Differentiate Porter and Stout

Try some of these great recipes out, or share your favourite brew with other forumees!
Graham
Under the Table
Posts: 1901
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:13 pm
Contact:

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by Graham » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:38 am

patto1ro wrote:Have you ever tried Porter brewed with hornbeam or straw kilned brown malt? You might be surprised how little smokiness (almost none even when the beer is young) hornbeam leaves. I now know why hornbeam was the preferred wood: it burns hot and evenly with very little smoke.
Straw works surprsingly well for kilning. I had my doubts myself. True, you have to be careful and keep throwing on fuel, but it can produce a lovely diastatic, dark brown malt.
No, I have not tried either straw or hornbeam, but I have tried beech and oak. I must confess that I deliberately induced smoke because I believed, possibly erroneously, that the final stage of brown malt production was to deliberately smoke the stuff. Even in the 1800s, when brown malt was kilned over coke, the final stage was to damp down the fire by throwing hornbeam faggots on the fire for the last hour or so. The only reason that I could imagine for them doing this was to smoke the malt with the appropriate flavour. I also suspect that the hornbeam faggots were still green, which would smoke profusely.

I found that the secret of inducing smoke, even with dry, seasoned wood, was to restrict the airflow. Once you get it smouldering rather than burning, it smokes well.

I also soaked my malt prior to re-drying and smoking, because I am convinced that all old-time malt went through a stewing process similar to modern crystal malt, and I was keen to replicate this process. Old-time malt was thrown on a hot kiln while still wet, and the enzymes would have been activated when the malt reached an appropriate temperature, producing sugars. Even old-time pale malt went through this stewing process, and all malts were kilned for very short periods compared to more modern practice.

Brown malt was kilned for four to eight hours, amber malt for eight to twelve hours at a lower temperature, and pale malt for twelve to twenty-four hours at an even lower temperature. These were very short times in comparison with modern, or mid-Victorian, pale ‘ale’ malt, which spends about five days on the kiln. Victorian, pale ale malt (notice the "ale" slipped in there), was thoroughly dried before reaching finishing temperature by starting off with the air at a little above ambient temperature and gradually increasing the temperature on a daily basis, until by day five the kiln was up to the appropriate finishing temperature. That is why it took five days or more. None of the old-time malts had this luxury.

Of course, the head computer in a modern maltings can arrange for temperature-stepped, dehumidified hot air the be blown through a thing resembling a giant tumble dryer and dry malt very quickly before kilning proper.

As an aside, throwing wet malt on a hot kiln would seal the exterior of the malt fairly rapidly, and the moist interior of the grain would turn to steam and expand, and cause the grain to swell. This is why, on a volumetric basis, brown malt would give apparently less extract than pale, basically because less of it would fit into a bucket. On a weight basis there was very little difference. The fact that the stuff was still diastatic indicates that the malt was not damaged very much. I also suspect that the maltster would have charged accordingly, so that there was little loss to the brewer. The cost of malt was based on the barley going in, not on what came out. The flow of barley through the maltings was very closely tracked by excise and if a bushel of barley went in, and more than a bushel of malt came out, then the cost would have been the ingoing barley plus the maltsters charge. The difference is that the brewer would have ended up with a bucket-and-a-half of brown malt compared to a bucket of pale malt.

I am not sure when brewers habitually took to weighing their grist, but Customs and Excise insisted upon appropriate weighing scales being installed in breweries in about 1814. Can't really remember the exactl date, but it was the same year that Britain unified its weights and measures system, and the same year that Excise adopted the "official saccharometer". I have to say that the installation of these scales were more for the benefit of the Excise than the brewer. From this point on Excise did their calculations on a weight basis, and it would have simplified matters and benefited the brewer to have done the same.
G.W.

patto1ro
Steady Drinker
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:21 pm

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by patto1ro » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:07 am

My book "Porter!" has recipes for 1848, 1859, 1921 and 1930 IBSt. Along with another 130-odd Porter and Stout recipes, most of which have not appeared in Let's Brew posts.

beernsurfing
Steady Drinker
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:31 pm
Location: Convict island ( Oz!! )

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by beernsurfing » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:43 pm

What an excellent thread!.
3v brewer since 04, fave beers all UK ales, mostly bitter, mild and porter.

Fuggledog
Steady Drinker
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by Fuggledog » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:48 pm

I don't know if its too late to chip in, but I found Mr Wheeler and Mr Pattinson's discussion of brown malt and methods of its production particularily interesting. About two years ago i was inspired by a recipe for 1700's 'Brown Butt Beer' in Randy Mosher's Radical brewing. Mr Mosher briefly discussed a historical diastatic brown malt, its modern unavailability, and provided a recipe using modern malts to approximate a historical beer. This recipe caught my imagination but i wanted to try 'the real thing' made with 100% diatatic brown malt. I read through Ron's blog, then looked up some of the references cited (including London and Country Brewer) as convieniently some of these are now available online (as scanned PDFs). I began a series of 'experiments' making brown, 'snap' and blown malts, following as closely as i could using limited equipment the methods described in period texts. this included malting feed barley and kilning it from green malt to finished product using oak as a fuel, using damp modern pale malt and drying it on three different occassions usings different woods (two cited as being used during the 1700's and one wood out of convienience - these were sycamore, oak, and hornbeam), using dry pale malt and hornbeam, and later oak, and finally dry modern malt and straw. The results were interesting and helped me to interpret some of these texts. in particular the process made me revist L&C brewer and look at earlier chapters on malting (prior to the section on kilning) - which is really important for understanding the whole process. there is a section that describes allowing malt to "wither" before transfering to the kiln if making brown malt, versus the treatment for green malt intended to be used as pale malt (although other sources don't report this, so i think there was quite a bit of regional variation). What i do know is If you put wet or very damp malt on the kiln it will swell, retaining diastatic power but unfortuantely becoming very differcult to effectivly dry. I also didn't achieve a 'crystal malt', although perhaps others would if intending to make a crystal malt. i was intending to dry the malt. it will seem dry until you attempt to mill it, at which point it becomes very 'cereal' like - soft and clagging up the mill. The same thing happens if you cure dry malt over wood then spray it with water when its resting/cooling. it makes the malt swell and look quite attractive (more like brown 'nuts'). If the malt is already 'withered' and thus needing some drying but not overtly 'damp', it can be dried reasonably quickly and then 'finished off' by ramping up the fire with a fast, clean burning fuel. Hornbeam is known (from my somewhat cursory search of the internet) to have been an ideal fuel for blacksmiths because it burns very hot, and very cleanly (i can't remember the 'blacksmith source' but it makes sense after seeing this wood burn). i found hornbeam behaved this way when i used it to 'finish off' various batches of malt. this process, at the end of the drying phase, results in a quite sudden increase in temperture on the 'kiln floor' (in my case a wire basket - so very small batches as Mr Wheeler mentioned). You know when you have the temperature right (without a thermometer) because the malt is not activly burning/smoking (which it can do quickly if too hot), but it will start to 'pop' or 'snap' (also described in some period texts) and produces a very pleasant aroma which is also part of the flavour profile of this malt. oak also works well for this process - sycamore, perhaps as expected, is completely rubbish and ruins the malt. my understanding of the hornbeam faggots is that they were bundles of sticks (not a faggot as we may think of for a fire at home - a small 'log' or chump). I don't know if these bundles were dryed or green. given that bundles of sticks were used, and hornbeam was known to burn hot and clean, it suggests to me that they wanted a clean, easily cumbustable fuel to produce heat - not a slow smoulder. However, the beers i have made using hornbeam, whilst intially not overtly 'smokey', still have some smokey character compared to modern beers. i wouldn't describe them as 'smoked', but they are not cleanly neutral either. The flavour is complex, and probably not that 'user friendly' for modern pallets (think scrumpy for someone used to keg cider). Straw is also useful for this process as it burns very quickly, and very hot - but as mentioned above does need constant monitoring and feeding into the kiln. i don't think straw could be used for the whole kilning process, i think it would have been used at the end to produce the brown/snapped malt which is a different effect that just leaving the malt to dry for a longer period of time (the high heat at the end flavours and colours the malt). straw cured malt produced a beer with less smoke but odd somewhat 'vegital, earthy and even cheesy' flavours compared to the wood cured beers. i am still working on these 'experiments' - but at the moment my preference would be for the oak or hornbeam cured 100% brown malt version of 'Butt beer' or early porter. My experience also mirrors an American homebrewer i have been in contact with who sometimes posts on this forum. We have both also experimented with non-diastatic, more highly kilned (and coloured) brown 'porter' malts for use in 1800's era porter recipes (See Orlando's posts on this forum for his experiences in using this brown malt in historical recipes - i think he won an award with a porter using this brown malt and a recipe from Ron's site). Currently i'm working on a 100% brown malt 'porter' blended from 2/3 'mild' porter and 1/3rd 'stale' (aged 12 months with Brett Clausenii). I would very much like to forward examples of these beers to Mr Wheeler and Mr Pattinson for their assessment and thoughts - as ultimately we are all in the same boat in trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together

cheers,

Ben

User avatar
orlando
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6627
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:22 pm
Location: North Norfolk: Nearest breweries All Day Brewery, Salle. Panther, Reepham. Yetman's, Holt

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by orlando » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:45 am

Terrific post Ben, one tiny plea for paragraphs next time :wink: . I have had some really interesting beers from the oak smoked malt you did for me. So far I have made Porters, a mild and a Brown ale with it and each one has been a very distinctive beer compared to using modern malts, I have taken them to CBA meetings and as you know other members have requested it from you.. The best one to date was a Porter that used the 19c style non diastatic malt used in a Whitbread 1811 porter recipe. Yeast was originally a Charles Wells strain.

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
40.00 l London, England Water
4.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins
4.150 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC) 73.5 %
1.500 kg Brown Porter Malt (circa 19th century) 26.5 %
60.00 g Goldings, East Kent [7.20 %] - First Wort Ho 48.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg Fat Cat Yeast (Fat Cat Brewery/Charles Wells Yeast
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Black Dog, Equinoxe
Conditioning: St. Petersburg (RIS)
Drinking: Golden Years, Mrs Worthington (White Shield Clone)
Up Next: London Calling, Gertcherbrewed
Planning: Winter drinking beer.

Fuggledog
Steady Drinker
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by Fuggledog » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:40 pm

hiya,

yes sorry for the overly-long ramble! hehe.. it is a really interesting topic. hoping to have a go at the 1811 later this year.

User avatar
seymour
It's definitely Lock In Time
Posts: 6480
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:51 pm
Location: Civil Life Brewing Co, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.
Contact:

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by seymour » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:22 am

Sad news for beer nerds: I just learned that Graham Wheeler, a legendary British brewing historian/author died November 30, 2017. He was a hero of mine, and at the risk of overstating it, much of my professional life's work is based on stuff I learned from him. He was a fiesty, cranky, know-it-all who I've since sided against on certain things, but still, we brewers of British-style ale are all standing on the shoulders of that giant.

If you're into this kinda thing, one of the highlights of my path to becoming a pro brewer was the day Graham Wheeler and Ron Pattinson got into a nerd battle on this forum thread I started.

User avatar
Jim
Site Admin
Posts: 9886
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:00 pm
Location: Washington, UK

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by Jim » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:38 am

seymour wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:22 am
Sad news for beer nerds: I just learned that Graham Wheeler, a legendary British brewing historian/author died November 30, 2017. He was a hero of mine, and at the risk of overstating it, much of my professional life's work is based on stuff I learned from him. He was a fiesty, cranky, know-it-all who I've since sided against on certain things, but still, we brewers of British-style ale are all standing on the shoulders of that giant.

If you're into this kinda thing, one of the highlights of my path to becoming a pro brewer was the day Graham Wheeler and Ron Pattinson got into a nerd battle on this forum thread I started.
He also transformed my brewing habits for the better. :(

Obituary thread here: - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=80157
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Philip K. Dick

JBK on Facebook
JBK on Twitter
JBK Newsletter Archive!

patto1ro
Steady Drinker
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:21 pm

Re: Differentiate Porter and Stout

Post by patto1ro » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:21 pm

I only met Graham the once. We got on well, despite our many arguments on the internet. He was one of the first to get seriously interested in historic brewing and inspired many others, me included. It's sad that he's gone.

Post Reply

Return to “Beer Recipes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests