According to the BJCP Baltic porter “often has the malt flavors reminiscent of an English brown porter and the restrained roast of a schwarzbier, but with a higher OG and alcohol content than either. Very complex, with multi-layered flavors.” Typically, Baltic porters will utilize debittered black malts (malts with most of the grain husk removed prior to kilning) in order to reduce the bitterness and astringency imparted by tannins found in regular dark roasted malts.
Instead of simply using debittered malts for this recipe, Gregory and I decided we wanted to obtain the color, aroma, and flavor of some of our favorite dark malts without their bitterness. In order to do so we cold steeped the highly roasted malts of our grain bill in room temperature water for 24 hours prior to brew day. The American Homebrewers Association notes, “Cold steeping is a process popularized by Mary Anne Gruber at Briess. The idea was to find a way to extract the favorable flavors from dark specialty grains, but leave behind the harsh characteristics, giving the brewer a greater level of control over the color of the beer.”
On the morning of brew day, I strained the cold steeped portion of the wort from the grain and we added it to the boil @ 10 minutes to flameout. This should ensure that the cold steeped portion is sanitized without enough contact time for the heat to bring out any of the harsh attributes we hope to avoid by cold steeping in the first place.
Baltic porter is also usually fermented with a lager yeast strain or an ale strain at a lower temperature. As we don’t currently have the space or equipment for proper lagering, we’ve opted to use California Lager yeast which retains lager characteristics @ warmer fermentation temperatures; it’s currently fermenting away vigorously.
Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 19.26
Anticipated OG: 1.097
Anticipated SRM: 38.0
Anticipated IBU: 27.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes
46% – 9.0 Lbs. Munich 6°L
31% – 6.0 Lbs. Belgian 2-row Pilsner
07% – 1.5 Lbs. Melanoidin Malt
05% – 1.0 Lbs. Flaked Rye
02% – 0.5 Lbs. Special B
01% – 0.38 Lbs. Roasted Barley
01% – 0.38 Lbs. Black Patent
01% – 0.25 Lbs. Roasted Rye
01% – 0.25 Lbs. Chocolate Malt
1.00 oz. Perle (Pellet, 7.8% AA) @ 90 min.
0.75 0z. Fuggle (Pellet, 4.8% AA) @ 30 min.
0.50 0z. Fuggle (Pellet, 4.8% AA) @ 10 min.
0.50 oz. East Kent Golding (Pellet, 5.0% AA) @ 1 min.
0.45 oz. Bramling Cross (Pellet, 6.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
Wyeast 2112 California Lager (starter)
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride
1.00 tsp Gypsum
Sacch Rest – 60 min @ 152F
Mashout – 10 min @ 170F
12.01.14 – Made a stir-plate 1.5L starter with 1 Wyeast 2112 smack pack. Brewtoad suggests 714 billion cells to ferment 5.5 gal. Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.
12.02.14 – Cold steeped 1.26 Lbs. of roasted grains in 2.5 quarts of room temperature water for 24 hours.
Brewed 12.03.14 with Gregory
12.03.14 – Added cold steeped wort @ 10 min.
12.03.14 – Chilled wort to 65F before pitching yeast starter.
12.04.14 – Vigorous fermentation, temperature holding steady @ 60-65F.
12.18.14 – Transferred to secondary fermentor for conditioning.
01.07.15 – Kegged the porter and brought it into work to cold condition in the walk in at 38F for a month.
Wonderful aromatics of bittersweet cocoa and dark fruits (plum and black cherry). Initial malt sweetness and full mouthfeel on the palate reminiscent of raisins, baking spices, and candied nuts with some faint biscuit notes in the background. Moves into notes of bittersweet chocolate, burnt sugar, and highly roasted malts which finishes on the dryish side with deep roast, hints of espresso bitterness, rye spiciness, and alcohol warmth. Lingering pleasant bitterness on the far finish. Perhaps a bit too dry per style, but an excellent beer through and through.
Calculated OG: 1.097
Calculated FG: 1.026
Approx. ABV: 9.3%