Every once in awhile, I stumble upon some brand new information (to me) which really blows my mind, alters my whole understanding of beer history, inspires creativity, and renews my excitement about homebrewing. This is one of those times, and full credit goes to Ron Pattinson (patto1ro on these forums), of the excellent "Shut Up About Barclay Perkins" blog and book series.
I recently learned that he collaborated with an American craft brewery to reproduce an historic India Porter. That's kinda cool. Good for them. Too bad they don't distribute…
Wait…WHAT!? India Porter? That's a thing? You mean us arrogant bastards didn't recently invent "Brown IPA" or "Black IPA" or whatever we wanna call it?! Well, as usual, our English forefathers beat us to it. Like 158 years ago, while we were busy killing each other with bayonets and sh!t. It turns out there really is nothing new under the sun.
http://zythophile.wordpress.com/2012/05 ... red-beers/
http://www.prettythingsbeertoday.com/wp ... pattinson/
Do yourself a favor and read Ron's whole background story, but here are some particularly interesting nuggets:
Well, I care. A lot. I'm all about Big Brown Beers of the people, for the people, and I know you guys are too. Now us hop-heads are vindicated: we're allowed to taste and smell some hops in true-to-style dark ales, too. Any bets on who'll get the credit in BJCP guidelines? I digress...We’ve all heard the romantic tale of beer being shipped half way around the world to quench the thirst of the British in India: the birth of IPA. But Pale Ale wasn’t the only beer sent to India: In fact, it wasn’t even a majority of the beer sent. That honour belongs to beer that’s been lost to history: India Porter…
…Why have we only ever heard of IPA and not India Porter? It’s all to do with who drank the beers. IPA was the tipple for officers, officials and bureaucrats. Porter was the drink of the ordinary soldiers. Like so much of British history, it’s all about class: It was the middle and upper classes who wrote about their experiences in India, so as far as anyone knew (or cared), IPA was the beer consumed. No-one really cared about the tales of the enlisted men….
So dig this: I asked Ron if he'd share the recipe, and he did. Understandably, this isn't the exact 1855 recipe he worked out for Pretty Things Beers, but it's an equally authentic recipe from 1867. What a guy, right?!
Power to the people!
1867 Barclay Perkins East India Porter
64.15% = 8.50 lb = 3.86 kg, Pale Malt
16.98% = 2.25 lb = 1.02 kg, Crystal Malt 60°L
15.09% = 2 lb = 907 g, Brown Malt
3.77% = .5 lb = 227 g, Black Malt
MASH at 152º F/66.7ºC
SPARGE at 168º F/75.6ºC
BOIL 90 minutes
2.5 oz = 70.9 g, Goldings, 90 min
2 oz = 56.7 g, Goldings, 60 min
FERMENT AT 65ºF/18.3ºC
STATS (assuming apparent attenuation 70.91%):