Fuck. This blog has really died down of late. I blame my stinking career and various general anxieties.
I'm drinking a bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter in preparation for making, in the immediate future, a good smoked porter. I have no hardwood-smoked malt in stock right now, but I do have a pound of peat-smoked malt which I think should do interesting things. The Alaskan has a wonderful smoky aroma and a rich, smoky palate. It really is more of a smoked beer than it is a porter. To produce something similar would probably require the use of home-smoked malt, or perhaps Weyermann rauchmalt as a base malt, accented by crystal and chocolate. What a lovely beer...
I'm likelier, right now, to just throw together a nice porter recipe with plenty of deep crystal malts and some chocolate malt, subbing a pound of Fawcett peated in for a pound of the base malt. How bad can that be, really? The key is probably to keep the black/chocolate malts in modest enough proportion that they don't totally drown out the smoke aromatics. I've brewed some totally opaque porters, but they do not need to be that way every time. They can just look black in the glass and actually flash translucent red when held up to a light. There's a big difference between 18 and 30 S.R.M.
My other imminent brewing problem is deciding what to make with a packet of 1028 London. Something not too high in gravity needs to be brewed to create an uber-powerful yeast cake for the eventual production of 1856 Barclay Perkins Imperial Double Brown Stout Take Two.