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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

BaseCamp Breakfast aka Maple-Bacon-Coffee

The bacon
I'll be kegging my SCHF Split Batch Porter this weekend so I thought I would present some updates.  If you recall from my original post I set out to brew 10 gallons of beer to split and create two different beers.  The next two posts will cover moving the beer to secondary and kegging them up.   In each post I will talk about what was done to both beers and will provide the recipe if you only wanted to make one version of it.  The first recipe I will provide is for BaseCamp Breakfast aka Maple-Bacon-Coffee.

Bacon and beer, two traditional male stereotypes but could they work together?  It is a question several breweries have set out to answers.  I first read about bacon in beer in Brew Your Own when I was first getting into brewing.  They highlighted San Juan Brewing Co in Washington as an early pioneer of the concept which I have not had the chance to try.  I have gotten a chance to try two bacon beers on opposite sides of good, Rogue's disaster in a bottle Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale and Funky Buddha's wonderful Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

The beans
The premise behind adding bacon to beer is to add cooked bacon to secondary like you would hops. You want to cook off as much of the fat as possible so that you don't kill the head retention on the beer, something that fat does.  The technique that I used was to take a pound of thick cut bacon and cook it in my oven at 350 for an hour.   I used cooling racks over a broil pan so that the fat could drip down.  Once is was cooked I took paper towels and dabbed the surface to remove any additional fat.  I wrapped in a towel and set it aside.   If I did it again I'm going to cook it the same day I transfer and not before.

On transfer day I stuffed the bacon in a sanitized bag and submerged it in sanitizer.  I then jammed the sack into the secondary fermenter and racked the beer over it.  I have a bad feeling that it is going to be a pain to get out after kegging. The only thing that remains to be done is to brew up a batch of cold brewed coffee extract to add at kegging and toss in another 8oz of maple syrup.

Resting until kegging
The other beer half of the porter is on its way to becoming BaseCamp Dessert aka Bourbon-Vanilla.  BaseCamp Dessert as well as the base grain bill was inspired by Denny Conn's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. I put the recipe together by scrolling through about 89 pages of posts on Northern Brewer's forum to make sure I collected the best version. Let that be an insight to how I come up with recipes, I read - a lot.  I look for ingredients I'm familiar with, interesting ideas and most importantly feedback on how the recipe turned out.  This is also one of the reasons I like to post links back to where I'm looking at recipes, so that you can get a feel for what's out there,

The first step in creating this was to source and prep vanilla beans. I picked up four vanilla beans from Whole Foods, two from Uganda and two from Papua New Guinea. To prepare them I took them and sliced them into sections and scraped out the filling. This is where I screwed up pretty big as I've never worked with them before.  When the directions called to scrape of the fillings I thought it meant to remove it, so I sent most of the good stuff down the drain.  I realized this toward the end so hopefully I'll get some flavor out of what I left behind.  I then tossed the beans into two clean and sanitized yeast vials with some tequila to extract the flavor. When it was time to transfer to secondary I dumped the entire contents of both vials into the transferred beer.  

The only thing left to do on this treatment is add some quality bourbon upon kegging by just pouring it in. No spirit soaked chips on this one my friends.  I'll cover all that next week.  One last thing, on the original post I mentioned plans for harvesting and washing the yeast for a house strain of WLP007.  I didn't do this because I didn't really like how the fermentation went starting with the starter.



BaseCamp Breakfast
Robust Porter
Type: All Grain Date: 3/18/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Brewer: Scott Bennett
Boil Size: 6.97 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: SNB Brewhouse (Keggle and Cooler)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.078
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.0 %
Bitterness: 23.1 IBUs
Est Color: 35.5 SRM 

6.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
1.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
1.25 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM)
1.00 lb Brown Malt (65.0 SRM)
0.75 lb Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM)
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)
0.25 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
1.50 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM)
1.13 lb Maple Syrup (35.0 SRM)

0.50 oz Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
0.25 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min

1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)

1.0 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35.49 ml

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 14.38 lb
Sparge Water: 4.71 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 3.92 gal of water at 167.5 F 156.0 F 45 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.10gal, 3.61gal) of 168.0 F water


Maple Bacon Coffee
My Take
Add Pasturized Maple Syrup at Primary
Dry Bacon with 16oz of Bacon in Secondary
Cold Steep 8oz Coffee - Add to taste at kegging
Liquid Smoke - Add to taste at kegging
Prime Keg with Maple Syrup using priming calculator
The cooking and cool rack combo
Ready to go into the oven for an hour
Finished product
The next day
Into the bag it goes
Bagged and sanitized
Racking over the BACON!
Some of the prepped beans
Ready to go
The next dark, the color really darkened
Racking over the vanilla


  1. Hmmmm... bacon.
    Actually, I've only had a couple bacon beers ... both at GABF. Both were a bit of a disappointment. I am looking forward to hearing how yours turns out.

  2. You're an animal my friend. Bacon huh? Even I have some trepidation with that idea. BTW, Black Lingerie is all Papua New Guinea vanilla beans - they are very floral and smooth.

  3. The Bacon turned out to be a hit at the fest and was our first keg to kick.

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