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Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Peanut Butter Porter

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 December 2016 at 13:54

Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Peanut Butter Porter - Tips and Advice


The next beer that I will be brewing is Peanut Butter Porter, from Brooklyn Brew Shop:



As with all of my "Tips and Advice" threads, this will be a running account of the experience and the things that I learn during the process.


As usual, I'll start with the particulars:


Informational link (for the 5-gallon version): http://brooklynbrewshop.com/five-gallon-beer-making-kits-and-mixes/peanut-butter-porter-5-gallon-mix


Instructions: http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn_Brew_Shop_Peanut_Butter_Porter_Instructions.pdf


This all-grain, 1-gallon mix is for a beer that incorporates Pale Ale malt, Caramel 60, Chocolate Malt and Roasted barley; it is described by Brooklyn Brew Shop as "rich, roasty and a little bit sweet...a creamy brew that’s a thirst quencher and liquid snack all at once." At 7% ABV, it sounds just right to me; I love porters and am really looking forward to giving this a try.


I have the recipe for this porter in Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Book; The recipe in the book uses a combination of Northern Brewer hops and Fuggle hops, while the pre-packaged mix uses Progress hops. Northern Brewer hops are quite versatile; you can read about them here:


http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/hop-of-the-month-northern-brewer/


I am a really, really big fan of Fuggle hops, and love their profile:


http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/hop-of-the-month-fuggle/


However, since I have none on hand, I’ll use the Progress hops and see how they work for this; this will be fine, as I am intrigued by their description:


http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/hop-of-the-month-progress/


They just might become a new favourite.


The yeast that comes with the mix is a pretty generic, fast acting strain - I think that it is a version of S05, but please do not quote me on that. The recipe in the book recommends S33, so I will use that, instead.


I will plug the recipe into Brewer's Friend when I have time, and post the stats at a later date; I'll also come up with a label design and post that, as well.


The star of this beer is, of course, the peanut butter. Brooklyn Brew Shop advises that “natural peanut butter is essential...because of the separation of oil and nut paste.” The reason for this is that the oils in peanut butter (or any nut butter) will affect head retention and eventually go rancid. Brooklyn Brew Shop goes on to say that you should  “et the oil settle out to the top and skim off the top inch or so; what you want to use is the dry, crumbly, chunky stuff on the bottom.”


The peanut butter that I will be using is Adams:



It tastes great and has a very good separation between the oil and the peanut paste. Both the recipe and the instructions say to use 1/3 cup of this peanut butter for a gallon of beer, but all descriptions and reviews that I have read say that this amount results in a far too-subtle flavour in the end product, so I will double this amount, at least, depending on how far down I have to go in order to get to the oil-free stuff. I have read of people using powdered peanut butter for similar beers, but I don’t have any available to me, so I’ll use this and carefully adhere to the admonitions about avoiding the oil. I am sure that it will turn out fine.


As stated above, I do have the recipe for this porter, in PDF format; if anyone would like to give this a try, please feel free to shoot me a PM with your email address, and I’d be happy to send it over.


As always, I welcome any comments, suggestions or feedback on this - if anyone is interested, please feel free to chime in, or simply follow along.


More as it happens, etc. &c....


Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 December 2016 at 09:43
Last night, 4 December 2016, I was able to brew this beer. Things went fairly well, and I think I'm going to have a good thing here.

For the brew, I basically followed the procedures as outlined in the recipe book and on the instruction sheet (referenced above); I also (as usual) used this video as a guide:

https://vimeo.com/11354805

The mash went well, with no real issues. Due to the amount of the grains (2.9 pounds) I used 3 quarts of water for the mash. Temperatures held pretty well at the upper end of the 144-152 range, with a few times going a degree or two over - nothing critical. The gains had a really nice aroma to them throughout the mash - definitely chocolaty, with a roasty, nutty quality that was reminiscent of Peanut Butter. Both my son and I commented on this, so it must not have been due to imagination.

I spilled a few drops during the sparge because of the large amount of grains and wort, but it was no real trouble. The wort had a beautiful, deep, rich chocolate colour and appeared to be thicker than it probably actually was - almost viscous. It had a really nice, chocolaty taste to it, with some rich undertones that I am assuming set the foundation for the peanut butter, which was added during the boil.

The boil went well - I got a good hot break, I think, and there were no real incidents. Due to the large volume of wort, it was a 75-minute boil.

As noted above, I used Progress hops, which came with the kit. They were nice, and seemed to me to be pretty close to the description provided in the link above. The Fuggle hops are still probably my favourite, but there was nothing at all wrong with these.

The hops schedule was a bit ambiguous on the instruction sheet and in the recipe book, when either one is read by itself; but taken together, a person can easily figure it out. For those who might only have one or the other, here it is:

75-minute boil

.10 oz hops, depending on recipe (see opening post) @ 60 minutes
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (without oil) @ 45 minutes (note: I doubled this amount)
.10 oz hops @ 30 minutes
.10 oz hops @ 5 minutes

I considered adding some maple syrup at knock-out, but ultimately decided not to.

As far as the peanut butter goes, I did double the amount, as mentioned above. I think this was a good move; the descriptions and reviews that I have seen online all mentioned that the peanut butter aroma and flavor were far too subtle when used as per the instructions and recipe. Using double the amount, the aroma seemed the be fairly well represented, without being over-powering or "too much." I think it will be a good match with the chocolate character of the malts.

A couple of other notes about the peanut butter: powdered peanut butter MIGHT be a better option, and is worth looking into. I had to dig pretty far down in order to get to the dry, crumbly layer that was the most oil-free; even so, I did get a little oil in the wort. I am hoping most of it blows out with the krausen (this is S33, after all), but if any is still present in the fermenter at bottling, I'll try to find a way to get rid of it. I didn't think of it at the time, but a turkey baster (sanitized) would have reached right down into the fermenter and sucked it up. The other thing about the peanut butter is that one probably needs to take care to stir fairly often until it dissolves into the bubbling wort. My concern is that it might stick to the bottom of the pot and scorch, but this did not seem to happen; whether it was because of my stirring, I cannot say.

The chill-down after the boil went fine, as did the transfer to the fermenter. I was able to pass the wort through the mesh on my large, bowl-type strainer, and this caught the small chunks of peanuts as well as most of the hop and break material. I then ran the wort a second time though the fine mesh of my funnel; this was time consuming, but it did pick up a lot of remaining hops and break material, and I consider it time well spent.

I pitched half a packet of S33, as per the recipe, set up a blow-off tube, and tucked it in a bin our bedroom closet for the night. The temperature was a pretty constant 66 degrees, and as of this morning I saw the beginnings of krausen and heard the slow blip-blip from the blow-off tube, indicating that fermentation is beginning right on schedule.

I'll check the when I get home from work today and keep the temperatures constant; however, at this point, the yeast is really doing most of the work. At BrewDay + 3, I'll swap the blow-off tube for an air-lock, and then do my best to ignore it until it is time to bottle.

All indications at this time point to a successful brew and a really nice beer that will be enjoyed as winter really begins to hit her cold, dark stride. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2016 at 12:19
As promised, here are some stats after plugging the recipe into Brewer's Friend:

OG - 1.074
FG - 1.021
ABV - 6.89%
IBU - 24.78
SRM - 38.75

All of these numbers seem pretty high "for the standard" (except for the IBUs), but it sure looks like a good beer so far. The ABV is a little bit under the 7.0 advertised by Brooklyn Brew Shop, but I don't pick nits, so it's fine.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2016 at 15:09
Here is the label that I came up with for this beer:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 December 2016 at 17:15
I said it before, and I'll say it again...I love the labels you make. They really capture the way you attack food and beer. Which, I view as, a mix of personal attachment and a large amount of respect to history and nature.

   Wonderful job!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2016 at 09:05
Hey, Dan - I appreciate that, very much. You nailed my motivations pretty much perfectly.

Although, I must say that I am edging closer and closer to the slippery slope that is a "scientific" interest in the art and craft of brewing. I am actually taking a look at the chemistry of the water I am using (details can be found by looking around here: http://www.bigspringwater.com/index.php?p=water), and noting how the terrior of my primary ingredient affects my final product. I think I will also dust off the hydrometer to start taking OG and FG readings, beginning with my next brew (which will actually be a redux of my first brew).

One step at a time ~ but it all comes together, eventually ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 December 2016 at 21:17
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:



Although, I must say that I am edging closer and closer to the slippery slope that is a "scientific" interest in the art and craft of brewing. I am actually taking a look at the chemistry of the water I am using (details can be found by looking around here: http://www.bigspringwater.com/index.php?p=water), and noting how the terrior of my primary ingredient affects my final product. I think I will also dust off the hydrometer to start taking OG and FG readings, beginning with my next brew (which will actually be a redux of my first brew).

One step at a time ~ but it all comes together, eventually ~

    Geek   That's the beauty of brewing.  You can make awesome brew and hone skills before moving on to the next thing you want to visit...when you want to visit it.  Making beer is about the overall craft and the attention to detail along the way.


    I am by no means an expert with water chemistry for brewing beer.  But the water profile looks real nice and balanced with a slight tip toward some maltyness...which is great.  If you go with this water, don't forget that you can cut it with half distilled water if you want a different profile for a hoppy IPA.  You still got a good profile for hoppiness , but it's an option to keep an mind.

   it's certainly a never ending learning process, with which technique has room to continually improve...and you get to drink the results :)  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 December 2016 at 10:26
Hey, Dan - your impressions on the water seem just about right, based on the brewing that I've done with it. Since I tend to prefer the beers to be a little malt-forward, this has been working well for me. My son, however, likes the IPAs, a lot, so I might encourage him to get more into the concepts involved.

As for this Peanut Butter Porter, I am 2 weeks in; since porters can stand a little maturation, I'll go ahead and let it go one more week before bottling. If I see any oils from the peanut butter on the surface, I'll skim them off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 March 2017 at 09:43
Unfortunately, this brew was a dismal failure that was 100% my fault.

The major factors seem to be too much peanut oil in the wort and fermentation temperatures that got away from my (too high). It seems that the oil went rancid and turned the beer into a very sour, very un-drinkable concoction, which is too bad, because it looked absolutely gorgeous in colour.

Based on the taste, autolysis is a possibility, but this was not a problem with the other two beers that I brewed and bottled under the same conditions. They turned out great, with one of them possibly being at the top of the list of "best beers yet brewed."

I will make this again at a later date and will update this thread at that time. Three things I will do in order to have better results will be:

a) use powdered peanut butter in an attempt to minimize oil in the brew, and stick to the amount (converted) that is called for in the recipe, at least until I get the final product that I should get.

b) be very - no - be extremely bloody careful with fermentation temperatures.

c) bottle it promptly when ready, rather than forgetting about it for a couple of months.

Once again, I am completely certain that the fault was with my own actions and not due to any problem with the recipe. To me, the idea is a truly a good one, and I am sure that the main culprit was my carelessness with the oil in the peanut butter.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 March 2017 at 16:11
Dang, that's too bad Ron, I was looking forward to seeing how this turned out.

Interestingly enough I was just reading a blog post about replacing the oxygenation step at the beginning of fermentation with a drop of olive oil. Apparently the theory is that the oil directly provides the sterols (sp?) the yeast need to reproduce instead of having to create them from the oxygen. Or something along those lines. I guess New Belgium played around with doing this for their yeast farm but didn't continue using it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2017 at 12:18
Well, Mike - if anyone ever seeks my advice on the subject, I'd certainly advise against it, after this experience!

The recipe itself is good; I am sure of that. My execution, on the other hand....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2017 at 12:24
They were talking about insanely minute amounts, I think like 50 MICROliters for 5 gallons of beer. I'm sure your assessment of too much oil and it going rancid are spot on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2017 at 12:59
Ron, not sure if you'd seen this yet but it seems like something that may work. He used good old peanut butter and let it separate in the fermenter.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showpost.php?p=7970063&postcount=99

basically brew an overly large batch to account for the losses, and let the oil separate out on top and rack out from under it. Do this several times and you should have an oil-less beer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 April 2017 at 07:45
Hi, Mike - I took a look at that, and it makes pretty good sense. The guy's method - or something similar - could easily be adapted to my fermenter etc.

This chocolate/peanut butter concept deserves a second shot; I'm sure that I'll eventually give it another try.
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