Brew Day: BBOC Vanilla Porter

Brew Day: BBOC Vanilla Porter

I’ve decided to take part in this year’s “Black Beer of Christmas” Facebook group brew-off(up?). The idea is to brew a beer, bottle it and send a batch of it to your local hub. Shortly afterwards, you’ll get a box back with a selection of other brewers beer!

This year’s theme is Porter, so I’ve decided to have a go at brewing a Vanilla Porter.


  • 4.5kg Munton’s Maris Otter / Propino Blend (5.9 EBC)
  • 1kg Munich Malt (20 EBC)
  • 500g Brown Malt (150 EBC)
  • 320g Crystal Malt (240 EBC)
  • 160g Crystal Malt (150 EBC)
  • 160g Chocolate Malt (950 EBC)
  • 15g Magnum Leaf hops @ 60 mins
  • 1/2 Protofloc tablet @ 15 mins
  • 15g Challenger pellet hops @ 10 mins
  • 2 Vanilla pods after fermentation finished.

Mash temp: 66.7C. Efficiency 60%. Batch size: 23 litres. Expected OG: 1.053 (Actual OG: 1.057)

This is also my first brew using the HERMS system I’ve built.  Due to playing with the new “toy” I made a couple of rookie mistakes during the brew:

  • I forgot to work out the temperature differential between the HERMS system and the Mash Tun before the brew.  This meant for the first 15-20 mins or so of the mash, the temperature was about 3C lower than I wanted.  I eventually worked out that the HERMS system needs to be set approx 4.4C higher than the wanted mash temperature.  On the other hand, I performed my first unintended step-mash 🙂
  • Whilst trying to sort out the temperatures issues, I completely forgot to start heating up my sparge water.  This meant my mash probably went on for at least 90 mins instead of the intended 60.

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