Brew #13 – Porter (all grain)

This is supposed to be a clone of Samuel Smith Taddy Porter, from the book Clone Brews. I don’t think I’ve ever had the Taddy Porter, but I love their oatmeal stout.

I decided to do this one partially because the description made it sound completely amazing (from Clone Brews: “it enters with a malt and molasses aroma…”; “intense, dry character” etc etc) and also partially because it’s a recipe that is using a lot of left over specialty grains I had from my brown ale, which I’m happy about.


This is very close, although not exactly the AG recipe from the book. Most notably a different yeast was used since the book only recommended liquid yeasts.

Grain Bill

Grain percentages
Grain percentages
  • 8 lbs. Warminster Floor Malted Maris Otter
  • 14 oz medium crystal
  • 12 oz black malt
  • 6 oz chocolate malt


  • 1 oz East Kent Goldings @ 90 min
  • .5 oz Fuggles @ 15 min
  • .5 oz EKG @ 3 min


  • 1 tbsp PH 5.2 stabilizer
  • 2 oz Black Treacle @ 90 min (I’d never even heard of this stuff before I read this recipe)
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min

And, the all-important Yeast:

  • Safale S-04 English Ale

Brew Day (12/23/2016)

  1. Started around 10:45 am
  2. Heated ~3.10 gallons water to ~162F; added 1 tbsp PH 5.2 stabilizer
  3. Doughed in after pre-heating mash tun for a couple minutes with the strike water; target temp is 151F for a 90 min mash
  4. Hit 150F with the addition of some hot water from teakettle
  5. started heating 5 gallons of sparge water to 168F. Beersmith suggests 3.78 g, but I want to make sure I have plenty. I want a lot of wort this time. I’d love to get 48 beers out of this instead of the usual ~42. It it affects the OG that’s ok too, because I stupidly only bought 1 packet of yeast, which should be enough for the target OG of 1.054 but maybe not if I hit a higher gravity.
  6. The mash stayed at exactly 150F the entire 90 mins!
  7. Fly sparged with all 5 gallons. The wort kept coming and coming; I thought maybe I’d collect as much as possible because it was going to be a 90 min boil, but I eventually cut it off, probably just over 6.5 gallons although I can’t precisely measure it. Cleaned mash tun…
  8. Started boil around 2:45pm
  9. Added 1 oz EKG hops and 2 oz black treacle @ 90 min. I noticed the black treacle seems to form a skin on top of the liquid and is not really incorporating completely. I stirred a lot…
  10. Added 1 tsp Irish Moss and .5 oz Fuggles hops @ 15 min
  11. Added .5 oz EKG hops @ 3 min
  12. started cooling wort at 4:15 pm
  13. Pitched yeast at 4:45 pm, around 67F wort temp; OG: 1.053 (first time using new refractometer!). Wort tastes very good!

Secondary (1/3/17)

Racked to secondary after 11 days. Gravity according to refractometer is 1.028! I hope it gets lower. I’m going to leave in secondary for 3 weeks. At bottling I am going to take a reading with the hydrometer as well to see if it’s the same as the refractometer. It tastes good!

Bottling (1/28/17)

It’s been in secondary about 3.5 weeks. Bottled with 3.4 oz of table sugar. Yielded approx 4.7 gallons which gave me 47 beers. FG is 1.04 – but there is an issue: I’m not sure my OG is correct because using both hydrometer and refractometer I got pretty drastically different readings. Somewhere around 1.025ish on the refractometer and 1.014 on the hydrometer. I am going with the hydrometer reading and assuming my refractometer is not calibrated correctly… or something. Unfortunately I only took a refracto reading for the OG.

In any case, the beer tastes amazing! I got my hands on a bottle of the Samuel Smith Taddy Porter so when mine is carbed I will definitely do a taste test.

Tastings (late Feb – to early April)

I put this beer in the American Homebrewers Association National Homebrew Competition. I didn’t write here about tasting it, I guess out of superstition. In any case, I did not make it into the top 3 of 25 entries in New York for Porters, so I can now feel free… This is a drinkable beer, but a bit too sweet, possibly under-attenuated? (not dry enough). It also doesn’t have much of a head, unless you really splash it into your glass, and what head it does have goes away pretty quickly. I usually take it out of the fridge about half an hour before drinking. It’s pitch dark in color and has a very brown foam of a head. It does have a nice caramel finish which you can detect sometimes, but it’s pretty subtle. I wouldn’t make it again any time soon, but like I said, it’s drinkable, and it’s still beer! I’m looking forward to seeing the score sheet from the judges of the competition so I can see how it actually rated in different respects.

Update (4/2/2017)

An hour or so after I wrote the above, the score sheet came in! This beer barely made it into the “excellent” category based on the critique of 2 BJCP judges. I’m happy with that assessment and think it’s fair and accurate.