Serious Eats: Recipes

Robust Porter (For Beginning Homebrewers)

[Photographs: Sarah Postma]

This recipe is designed for the beginning brewer, and is about the same level of difficulty as the Pale Ale recipe.

There is a lot of steeping grain used in this recipe—over two pounds—so you should pick up a larger mesh steeping bag when you purchase your ingredients. The smaller hop bags won't be enough to hold this much grain.

The specialty malts used for steeping are crystal 40L, chocolate malt, and black patent malt.

The main extract is the basic light liquid malt extract, and we're also going to also use a Munich liquid extract to add a complex malt flavor.

The yeast is the standard American yeast, and you'll need to make a 1 liter starter of either Wyeast 1056 or Whitelabs WLP001 to ensure healthy fermentation of this 6.5% brew. If you don't have the time to make a starter, an 11.5 gram package of Safale US-05 is a good substitute.

As always, the first step to success is proper sanitation. Mix up at least three gallons of sanitizing solution in your sanitizing bucket (either Iodophor or Star San), and sanitize every utensil that comes in contact with the wort after the boil is complete. Before you transfer your wort to the fermentation vessel, pour the sanitizer into the vessel and swirl the sanitizer around so it touches every surface, then pour it back into the sanitizing bucket. There is no need to rinse the sanitizer or foam off of anything you use—there will be no residual flavor and the residue will actually help to keep everything clean.

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