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Turbo-charging Ruby Porter


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I've done a couple of batches of Ruby Porter now.  After 6 weeks in secondary, it's very drinkable but I find it a little light.

Had some with a mate who is a beer fan on the weekend and he confirmed my diagnosis:  perfectly civilised for a homebrew but lacking "chewiness" and a bit light on for flavour.

Anybody got any thoughts on how this might be customised?  I'm getting to the stage now where I'm game to start playing around a little.

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  • 2 years later...
1 hour ago, Weissbock said:

i don't have a droid yet, but from what I understand,  sounds like an extra E5 OR X1 would do the trick, perhaps both.

If you did both, about 7.5%. Few of those before bed. 😴Note:  as you don’t have the droid yet nothing stops you from buying a Brewprint print or ingredients and fermenting the traditional way.

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Ha!  changing my answer to:  add 150 - 250 grams of. some **dextrine malt!  

From the web:  "

**Examples of these malts are CaraPils, CaraFoam, and is sometimes just labeled as "Dextrine Malt". It will increase the starting gravity of your beer, but should not be used when calculating expected final gravity compared to yeast attenuation. If your homebrews just don’t quite match up to a commercial craft beer, try using a little dextrine malt. You may find the extra body is what you were missing the whole time.

Other grains can be used to add body in your beer, but instead of just providing body, add flavor as well.

Wheat malt will add a sweet bready flavor to your beer and give it some extra body to boot. Hefeweizens are made up primarily, if not completely, out of wheat malts. While not always the case, they can cause the beer to be more cloudy than other beers. This is sometimes required by the style, but can also be a fla, so be sure to check style guidelines for the beer you’re brewing.

Crystal malts can add some partially unfermented sugars to your beer resulting in a higher final gravity.  However there is a limit to the amount you can reasonably use in a beer as it adds a distinct candy sweetness that gets overbearing quickly. It also changed the color of the beer.

Flaked Oats are actually an excellent option for a rich body and mouthfeel. They are the primary driver of body in oatmeal stouts. You don’t want to use more than 30% in your grain bill as it can get gummy (think oatmeal), and greatly reduce efficiency, or even prevent you from collecting wort at a decent rate (called a stuck mash).

Rye malt or Flaked Rye is similar to oat malt in that it should be limited to 20% or under for mashing concerns. However, the flavor profile of rye is significantly different than that of wheat or oatmeal. Rye malt adds a strong spicy flavor to your beer similar to rye bread. This combos great with West Coast IPA hops like Chinook, CTZ (Columbus/  Tomahawk / Zeus), and other piney, resinous hops.

Body can be 'reduced' in beer by using highly fermentable sugars like table sugar and honey. Since alcohol has a lower specific gravity than water, sugar fermenting out completely will actually make a beer drier, not sweeter.

Yeast Selection

The yeast you choose will also play a role in the body of your beer. When researching the perfect yeast for your beer, look at the flavor it makes as well as the attenuation number. The attenuation is usually listed as a percentage between 68-85%. This number represents the amount of sugar that will be fermented into alcohol. The unfermented sugar is made up of longer chain sugars that are too complex for the yeast to ferment, increasing the body.

For example: If you started with a gravity of 1.050 (referred to as fifty points since water is 1.000) and used a yeast with 80% attenuation, your final gravity will land around 1.010.

50 (gravity points) * 0.8 (yeast attenuation)  = 40 points

1.050 – 0.040 = 1.010

A lower attenuating yeast will leave more suar behind and create a heavier bodied beer. For example, the highly sought after Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island has a final gravity of over 1.030! This a staggeringly high final number, but is acceptable here because of the high alcohol and lower carbonation, which needs a heavy body to balance it out.

What Gives Beer Flavor?

All elements that go into brewing play a role on the flavor of your beer. we’ll cover each below briefly, but for each of the four primary ingredients, there is a whole can of worms when it comes to the flavor contributions in your beer.


The chemistry of your water actually plays a big role in the flavor of your beer. And have water that is good for brewing chemically and free of off flavors will create a better beer. For example, If your brewing water has chlorine in it, you may end up with chlorophenols which taste like cherry medicine. If the pH is too high, you can get bitter tannins and a reduced hop flavor or aroma.

The chlorine issue potentially is the most detrimental when working with automated brewing systems that pull directly from your tap water supply. Odds are it has chlorine in it. You can remove chlorine by adding ¼ of a camden tablet for every 5 gallons of water. This will remove all chlorine and chloramines in water almost instantly.


When yeast ferments sugars, it creates alcohol, as well as other byproducts called esters. These can be good tasting like a mild fruitiness in an English ale, or they can produce a nail polish remover taste if the temperature is too high. The byproduct of fermentation (alcohol), also has a flavor contribution. High alcohol beers have an alcoholic warming taste too them which can be quite pleasant if there is enough body to back it up. However a very high ABV in a low bodied beer can taste off-balance.


Malt adds a large portion of the flavor to your beer. Different malts add a wide range of flavors from bready, to coffee, chocolate, and caramel. There are well over 50 kinds of malt to choose from for every batch of beer you make, and as long as you stick to your grain bill principles, you should be making great beer every time!


Hops add bitterness to balance out the sugary sweet malt. Hop additions, depending on when they are added, can also add flavor and aroma to your beer. Almost all of that tropical fruitiness in your NEIPA is derived from hop additions. Read about what each hop’s flavor and aroma profile is to see if you want to try it out in your next beer.  So there ya go!"

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  • 3 months later...
On 28/09/2019 at 2:09 AM, Weissbock said:

Ha!  changing my answer to:  add 150 - 250 grams of. some **dextrine malt!  

I am very new to this and have been wanting to do the Ruby Porter because I really like porters.

Please elaborate on this?  In other words, exactly how do I add this to my BrewPrint kit in the BeerDroid?

Do I just buy some of this malt and add the malt to the BeerDroid at the start?  Do I have to grind it up into a find powder like the other ingredients?  Do I have to steep it and then add the liquid?

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Adding about 2 oz of Maltodextrin Would you give your beer more body, but would add no extra flavor. To boost flavor without adding a lot of extra alcohol you would have to steep some malts and yes you would need To have them crushed When you purchase. You would steep them in about 2 quarts of water 160 degrees F for 30 minutes.  If I were you I would look up information on the internet about steeping the grains. 

To use maltodextrin and steeping grains. I would do them both In a pot of 2 quarts water.  Get your water to a controllable temperature Of about 160°F, Put the maltodextrin in And stir it till dissolved fully. Then using a grains bag add grains to steep 30 minutes. Remove grains after 30 min. Cover and allow to cool.

After this is all cooled down Add about half of your Fresh water to the droid, pour in the steeped stuff then top water off to how much your Instructions call for.  Now pour in the rest of your elements and finally yeast, close the top.

Perhaps easier... You could try adding about 1⁄2 a pack of either X4 or X5 to your droid To boost flavor a little. Since we do not know exactly which malts are in the X Elements You could end up with more of a stout than a porter So I would probably go with the X4.  If I were going to Steep some grains I would probably try 1.5 oz of Chocolate malt, Victory malt, Or even Caramel crystal 120 malt, Any of these would work well with either porter or stout. Again you should probably look up information on steeping grains.

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Hi Erik and Weissbock. I do a fair bit of steeping. If 100g or under I use a coffee plunger, works well and good for hop pellets as well. Purchase pre-cracked grains or place grain in a zip lock plastic bag and crack with a rolling pin, beer bottle or what ever. The crystal malts do well for Porter. I use 100g for a 10l brew.

I will correct Weissbock in “Now pour in the rest of your elements and finally yeast, close thetop.” The yeast must be sprinkled on top first then the ingredients if using the Brewart ingredients as they are in powder form.

(Maltodextrin is non fermentable (so no extra alcohol%) but gives body, mouth feel and helps with head retention.)

cheers Mark

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