is pretty much exactly the Brewer’s Best Robust Porter beer kit, but the devil is in the details. I obtained mine from my Local Brew Store and you should as well. Support local businesses, roll your own beer. Let’s start out with the list of ingredients:

  • 6.6 lbs Munton’s Plain Amber Malt Extract
  • 8 oz Crushed Crystal Malt (60L)
  • 4 oz Crushed Chocolate Malt
  • 4 oz Crushed Black Patent Malt
  • 1 oz Cluster Bittering Hops (6.9 α acid)
  • 0.5 oz Willamette Finishing Hops (4.2 α acid)
  • 1 pack of generic yeast

Now that you’ve got all that shit, here’s what you do:

  1. Realize you dread trying to do another batch of beer on the stove, so drive out to Bridgeview for a propane cooker. Wander around Menards for a solid half hour before you find the one model they carry. Buy it.
  2. Assemble propane cooker. Curse the lazy Chinese bastard that played a joke on you by getting powdercoating all in the threads. Spend 10 minutes working the assembly screw in and out to clean up the threads. Consider buying a tap kit.
  3. Test fire cooker. Delight in the big burny flame. Wonder aloud why they powdercoated the pot support legs, since that shit smells nasty when burning.
  4. Re-clean & sanitize the cookpot, carboy, airlock stopper et al. that you cleaned and sanitized before you last used them 6 months ago. Consider airtight storage for everything.
  5. Break your hydrometer. Whoops.
  6. Boil up 2 gallons of water. Delight in the fact that it only takes 15 minutes instead of an hour on the stove.
  7. Toss in the grain bag when it reaches 160°F.
  8. Adjust the flame down to hold the temp between 160 & 170°F. Curse the design when the flame blows out twice, then remember that you’re making this outdoors.
  9. Freak out when you can’t keep it at 170°F, turn off burner and let steep for 20 minutes. Try to ignore the fact that it got up near 200°F before you turned it off.
  10. Remove grain bag, bring up to a boil. Add malt extract, boiling hops. Lick the malt spatula clean.
  11. Add finishing hops after only 40 minutes. Fuck it, I like hops.
  12. After 15 minutes, bring wort inside. Set cookpot in sink, run full of cold water. Change out water until it’s no higher than 85°F. Add small amounts of wort to the yeast that’s rehydrating in a mason jar.
  13. Pour wort into carboy that already contains 3 gallons of lukewarm water, pitch in yeast just before wort. Consider a different filter for the funnel since yours keeps clogging with hops trub. Fuck it, I like hops. Remove strainer, go nuts.
  14. Slap airlock on carboy, lug downstairs to basement closet where you can keep it at a happy 65°F with a thermostat-controlled space heater (oil-filled radiator kind).
  15. Clean up the huge mess you made outside and in the kitchen, you sloppy bastard.

The spec sheet says this recipe yields 5 gallons, SG 1.050 – 1.055, FG 1.012 – 1.015, 4.5 – 5% ABV, 25 – 40 hop IBU. Fortunately, I broke my hydrometer earlier, so I had to reserve a sample of the wort (before pitching the yeast) to have a SG reference.

Next installment in Sloppy Adventures in Zymurgy: Checking the Fermentation Progress.

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