Tasting: Chai Porter (No. I)

Well, this porter was a parti-gyle off of my Imperial Stout brewday (11/21/12). Unfortunately, that was when my hydrometer was broken (problem fixed!) and I couldn’t measure any data on it. I’m going to guess it had an OG somewhere in the range of 1.040, boiled for 60 minutes and dosed with some US-05 yeast. I actually hadn’t decided what to do with it, so after a week of primary, I boiled up a homemade chai spice mix (fresh ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and black pepper) for about 10 minutes, and mixed in around 200 g of sugar. So that puts it at an all-around OG of probably around 1.050. Based on nothing but intuition, I think it came out in the vein of 5.5-6% ABV. No way to tell though, really. BUT it turned out superb, I will note that.

Based on those estimates and the outcome, I’m going to assign this to 12B, Robust Porter. It had a noticeably darker body than the Pumpkin Porter I previously brewed, and was generally a more interesting and satisfying beer. Likewise, the flocculation cleared it out better and made it more appealing to the eye. Here’s my tasting review (12/13/2012):

Appearance: Black with a lining of carbonation around the edges, no real head. (Probably because I poured it right out of the fridge–another time when I had it after it had been out for a couple hours, it was actually almost over-carbonated.)
Aroma: Roasty but subtle
Taste
: A bit sweet up front, but the bitterness linger middle-to-end of the taste. There is a very subtle hint of the spices at the beginning, but these really come out as the beer warms up and the carbonation develops more. The chai spices aren’t overdone but present enough that you can recognize the mix and not just mistake it for any old Christmas beer.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, full-bodied, lightly carbonated, and creamy.

chai porter

Overall, this was a great beer. It’s too bad I didn’t have a hydrometer and pretty much just made it up as I went along. Oh well. Nonetheless, very satisfying and something to try again. I always parti-gyle when I brew anything over 1.060, so something along these lines will happen again. Any suggestions for themes with these parti-gyle brews? Any holiday flavor profiles that I should be looking to meet?

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