Saturday, September 27, 2008

Any Old Porter in a Storm...

As I type these words, the beginnings of my Profligate Porter are aboil, dreaming restlessly of the second infusion of hops, not five minutes away. The steady bass staccato of raindrops exploding on the tarp overhead mingles with the hornet hum of speeding traffic on nearby I-66 and the rush of gas from the turkey-cooker jets at my feet to produce a soundtrack of sorts: thump-varoom-hiss, thump-varoom-hiss...syncopated randomonium. Sitting on a table next to my chair, just within reach, is a Victory Golden Monkey tripel ale, sweating silently. It's midday, Saturday, and it's no day to be riding. Not around here, anyway. Fine with me; this is the day to brew.

The barleywine I originally had in mind was, as I feared, a pipedream of sorts, as it would require a longer time in secondary and too much time aging in the bottle to be properly drinkable come Bliss time. So I went with a robust, fairly high gravity porter. The original name was going to be Procrastination Porter, in light of my circumstances and lifelong behavioral leanings. But that name left something to be desired in the machismo department, so I went with Profligate Porter. (Excuse me while I toss in some Centennial hop pellets. Ah, nothing like the smell of alpha-acid vapors escaping like outlaw spirits from a roiling pot of wort to lift one's mood on an otherwise dreary fall day. No, really.) Fifteen minutes from now, the Irish Moss will make its way into the mix, and after that, some Tettnanger hops to boost the aroma.

Damn, every year it's the same—I scramble to brew beer for my own event,1 pressing my luck against time. One day I'll get organized, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. At least the drawing should be ready with plenty of time. "Should" being the operative word there.

Ah, well, here's the ingredients for my Profligate Porter, all five gallons of which are now sitting quietly in the primary and awaiting the feast of the yeast, likely commencing sometime in the midnight hour. (Yeah, I took a break between keystrokes to finish up.)

Profligate Porter

Golden Light Dried Malt Extract - 3 lbs
Two Row Pale Malt (crushed) - 16 oz
Crystal Malt (crushed) - 12 oz
Belgian Chocolate Malt (crushed) - 12 oz
Light Liquid Malt Extract - 4 lbs
Nugget hops (bittering) - 1 oz
Centennial hops (flavoring) - 1 oz
Tettnanger hops (aroma) - 1 oz
Tettnanger hops (dry-hop) - 1 oz
Safale S-04 dried ale yeast - 11.5 g (1 packet)
Irish moss - 1 tsp

OG - 1.078 (taken @ 70°F and adjusted)

By the way, if you're planning on attending the Bootlegger's Bliss on November 1st, be sure to shoot me an email (address revealed in this post) asap. In return, I'll reply sometime next week to let you know where it's being held. Fair enough, right?

Late edit: Just checked, and I've got some bubblin' in the airlock, five hours after pitching the yeast. It lives!

1. To be fair, the idea for the Bootlegger's Bliss first coalesced in a pub during a conversation with DmofoT a few years ago. He shares equal blame or credit for the genesis of this event, and, what's more, he's a much better brewer than me, the bastard! Unfortunately (for me), he packed up and left town for Massachusetts a couple years back and, well, it's hard to help from that far away


Rob said...

Nice sounding recipe. I haven't dryhopped anything yet, maybe one of my next brews. Now I see the trick for punch up my next porter.

DT said...

Nice man, a good porter goes well on a cool Fall day before and after riding the bike! I brewed up a Pumpkin ale yesterday. We roasted up a few sugar pumpkins in the oven, then mashed it up, making sure to keep all the caramelized sugar goodness. Through that into the mash and away we went. Still hoping I can make it down.