Brew Day – 1 Gal Baltic Porter

Since I was in Poland this summer I’ve wanted to do a Baltic Porter.  Loved the style, rich, malty, warming alcohol….  But it’s a very big beer at 8.5% to 9.5% ABV.  Not willing to waste a batch or drink 5 gallons of substandard beer, I chose to do a 1.5 gallon batch.  Since this is too small for my standard equipment, I chose to do a BIAB batch in a 3-gallon cooler I have.  Here’s the mash:

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Sorry for the fuzziness, it’s dark in my cave.  In addition to the 3-gallon cooler with bag exposed – a large grain bag – you see my timer, a kitchen thermometer with probe in the kettle to tell me the temperature of my sparge water.  Here’s my BIAB process:

– Single infusion at 152 degrees
– Raise grain bag and let drain through a strainer
– Heat sparge water to 172 degrees
– Put grain bag and grains in the sparge water, stir
– Raise grain bag and let dran through a strainer
– Add the “first runnings” in the cooler back to the kettle
– Boil

Since I’m doing a very small batch, accurate measurement is vital.  Here we go, measuring 5.1 grams of Magnum.  At 13.2% AA, you don’t want to miss by a lot….

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I’ve written about this scale – it’s accurate to 0.1 gram.  The boil was adventurous.  I miscalculated my water requirements so instead of completing the boil on my hotplate, I dragged out the propane burner and cranked that puppy up to drive off the water I needed to get rid of.  Should give great kettle caramelization.  In the end, I only had to extend my boil by a half-hour to get my desired volume.  Gravity was high by 0.004 points.  My conversion was stellar at over 80% and that without squeezing the grain bag.  At 1.098, it’s a big beer so it got 4 mins of oxygen.  Chilled to and pitched at 65 degrees using California Lager yeast (Wyeast 2112), it’s in a water bath to stabilize temperatures and should be fermenting by morning.

Looking forward to this one….

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