Brew Day: Smoker in the Rye Porter

written in brewday, porter, recipe

You know what goes well with Rye? Smoke. For this robust porter, I’m looking for a balance of rye spice, some smoke, along with the dry bitter, coffee, chocolate notes found in dark and roasted malts.

For this beer, I used tap water given it is very high in carbonates and plays well with dark beers. I did end up lowering its pH to 6.0 per the notes below.

The backbone of this brew is Crisp Best Ale, a British pale malt which is not as neutral as american or canadian 2-row, providing a distinctive malty and sweet foundation.

For rye, I used Briess Rye Malt as well as a bit of Weyermann Chocolate Rye Malt.

For smoke, I chose two different smoked malts. First Weyermann Smoked Malt, a beechwood smoked malt traditionally used in Rauchbier, along with Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, which provides a much more pronounced smoke character and is therefore used Sparingly.

Finally, a dash of Carafa III helps get the target color and a bit of more roast character expected in a porter.


Name Amount Percent
Crisp Best Ale 6 lb 43.2 %
Weyermann Smoked Malt 3 lb 21.6 %
Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt 1 lb 7.2 %
Briess Rye Malt 3 lb 21.6 %
Weyermann Chocolate Rye Malt 10 oz 4.5 %
Weyermann Carafa III 4 oz 1.8 %

For this beer, I’ll keep hops very classical and let them play a supportive role. The grain bill will be layered with complexity while not allowing individual flavors to overpower the grist.

Hop Schedule

Variety Time Amount Form Alpha Acids
East Kent Goldins 60m 2oz Whole Hops 6.3%
Challenger 25m 1oz Whole Hops 5.7%
Fuggle 5m 2oz Whole Hops 5.2%


Name Amount Use
Whirlfloc 1 tablet 15m left in boil
Yeast Nutrients ¼ tsp 15m left in boil


Name Lab Attenuation Quantity
WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast White Labs 70 - 80% 1.8l starter with one vial

Mash at 154F for 60m.

Brew notes

September 05, 2015

Started by treating brewing liquor to get pH down to 6.0. Initial water pH was 7.9, and I added 3ml - 6ml of phosphoric acid at a time to get to 6.0. Full procedure was as follows:

Amount of Phosphoric Acid Added pH
3ml 7.2
3ml 6.9
3ml 6.7
3ml 6.6
6ml 6.4
6ml 6.2
6ml 6.0

Added 30 ml of phosphoric acid total.

Heated up strike water to 171 and Doughed-in. Mash temperature was on target at 154F.


Added ½ tsp Calcium Choloride to mash.

Mash pH was 5.4, 10 minutes into the mash.


Sparged for 45 minutes to collect 8.5 gallons of wort in the kettle, while I enjoyed a Salty Dog Gose.


Added ¼ teaspon of Gypsum and ½ teaspoon of Calcium Chloride to kettle.

Started the boil, and 5 minutes later it got the hot break. At this point started the 60 minute boil, adding ingredients per the recipe.

Cooled through the plate chiller, and collected 6 gallons of wort in the fermenter.

Aerated and pitched entire starter in fermenter. Total volume is about 6.5 gallons, at an OG of 1.059.