Damson Porter/old ale help

Get advice on making beer from raw ingredients (malt, hops, water and yeast)
Post Reply
Cheesey
Steady Drinker
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:34 pm
Location: Darlo

Damson Porter/old ale help

Post by Cheesey » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:35 pm

Hi Folks,

Been a while since I asked a question, been steady brewing but had to reduce the number I do.

I have damsons in the freezer for gin etc, but fancy doing an experimental brew ready for Autumn. I’ve read most of the articles and there are a lot of people saying it was not very good. Damsons are sour. So I was wondering what is the best basic recipe/technique to keep residual sweetness from the malt.

I had an idea that a version of Fullers 1845 which is malty and sweet, with damsons might be a good starting point.

What is the best mash temp for this I was thinking 65’C
Yeast , something low attenuating, or even a saison to push the ester fruit.

I was thinking of using my pressure cooker to sterilise the damsons. But when to add. In the boil say 15 mins at the end, or half way through the ferment. Or both!

Any thoughts and experiences shared would be most gratefully received

Cheers C
Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W.C Fields

Robwalkeragain
Hollow Legs
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:19 am

Re: Damson Porter/old ale help

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:29 pm

Later the better for any fruit to be honest. The plum porters you taste in pubs are made with an ice cream syrup so I wouldn’t expect that result...
Malty and sweet sounds good! Saisons don’t do sweet at all. Choose a low attenuating yeast like windsor and I’m sure it’ll be great.

User avatar
PeeBee
Hollow Legs
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Damson Porter/old ale help

Post by PeeBee » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:48 pm

No experienced suggestions, I've not brewed a fruit beer yet, but I can comment on the brewing technique:

If you are planning on residual sweetness (and higher "body") 65C seems a bit low. "Normal" would be 66-67C, and high body 69C (I do go up to 74C for very special circumstances). Saison yeasts can be happy drying a beer further than you'd think possible, 1.002-3 is often quoted, I've had 0.998. I can't imagine Saison yeasts coming up with what you hope to achieve. For 1845 (a favourite clone of mine) I don't use mash temperature to influence FG much and mash at 66-67C ("normal"), but I do use a particularly low attenuating yeast; Fermentis S-33 (I haven't been able to come close with liquid yeasts). S-33 seems to finish about 1.018 for me (about 65% attenuation), but will attenuate further with time (months of time that is).

I have used both S-33 and 74C mashing in the afore mentioned "special circumstances" (i.e. "low-alcohol" beers) and get attenuation of about 30-35%

User avatar
Blackaddler
Under the Table
Posts: 1311
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:28 am
Location: Addlestein, Surrey

Re: Damson Porter/old ale help

Post by Blackaddler » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:23 pm

I used damsons in a porter some years ago. What I didn't realise was that there is a hell of a lot of pectin in damsons.

Pectin is great for making jam, [which is what is do with damsons now], but not so good for beer. That brew looked like mud. It took a couple of years, at least, to clear enough to be drinkable.

I found out later, that I could have used pectolase to reduce the pectin.

https://homebrewanswers.com/what-does-pectic-enzyme-do/

Nice beer, eventually. :wink:
Image

Cheesey
Steady Drinker
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:34 pm
Location: Darlo

Re: Damson Porter/old ale help

Post by Cheesey » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:25 pm

Thanks all for the input.

Yes Blackadder I read your post. I’m a wine maker as well and used to pectinase , so will do following your post (2013 I think!)

Peebee , I am on my second Saison,and yes I get ridiculously low SG , my resent was 1003 in 5 days! Bottled it without priming ( never prime I hate fizz), 3 months later I am still waiting for some carbonation!

The Saison thinking is even though it is fully fermented it still has a good body, and has retained it’s sweetness.

I mashed it at 65’C, initial 2 day at 19’C, then 21’C for 2 days then 25’c for 2 days.

All good advice though. I think the yeast will be the key.... Anyone else?
Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W.C Fields

User avatar
Jocky
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2162
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:50 pm
Location: Epsom, Surrey, UK

Re: Damson Porter/old ale help

Post by Jocky » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:30 am

I think with the sourness of damsons you want to leave residual sweetness in your beer, not just body. Stouts would be the natural option for this reason.

Having said that, I think the saison is a great idea. I'm seeing a lot of sour saisons popping up, so adding a sour fruit should work.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

Post Reply