Thursday, November 8, 2007

2007 Porter Competition

Annual FOSSILS Porter Competition:

2007 Results
1st Place:
Scott Boyer - 23A Specialty - Smoked robust porter (Rauch & peated malt) - FOSSILS

2nd Place:
Brandon Jones - 23A Specialty - Oatmeal - Music City Brewers

3rd Place:
Phil Snyder - 12C Baltic - Music City Brewers

Honorable Mention:
Linda Swihart, Robert Wright, Lloyd Chatham, Kurt Brenneman, Jerome Grskovic - 23A Specialty - Robust, rye malt aged in Heaven Hill barrel - Tippecanoe Homebrewers' Circle

There were 19 entries, and the judges all agreed that the entries were VERY good. They said it was very close.

2008 Porter Competiton

Here is some information about the upcoming FOSSILS Porter Competition taking place November 8, 2008. Judging will start at 2:00 PM.

The rules are simple:
Two 12 ounce unmarked long neck bottles (stay away from embossed bottles and scrape the label off), for each entry. Multiple entries from the same brewer are acceptable. Please use rubber bands to attach bottle labels (see form below).

The bottle caps must be plain or blacked out. We will be following the 2004 BJCP Guidelines for Porter.
The beer must be one of the following: 12A Brown Porter, 12B Robust Porter, 12C Baltic Porter or Speciality 23 (Porter only).

All entries must be turned in to me on or before Nov. 6, 2008. I (Ed Tash) will be at RichO's on the 6th to collect entries. Entries may be sent to RichO's (see address below), but they must be received by Nov. 6th. If you have a conflict and are unable to get your entry to me on time, contact Ed Tash at We'll try to work it out.

If you are not planning on attending the FOSSILS Meeting to be held the night of the judging, please include a self addressed stamped envelope with your entry. This will allow your score sheets to be delivered sooner. If you would like to judge please let me know. This is a BJCP sanctioned competition judges will receive one judging point.

Starting in 2008, the brewer whose beer that travels the farthest to the competition will recieve a FOSSILS membership for one year. Please use and enter your home address and 3312 Plaza Drive, New Albany, IN 47150 as the ending address to calculate your total distance.

Mailing Address:

Rich O's Public House
Attention: Fossils Porter Competition,
3312 Plaza Drive
New Albany, IN 47150


Please attach this form to each bottle,

Brewer(s) _____________________________________________________________

Address _____________________________________________________________

City/State ____________________________________________________________

E-mail Address _________________________________________________________

Homebrew Club _________________________________________________________

Name of Beer __________________________________________________________

Style __Porter_________________________________________________________

Sub Style _____________________________________________________________
(Brown, Robust, Baltic, Speciality)

Speciality Ingredient(s) ______________________________________________
(For Speciality Porter only)

Base Beer ______________________________________________
(For Speciality Porter only)

Past Winners:
Scott Boyer Nov 10, 2007
Dave Howard Nov 12, 2006
Kris Walker Nov 13, 2005
Scott Boyer Nov 14, 2004
Bob Capshew Nov 9, 2003
Beth & Dave Howard Nov 10, 2002
Don Washburn Nov 11, 2001
Rick Sulivan Nov 12, 2000
Amy Baylor Nov 14, 1999
Amy Baylor Nov 8, 1998
Syd & Cory Lewison Nov 9, 1997
Syd & Cory Lewison Nov 10, 1996
Dennis Barry Nov 12, 1995
Stan Brown Nov 13, 1994
Dennis Barry Nov 14, 1993

2004 BJCP Style Guidelines ( for Porters:


12A. Brown Porter
Aroma: Malt aroma with mild roastiness should be evident, and may have a chocolaty quality. May also show some non-roasted malt character in support (caramelly, grainy, bready, nutty, toffee-like and/or sweet). English hop aroma moderate to none. Fruity esters moderate to none. Diacetyl low to none.

Appearance: Light brown to dark brown in color, often with ruby highlights when held up to light. Good clarity, although may approach being opaque. Moderate off-white to light tan head with good to fair retention.

Flavor: Malt flavor includes a mild to moderate roastiness (frequently with a chocolate character) and often a significant caramel, nutty, and/or toffee character. May have other secondary flavors such as coffee, licorice, biscuits or toast in support. Should not have a significant black malt character (acrid, burnt, or harsh roasted flavors), although small amounts may contribute a bitter chocolate complexity. English hop flavor moderate to none. Medium-low to medium hop bitterness will vary the balance from slightly malty to slightly bitter. Usually fairly well attenuated, although somewhat sweet versions exist. Diacetyl should be moderately low to none. Moderate to low fruity esters.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Moderately low to moderately high carbonation.

Overall Impression: A fairly substantial English dark ale with restrained roasty characteristics.

History: Originating in England, porter evolved from a blend of beers or gyles known as "Entire." A precursor to stout. Said to have been favored by porters and other physical laborers.

Comments: Differs from a robust porter in that it usually has softer, sweeter and more caramelly flavors, lower gravities, and usually less alcohol. More substance and roast than a brown ale. Higher in gravity than a dark mild. Some versions are fermented with lager yeast. Balance tends toward malt more than hops. Usually has an 'English' character. Historical versions with Brettanomyces, sourness, or smokiness should be entered in the specialty category.

Ingredients: English ingredients are most common. May contain several malts, including chocolate and/or other dark roasted malts and caramel-type malts. Historical versions would use a significant amount of brown malt. Usually does not contain large amounts of black patent malt or roasted barley. English hops are most common, but are usually subdued. London or Dublin-type water (moderate carbonate hardness) is traditional. English or Irish ale yeast, or occasionally lager yeast, is used. May contain a moderate amount of adjuncts (sugars, maize, molasses, treacle, etc.).

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.040 - 1.052
IBUs: 18 - 35 FG: 1.008 - 1.014
SRM: 20 - 30 ABV: 4 - 5.4%

Commercial Examples: Samuel Smith Taddy Porter, Fuller's London Porter, Burton Bridge Burton Porter, Nethergate Old Growler Porter, Nick Stafford�s Nightmare Yorkshire Porter,
St. Peters Old-Style Porter, Bateman�s Salem Porter, Shepherd Neame Original Porter, Flag Porter, Yuengling Porter, Geary�s London Style Porter

12B. Robust Porter

Aroma: Roasty aroma (often with a lightly burnt, black malt character) should be noticeable and may be moderately strong. Optionally may also show some additional malt character in support (grainy, bready, toffee-like, caramelly, chocolate, coffee, rich, and/or sweet). Hop aroma low to high (US or UK varieties). Some American versions may be dry-hopped. Fruity esters are moderate to none. Diacetyl low to none.

Appearance: Medium brown to very dark brown, often with ruby- or garnet-like highlights. Can approach black in color. Clarity may be difficult to discern in such a dark beer, but when not opaque will be clear (particularly when held up to the light). Full, tan-colored head with moderately good head retention.

Flavor: Moderately strong malt flavor usually features a lightly burnt, black malt character (and sometimes chocolate and/or coffee flavors) with a bit of roasty dryness in the finish. Overall flavor may finish from dry to medium-sweet, depending on grist composition, hop bittering level, and attenuation. May have a sharp character from dark roasted grains, although should not be overly acrid, burnt or harsh. Medium to high bitterness, which can be accentuated by the roasted malt. Hop flavor can vary from low to moderately high (US or UK varieties, typically), and balances the roasted malt flavors. Diacetyl low to none. Fruity esters moderate to none.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body. Moderately low to moderately high carbonation. Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth. May have a slight astringency from roasted grains, although this character should not be strong.

Overall Impression: A substantial, malty dark ale with a complex and flavorful roasty character.

History: Stronger, hoppier and/or roastier version of porter designed as either a historical throwback or an American interpretation of the style. Traditional versions will have a more subtle hop character (often English), while modern versions may be considerably more aggressive. Both types are equally valid.

Comments: Although a rather broad style open to brewer interpretation, it may be distinguished from Stout as lacking a strong roasted barley character. It differs from a brown porter in that a black patent or roasted grain character is usually present, and it can be stronger in alcohol. Roast intensity and malt flavors can also vary significantly. May or may not have a strong hop character, and may or may not have significant fermentation by-products; thus may seem to have an 'American' or "English character.

Ingredients: May contain several malts, prominently dark roasted malts and grains, which often include black patent malt (chocolate malt and/or roasted barley may also be used in some versions). Hops are used for bittering, flavor and/or aroma, and are frequently UK or US varieties. Water with moderate to high carbonate hardness is typical. Ale yeast can either be clean US versions or characterful English varieties.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.048 - 1.065
IBUs: 25 - 50+ FG: 1.012 - 1.016
SRM: 22 - 35+ ABV: 4.8 - 6%

Commercial Examples: Anchor Porter, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, Bell�s Porter, Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper, Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter, Portland Haystack Black Porter, Avery New World Porter, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Redhook Blackhook Porter

12C. Baltic Porter

Aroma: Rich malty sweetness often containing caramel, toffee, nutty to deep toast, and/or licorice notes. Complex alcohol and ester profile of moderate strength, and reminiscent of plums, prunes, raisins, cherries or currants, occasionally with a vinous Port-like quality. Some darker malt character that is deep chocolate, coffee or molasses but never burnt. No hops. No sourness. Very smooth.

Appearance: Dark reddish copper to opaque dark brown (not black). Thick, persistent tan-colored head. Clear, although darker versions can be opaque.

Flavor: As with aroma, has a rich malty sweetness with a complex blend of deep malt, dried fruit esters, and alcohol. Has a prominent yet smooth schwarzbier-like roasted flavor that stops short of burnt. Mouth-filling and very smooth. Clean lager character; no diacetyl. Starts sweet but darker malt flavors quickly dominates and persists through finish. Just a touch dry with a hint of roast coffee or licorice in the finish. Malt can have a caramel, toffee, nutty, molasses and/or licorice complexity. Light hints of black currant and dark fruits. Medium-low to medium bitterness from malt and hops, just to provide balance. Perhaps a hint of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Generally quite full-bodied and smooth, with a well-aged alcohol warmth (although the rarer lower gravity Carnegie-style versions will have a medium body and less warmth). Medium to medium-high carbonation, making it seem even more mouth-filling. Not heavy on the tongue due to carbonation level.

Overall Impression: A Baltic Porter often has the malt flavors reminiscent of an English brown porter and the restrained roast of a schwarzbier, but with a higher OG and alcohol content than either. Very complex, with multi-layered flavors.

History: Traditional beer from countries bordering the Baltic Sea. Derived from English porters but influenced by Russian Imperial Stouts.

Comments: May also be described as an Imperial Porter, although heavily roasted or hopped versions should be entered as either Imperial Stouts or specialty beers.

Ingredients: Generally lager yeast (cold fermented if using ale yeast). Debittered chocolate or black malt. Munich or Vienna base malt. Continental hops. May contain crystal malts and/or adjuncts. Brown or amber malt common in historical recipes.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.060 - 1.090
IBUs: 20 - 40 FG: 1.016 - 1.024
SRM: 17 - 30 ABV: 5.5 - 9.5% (although 7 - 8.5% is most typical)

Commercial Examples: Sinebrychoff Porter (Finland), Zywiec Porter (Poland), Baltika Porter (Russia), Carnegie Stark Porter (Sweden), Dojlidy Polski (Poland), Aldaris Porteris (Latvia), Utenos Porter (Lithuania), Ko'lak Porter (Poland), Stepan Razin Porter (Russia)

23. SPECIALTY BEER - Porter Only

This is explicitly a catch-all category for any beer that does not fit into an existing style category. No beer is ever 'out of style' in this category, unless it fits elsewhere.

The category is intended for any type of beer, including the following techniques or ingredients:
Unusual techniques (e.g., steinbier, ice beers)
Unusual fermentables (e.g., maple syrup, honey, molasses, sorghum)
Unusual adjuncts (e.g., oats, rye, buckwheat, potatoes)
Combinations of other style categories (e.g., fruit-and-spice beers, smoked spiced beers)
Out-of-style variations of existing styles (e.g., low alcohol versions of other styles, extra-hoppy beers, 'imperial' strength beers)
Historical, traditional or indigenous beers (e.g., Louvain Peetermann, Sahti, vatted Porter with Brettanomyces, Colonial Spruce or Juniper beers, Kvass, Gr├Ątzer)
American-style interpretations of European styles (e.g., hoppier, stronger, or ale versions of lagers) or other variants of traditional styles
Clones of specific commercial beers that aren�t good representations of existing styles
Any experimental beer that a brewer creates, including any beer that simply does not evaluate well against existing style definitions

Aroma: The character of the stated specialty ingredient or nature should be evident in the aroma, but harmonious with the other components (yet not totally overpowering them). Overall the aroma should be a pleasant combination of malt, hops and the featured specialty ingredient or nature as appropriate to the specific type of beer being presented. The individual character of special ingredients and processes may not always be identifiable when used in combination. If a classic style base beer is specified then the characteristics of that classic style should be noticeable. Note, however, that classic styles will have a different impression when brewed with unusual ingredients, additives or processes. The typical aroma components of classic beer styles (particularly hops) may be intentionally subdued to allow the special ingredients or nature to be more apparent.

Appearance: Appearance should be appropriate to the base beer being presented and will vary depending on the base beer (if declared). Note that unusual ingredients or processes may affect the appearance so that the result is quite different from the declared base style. Some ingredients may add color (including to the head), and may affect head formation and retention.

Flavor: As with aroma, the distinctive flavor character associated with the stated specialty nature should be noticeable, and may range in intensity from subtle to aggressive. The marriage of specialty ingredients or nature with the underlying beer should be harmonious, and the specialty character should not seem artificial and/or totally overpowering. Hop bitterness, flavor, malt flavors, alcohol content, and fermentation by-products, such as esters or diacetyl, should be appropriate to the base beer (if declared) and be well-integrated with the distinctive specialty flavors present. Some ingredients may add tartness, sweetness, or other flavor by-products. Remember that fruit and sugar adjuncts generally add flavor and not excessive sweetness to beer. The sugary adjuncts, as well as sugar found in fruit, are usually fully fermented and contribute to a lighter flavor profile and a drier finish than might be expected for the declared base style. The individual character of special ingredients and processes may not always be identifiable when used in combination. If a classic style base beer is specified then the characteristics of that classic style should be noticeable. Note, however, that classic styles will have a different impression when brewed with unusual ingredients, additives or processes. Note that these components (especially hops) may be intentionally subdued to allow the specialty character to come through in the final presentation.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel may vary depending on the base beer selected and as appropriate to that base beer (if declared). Body and carbonation levels should be appropriate to the base beer style being presented. Unusual ingredients or processes may affect the mouthfeel so that the result is quite different from the declared base style.

Overall Impression: A harmonious marriage of ingredients, processes and beer. The key attributes of the underlying style (if declared) will be atypical due to the addition of special ingredients or techniques; do not expect the base beer to taste the same as the unadulterated version. Judge the beer based on the pleasantness and harmony of the resulting combination. The overall uniqueness of the process, ingredients used, and creativity should be considered. The overall rating of the beer depends heavily on the inherently subjective assessment of distinctiveness and drinkability.

Comments: Overall harmony and drinkability are the keys to presenting a well-made specialty beer. The distinctive nature of the stated specialty ingredients/methods should complement the original style (if declared) and not totally overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and ingredients or techniques work well together while others do not make palatable combinations. THE BREWER MUST SPECIFY THE 'EXPERIMENTAL NATURE' OF THE BEER (E.G., TYPE OF SPECIAL INGREDIENTS USED, PROCESS UTILIZED OR HISTORICAL STYLE BEING BREWED), OR WHY THE BEER DOESN�T FIT AN ESTABLISHED STYLE. THE BREWER MAY SPECIFY AN UNDERLYING BEER STYLE. If a classic style is identified, the base style should be recognizable. Classic styles do not need to be cited (e.g., "maple smoked porter is acceptable). For historical styles or unusual ingredients/techniques that may not be known to all beer judges, the brewer should provide descriptions of the styles, ingredients and/or techniques as an aid to the judges.

Vital Statistics: OG, FG, IBUs, SRM and ABV will vary depending on the underlying base Porter.