One of my recent brew sessions was to try to reproduce one of my favorite beers. My local craft brewery makes a vanilla porter but every once in a while, they make a batch “naked”, that is, without vanilla. Both Wife and I love that beer. The Dry Dock is very friendly to homebrewers, even making their recipes available to us (but as brewer Tim tells me, there’s always something they don’t tell). So I made the beer.
The end result is not a true clone but very, very good. I have a bit of a problem with dark beers and this one is very dark: There’s a strange flavor in the background I can’t get rid of. I think it may be the chocolate malt I’m using but I’m not sure. Maybe as a test I could brew the Naked Porter and leave the chocolate malt out. There’ll be more than enough carafa in the mix to darken and flavor it. Most of my darks have this note to some degree and it seems to fade somewhat with time so I know it’s not a process issue. But the Dry Dock doesn’t have it. And I can’t get rid of it.
In a couple weeks I’ll be doing sensory training – off flavors. Maybe I’ll find it then.