In Recipe


I've never brewed a Porter before so I figured I would start with the most basic of the sub-styles, Brown Porter. Brown Porter is characterized by the use of Brown Malt and in my opinion the lack of roasted barley.

I've never used Brown Malt in a beer before. It's basically a heavily toasted form of 2-Row malt. It's similar to Amber malt and is about 50-70 L and has very little diastatic power. Chocolate or Black Malt (or both) also contribute to the profile of modern Porters. There is a debate about whether roast barley is appropriate for a Porter. My feeling is that if it is used in a Porter it should be used sparingly. For me, the main difference between a Porter & a Stout is that Stouts rely heavily on roasted barley for the flavor profile.

In the past, Porters were made exclusively from Brown malt, however, it must have had more diastatic power in the past if it was making up 100% of the grain bill. The following recipe is based of Jamil Zainasheff's recipe, modified to use the hops I had on hand. I also did a 10 gallon batch split into two 6 gallon Better Bottles. One was fermented with Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire and the other with Wyeast 1318 London Ale III.

If you ever want a good base recipe either to introduce you to the style or to just produce a guaranteed good beer, I would suggest using one of his recipes as a starting point.

Porters and Stouts have a long complicated and sometimes intertwined history which I won't get into. Again if you're interested in the origins of the style I would check out the "Shut up about Barclay Perkins" website. I would also recommend the book, "Amber Gold & Black" by Martin Cornell which is a fantastic and well researched book about the history of beer styles in Britain.

Brown Porter (BJCP Description)
(6 Gallons, ~70% Eff, Tinseth)

OG: 1.050
FG: 1.015
IBU: 26
ABV: 4.6%
SRM: 25

9 lbs - Maris Otter (Warminster Floor Malted)
1 lb - Brown Malt
1 lb - Medium Crystal (Simpsons)
10 oz- Chocolate Malt (Simpsons)

2.5 oz Willamete (Whole Leaf) 4.6% @ 60 Min
.5 oz Willamete (Whole Leaf) 4.6% @ 10 Min
.5 oz East Kent Goldings (Whole Leaf) 4.7% @ Flameout

Yeast: Carboy #1 Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire (2 Liter Starter)
Carboy #2 Wyeast 1318 London Ale III (Washed, 6 oz Thick Slurry)

Mashed 75 min @ 150, 1.25 qt/lb

Pitched yeasts at 65 and let it free rise to 72

Tasting Notes (Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire):
Look - Dark brown/black with ruby highlights, 1 finger tan head with nice lacing
Aroma - nutty & fruity yeast but still clean, some dark chocolate notes and slight earthy hop aroma
Mouthfeel - Medium-full bodied
Taste - Very balanced with a full malt character that isn't cloying. Nice dark chocolate flavor, little/none roasted character, sweet bready malts, medium bitterness, slight earthy/spicy hop flavor

Notes (Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire):
Overall this beer surprised me. It's much more complex than I thought it would be and all too drinkable. I enjoy the occasional stout/porter now and again but I was never a huge fan of the style but this beer has me re-thinking that. It's also really well balanced between the malt, yeast & hop flavors. This is the first time I've used this strain so I'm excited to try it in some different styles.

Tasting Notes (Wyeast London Ale III):
Look - Dark brown/black with ruby highlights, 1 finger tan head with nice lacing (same as West Yorkshire)
Aroma - Fruity yeast esters but subdued (compared to WLP002), some dark chocolate/coffee notes and slight earthy hop aroma
Mouthfeel - Medium-full bodied
Taste - full chewy malt character. Nice dark chocolate flavor, roast coffee, nutty malts, medium bitterness, slight earthy/spicy hop flavor

Notes (Wyeast London Ale III):
Overall the London Ale III (LA3) batch was along the same lines as the West Yorkshire (WY).  The key difference I found was in the dark malt character.  The LA3 batch had more of a pronounced coffee flavor compared to more of a dark chocolate flavor in the WY batch.  The LA3 batch also had a little more fruity esters (although still restrained) and a slight mineral quality to it.  In the end I prefer the WY version as it was a little more balanced, however both yeasts made a very good Brown Porter.

Related Articles

Search This Blog

Powered by Blogger.