Yesterday (November 18th) we brewed our Banana Peanut Chocolate Porter. You might wonder why would anybody in the right set of mind go down this path? Well, we thought the same and then did it anyways. Using a healthy dose of local malts (fistbump Copper Fox) this beer falls in the Genius Loci Series. We really wanted to use Virginia peanuts for this beer but after looking into the feasibility of turning our brewery into a "might contain nuts" place we decided to go 100% safe for everybody and decided to use natural allergen free peanut extract so everybody can enjoy. The brewday started really early, because we had to first pulp and gelatinize our 100+ pounds of peeled bananas:
Felt like working at the zoo!
Banana starch gelatinizes around 70 C (~160 F) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19691322 - man its hard to find scientific articles that are not behind a paywall!), so we started with 100 gallons of hot water, dumped in the bananas, and boiled that for 1 minute and let that sit and stir for about 20 minutes.
Temperature going up!
The banana smell was truly amazing! We loaded another 100 gallon of cold water on this to bring the temperature down after gelatinization was complete and started to bring over the grain. We used some chocolate malt (a specific colored malt that has chocolate notes because of the roasting, not real chocolate yet here) in the mash, and the bananas were not a problem during the further process.
But to really get the flavor we wanted (we were not interested in super roasty and harsh flavors here) we cold steeped chocolate malt, roasted bartey and black malt. For this, we filled a big tub with cold filtered water and threw in milled malt and let it sit cold for 24 hours. Just like cold steeped coffee, you get all the flavor without the harshness. Here you see Joel separating the grain from the liquid, using the largest colander known to man (from the local international supermarket).
We added this dark liquid during the boil later on to really preserve all those nice chocolate and coffee notes.
The wort already was a little dark when we went into run off:
For the hops we used Mount Hood (personal favorite) and pure Droste (nothing beats Droste) Cocoa at the end to get this nice Dutch chocolate note. For fermentation, we decided to use JY137, a personal favorite JasperYeast strain, such a nice strain straight from the capital of the United Kingdom. A nice top cropper underlining the maltiness ending kind of sweet.
That yeast is blowing through the wort as I am writing this post, and hopefully we can enjoy this totally nuts beer in the tasting room soon!