Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Macadamia Nut Porter -- Recipe & Brew Day

There was a certain unique porter I had a few times at the local bars in my city that I wanted to try to replicate. That was the Macadamia Nut Porter from Six Rivers Brewing (I even had a glass the night before making this!). The first hurtle was to acquire some macadamia nuts. Fortunately, a friend of mine happens to have a tree at his house, and he, like myself, wanted to have some more of this beer. After getting a container filled with roasted nuts, it was time to craft some ale.

San Diego grown Macadamia nuts. 916 meets 619 for this brew!

One of the biggest concerns I had off the bat was the fact the oil found in the nuts would make for no head retention in the beer. I watched a few videos about it, and it appeared the oil would rise to the surface and be easily skimmed. Satisfied, I went off to write my recipe.
A melody of light and dark barley
The nuts would be added in both the mash and the boil. But to better incorporate them, I had to crush them. At this point I could see that the nuts still had some moisture content. This is where the oil comes from.
For this brew, the mash was 90 minutes long. I incorporated one-third of the total nuts used for the batch at this stage for the entire duration. I had no issue filtering the wort off both the grain and nuts.
Nuts in your beer! 

The nice brown porter color that you've always wanted 
The boil was slated for an hour, with a total of two different hop additions. The remaining two-thirds of the nuts were added in at the beginning of the boil. Unfortunately for me, the nuts I placed into the hop bag in the first kettle broke out into the wort. I spent a good deal of time fishing and filtering off the nuts as soon as the boil ended.

Ah, nuts.
Once the boil was done, I let the wort cool outside for a while (with the top on). I revived some old WLP023 I had in my fridge for this batch. At first I was wondering if the yeast had died off since I was getting no activity in the starter I had made for it. Two days later after pitching the yeast though, I could smell the signature sulfur odor that this yeast gives off in the closet. Success!

I wonder if the oil layer helps protect the beer from bacteria...
The OG for this batch came out at 1.062. I can't predict what the final gravity of the beer will be with the presence of the oil or other nutty insolubles, but I best place it finishing at around 6% ABV. I'm not too worried about head retention at the moment, as I saw some typical WLP023 foam already inside my main fermenter. Until next time, Cheers!

Macadamia Nut Porter

11 lb Two Row
1.5 lb Crystal 80
0.75 lb Chocolate Malt
0.75 lb Flaked Barley

4.5 oz Macadamia Nuts (mash)
9.0 oz Macadamia Nuts (60 min boil)

1 oz Chinook (60 min)
1 oz Willamette (30 min)

WLP023 Burton Ale Yeast

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