A porter was the first recipe that I made when I started into brewing. Like most I started with a extract kit from an online vendor. While this made a good beer it left me with more of a desire to create something better. I have brewed many versions of porters fine tuning what are the aspects I like about a good robust porter. When I sit down to formulate a recipe I like to do some research to see clones out there of beers that I like. With this knowledge I can determine what it is that I like. This trial and error system of trying tweaks to a recipe is what led me to the base beer for Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter.
This is the second time I have brewed this beer the first time I poured the beer at Heritage Festival at Forest Park in St. Louis. This was my first time pouring one of my beers at a Festival and I absolutely loved it. When I made the first batch it was a 10 gallon batch that I split into two separate batches. The other beer made was a Coffee Vanilla and Cinnamon Porter. Some of the things I took away from the first batch was I needed more peanut butter flavor. I did research on getting this flavor into a beer and most of what I read was all failures or dumping tons of money into a brew, which believe me I don’t have a problem doing if the beer comes out great. After reading about de-oiling all natural peanut butter for months to add to beer I thought to myself no way I don’t have time to prepare for the festival. I then looking into PB2, which is a dehydrated peanut butter you can find at some grocery or heath stores. Everything I read was negative about using this. The flavors and aromas were subtle even when using multiple containers (6.5 oz) at $5 a pop thought to myself no way again. I then started to think about vodka infusions, which I am a fan of in getting flavors into beers. So this was the method I went with. There where some methods online, but nothing to in detail.
During the first batch i used a cup of unsalted peanuts that I decided to make an vodka infusion out of. My initial thought was I would strain out the peanuts when I added the vodka to the secondary. So I filled a mason jar with a cup of peanuts and filled it with vodka. When I decided it was time to put the vodka in the secondary I decided to dump the whole jar with the peanuts. I let them sit in the beer for 2 weeks before putting the beer in a keg and carbonating. Upon sampling my thoughts were good subtle peanut flavor and aroma, but I wasn’t so sure I could pick it out if I didn’t know it was there. So moving onto the next batch I decided I would double the peanuts. Note that this is for a 5 gallon batch.
Peanut Vodka Infusion
2 cups of peanuts
Vodka to cover to the top of the peanuts
Similarly I make a infusion of 2 vanilla beans and 5 ounces of cacao nibs to get the chocolate flavor.