Tasting Notes: Robust Porter (Beer #82)

February 1, 2014 by Jack

I took some tasting notes for the Robust Porter I brewed in early October. I need to learn to take decent photos.

Vital Stats:
Target OG: 1.064 Actual OG: 1.058
Target FG: 1.016 Actual FG: 1.013
ABV: 5.9%
Color: 34.1 SRMĀ (Calculated)
Bitterness: 38.2 IBU (Calculated)
Yeast: Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale
Fermentation Temperature:68°F

Rich, complex malt character. Chocolate cake and smooth coffee. Medium-low roasted malt. Secondary notes of dark toffee, caramel, dried dates. Low hop aroma, takes on an earthy, woodsy character. Trace of smoke. Low fruitiness. No diacetyl.

Very dark brown. Large tan head with moderate retention. Brilliant clarity.

Rich, smooth malt flavors of bittersweet chocolate, slightly burnt roast, coffee, and traces of caramel, toffee last into finish. Medium bitterness lingers. Medium-low hop flavor – earthy, decomposing tree bark. Off-dry up front, with a drying finish. Hop flavor and roast remain on the palate.

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Suggestion of astringency from dry, roasty finish.

Overall Impression
A complex dark malty beer with firm hop bitterness and prominent dry roastiness to balance the malt.

This beer does OK in competitions, always scoring in the mid-30s. I’ll have to have a think about how to improve it. Maybe more bitterness, perhaps from roast. A touch more mid-crystal might help as well.

2 Responses to “Tasting Notes: Robust Porter (Beer #82)”

  1. What was your fermentation process like for this porter? Did you use a secondary or add anything to it? I’ve been trying to dial in a good porter for a while now but I’ve always had one thing or another just a little bit off.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Rhen. I fermented this like I do all my average-strength English beers: Oxygenate with pure O2 for one minute. Pitch a proper-sized starter (based on the average of Jamil & Kai’s stir plate values from yeastcalc.com). Pitch at 68F, hold there until fermentation slows after a few days, ramp to 72, hold there for a couple days to allow for diacetyl to be cleaned up, then crash to 30F, 5F at a time over a few days, keg, carbonate, serve. Beers like this are usually carbed up and ready to drink in about 2 weeks, but they hit their stride at 6-8 weeks so I often put them aside once carbonated.

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