Tag Archives: coffee

The Friedlieb, Coffee Porter IV – Review

The Friedlieb is a beer Chas has been working on for a while. Back in the middle of 2015 he made the fourth version of this beer. No write up on the brew day, but I can say that the changes to the recipe were more of a slight alteration rather than any significant.

The Friedlieb IV for drinking

The Friedlieb IV ready for drinking and review

Before starting the review, I need to admit I had this beer for about eight months. Got it in June 2015. Drank it in February 2016. The flavours had settled down a fair bit and the forward hops softened to almost nothing. Now that’s out of the way, onto the review.

This is a big coffee porter. It comes in at 10.2%, the strongest version of this beer yet. You can see from the photo it’s very dark. You can’t quite see that it’s not very cloudy.

There’s a smooth coffee aroma. Has a push of smoke towards the end and slight very soft rounded yeast aroma.

The beer starts with plenty of smoothness. Dark malt from start to end. Smoke and coffee giving this lots of complex flavours that keep it lively and interesting. The yeast flavours are present the whole way from the middle. This yeast is a bit Belgian in style, rounded and with some slight tropical fruit to it.

There’s heaps of flavour here and character. Body is good with only a tiny bite from the alcohol.

For food matching this would go well with big winter food. Think mixed flavour stew. Or rich tasty sausages. Or super slow cooked red meat, lamb or beef. Anything hearty and deep flavours with pleanty of protein would work a treat.

This beer has heaps of flavour, but not a big thick body. So you need something to eat with this, or you get overwhelmed by the end. Really good beer, with a slight tweak this would be a great beer.

Chas has been working on this recepie for a good few years. I’m hoping he’ll return to this and brew another batch. Would be more than happy to help give a hand in the quality testing of the final product.

-Mikey

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The Friedlieb, Coffee Porter III – Review

Way back on 29 July Chas made the third version of The Friedlieb, his coffee porter. This latest version is an all grain. And it’s pretty bloody good. All the relatively fresh coffee that went into this helps drive this beer.

The Friedlieb coffee porter III

The Friedlieb coffee porter III ready for drinking

The aroma is simply great. Big coffee and molasses hit in the nose. Good smoke end to the aroma, long and lasting but not harsh. This really draws you into the beer.

Up front this beer is a little deceptive. The dark malt feels somewhat light but the smoke is there. Plenty of peated malt. Chocolate is there at the start and coffee too. The rye malt is a little harder to pick up. Slightly overpowered, but giving some backing to the rest of the malt. The hops are not really there, but more to help balance.

There’s a big mouth feeling to this beer. Small bubbles give it a sort of creamy hint to it. After the first impressing the smoke and coffee take over. They’re mixing around and washing together. The alcohol in this is 6.8%, though you don’t really notice any of that anyway. The smoke and coffee cover it very well.

All the peated malt takes over and this does get slightly too much. That’s when it’s cold. Once this beer warms up there’s more of a slight sweetness to this. The chocolate malt comes out a bit and the brown malt flavour comes out a lot more. There’s a biscuit/toast flavour to it. But it’s the coffee that really becomes the king flavour and reminding you that there really was a LOT of coffee put into this beer.

The downside for me is the smoke from the peated malt. When I reviewed the second version of The Friedlieb I mentioned that Chas was really looking for this. It’s too much for me. Chas really wanted to push this, and I think it’s something he really likes. Don’t get me wrong, this is a well made beer with good complexity, nice body and long lasting flavour. For me one bottle is enough.

This is a beer for the end of the night. At home, settling in for the night and have next to a fire. Don’t need anything to eat because this beer is full of character and flavour. Maybe not the last beer, ‘cos the coffee will keep you going. But a good solid flavour hit to slow things down.

-Mikey

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The Friedlieb, Coffee Porter II – Review

What an amazing beer. Best beer we’ve ever made? Pay attention and you’ll find out.

The Friedlieb II is the second coffee porter from Chas. The first one was done back in June and turned out pretty good. I had some issues with the sweetness and Chas wanted more smoky-ness. This version didn’t address the smoke but sorted out a few things.

The Friedlieb coffee porter II

The Friedlieb coffee porter II ready for drinking

Now, I’m giving away a bit here, normally I will have a glass of this beer with me when I type up the review. But for this one no such luck. I wasn’t around when Chas bottled the beer and he only brought around one beer when we tasted it back on Sunday 15th. So, I’ll go by my notes and memory.

First up there’s a huge coffee aroma. There’s some hints of chocolate and sweetness as well. This beer smells like exactly what you would expect from a coffee porter. That’s a big plus. Flavour. A dark creamy hit on the palate is the first thing you notice. Plenty of coffee the whole way through this beer from start to end. Lots of full body and big dark malt flavours. So smooth across all the flavour. There’s a chocolate builds up from about the mid point which works well with the coffee and dark malt. And there’s just enough bitterness to hold it together without any noticeable hop flavours.

The beer came in at 7.3% alcohol. Quite a respectable amount. With the coffee in there and so much grain flavours it could of gone any way. Lucky for Chas it worked out a treat.

Matching this beer to food is really hard. Not because it’s a dark beer with lots of coffee and hints of sweetness. It’s because it’s so amazingly good. You really want to drink it by itself. It could work with any rich or roasted food. Dark meats or big robust vegetables. Something with a dark sauce like red wine or gravy. Other option is to have this as a dessert beer. Possibly the perfect dessert beer.

So, is this the best beer we’ve ever made? I think the answer is a resounding YES! (Chas, bring me some more!)

-Mikey

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Friedlieb Coffee Porter – Second Trial

Back in June, Mikey and I made a coffee porter that I named The Friedlieb. It turned out great, but I was after a little bit more peat smoke in there, and Mikey found some of the sweetness “distracting”.

Coffee!

Coffee!

So we modified the recipe a little bit.  First off, we were doing twelve litres this time around, not the four we originally did; mostly we just multiplied everything by three.  We also added a bit more peated barley, a bit less light liquid malt extract, and, as there were some malted grains in the grain bill, decided to mash the grains rather than just steep them.  Hopefully this achieves the desired affects.

Anyway, before I go into the recipe, as mentioned, this is a coffee porter.  When we made the first batch, we were only using eight shots of coffee, which isn’t too difficult or expensive.  Upping things up to twenty four shots of coffee wouldn’t have been too expensive or difficult, but there’s always a better way!  So, a big thanks to my good friend from Husband Cafe for supplying his wastage.

So the recipe (for 12 litres) was:

  • 1.5 kilograms golden light liquid malt extractFried 4
  • 270 grams dark dry malt extract
  • 270 grams dark crystal
  • 150 grams chocolate malt
  • 180 grams peated malt
  • 150 grams melanoidin malt
  • 180 grams rye malt
  • 9 grams Willamette hops (bittering) – 30 minutes
  • 9 grams Fuggles hops (taste) – 15 minutes
  • 9 grams Fuggles hops (aroma) – 0 minutes
  • 24 shots espresso
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • Windsor style ale yeast

As mentioned, we decided to mash the grains.  The right mashing temperature can change depending on what you’re after and what grains are being used, but we were winging it a bit and just decided to mash at 65 degrees C; it’s nice and middle of the road.  The mash time was 60 minutes in 5 litres of water.

Unlike the all grain pale ale we did a couple weeks ago, we didn’t have as much trouble keeping the water temperature steady.  This was probably because we were using much more water.

So the grains sat there for an hour while Mikey and I bottle the pale ale.  It tasted great by the way, but we think it will need quite a bit of time in the bottle to calm down.

With the mashing done, we threw in the malt extracts and got everything to a boil.

Once the boil started everything was pretty standard.  The bittering hops went in at the start, fifteen minutes in came the taste hops, and the aroma went in at flame out another fifteen minutes later.  Along with the aroma hops we threw in the espresso and the brown sugar.

A little tip on ingredients: always double check that you have the ingredients.  I assumed I had enough brown sugar but I didn’t!  Thankfully I was able to steal some from my housemate.  Also, let’s see if my housemate actually reads this blog, because she doesn’t know I took it!

Fried 1Getting the wort cold was difficult.  We ended up with about seven litres of liquid: five litre mash, a couple litres for sparging, coffee, etc.  We got it coldish pretty quickly with some ice and cold water, but even in three ten minute water baths it wouldn’t drop below 30 degrees.  I need to start taking a cue from Mikey and preparing lots of ice and cold water.

Anyway, we poured everything into the fermenter, topped it up to 12 litres, and took a quick break on the homebrew couch while we let things cool a little.  The wort was about 27 degrees by the time we topped up the fermenter, but we wanted a few degrees lower.

After that, we pitched the yeast and gave it a good stir to aerate it.  The gravity reading was 1.073, which is quite high, so we wanted to get plenty of oxygen in there.  I’m quite excited about this high gravity.  The mash obviously added quite a bit.  If we’re lucky and get the final gravity down enough, hopefully we’ll end up with quite a strong beer!

I’m really excited about this beer.  It’s going to be about two weeks in the fermenter, and then quite a bit of time in the bottle.  We’ll report in after that.

-Chas

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The Friedlieb coffee porter – review

Was meant to put this up a week ago. Then things happened. And now it’s this week.

The Friedlieb coffee porter

The Friedlieb coffee porter in glasses

As part of the massive bottling day, I mean brew day, there were some taste testing.

One was the coffee porter from a few weeks ago. We cracked one open, not smashed it open. Up front there was plenty of malt and coffee aromas. You could tell straight away this was going to be a big and complex beer.

First taste got a big malt hit. Rich flavour all the way through giving this beer a strong base. The coffee was also there for the whole journey, not overpowering or overpowered. Has a nice dry finish thanks to the coffee. Good bitterness from start to end but is a little all over the shop.

Some smoke and even hints of chocolate. Chas wants more smoke and I’m sure he’ll talk about that in the comments below. For me, I was happy with the malt profiles and mix in this.

The beer had a slight sweetness hidden in it. Like the bitterness, it wasn’t consistent. Unlike the bitterness, that was distracting. This would probably settle after another two plus weeks of conditioning.

Like the other other coffee porter, OMG The Coffee, this is suited to a lot of foods. Any big rich dinner would work. A lot of desserts would go well. You can substitute this for wherever you need a big dark earthy red wine.

-Mikey

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Chocolate Paradise Porter (with coffee) – Review

A little while ago, we modified the standard BrewSmith Chocolate Paradise Porter to contain coffee.  For those interested, the original Chocoalte Paradise Porter brew is here, while the review is here.

Overall, the beer turned out great.  We only made twelve bottles, and by the time tasting day came around, there were only three bottles left because Mikey’s wife (AKA Manager for Change Management/Director of Art Direction for this blog) had made her way through the rest of it!  I think she enjoyed it…

Anyway, the original taste prior to bottling was encouraging, although there was a lot of coffee in there, and it was slightly overwhelming.  After the beer was allowed to condition for a few weeks in the bottle, the overpowering flavours calmed down quite a bit.

20130707_153019The coffee was still quite obvious at first, and it really sat in my mouth.  This died down after awhile though and I started to get used to it, which allowed the other flavours to come out.  As the coffee died down, the brown sugar (which was another addition to the recipe) began to come out, but only slightly.  The brown sugar was more of a tease than an actual taste: it never came to the front.

The smoke, which was apparent in the original recipe, added a great twist as well.  It really began to compete with the coffee and add some a great interaction of different flavours.

Unfortunately, all of this tended to mask the chocolate somewhat.  The chocolate was still, but hard to find, and didn’t come out until the beer was allowed to breath for a bit.

In regards to smell, the beer was nowhere near as fragrant as it was with the original recipe.  As I mentioned, the taste before bottling had quite a bit of coffee to it, but the strong coffee smell went away with conditioning; I was really hoping for lots of coffee and peat to it, but it wasn’t there unless you really went looking for it.  There was also a little bit of spice and brown sugar in there to.  Although very subdued, the beer smelled fantastic.  I would have liked the nose to be bigger though.

All in all, this beer was full of great things, and they all complimented each other well.  It was great that there were different layers of flavour, some very obvious, some very subtle.  Sometimes the taste of something would come out of nowhere, and then wouldn’t return on the next sip.  It was a great and surprising beer.

Finally, it was great to see how a few very simple modifications could dramatically change a beer.  The original was good, the modification was better.

 

-Chas

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“The Friedlieb” Coffee Porter – first trial

Friedlieb Runge was a German chemist and the first person to isolate caffeine. Because of this, it’s only appropriate to name our ongoing coffee porter experiment after him!

As much as we liked the Brewsmith porter kits we did (we’re still waiting to see how the coffee version turned out), they’re only sold with enough ingredients to make about four litres – so what do we do when we want to make a big batch? Adding to that, they are a bit expensive when compared to sourcing the ingredients directly. Don’t get me wrong on this. The price of the Brewsmith kits is quite fair, but if you’re willing to take the time to try and recreate their recipes, you can save a bit of money. If you’re not willing to take the time to recreate the recipe, then hey, keep buying the kits because they do a great job.

Anyway, as a base, we used a recipe presented by the great Craig of Craigtube. If you haven’t checked this guy out yet, do it! We weren’t able to get all the ingredients here in Australia, plus we didn’t want to use a canned wort with bittering hops in it, so there was some improvising.

20130609_182318

Since this was the first attempt, it was only a 4 litre batch.

The recipe and ingredients we went with was as follows:

  • 580 grams light liquid malt extract
  • 90 grams dark dry malt extract
  • 90 grams dark crystal
  • 50 grams chocolate malt
  • 40 grams peated malt
  • 50 grams melanoidin malt
  • 60 grams rye malt
  • 3 grams Willamette hops (bittering)
  • 3 grams Fuggles hops (taste)
  • 3 grams Fuggles hops (aroma)
  • 8 shots expresso
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Windsor style ale yeast

Steep the grains (using a grain bag) in about two litres of water for 20 minutes (on reflection we probably should have done 40…). When this is done, remove the grains and sparge them with a litre of boiling water.

Bring this three litres up to a boil and throw in three grams of Willamette hops for the start of your thirty minute total boiling period. At the 15 minute mark, put in three grams of Fuggles hops. Finally, with five minutes remaining, put in another three grams of Fuggles.

At the end of the thirty minute boil, turn off the heat and put in the eight shots of espresso as well as the brown sugar and give it a good stir. Put a lid on the pot and immerse it in a sink of cold water for twenty minutes, changing the water halfway through.

Throw this all into a five litre carboy, and top up with one litre of water. Try to get the temperature to between about 18 and 26 degrees with this top up.

Pitch the yeast and you’re done!

Other Notes

We got a gravity reading of 1.054, so we’re expecting an alcohol content of somewhere in the mid 4% range after bottle conditioning; I imagine the final gravity will be a little high due to the yeast type as well as the coffee, which isn’t fermentable but adding to the specific gravity.

In relation to hops, I found that the Willamette had bitter and dry smell with a hint of spice. The Fuggles were less bitter, with a more fragrant fruity/floral smell.

While the wort was boiling, the chocolate was quite overpowering when right over the stove, the smokiness came out quite a bit when I stood back. There weren’t any big hops smells, but when tasting the wort, they were definitely there and quite nice.

Overall, this should be a pretty good brew. We’ll see if it’s anything at all like the Brewsmith kit, but it should taste good any how.

-Chas

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