You are currently browsing articles tagged porter.

Beer Name: Kolm Knights – Dusk (first barrel), Twilight (second barrel), Dawn (no barrel)

Style:  Imperal Baltic Porter (Pohjala OO Clone)

Brew Day: 4/21/2104

Alcohol: 9.7% (not including barrel changes)

Color: 81

This beer was a struggle.  Chris from Pohjala Brewing set me up with an amazing recipe.  Since this beer was so big I figured I could get a partygyle off of the second running like I did with my Kate the Great Clone, the Empress.  The plan was for 11G batch, the mash in was packed full, and the boil started as planned.  About 15 mins left in the boil I did a measurement and discovered I had way too much wort.  I did some quick calculations and determined I needed to boil for another 2 hours on top of the planned 1 hour boil.  So 3+ hours later I called the boil complete and did all the normal cold crash, oxygen, and yeast pitch.  The fermentation kicked off like a machine and twice I had to clean the bottom of the fermentation chamber.  Well after about 7 days I measured the FG and it was 1.044 rather than a planned 1.026.  I gave it a few more shots of oxygen, roused the yeast up, left it for a few days… and no changes.  So I assumed that my yeast tuckered out.  Using the yeast from one of the partygyle beers, I did a starter to get things going and re-pitched.  I got a few small bubbles over the next too days, but no real changes.  I think what I saw was the starter fermenting out, but that made me think that the yeast wasn’t the issue.  I started tinkering with the recipe in beersmith to see if I could find any errors. Randomly I selected the muscovado sugar to be non-fermentable (like lactose) and what do you know it predicted the FG to be right where I was at.  So either something was off with the muscovado sugar, I added it to fast and caramelized it, or the 3+ hour boil caramelized it.  Either way this at least eased my mind about what was happening.  To correct for this I make a simple extract porter beer and blended it in at about a 10/4 ratio.  This got the FG down to 1.032 which seemed okay for this large of a beer and kept the ABV in the range that I was aiming for.  So instead of 10G I ended up with about 14G.  I’ve placed 5G in a whisky barrel that my brother had and let that sit for about 2 months.  The taste sample was amazing and I’ve now bottled 5G of the barrel beer (Dusk) and 5 G of the non-barrel beer (Dawn). The other 4G are now sitting in the barrel and will be Twilight whenever I bottle it.  All the bottles were bottled with cask ale yeast and priming sugar.  I haven’t yet cracked a beer yet as I’m waiting until Thanksgiving or so. Updates to come

I spent way too much time coming up with a beer name for this.  The beer name for the original recipe is OO which means night in Estonian.  In trying to be clever I wanted to do a play on words and call this Knight or tie this back to Estonia.  I researched Estonian knights and learned about several famous clans(?) including Order of the Cross which most everyone knows by the cross on the shield.  Since I knew I was ending up with 3 variants of this beer I was looking for a succession class or something that would work nice, but I struck out here. Instead I landed on Kolm which is Estonian for three. I like the way Kolm Knights looks, even if I am probably mispronouncing Kolm, and it translates to 3 Knights, very fitting.  Since OO means night, I’ve named each of the variants a phase of the night.  And there you have it clever beer name that nobody will probably ever get if I didn’t write this down.  I’ve worked the estonian knights onto the beer cap which depicts the Order of the Cross shield on it.  Yes, I spent too much time thinking about this.

PHOTO GALLERY TO COME (after I open the first beer)

My Brew Notes

Execution Notes

  1. Had to boil for 3+ hours.  Later discovered that this was the first beer where I had lids on the kettles when warming the water.  I used to loose about 1G and with 2 kettles I calculated needing 2G more.  With lids I don’t loose any water and have adjusted the spreadsheet for next time
  2. I’m weary of muscovado sugar since it didn’t ferment out.  It was probably me, but I’m still recovering PTSD over this beer
  3. Large beers need a blow off tube.  I had to clean off 2 huge messes. Drew helped me clean (ha)
  4. The blender beer saved this batch.  I think I got this idea from a Session podcast on the Brewing Network

Recipe Info

Recommendations for next time

  • Get the sugar to ferment and try the recipe exactly the same way!


Pohjala OO Info

  • ABV=10.5%
  • FG=1.104
  • OG = 1.026

Pohjala OO website

Pohjala Head Brewer Email

Hey Brian,

This is Chris, Head Brewer at Põhjala. Apologies for the late reply, it’s been a busy week here.

Awesome to hear you’d like to try brewing Öö, it started on the homebrew scale so it’s quite an honour to hear that 🙂

We use:

36% pale malt

39% munich malt (light)

9.75% carafa type 2 special

4.9% dark roasted crystal (Simpsons)

4.9% chocolate malt

4.9% cara 300

And about 10% of the fermentables will come from a dark muscavado sugar – currently we add that at T-60.

We use Viking malt from Finland for the majority of our malts, and they have a  very British style, so 2 row probably wouldn’t be the best substitute for the pale malt, I’d rather try Maris otter if you can get it.

Gravity starts at 24.5° and finishes at 6.5°, and we bitter to approx 65-70 IBU using magnum, with a finishing dose of Northern Brewer at T-00.

In terms of yeast, we ferment this one at cool temps of around 16°c with WLP090, San Diego Super yeast, which we use as our house strain. A cool fermentation helps as you really can’t feel the alcohol.

Water profile helps a lot as well, but that would be harder to give some tips on for me.

Otherwise, that’s about it – hope it helps, and good brewing!



Chris Pilkington

Head Brewer


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Final Beer Name:  Where’s the Bacon???

Style:  Smoked Bacon Honey Porter

Alcohol: 6.49%

Color: 35

This is my first beer since making my fermentation chamber and using my improved process with a drill pump and paint mixer.  Besides enjoying the beer I’ve had a lot of fun using my new toys and working on making better better.

The first sip was on new year’s eve which is a few days early for the 3 weeks in the bottle.  The beer wasn’t very carbonated so I waited a few more weeks to 1/18/2014 see if it just needs more time or perhaps the bacon fat killed off my bubbles.  Also, there appeared to be no bacon flavor which is kind of disappointing.  I was really worried that it would be bacon-y so I’m much happier to err on this side of the line, but wish there was still a hint of bacon.  I’m wondering if the flavors might come out a bit better after more time in the bottles.

Well the final taste test still doesn’t have much/any bacon flavors or aromas, but that’s okay.  The beer has a really smokey flavor with a nice smooth mouth feel.     The beer seems very clear, which I’m not too surprised as there was almost no trub in the carboy after transferring to the bottling bucket.  There isn’t too much carbonation, but enough to say it isn’t flat.  I’m wondering if the bacon has impacted that, I’ve read the bacon fat can kill the bubbles.


My Brew Notes


This recipe is a specialty brewing kit plus a few of my add ons.  The kit is from Midwest Brewing Supply and is a Honey porter extract brewing kit which includes (I forgot to take notes on the specifics:

  • some specialty grains, maybe?
  • Some extract
  • Honey (30 mins)
  • 1oz Kent Goldings hops (60min)
  • 1oz Cascade hops (2 mins)
  • priming sugar

then to get some smoke flavor I added

And for the bacon flavors I dry-hogged” as mentioned on BYO.com which suggests 5oz of bacon added like a normal dry hop schedule.  To get there I started with

  • 1lb of uncooked bacon

Execution Notes


  • Brew day (0) – 11/9/2013
    • No boil over which is good.
    • Fermenting didn’t start for about 36 hours.  Worried that yeast didn’t take, but I did see bubbles before pitching it so it should have been fine.  Will look to yeast starter going forward as recommended by boydster in other post
    • Bubbles for quit after about 1.5 weeks.  I was going to do a test but broke my hydrometer.  I’ll probably update. my process to do hydro tests with the hydrometer attached to fishing line so that I don’t waste beer.
    • No or really slow bubbles on day 11.
    • waited a couple of days since I couldn’t do a hydro check for the moment.
  • Cold Crash Start (13) – 11/22/2013
    • Since the fermenting took longer than expected I delayed the cold crash a couple of days.  Should look into taking measurements.
    • It took about 1 day for the chamber to reach the cold crash temp.  I changed the cold crash temp to ~40 so that the A/C wouldn’t turn on every 3 hours.  Probably get it closer to 36 for the next crash
  • Secondary Fermentation (16) – 11/25/2013
    • The auto-siphon had a gap at the siphon to tubing.  I’m pretty sure I exposed the beer to a lot of oxygen.  Need to get some clamps before the next transfer.
    • I left the chamber off for ~ 1 day for the beer to more naturally rise back to room temp.  Near room temp I turned on the chamber which the heat pad did a bit of work for the last few degrees.
    • Chamber set for 19.5 +/- 2.0.
  • Dry “Hogging” (27) – 12/6/2013
    • In reading about how to do the bacon it was clear that I needed to remove as much fat as possible so that the beer doesn’t stay flat.  I’m not sure why, but apparently the fat will cause the beer to not hold the carbonation or something.  So to do this I started with my 1lb of bacon and trimmed off as much fat as I could with a knife.  Then I cooked the bacon in the oven on a rack that would allow for the grease to drip out.  A few times while is was cooking and while flipping the bacon I used a paper towel to absorb the standing grease on the bacon.  When it was all cooked my 1lb of bacon was about 3.5oz which was short of the 5oz I was targeting.  With the bacon cooked I simply open up the carboy and dropped them in.
  • Cold Crash 2 (31) – 12/10/2013
  • Gelatin (32) – 12/11/2013
  • Bottling Prep (35) – 12/14/2013
  • Bottling (36) – 12/15/2013
    • Very little trub in the carboy and I don’t think I sucked it up into the bottling bucket.  I’m not sure if this is due to the gelatin (which I don’t really see at the bottom as much as I thought I would) or from doing the first cold crash.
    • Bottled 22 220z bombers, and 11.5 12oz bottles for a total of 588.5oz (22*21+11.5*11).
    • Set the fridge to 20+/- 2 for carbonating
    • Took about 3 hours to bottle and clean up.  Need to track times for other steps to better understand how long it takes to do things.


  • Target Starting Gravity: 1.06
  • Starting Gravity:  1.059
  • Final Gravity: 1.011
  • Alcohol %: 6.49

Color: 35

Recommendations for next time

  1. Look into using more bacon and/or stripping the bacon flavors out using vodka before brewing the beer
  2. Might use a little less smoke, Weyermann grains, by ~1/4lb to allow more of the honey flavor to show.

Tags: , , , , , , ,