Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Sammy’s Golden Porter

After Cristof, Dan and I stood in line all morning at Darkness Day to get our bottles of Surly Darkness, it was time toInto the boil! brew and test out my recently purchased 10 gal. brew pot and propane burner. We did a Honey Porter recipe from Midwest Supplies which ended up being christened “Sammy’s Golden Porter” because Cristof’s wife’s family yellow lab growing up was named Sammy. Cristof had grown up dog-less himself and requested we take pity on him by naming the batch after his wife’s dead dog. Thus came to be Sammy’s Golden Porter, henceforth to be referred to as SGP.

With this batch, I knew I wanted to start monitoring my process much closer on brew days and during fermentation in the weeks following. Here are the deets:


  • 1st brew day based in the garage!
  • Grains steeped at 152* (8 oz. carapils, 8 oz. chocolate)
  • 60 min. boil — full volume boil
  • 1/4th to 1/3rd of the Dark LME went in at 60″
  • 1 oz. Am. Kent Goldings hops in at 60″
  • 2 lbs clover honey in at 30″ (the honey came out VERY subtle, perhaps too hidden in the final product. I’d wait another 15 min. to drop in the honey if I do this recipe again)
  • 3/4ths to 2/3rds LME (the rest of the half gallon) in at 25″
  • 1 oz. Cascade hops in at 3″
  • OG = 1.053 — I broke my second (!!) hydrometer I’d recently purchased shortly after taking this reading… I’m done with hydrometers now. In the weeks after brewing this batch I purchased a refractometer (check out the homebrewing resources tab above for information and a video on how to use a refractometer). Turns out 1.053 = 13 brix
  • Yeast pitched directly = White Labs Burton Ale #WL023


  • Primary got to the point where it was bubbling once every 30 seconds so I figured it was time to transfer to secondary
  • FG reading showed roughly 7.25 brix = 1.015 (shooting for 1.014 to 1010 by the recipe)
  • Transferred to secondary. Busted the “out” end of my racking cane and a large part of it sunk into the batch. Hope that doesn’t contribute any odd flavors…


  • Must have roused the yeast a bit, as the airlock went back to bubbling every six or seven seconds


  • F.G. sitting at 7.2 brix. Bottled 11/14, 22 days after brew day. Running the ABV formula, this batch sits at about 5.1%


  • Took about a month for this batch to bottle-condition to the appropriate level of carbonation. Tastes great! I’d brew it again as an all-grain batch. Gave a lot of it away for Christmas presents.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Surly’s 5th at Pizza Nea « Barking Dog Beer

  2. Pingback: Darkness Day at Surly Brewing Company « Barking Dog Beer

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