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White House Honey Porter Question

Just did my first batch this past weekend, using the small batch White House Honey Porter kit. My question is how dark should the wort be? I have it in the small BMB, and it is fermenting like expected, but the beer is not as dark as I would have expected it to be. I’m used to dark porters, and this one is more of a medium brown. My starting gravity was 1.036 after the boil. Took that after I added the honey, but before the yeast. Was that correct?

Pic of wort in fermentor

Yes, you take your OG prior to pitching. Your OG was a little low for that kit, listed as 1.054…so that might account for the lighter than expected color. No worries, you will have beer!

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Thanks, it is possible I misread the OG. I didn’t see it anywhere on the instructions that came with the small batch kit. Where did you get it from?

The 5G version, also extract, lists it on detailed instruction sheet on NB website. 1 G version should not be that different…

Og seems bit to low. I did made one few months. Ago. Color about the same. But did bumb up the grav to 1.060. Add extra dme. And did late add of lme about 20 min to the end of boil. But beer came out nice. Not really a honey taste must say. Think. Will plan maybe one day a all grain. Brew

So maybe the White House ales are just more orange now? :grinning:

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So I just bottled this batch, it wasn’t as light as I thought it would be, got 9 bottles out of the gallon, plus an uncarbonated “taste” for me. Turned out good, but the ABV was a bit low at just under 4%. I write that off to my low starting gravity. Overall, it was a great experience and I look forward to tasting it after the carbonation is done.

Thanks for the advice and guidance.

This is good to hear!

In your photo, I didn’t see a stick on thermometer (maybe it’s on the back side). If you don’t have one, consider getting one. Another thing you could do is add lines on the Little BMB to indicate 3 quart, 1 gallon and 5 quart.

Knowing how much wort is in the fermenter will help with understanding your OG/FG measurements.

During active fermentation, the temperature on the stick on thermometer will likely be lower than the temperature in the wort. How much lower appears to be specific to your environment. Some people claim 5+ degrees difference. I found mine to be 2-3 degrees.

Here are some additional ideas / notes based on a couple of years of actually brewing very small (one gallon) batches. I stopped brewing them at the start of this year and promised myself to stop talking about them by the end of March (Over time, I have seen that experience matters when giving advice on a particular batch size).

  • I haven’t see a one gallon NB kit that lists OG in the instructions.
  • Be careful about using the 5 gallon extract kits for missing information, they can be “close”, but they can also be “different enough”
  • There are ways to calculate an OG range for the one gallon kits (if you are interested, send me a PM).

When taking OG/FG measurements with very small batches sizes, very accurate water/wort volume measures matter. A one cup (8 oz) difference in a one gallon (128 oz) wort is a 5% difference. A one cup difference in the fermenter will result in a measurable difference between the estimated OG and the measured

When I first saw your photo in your original post, it looked like it had more than a gallon of wort in it. This image is a closeup of your fermenter (left side) with my fermenter and scale (right side). It looks like there was more than one gallon of wort in your fermenter. This would explain some (most?) of the OG measurement you took.

In the end, your first batch turned out good - which is all that matters for the 1st batch!

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