Oil Man Porter

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I haven’t done any cooking with beer lately, mostly because I have been too busy drinking it to bother cooking with it. I have, however, been doing some brewing. What I have here is a combination of both, starting with some more in depth homebrewing, followed up with some cooking with said homebrew.

First off is the brew: I had a few extra bits and pieces hanging around in the freezer. Partial bags of grains and hops were taking up room and possibly getting stale. So I decided to brew up something to use up all those ingredients. And of all the surprises, it came out very good. I love it, Jess loves it, even my coworkers are enjoying it (and asking for more!) Yes, the ingredient list is a little boggling, but no one ever said I would always do really simple brews.

The Ingredients:

For a 5 Gallon Batch:

3 lbs. Pilsen Malt

25 oz. Victory Malt

26.5 oz. Melanoidin Malt

15 oz. Crystal 60

12 oz. Unmalted Black Barley

10.5 Briess Smoked Malt

10 oz. Black Patent Malt

4 oz. Flaked Barley

4 oz. Rolled Oats

 

Hop Run:

2 oz. Magnum                                   90 mins

.5 oz Saaz                                         90 mins

1.4 oz. Magnum                                60 mins

.5 oz. Saaz                                        60 mins

1.15 oz. Brewers Gold                    30 mins

.25 oz. Cascade                              30 mins

.75 oz. Tettnang                               15 mins

.25 oz. Cascade                             15 mins

.45 oz. Hallertau                              15 mins

.5 oz. Citra                                        5 mins

.25 oz. Hallertau                               5 mins

6” piece of licorice root                   5 mins

I mashed in the grains at 152 F for 30 minutes, then raised the temperature to 157 F for 20 minutes. I drained and sparged the grains, then began the boil, adding the hops and licorice root at the times listed above. I must say, an electronic scale with a simple Tare on it is very helpful for these hop weighings.

After the boil, I chilled the wort, then added an American Ale yeast and allowed it to ferment for a few weeks before bottling. The original gravity of this batch was 1.042, with a final gravity of only 1.004, giving me an approximate 5.0 abv, a very nice session brew that I have been enjoying quite extensively lately. Also, I am calling this a smoked porter, though it doesn’t quite fit into the style completely. But hey, that’s the fun of being a brewer: you don’t always have to brew within the style guidelines. They are called guidelines for a reason.

Quick rundown, this brew is great. It has a nice roasty smokey taste, and the hops don’t hide themselves at all. It pours jet black, with a dark tan head, and sits on the tongue like a black lager. I am really enjoying this brew, and am glad I have still another case of it to go through.

 

Now for the food:

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Jess decided to make a delicious Maple-Porter Braised Pork Belly. She got her recipe from here: http://allaboutbeer.com/article/maple-porter-braised-pork-belly/ . She only used the recipe for the braising liquid, and cooked the pork belly in our new crockpot, which we have been enjoying quite a bit recently. I did up a couple sides to go with it. We got some purple string beans at the King St. Farmers Market in Alexandria, VA on Saturday morning, so I did a purple and green bean sautee with a bit of agave syrup and sliced almonds, and some sliced fried potatoes in a rosemary and herb butter; both of which came out amazing and complimented the pork perfectly. To top it off, Jess surprised me with sliced up kielbasa cooked in with the pork belly. I can’t even begin to tell you how full I was after eating all of this great food last night. And you may notice that I don’t give exact amounts for a lot of my real cooking, and that is mostly because I don’t really use exact amounts most of the time when I am cooking. So basically, use what you want, don’t use what you don’t want, and make it taste good for you.

Now for the real fun: of course I poured a glass of the Oil Man Porter to go with this wonderful dish. And I had two plates full of food with a couple beers. Boy was I full after all of that.

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