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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Viennese Spiced Porter

vanilla porter

The Homebrewer’s Recipe Guide

With more than 175 original beer recipes, The Homebrewer’s Recipe Guide is a great book for anyone looking for a comprehensive recipe guide to the whole spectrum of beer styles.  It even includes a few lambics.

I picked up this book a few weeks ago from the local library.  While I normally like to purchase books so that I can keep them a reference guides, I have decided to check out every homebrew book at the library, read them, and then decide if they are worth purchasing or not.  This one is a keeper and I am excited to purchase the newest edition first chance I get.

Viennese Spiced Porter

This is my first attempt at a beer from the recipe guide as well as my first attempt at a porter.  Thus far, I have been creating only IPA’s and one Trippel.  Considering that I am over IPA at this point in my drinking phase, the porter seemed like a good one to try out.

Also, Stone’s Vanilla Porter is the best I have ever drunk.  If I can make anything even close to resembling their, I will be a happy man.  In the time being, lets just work on the basics.

The guide says the “vanilla and almond is a great Viennese favorite….The spicy flavors add a lively note to this rich, creamy porter.

The Ingredients

  • 6 2/3 lbs DME
  • 1/2 lbs chocolate malt
  • 1/4 lbs black patent malt
  • 1 lbs rolled oats
  • 2 ounces Mt. Hood hops
  • 1/2 ounces Fuggles hops
  • 1 packages American Ale Yeast
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsps almond extract
  • 3/4 cup corn sugar

Brewing Procedure

I currently brew with a partial boil since I only have a 3 gallon kettle.

Started by steeping (Cheese Cloth) chocolate malt and patent malt at 155 F for 30 minutes.  Took those out and boiled DME, oats and Mt. Hood hops for 60 minutes.  At minute 5  added Fuggles hop for aroma.

Using my copper wort chiller, I brought the temperature of the wort down to 80 degrees.  While this was chilling I added about 3 gallons of cool water to my carboy (fermenter) and then siphoned by wort into the same carboy.  This brought my temperature to 76 degrees.

At this point I pitched my rehydrated American Pale Ale yeast at 76 degrees at OG 1.054 but round up to 1.056 because of temperature.  The recipe guide states OG at 1.048 so perhaps next time I should add a 5 gallon mark to my carboy as I may have been under 5 gallons a bit at the end.  Either that, or other influences had an effect upon the OG.  I don’t see it becoming an issue though.  Maybe just a stronger beer!


It has been 24 hours now since I pitched the yeast.  The yeast was very active within 12 hours or less.  The temperature of the beer is between 67 and 68 degrees.  Keeping it in a small bathroom that gets no light and stays a fairly consistent temperature.

Next Step

In about 7 days (after brew day) I will move to a secondary and add vanilla bean.


Update: 10/8/2010 (Day 5)

I just took out a sample of my porter and measured the specific gravity.  At 68 degrees it measured at 1.020.  Currently the ABV is 4.7 percent.

I will measure again tomorrow to check if there has been a change.  If not, I will transfer to the secondary and add the vanilla bean.


Update: 10/11/2010 (Day 8)

For the last 24 hours I have soaked, in vodka, two vanilla beans sliced the long way and cut into quarters.  The high alcohol of vodka draws the flavors out of the vanilla bean.  Essentially creating a fresh vanilla extract.  The vodka, I read, is a good liquor to use since it does not add a noticeable flavor to the beer.

Since the specific gravity has not changed in the last 48 hours (1.020 SG), I have moved the beer to the secondary.  This is my process:

  1. Sanitize all my equipment and secondary carboy.  This includes siphons, tubing, carboy, funnel, airlock and anything else that may come into contact with the beer.
  2. Pour the vanilla beans with vodka through the funnel and into my secondary.
  3. Siphon beer into secondary ensuring that there is no splash and that beer stays deoxidized.
  4. Place airlock on top of secondary and store in a dark location that stays a steady temperature of 68 degrees.

Very easy!  Have a homebrew!

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  1. Jonathan

    How much vodka actually gets in?

  2. Chris

    I used just enough to cover the vanilla beans completely. In this case it was about 100ml of vodka.

    The high alcohol of the vodka pulls the flavors of the vanilla bean out much better than the beer could. In essence I had created a fresh vanilla extract.

    You could use any liquor, however, vodka adds little to no flavors to the beer once added. I poured all the vanilla beans and vodka into the secondary.

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