Boomstick “Porter”

A while ago, I blogged looking for advice on a new idea for a beer I wanted to create.  Ultimately, there were two ingredients I was looking to get into a porter that would be the main inspiration of the beer: Honey and Chipotles.  Well that beer has been brewed, fermented, and bottled.  For better or worse, we’ll see in a few weeks if I’ve created something inspirational or something destined for the sink.

The idea for this brew came out pretty organically.  I wanted to delve into a darker beer, and I wanted to use a pound of honey I received from a fellow teacher.  That was then changed into a chipotle porter when my wife suggested the idea for getting some spice in there.  I thought it was a great idea and I hit the blog hopping to get a little more insight into how I might go about creating a beer that utilized both honey and chipotle.  Being a lover of all big beers, I was immediately swayed to take the route of a friend who posted his advice on my Facebook.  He suggested soaking the chipotles and some oak chips in bourbon for a few days.  That would sanitize the peppers, and it would add to the flavor profile of the beer.  Needless to say, I jumped right on it.

The brew for the porter went pretty well; however, I realized at the end of the boil, that I may not have actually gone dark and heavy enough to call this beer a porter.  If you look at the quotation marks above, I’m calling it a “porter” because I have a feeling the actual porter qualities are a little lacking.  I was concerned that with having so many other flavors in there, I would overwhelm the palate if I added in a ton of coffee flavor.  So, I basically eliminated it.  I also didn’t really get enough chocolate in there either.  Although I wanted to wait for the bottle aging and carbonation development, I think I may have focused too much on the additives to the brew and not enough to the base.  You live and you learn.

Anyway, I think I may have made a second error when I decided to soak the oak chips and chipotles in the bourbon for near a week.   I decided to go with one of my favorite bourbons at the moment for the bourbon component: Bulleit.  I poured 14oz of the bourbon

My inspiration for the name

into a clean and sanitized jar.  From there, I added the oak chips and dried chipotles.  As you can see from the picture, it’s a very enticing concoction.  We went on vacation for a few days, and when I returned I took a straw full of the infusion to see how it was going.  The pepper was intense.  Despite this, I strained the solids out and added the liquid to the secondary.  There it sat for two weeks.

This past Friday I decided to bottle.  Once again I took a little sip of the uncarbonated brew hoping the peppers had managed to mellow out a little while blending together with the beer.  Although not quite as hot, the pepper was still quite ferocious.  I bottled it up none-the-less, and we’ll see in a few weeks if I have a winner or a loser.  Ultimately I decided to name this one Boomstick after the famous line from Army of Darkness.  I thought this one seemed like a double barrel shotgun with all the different huge flavors I decided to throw into it.  I have a feeling it may be a cult classic as well.

Although I may not have produced exactly what I set out to do, it was a great learning experience.  I’ve learned a lot in just the 5 different creations I’ve tried to brew since February.  I had a batch of DIPA that never carbonated, a pretty good saison that was overcarbonated, and a beer that may be too spicy.  Ironically, I produced a pretty good beer between each one.  The Yippie-Ki-Yay Hazelnut Brown Ale is a great beer, and I’m really happy with it.  So I guess I need to be a little less adventurous on my next brew.


Yippie-Ki-Yay Brown



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