The first batch of Coffee Porter was a fluke, a challenge from my wife to not add Brett to a beer for once. I accepted that challenge, kind of, and added coffee per her suggestion. It was so amazing that I had to rebrew it, and bring it on as one of my year round offerings for the brewery in planning. For this version, I fermented one half the same as before, using West Yorkshire, but the other half got "Brett" Trios (not actually Brett, just a super tropicaly Sacc strain). The purpose was to see if Brett could actually work as a house yeast for more than an IPA and Saison. Below is a side-by-side tasting of both versions. A real Brett fermented version will take the lessons learned from this side-by-side into account on the next re-brew.
Trois fermented Coffee Porter:
Medium low level of fresh coffee grounds jumps out to the front, followed by a low note of raw bell pepper flesh from the coffee. Below this are notes of cocoa powder, mild walnut skins, and burnt sugar. There is a low alcohol note in the background. Mild pineapple esters peak out as it warms.
Under a frothy and sticky dark-khaki head is a deep and dark black body with garnet highlights around the edges. Lace is clingy and weaves a beautiful pattern all the way down. Head persists through the whole drink sticking around as a thick cap.
As the beer washes over the tongue the first notes are cocoa and coffee. The coffee is restrained for 72 hours contact time, not as bold as I wanted it to be. Behind the chocolate and coffee is a subtle nutty character, but not as high as the West Yorkshire version. Rich medium level caramel and brown sugar comes through as it warms. Bitterness is balancing and cleanses the palate, but much lower than the West Yorkshire beer, mild hop spice note.
Medium body with a dry finish. No astringent roast character. Medium-high carbonation helps with the body to keep it from being thin, but this version could use a boost. A slight recipe tweak on the next one will help, and also shooting for a higher FG. Mild alcohol warmth. Nothing lingers, palate is cleansed after each drink.
West Yorkshire fermented Coffee Porter:
Very mild meaty note that gets out of the way for a big burst of Macadamia Mocha. Not a high end cafe Mocha, like a Dutch Bros or McDonalds cookie cutter drive thru Mocha spiked with Macadamia Torani syrup. Sweet, milky. Mild walnut skins, higher than the Trios version, a touch of raw bell pepper skin.
Same as the Trios version except this one stays thicker a little longer. It also pours with a bigger head, I think it is just a little higher carbonation.
Sweeter Mocha notes carry through from the aroma, much more drive thru sweetened and milked cheap coffee than artisan roaster. Coffee notes are much more bold in this version as well. Walnut skins pop out past the coffee at a higher level than the Trios version, and mild peach esters. Bitterness is more present and dominant in this version as well, not in a way that detracts from the rest of the flavors, but definitely less of a background note as in the Trios beer. Spicy earthy hop flavor is slightly higher too.
Medium full body, much more luscious and velvety than the Trios version, really good. Medium high carbonation gives way to a dry and bitter finish. As with the Trios version, the flavors don't stick around long, they wash away leaving a clean palate for the next drink.
Overall Impression of Both:
The coffee is much more artisan and less generic in the Trios fermented beer, but the West Yorkshire has a higher coffee presence. Some of the lack of body and creaminess in the Trois is detracting, need to get that luscious and velvety mouthfeel from the West Yorkshire to carry over to the Brett version on the next go (oats and higher FG should help with that). The sweetness of the West Yorkshire version made for an interesting drink, like a blended Mocha from Dutch Bros, just not what I wanted to craft. Definitely need to find a better coffee with a richer complexity. Both are enjoyable beers, just not quite where I want this recipe yet, but I gleaned a lot from these two beers to aim for that sweet spot.