Porter #2 is Tasting Darn Good…

Sorry about my being such a blog slacker, but I’ve been a bit busy celebrating my 50th birthday and learning about Traditional Chinese Medicine so I can start enhancing my Qi (vital energy) before menopause kicks in. In spite of all this, I have not neglected my homebrewing – I’ve just neglected writing about it.

To catch up, Porter #2 is an extract/grain clone recipe of Fuller’s London Porter. I brewed this batch on April 27th, transferred it to the secondary fermentor on Mother’s Day (not a bad Mother’s Day activity!), and bottled the beer yesterday (May 25th).

Before adding the priming sugar my hubby and I tasted the beer. Wow! It was really good. I even refilled my glass. This is a beer I will enjoy drinking! I’m already planning to brew a second batch of the same recipe, because I know that this batch won’t last very long once it’s done. The flavors were clean and the malt and hops came through very nicely. This is going to be a darn good Porter.

Now I’m in a quandary. I hesitated to give out my first beer because I didn’t want to impose my weak brewing skills on others. If I was going to share my beer, I wanted it to be worth drinking. Now that I clearly have a good beer, I have this strange impulse to horde it! I’m starting to feel stingy with this beer and it’s not even finished yet. What’s going on here?

I didn’t care for my first batch of Porter. I was able to identify a few positive qualities in it, but had no desire to drink much more than a partial bottle. Fortunately I found a few people who loved my beer, so was able to be generous with it so it didn’t go to waste. There was something in the aroma that I didn’t care for and I concluded that it was from the dry yeast I used.

While looking for advice to improve my beer, my brother-in-law told me to use liquid yeast and change the recipe. What a difference those two suggestions made! The aroma and flavor have improved tremendously with the liquid yeast, and the hop and malt balances in this new recipe are much better than the previous batch.

Two weeks of bottle conditioning and “Jenne’s London Porter” should be ready for a taste test. I’m actually excited this time and will look forward to cracking open my first bottle of Porter #2.

-Jenne Hiigel

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