Adventures of a Beginning Home Brewer

My First Original

In the past I have always brewed with recipe kits. You just buy the box of goodies. Everything you need is in there and in the correct quantities; grains, hops, malt, yeast, etc… I have manipulated these kits, like adding cherries to a stout or vanilla beans to a porter, but have always started with a kit. But, for this round it was time to go it alone! I decided I would invent my own recipe and make my first original beer.  
I wanted something different. I didn’t just want to make a stout or a red or something boring like that. I wanted something a bit more complex. So, I decided to make a Caramel Mocha Porter.
I have made a couple porters before, so I get the gist of it on a basic level. I really wanted the sweet caramel, espresso, and chocolate flavors to jump up front. Too many beers have that flavor you just barely notice as a hint during the aftertaste. I wanted more out of my beer.
I started the beer by steeping 1 pound of grains. I used ½ pound of Caramel 120L and ½ pound of roasted Chocolate Malt. I hope that with using caramel and chocolate grains the beer will take on… well, the taste of caramel and chocolate!
(Caramel on the left Chocolate on the right)
 
After about a half hour I tossed in 6 pounds of dark unhopped liquid malt extract. I brought that to a boil and tossed in an ounce of Willamette hop pellets. Then the fun began!
Like I said, I wanted the flavors of a caramel mocha to really pop in this beer. So, I asked my friend, Mark, to bring over his espresso machine. He cranked out 2 cups of espresso while I got started making a caramel by cooking some sugar with a little water. With just a few minutes left in the boil I chucked in the espresso, the caramel sugar, and some fuggle hop pellets.
 
After cooling the wort I tossed it in the primary fermenter, aerated it a bit, and added yeast. I have only used dry yeast before, but since this was my first recipe I made I splurged and got an Irish Ale Activator pack from Wyeast. I figured I kind of went all out on this recipe, why blow it on budget yeast.
(Irish Ale Yeast)
As we speak the airlock is bubbling and things are on their way! The verdict will come in a little over a month… Stay tuned!