Style: Chocolate Raspberry Porter
Tortes are a well-known European dessert, consisting of a multi-layered cake with different jams, icings, etc. in between each layer. The word torte comes from German, meaning simply, ‘cake’! The world’s oldest cake is a torte that found its origins in Austria. The cake itself was made from almost all ground almonds for the cakey portion, and it was kept moist by a red currant jelly. Since then, tortes of all varieties have come to dress the tables across Europe and here in the Americas.
For our take on a torte in beer form, we began with a base beer of an English-style porter. Porters are known to have a lightly bready, yet chocolatey characteristic to them to begin with, so we thought this would be a good place to start. To create this porter, we started in the mash with a blend of English Pale, Medium Crystal, Chocolate, and Carafa malts in the mash, where the grains were mixed and steeped for about an hour. We then brought the wort into the kettle, and mixed in some brewer’s crystals for residual sweetness, and milk sugar to lend a silky complexion to the overall finish of the beer. After coming to a boil, we lightly bittered the beer with a whisper of Magnum hops, and finished off in the whirlpool with just a touch of East Kent Goldings hops. After fermentation chugged away for about 10 days, we then added 360# of raspberries to the fermenter. A few days after sitting on the raspberries, we then added 20 gallons of liquified cacao nibs to enrich the chocolate flavour already present from the Crystal, Chocolate, and Carafa malts. After this, we then ran the beer to the brite tank, atop of a touch more lactose and vanilla, to mimic the flavours one would get in a vanilla icing. The finished product: a complex beer with robust notes of raspberry and chocolate in the aroma, and a very pleasing, dessert-like flavour. The elegant finish was achieved by the combination of use of the cacao nibs, raspberries, lactose, and vanilla. I had a ton of fun making this beer, and if I could serve it with a piece of Chocolate Raspberry Torte, I would! I hope you guys enjoy this unique and flavourful brew, as I thoroughly enjoyed layering flavour after flavour to round out a very eccentric porter. Cheers!