When life hands you tornadoes, brew a porter.

Last week our buddy Stan from Funkytown Brewyard took a trip up to Atlanta for some drinking and brewing and smoking cigars.  We spent a couple of days checking out some of the great breweries and beer bars around town and spent Friday brewing.  We originally intended to rebrew Brian’s Rainy Day IPA but since Brian was running around the Pacific Northwest instead of hanging here and planning the brewday, he was outvoted and we decided on a chocolate porter.  We used a recipe Stan has brewed before with great results and tweaked it a bit to what I was looking for and to add chocolate to our Tornado Warning Triple Chocolate Porter.

Stan is either helping with the mash or making a huge mug of hot cocoa.

Stan is either helping with the mash or making a huge mug of hot cocoa.

That is definitely hot cocoa.

That is definitely hot cocoa.

The beer was originally going to be called Boom Chocolata but thanks to Mother Nature it got a name change mid-brewday.  The weather was actually quite nice for most of the day but right as we started to chill the wort the sky went dark and sirens starting blaring.  Unfortunately this isn’t an uncommon occurrence in my neighborhood so I don’t immediately run for a closet when a warning us issued, instead I start staring into the sky looking for a tornado, which I believe is the recommended way to handle it.  Usually I see some grey clouds and a bit of rain and wind but this time there were dark clouds swirling into even darker clouds followed by extreme wind and very heavy rain.  We almost took cover this time but the storm broke and moved on, it was pretty intense.

For real, there were tornadoes on brewday.

For real, there were tornadoes on brewday.

The recipe used Maris Otter as the base malt along with a touch of black malt, chocolate malt, pale chocolate malt and Crystal 60.  For hops we used Magnum and Willamette to bring it up to 30 IBU’s and pitched White Labs 007 for our yeast.  The ‘triple chocolate’ portion of the recipe comes from the use of chocolate malts, cocoa powder in the mash and the addition of cocoa nibs in secondary.  We’re using both cocoa powder and cocoa nibs as cocoa powder will give a great chocolate flavor where cocoa nibs contribute more chocolate aroma.  Our OG on this one was 1.053 and we’re targeting 1.013 FG to get an ABV of 5.2% which should give us a very drinkable but flavorful beer.

We’re also trying out a new piece of gear today, a plastic Big Mouth Bubbler from Midwest Supplies.  I had some questions on a few of their products and after trading some emails with them to clarify a few things they offered to send me one to try out and review.  Anyone that’s fought with cleaning a standard carboy can see why the Big Mouth Bubbler would be appealing.  I’ll wait until the brew is done for a full write up but can say it was pretty handy pouring my yeast starter into the carboy without the need to use a funnel.  I took a really crappy picture of it to share here, enjoy.

Crappy pic of the plastic Big Mouth Bubbler

Crappy pic of the plastic Big Mouth Bubbler

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