Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fuller's London Porter Clone

Personally I don’t understand why people clone readily available beers, other then to compare them to make sure you know what you’re doing. My opinions on cloning beer consist of
  1. If I can’t find it on the shelves or I can’t get enough of it I will clone it
  2. If it’s really expensive to buy, but not as bad to clone aka sours
I have cloned a beer before, Breakfast stout, but I can’t buy it in Texas. I do enjoy the act of formulating a recipe for a clone. I enjoy having to research the beer, especially if I have not had it before, and trying to determine the ingredients based off of other people’s reviews.

This beer was a beer that my father wanted to clone. So I told him that I would help him with the recipe. To formulate this recipe I read reviews on BeerAdvocate and researched the brewery to determine, yeast and regional hops/malt. The reviews gave me an idea of what characteristics that I should be targeting aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. The result is below

I don’t have a picture comparing the two different beers (the commercial example and my clone). They were surprisingly similar. The commercial example was slightly lighter and more clear. My clone had better head retention. The commercial example actually had a lighter body and more carbonation with a drier finish then what I was expecting. The biggest difference, which I assuming either came from fermentation temperature or the age of the commercial beer was the large amount of fruity aroma. I was shocked at the fruity esters that the commercial beer contained.

  • Batch size: 5.0 Gallons (finished with 5.5 Gallons)
  • Grain Bill: 11lbs 12 ounces
  • Anticipated OG: 1.055
  • Measured FG: 1.058
  • Measured OG: 1.015
  • ABV: 5.6%
  • Anticipated SRM: 38 degrees
  • Anticipated IBU: 30.3
  • Boil time: 75 minutes
  • Marris Otter - 8.5 lbs - 72%
  • Brown Malt - 1.5 lbs - 13%
  • British Crystal 70L - 1 lbs - 9%
  • Chocolate Malt - 0.75 lbs - 6%
  • Fuggles - 1.5 oz - 75 min (Pellet)
  • Fuggles - 0.5 oz - 10 min (Pellet)
  • Yeast nutrient at 15 minutes
  • London ESB - 1968
Mash Schedule
  • Saccrification at 153F for 60 minutes

Brewed Oct. 22 with my Dad.

(10/22/11) - Measured OG at 1.058, close enough, if I was really anal about it I would add some water.

(11/14/11) - Down to 1.015 and bottled with 3.3oz of table sugar. I left this part up to my Dad since the beer was brewed in Austin and I didn’t want to drive back up just to bottle.

(11/24/11) - First tasting:

Appearance: Hazy dark brown with reddish hues and a fluffy off white head that lingers and leaves a thin lacing over the top of the beer. I preferred the appearance of my beer compared to the commercial example, although the clarity was better on Fuller’s.

Aroma: Roasted grains, bready notes, toffee, and a hint of chocolate. Classic porter aroma, pleasing but not particularly complex. This was the biggest difference between the clone and Fuller’s. Their beer was very fruity and lacked the roasted notes that I was expecting.

Taste: Toasted bread, a touch of chocolate and coffee with roasted grains rounding it out. This was pretty similar to the commercial example, although, again their beer had more fruit elements.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with clean finish and way over carbonated. I’m still not sure what happened exactly. Either my father used too much sugar or the beer is infected. The beer sat in primary for 3 weeks before it was bottled. I know I gave him a reasonable amount of priming sugar, in fact I know it was a little lower then what was suggested, because I don’t like highly carbonated beers. The other explanation is an infection. My Dad buys a lot of his equipment off of craigslist. The problem with this is that you don’t know the condition that the gear was stored and you don’t know if the person you’re buying it from was using Brett. I still have two bottles left and will hold on to them to see if any signs of an infection show.

Overall: Other then the fruity aroma and flavor and the carbonation issue, the beers were remarkably similar. I think I did a pretty good job since I had never had the beer before.  Since I don’t know what happened with the carbonation I can’t say what I would change. I’m also not sure why the Fuller’s was so fruity, my assumption was because of age and slight oxidation.

No comments:

Post a Comment