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The La Cruda Porter Recipe

In the world of craft beer there’s a very close relationship between homebrewers and professionals. Most of the guys (and girls) in the business started brewing small batches of beer in their garage, and many continue to homebrew even after they’ve turned pro or retired from professional brewing altogether. As a result, brewers — paid or not — share a special affinity for the craft of beermaking that the rest of us as consumers and aficionados may not fully understand.

Today the National Homebrewers Conference opens here in San Diego and thousands of homebrewers from all over North America have descended on the county to meet, talk, trade tips and see for themselves why San Diego is the current craft beer capitol of the world (hint: a lot of it has to do with homebrewers). In honor of the conference and the homebrewers that make it what it is, our brewmaster/DOBO/COO Tomme Arthur chose to brew a beer with special significance just for conference attendees — La Cruda Porter.

La Cruda Porter

La Cruda, or Makanudo Porter as it was known back in 1996, was one of the first beers Tomme ever brewed as a professional. At the time Tomme was assistant to Troy Hojel, head brewer at Cervezerias La Cruda (roughly: “the hangover brewery”), a new brewpub in downtown San Diego. La Cruda’s brewhouse wasn’t quite up and running early enough, so Troy and Tomme approached another brewer, Skip Virgilio, the former brewer at Pacific Beach Brew House, about brewing a beer at Skip’s new brewery, AleSmith. Skip consented and the three proceeded to brew a robust porter recipe by Troy that they named Makanudo Porter (yes, Makanudo with a “k”).

It was the worst selling beer in La Cruda’s brief 12 month lifespan, but it also won a gold medal at the 1996 Great American Beer Festival — only the third medal to be won by a San Diego beer in the GABF’s 13 year history. (Oh, how times have changed…) Troy left professional brewing after La Cruda as did Skip a few years later. Tomme, of course, landed at Pizza Port Solana Beach to begin that brewpub family’s dynasty (one that continues today), and in 2006 spun off to found Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey and do it all over again.

In honor of the relationship between homebrewers and professionals, Tomme, once the homebrewer but now the professional, invited Troy and Skip, both former professionals and now homebrewers, to The Lost Abbey to brew “La Cruda” Porter for the first time in 15 years. Each NHC attendee will receive a bottle.

This Friday we’ll be posting a video of the story behind La Cruda Porter and the people who made it. In the meantime, if you’re a homebrewer and you’d like to give the beer a whirl, you will find the recipe scaled down to five gallons below. And if you’re not a homebrewer, you can still try the beer just by dropping by our tasting room where it’s on draft and available in 22 ounce bottles (there’s only just 70 cases though, so if you want some in bottles, shop early).

La Cruda Porter Recipe

Gold Medal, GABF, Robust Porter 1996

Recipe by: Troy Hojel (with Tomme Arthur & Skip Virgilio)
(Printer friendly version)

Ingredients for 5 gallons


(Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.)

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
81.6 10.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
4.1 0.50 lbs. Crystal 75L Great Britain 1.034 75
8.2 1.00 lbs. Crystal 150L Great Britain 1.033 150
5.1 0.63 lbs. Chocolate Malt Great Britain 1.034 400
1.0 0.13 lbs. Roasted Barley America 1.028 450


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
0.71 oz. Cascade Pellet 5.40 15.5 90 min.
0.81 oz. Mt. Hood Pellet 4.40 10.4 30 min.
1.34 oz. Tettnanger Pellet 4.50 1.0 1 min.


White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Ale

Mash Schedule

(All temperature measurements are degrees Fahrenheit.)

Mash Type: Single Step

Grain Lbs: 12.25
Water Qts: 16.00 – Before Additional Infusions
Water Gal: 4.00 – Before Additional Infusions
Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.31 – Before Additional Infusions


Saccharification Rest Temp: 152 Time: 60
Mash-out Rest Temp: 165 Time: 10
Sparge Temp: 170 Time: 0

Total Mash Volume Gal: 4.98 – Dough-In Infusion Only

Beer Specs

Batch Size (Gal): 5.00
Wort Size (Gal): 5.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 12.25
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Plato: 15.95
Anticipated SRM: 35.7
Anticipated IBU: 26.9
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

La Cruda Porter Recipe (printer friendly)

Here’s some “6 degrees of Tomme Arthur” for you: The first medal won by a San Diego beer was in 1994 — A bronze for a barley wine called Old Boneyards brewed at Pizza Port. Vince Marsaglia was one of the brewers. The same year A Pacific Beach Brew House won a gold for Belgian Strong Ale brewed by none other than Skip Virgilio.

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