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Hello:

I joined because I was reading about Zywiec Porter again, and found a post inquiring about a recipe.

Well, it WAS a 2010 post, but there is more activity here about that brew than in the US, where I am.

My first 19 L homebrew in Dec. 2020 was a Zywiec Porter clone extract kit, with steeping grains (1.8 kg). I don't know if the kit instructions are sufficient to pull together one's own ingredients, but here are the links for an extract kit and an all-grain kit.

Zywiec Porter Extract

ZP All-Grain

I added a 1% alcohol boost corn sugar pack because I was certain I'd never hit the target ABV, based on my 4 L kits.

I chose SafLager S-189 from the options.

Then the mistakes began...but it ended really well.

It took me 18 months to get my equipment and portable brewing/fermenting setup, and I found (Saturday midnight) the LME was very moldy. Only nearby brew supply open Sunday morning of brewing day did not have bulk LME for both types, so I had to buy 3 kg of one type instead of 6#. The other type needed 5#, they had bulk, so I got the right amount. I put it all the packaged type in, forgetting to reserve the excess (10% extra, est. 5.4% extra ovetall fermentables). I have to find my notes, but O.G. was higher than the kit said due to the 1% boost and the extra 0.6# LME. Used RO water, no concern for matching any pH or mineral profile.

The 60 minute boil was extended to 75 because I forgot to sterilize a wort chiller earlier.

I bought an aeration stone kit as additional insurance against stalled fermentation (cellar floor was colder than air temp.)

I stopped aeration prematurely because it was foaming over.

I used a can of Northern Brewer Fast Pitch yeast starter/supporter (more 'insurance') not realizing they recommended two cans. I also missed the instruction to let it settle for 15 minutes before pouring it in with the yeast.

Got it pumped into a 6.5 gallon carboy in a plastic storage tote (to catch any overflow, insulate, & keep dark). The tote and cover made the thumping fermentation sounds much louder...didn't know it was a 'thing'.

I was planning a transfer to a 2nd fermenter, cacao nibs, maybe espresso...

2 weeks later caught COVID, and thought maybe I shouldn't breathe on it until I tested negative (optimist?). So it was abandoned for 4.5 weeks. No transfer, no secondary, no additions. Bottled In Jan. 2021.

The thumping had stopped. I checked S.G. and it was stable for three days...12.34% ABV! Over-the-top of the Baltic Porter style guide ABV range, but I didn't really care. Kit maker said 'call it an experimental beer'.

Bottled & waited (bottle conditioning). Barely carbonated. I ended up storing the bottles and a thermometer over a radiator with a thermostat for a few more weeks.

This is the best beer I have ever brewed. I don't know how much my errors were improvements. I'm sorry I shared as much as I did. Almost completely opaque, but if you get a bright LED flashlight under a thin layer of beer, it has a ruby color.

8 months old now. A couple people who procrastinated trying it until late August declared it fantastic.

I found a local retailer who carries Zywiec Porter, but they have not been able to get it for unknown reasons for over a year...so I will have to brew it again. Next time, will probably try a Kveik variety of yeast to alleviate my lack of temperature control. Might omit the 1% ABV boost hoping to have bottle carbonation be more robust. Won't bother with secondary next time either. I have a 5 gallon carboy so I'm pondering whether a double batch is doable...but for 100 bottles and the work that implies.
 
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Oyster Stout reminds me of a 25.6 ounce bottle of a regional stout in Florida, with some kind of shellfish and Ghost Peppers. That was too big to open by myself, and it just sounded too scary.
 

NattyJ

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My o
Hello:

I joined because I was reading about Zywiec Porter again, and found a post inquiring about a recipe.

Well, it WAS a 2010 post, but there is more activity here about that brew than in the US, where I am.

My first 19 L homebrew in Dec. 2020 was a Zywiec Porter clone extract kit, with steeping grains (1.8 kg). I don't know if the kit instructions are sufficient to pull together one's own ingredients, but here are the links for an extract kit and an all-grain kit.

Zywiec Porter Extract

ZP All-Grain

I added a 1% alcohol boost corn sugar pack because I was certain I'd never hit the target ABV, based on my 4 L kits.

I chose SafLager S-189 from the options.

Then the mistakes began...but it ended really well.

It took me 18 months to get my equipment and portable brewing/fermenting setup, and I found (Saturday midnight) the LME was very moldy. Only nearby brew supply open Sunday morning of brewing day did not have bulk LME for both types, so I had to buy 3 kg of one type instead of 6#. The other type needed 5#, they had bulk, so I got the right amount. I put it all the packaged type in, forgetting to reserve the excess (10% extra, est. 5.4% extra ovetall fermentables). I have to find my notes, but O.G. was higher than the kit said due to the 1% boost and the extra 0.6# LME. Used RO water, no concern for matching any pH or mineral profile.

The 60 minute boil was extended to 75 because I forgot to sterilize a wort chiller earlier.

I bought an aeration stone kit as additional insurance against stalled fermentation (cellar floor was colder than air temp.)

I stopped aeration prematurely because it was foaming over.

I used a can of Northern Brewer Fast Pitch yeast starter/supporter (more 'insurance') not realizing they recommended two cans. I also missed the instruction to let it settle for 15 minutes before pouring it in with the yeast.

Got it pumped into a 6.5 gallon carboy in a plastic storage tote (to catch any overflow, insulate, & keep dark). The tote and cover made the thumping fermentation sounds much louder...didn't know it was a 'thing'.

I was planning a transfer to a 2nd fermenter, cacao nibs, maybe espresso...

2 weeks later caught COVID, and thought maybe I shouldn't breathe on it until I tested negative (optimist?). So it was abandoned for 4.5 weeks. No transfer, no secondary, no additions. Bottled In Jan. 2021.

The thumping had stopped. I checked S.G. and it was stable for three days...12.34% ABV! Over-the-top of the Baltic Porter style guide ABV range, but I didn't really care. Kit maker said 'call it an experimental beer'.

Bottled & waited (bottle conditioning). Barely carbonated. I ended up storing the bottles and a thermometer over a radiator with a thermostat for a few more weeks.

This is the best beer I have ever brewed. I don't know how much my errors were improvements. I'm sorry I shared as much as I did. Almost completely opaque, but if you get a bright LED flashlight under a thin layer of beer, it has a ruby color.

8 months old now. A couple people who procrastinated trying it until late August declared it fantastic.

I found a local retailer who carries Zywiec Porter, but they have not been able to get it for unknown reasons for over a year...so I will have to brew it again. Next time, will probably try a Kveik variety of yeast to alleviate my lack of temperature control. Might omit the 1% ABV boost hoping to have bottle carbonation be more robust. Won't bother with secondary next time either. I have a 5 gallon carboy so I'm pondering whether a double batch is doable...but for 100 bottles and the work that implies.
My only food for thought is in regards to the bottling. For a beer with such a high ABV it may be worth looking into/researching adding yeast at bottling time. The yeast would no doubt have been worked hard chewing through so many fermentables and may have not been restarted at bottling initially. Although clearly the colder weather was probably more likely the culprit seeing as things improved when you moved them. I have not done this myself so can't add personal comment but I have read about it being done for big beers.

Interesting to use a lager yeast. The extended fermentation time you used no doubt helped ensure it cleaned up after itself.

I love a good stout/porter etc
 
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I think the kit producer only recommended lager-type yeasts because of the history of the Baltic Porter taking it down a different road than the British type.

I did read the yeast datasheets and thought S-189 had a lot of good traits that looked good to me. My previous brewing efforts with cellar floor temperatures close to 17-18 C year-round were frustrating. S-189 was good for that. I don't want to take chances upstairs in the 'finished' part of the house.

Success has to outweigh the bad experiences for me...like breaking bottles with a capper. No bottle bombs or fermentation fountains yet.

I don't see myself kegging and I am getting tired enough of cleaning recycled bottles the cost of buying new ones is looking less offensive.

I read a lot of opinions on re-pitching yeast for high ABV and it seems like there might be a learning curve. Skipping the 1% ABV boost might give a little more breathing room, and maybe 5.5-6 oz. priming sugar vs. the 5 oz. pack.

I was so careful not disturbing the yeast cake while siphoning and apparently no sediment (hard to see thru opaque beer), someone suggested I didn't get as much random stirred up yeast into each bottle. I filled the last few bottles by emptying the carboy into a sanitized measuring cup when the siphon was sucking air more than siphoning). I got 50 bottles out of the batch (about 6 were 0.33 L and the rest our conventional 12 oz/355 ml).

When I look at craft beer in a store there price thresholds I say no to. Sure, breweries may have had cost increases, but that makes paying for bottles less of a deterrent. Having to replace my LME raised the cost per bottle. If I avoid that, I'll rationalize buying a pump and retire the siphon.

The one bad part of keeping everything but the boil (outdoors with 19 L) downstairs was the number of trips up & down the stairs.

Tonight I found the carboy sling I bought last year and immediately lost. More savings!

I had photos from Krakow and had a historical clone story for the label...family said nah, gotta be a pandemic beer
6 labelled, 42 to go....jpg
 

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Images out of order. The short head was after the recommended conditioning time at 18 C and an aggressive pour.

Middle picture was after two add'l weeks above a folding table with an electric oil-filled radiator (21-25 C in the tote).

I never really saw vigorous fermentation and 'more' krausen as went by. The aeration foam before pitching yeast was huge and just gradually dissipated. over some weeks.
 

MashBasher

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Great story.

Zywiec make great beers all round. The closer you get to Poland, the better they are, too. Pretty good in Croatia, all the same, where I drank truck loads of it on holiday.

Food for thought on yeast - stout was traditionally an ale. It’s not uncommon for modern breweries to use a lager yeast. These ferment clean and that’s the key characteristic, but maybe this is an alternative/variation you could look at.

Invalid stout is a widely known historic Aussie stout. It feeds into the folklore that stout is good for you and will heal all ills. It will cure invalids (hence the name) and put lead in your pencil (might need to look that one up). Hence the oysters (yes, they used to add real oysters to oyster stout). One of the largest consumers of stout these days are the people of south-east Asia who have bough the health spiel hook, line and sinker. Guinness now have a huge brewery in Malaysia and you can buy stout in 250 ml cans in every corner shop. Hilarious.

Hope you are well and fully recovered from COVID. If not, drink more stout.
 
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duncbrewer

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Zywiec is my on keg lager, it came out really well with Opshaug kveik pressure fermented. Last brewday I did a double batch half with kveik yeast and the rest with Czech budejovice yeast. Drinking the kveik already and the other keg lagering in the keg fridge to be ready for the day.
I've just done a clone of a smoked and oaked baltic porter using Lager yeast, it's now in the cellar in the keg maturing. You've wet my appetite with those photos, nice labels, which program do you use?
 
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MashB: I was in Zagreb 9/19 2 nights. We were delayed & it rained the whole time. We just drank things like Karlovacko...Cerno? was the darkest I found there. Had Karlo lager in the US once this year...skunkiest I have ever had...but fine in Croatia when fresh...for what it is. BTW, we ate in the same restaurant both nights because we liked it so much...Lira Pizzeria but did not order pizza.

DuncB:
Labels made with GIMP and trial/error. Red text on black looked good on monitor but unreadable printed...went to white. More work than I enjoyed, but with a beer and not looking at the clock it was tolerable. Dog is one of ours. My wife buys a lot of costumes.

Printed on Xerox color copier which gave a rich glossy black.

Stuck on bottle with glue stick then clear packing tape over them. Someone gave me two rolls of 3" wide they ordered mistakenly...3" core was automatic. He was happy to get rid of it because it looked pretty stupid on a tape gun. Getting the packing tape off is another reason to stop recycling bottles.

Going to do the same Zywiec clone kit again with kviek...if I didn't share the plan, might call it Norse Pole.

But before that will be a Belgian Trippel IPA with a story blaming drunken elves for mixing up two recipes. Kit maker changed their description to gnomes, but I had already found two vintage public domain elf artworks that suit my demented label ideas. Going to add one rogue ingredient so I can change the name. I already have some photos of the prisoner dog and a Shih Tzu wearing gnome outfits so I'm cramming all 3 images together.

Labels are the one place one can be over-the-top-pretentious and be encouraged...

Thanks for the tolerance of my keyboard dysentery. On non-English sites I apologize for my excessive English...but no one seems to get the joke (or fell asleep paragraphs earlier).
 

duncbrewer

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@Murrayatuptown

Thanks for the info re the labels, I've been using beerlabelizer.com the paid variant did seem worth it. Not the most efficient use of the paper though.

There top tip is to secure the label with milk. I just brush it on the bottle and put the plain paper printed label on. It works brilliantly and easy to get off after with no sticky residue. I think I need better paper and then I can get a glossier finish from my dell laser.
 

Ballaratguy

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MashB: I was in Zagreb 9/19 2 nights. We were delayed & it rained the whole time. We just drank things like Karlovacko...Cerno? was the darkest I found there. Had Karlo lager in the US once this year...skunkiest I have ever had...but fine in Croatia when fresh...for what it is. BTW, we ate in the same restaurant both nights because we liked it so much...Lira Pizzeria but did not order pizza.

DuncB:
Labels made with GIMP and trial/error. Red text on black looked good on monitor but unreadable printed...went to white. More work than I enjoyed, but with a beer and not looking at the clock it was tolerable. Dog is one of ours. My wife buys a lot of costumes.

Printed on Xerox color copier which gave a rich glossy black.

Stuck on bottle with glue stick then clear packing tape over them. Someone gave me two rolls of 3" wide they ordered mistakenly...3" core was automatic. He was happy to get rid of it because it looked pretty stupid on a tape gun. Getting the packing tape off is another reason to stop recycling bottles.

Going to do the same Zywiec clone kit again with kviek...if I didn't share the plan, might call it Norse Pole.

But before that will be a Belgian Trippel IPA with a story blaming drunken elves for mixing up two recipes. Kit maker changed their description to gnomes, but I had already found two vintage public domain elf artworks that suit my demented label ideas. Going to add one rogue ingredient so I can change the name. I already have some photos of the prisoner dog and a Shih Tzu wearing gnome outfits so I'm cramming all 3 images together.

Labels are the one place one can be over-the-top-pretentious and be encouraged...

Thanks for the tolerance of my keyboard dysentery. On non-English sites I apologize for my excessive English...but no one seems to get the joke (or fell asleep paragraphs earlier).
Instead of bottles you could can your brew, label them and then you don’t have to try to remove the tape😀😀
I use a brother colour label printer which is a thermal printer. The labels are self adhesive and waterproof
I also have a red and black thermal label printer which costs about $0.10 per label. The colour one is dearer for the labels but they really look the goods (and waterproof)
 

duncbrewer

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@Ballaratguy

I can see the logic!

695 dollars for the canning machine ( minimum) , 180 dollars for 300 x 330ml cans, 180 dollars for 207 x 500ml cans.

So say 700 cans, one canning machine and the labels for each one.

That works out at 1.85 dollars on packaging the first 700 cans ( 300 litres of beer ), that's more than some of the beers cost to brew per unit.

Given that I counter pressure fill the hundred or so recycled bottles I fill per year and the labels are nigh on free it would take me a long time to bring the costs down to a realistic level. Plus the recyclers don't like tins with labels on them.

That being said I do use the odd can but I prefer to call it a keg!

Forgot the ancillaries like a splash guard and spacer and wastage.
 

Ballaratguy

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@Ballaratguy

I can see the logic!

695 dollars for the canning machine ( minimum) , 180 dollars for 300 x 330ml cans, 180 dollars for 207 x 500ml cans.

So say 700 cans, one canning machine and the labels for each one.

That works out at 1.85 dollars on packaging the first 700 cans ( 300 litres of beer ), that's more than some of the beers cost to brew per unit.

Given that I counter pressure fill the hundred or so recycled bottles I fill per year and the labels are nigh on free it would take me a long time to bring the costs down to a realistic level. Plus the recyclers don't like tins with labels on them.

That being said I do use the odd can but I prefer to call it a keg!

Forgot the ancillaries like a splash guard and spacer and wastage.
I scored a semi auto canner from a guy here for $250
Cans I get @ $0.35 ea for 330ml or $0.30 for 375 ml
I don’t can often (keg and fill 2Lt growlers for home, only can for give always or for travelling. Mostly I only label if I’m storing them or if I’ve got a mixture of brews)
 

duncbrewer

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Cans aren't that cheap in NZ, hence my expensive counter pressure bottle filler!
Who said it was cheap beer anyway, need a cooperative I think for the canner or rent it out if I got one.
Labelling is worthwhile, I was convinced I'd remember the beer when I started but visiting the archive of beer bottles a while later I realised I was in the dark.
 

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