I just finished my winter beer. I usually do one dark spicy beer for the winter season. Last year was the “Better Not Pout Stout”, this year is the less excitingly named “Spicy Winter Porter”.

The recipe

This is a partial mash recipe for a 5 gallon batch.


  • 5 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter
  • 1 lb Patagonia 190
  • 9 lbs 12 oz Pilsner Liquid Extract


  • 1 oz Chinook for 60 mins
  • 1 oz Goldings, East Kent for 30 mins
  • 1 oz Centennial for 15 mins


  • 1 oz coriander for 5 mins
  • 6 sticks cinnamon for 5 mins


  • 2 pkg Safale American #US-05

At the end of the brew I recorded an original gravity of 1.068. I always use a secondary fermentation, which I switched to after 14 days. When I moved from primary to secondary I recorded a gravity of 1.036. I left it in secondary for about 4 weeks. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get any fermentation in secondary. Come bottling day I had a final gravity of 1.036.

The result

Drum roll please … Today is the first tasting day and I am moderately happy with this batch. I will definitely have to retry the recipe later this year. This beer came out fairly sweet with a spicy flavor in the back of the mouth. I was originally a little nervous about the cinnamon but it is not overly powerful. The coriander is subtle.

Bottom line

Ultimately, I always look at my winter beers as a my big experiment and this year was a mixed result. I think it is probably sweater than I would like. About a month ago I finished a red ale and I think I prefer that one over this porter, but I wont be sad to drink it :)


Letting the beer bottle age another week made a huge difference. The extra sweetness went away and the extra carbonation made a big difference for the mouth feel. I am now willing to give this beer a hearty thumbs-up! Just make sure you let it fully age before you crack one open.