John Frum

The boil

This beer is the successor to a previous porter (called Cargo Cult) that I brewed a while back. That beer turned out fairly well, but because the mouthfeel was somewhat thinner than I would have wanted, I decided to make a few changes to the recipe before brewing it again. In tweaking the recipe I ended up making enough changes that just about the only thing this beer shares with Cargo Cult is the style.

I brewed this in my shiny new brew kettle, a Bielmeier electric kettle, that I bought to replace the stove-top pot I've been using until now. Compared to my old pot this new thing is a wonder of efficiency, cutting a good hour out of my brew day just by heating up the water and wort more quickly.

I wanted plenty of malty roastiness from this beer as well as a fuller mouthfeel than I'd had with Cargo Cult. With that in mind I went with a selection of dark(ish) caramel malts as well as some flaked oats on a Marris Otter and Vienna malt base. I also used some TUOPPI Kaljamallas, which is a rye crystal malt from Laihian Mallas. It's intended for use in kotikalja, a Finnish, low-alcohol, unhopped malt beer. I figured it ought to add a fair bit of unfermentable dextrins and such, and thus contribute to a somewhat thicker tasting brew.

I mashed in high, aiming for a 67°C mash temperature. My new fancy brew kettle with its thermostat then held the temperature more or less there for 60 minutes at which point I began heating for a mash out temperature of 77C. In total I ended up with a mash time of just shy of 90 minutes. After sparging I was left with 26l of wort at 1.057.

The hopping was pretty conventional, with a bit of Magnum for a 60 minute bittering charge followed by two additions of East Kent Golding, a smaller one at 10 minutes and a larger one at flameout. I threw in 10g of Irish moss 15 minutes before the end of the boil along with the immersion chiller. I cooled the wort and siphoned it into the fermenter, giving me 21l of dark copper-coloured wort at exactly the planned OG of 1.060.


I'm fermenting this with Lallemand Nottingham which I rehydrated and pitched after aerating the wort for 20 minutes with an aquarium pump. I've never brewed with this yeast before so I'm looking forward to seeing what it will do. The fermenter went straight into the basement, which, at 18.5°C, is nice and cool compared to the flat.

Tasting Notes

Vital Details

Batch size: 21l
Expected OG: 1.060
Expected FG: 1.012
Expected ABV: 6.3%
Colour (SRM): 23.1
IBU: 30

53.1% (3.00 kg) Marris Otter
25.6% (1.50 kg) Vienna
5.3% (0.30 kg) CaraBelge
4.4% (0.25 kg) Flaked Oats
4.4% (0.25 kg) Kaljamallas (Rye Crystal Malt)
3.5% (0.20 kg) Special B
2.7% (0.15 kg) Black Malt

Magnum (15g / 23 IBU) @ 60 min
East Kent Golding (30g / 7 IBU) @ 10 min
East Kent Golding (70g / 0 IBU) @ flame out

Lallemand Nottingham