Brew Recipe: White House Honey Porter

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Just before the election, the White House and Obama’s campaign did a great job of making a very small percentage of the population (homebrewers) believe that the Presdent somehow identified with them. Not only did they hype up the idea that the president was a homebrewer, they claimed that the recipes were secret, and only released them after enough people petitioned the White House. First off, I watched the video (posted with the recipies on the White House blog: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/09/01/ale-chief-white-house-beer-recipe) and the president isn’t down there tranferring the wort and spilling sanitizer on his shoes… that job falls to the competent chefs of the nation’s first domicile. Second, it’s certainly not worth the $1200 that a single bottle sold for at auction (granted, it was for charity) not too long ago. Sure, I appreciate a president who drinks beer, in fact, I can imagine that he drinks beer frequently. You can you buy beer recipe kits for these brews (including 1-gallon verions) at Northern Brewer.

All that crap being said, I decided to jump on the bandwagon, and try out the brew for myself. I had a few other brews under my belt when these recipes were released, so I thought I’d pick up the ingredients and bust them out in a weekend. After copying the recipes down originally, I decided that I was in the mood for a beer that didn’t call for a pound of honey. That was the weekend that I ended up brewing the WTF? and my last AltBier. Needless to say, I eventually grabbed the ingredients – it turns out that honey from the White House beehives is VERY hard to come by – and tossed them in the brewpot.

Here is my rendition of the Honey Porter:

Grains:

  • 3/4 lbs Munich Malt
  • 1 lb. Crystal 20
  • 6 oz. Black Malt
  • 3 oz Chocolate Malt

Fermentables:

  • 6.5 lbs Light LME
  • 1 lb. honey (I use organic wildflower from the brew supply store)

Additions: (the original recipe calls for 10 HBU’s, so I did my best to approximate)

  • 1/2 oz. Goldings @ 15
  • 1/2 oz. Goldings @ 30
  • 1/2 oz. Hallertau @ 60

Yeast:

  • Nottingham Dry Yeast

This beer takes a while in the bottle before it tastes good. My original notes got thrown away (dumb, I know) but I know for certain that this has been resting since early December, so more than a month as I write this. After two weeks, the duration that the recipe calls for, the brew was sickly sweet, with little “porter”-like character, and nearly no head. It’s only recently, after about five weeks, that the beer has a decent body, a light (odd for a true porter) mouthfeel, and a sweet aroma. Not bad in the end, but I will NOT be making this one again.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. gbrat says:

    What a bullshit is this? Aw did someone get hurt feelings? If it gets people into the hobby, so what. Maybe yours were crappy, but out of the 10 versions of the porter the I have had were all solid beers.
    Kinda sounds like you are the one who should leave us to our hobby.

    1. Brian says:

      I didn’t mean to offend you, buddy. Having re-read it, I edited the shitty part out of the post. Thank you though, this was a good reminder not to insert unrelated biases into my posts, especially when I’m pissed off after work.
      Apologies – and cheers!

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