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Homebrewing – Wild Porch Pounder

Homebrewing – Wild Porch Pounder
Philip Joyce

As many of you are aware, we had the pleasure of brewing our 1-year anniversary beer with the Mountain Sun. What you may not know is that the Mountain Sun graciously gave us 5 gallons to take home for a homebrewing experiment… and it got funky. In this homebrewing edition, I will be discussing the approach to making Porch Pounder Gone Wild.

As a base beer, the Porch Pounder had a few less fermentable adjuncts, with a large amount of flaked wheat in the recipe, there should be plenty of longer chain sugars just waiting to be eaten up by Brettanomyces (Brett). Knowing that using the Brett for primary fermentation would result in a more pronounced Brett flavor and aroma, Will and I wanted to use a strain with high flavor and aroma characteristics and something a little special. In a previous post I discussed how I cultured the dregs from a bottle of Cantillon Kriek. I propped it up by making a yeast starter and pitched it. It went absolutely berserk. The beer fermented down all the way to 1.002.

With Brettanomyces, the yeast derived flavors and aromas can really change with time. This was definitely the case with this beer. I tasted the beer after about 6 weeks of fermentation (at the end of July). Even though the yeast had already reached full attenuation and the beer was at terminal gravity, the yeast flavor was a little harsh. It tasted very mineral-heavy and chalky. So I waited. I tried the beer again in the middle of August, (about 8 weeks of total fermentation time) and the flavor was definitely changing. The chalky dryness was becoming less prevalent and the beer started to take on a fruitier flavor. I liken the fruity-chalky flavors to pixie sticks. It was getting better, but still not quite where I wanted it. Trying the beer again a few nights ago and after a total fermentation time of 10 weeks, the chalkiness has virtually vanished. The fruity flavors are continuing to develop. The flavors and aromas are like traveling to my favorite childhood store – the candy shop. The beer is magical. Flavors of Red licorice, pink Starburst, red Jolly Ranchers all ebb and flow throughout my mouth as I taste it. I’m proud of what it is, and it’s time to bottle.

Experimentation is fun. I can’t wait to see how this beer continues to age and develop with time. It will surely be opened at our second anniversary party!

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