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Bring Your Porter

Bring Your Porter

Following his win in this years Haysenbrau competition, Lee Immins gave us an overview of how he came up with and developed the recipe for his multi-award winning porter.

London Amateur Brewers

September 20, 2021

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  1. What is Porter • Porter is a style of beer

    that was developed in London, England, in the early 18th century. It was well-hopped and dark in appearance owing to the use of brown malt. The name originated from its popularity with street and river porters. • The popularity of porter was significant, and it became the first beer style to be brewed across the world, and production had commenced in Ireland, North America, Sweden, and Russia by the end of the 18th century. • The history of stout and porter are intertwined. The name "stout", used for a dark beer, came about because strong porters were marketed as "stout porter", later was shortened to just stout. Guinness Extra Stout was originally called "Extra Superior Porter" and was not given the name "Extra Stout" until 1840. Today, the terms are used by different breweries almost interchangeably to describe dark beers, and the two styles have more in common than in distinction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_(beer)
  2. What is Porter • Porter was first mentioned in 1721,

    as a more-aged development of the brown beer already being made in London. Before 1700, London brewers sent out their beer very young and any ageing was either performed by the publican or a dealer. Porter was the first beer to be aged at the brewery and dispatched in a condition fit to be drunk immediately. It was the first beer that could be made on any large scale, and the London porter brewers, such as Whitbread, Truman, Parsons and Thrale, achieved great success financially. • Early London porters were strong beers by modern standards. Early trials with the hydrometer in the 1770s recorded porter as having an original gravity (OG) of 1.071 and 6.6% alcohol by volume (ABV). Increased taxation during the Napoleonic Wars pushed its gravity down to around 1.055, where it remained for the rest of the 19th century. The popularity of the style prompted brewers to produce porters in a wide variety of strengths. These started with Single Stout Porter around 1.066, Double Stout Porter (such as Guinness) at 1.072, Triple Stout Porter at 1.078 and Imperial Stout Porter at 1.095 and more. As the 19th century progressed, the porter suffix was gradually dropped. • The large London porter breweries pioneered many technological advances, such as the use of the thermometer (about 1760) and the hydrometer (1770). The use of the latter transformed the nature of porter. The first porters were brewed from 100% brown malt. Now, brewers were able to accurately measure the yield of the malt they used, and noticed that brown malt, though cheaper than pale malt, only produced about two-thirds as much fermentable material. When the malt tax was increased to help pay for the Napoleonic War, brewers had an incentive to use less malt. Their solution was to use a proportion of pale malt and add colouring to obtain the expected hue. When a law was passed in 1816 allowing only malt and hops to be used in the production of beer (a sort of British Reinheitsgebot), they were left in a quandary. Their problem was solved by Wheeler's invention of the almost black (kilned) patent malt in 1817. It was now possible to brew porter from 95% pale malt and 5% patent malt, though most London brewers continued to use some brown malt for flavour. • Until about 1800, all London porter was matured in large vats, often holding several hundred barrels, for six to 18 months before being racked into smaller casks to be delivered to pubs. Ageing all porter was found to be unnecessary. A small quantity of highly aged beer (18 months or more) mixed with fresh or "mild" porter produced a flavour similar to that of aged beer. It was a cheaper method of producing porter, as it required less beer to be stored for long periods. The normal blend was around two parts young beer to one part old. • After 1860, as the popularity of porter and the aged taste began to wane, porter was increasingly sold "mild". In the final decades of the century, many breweries discontinued their porter, but continued to brew one or two stouts. Those that persisted with porter, brewed it weaker and with less hops. Between 1860 and 1914, the gravity dropped from 1.058 to 1.050 and the hopping rate from two to one pound per 36-gallon barrel
  3. Porter Vat Problems • The London Beer Flood was an

    accident at Meux & Co's Horse Shoe Brewery, London, on 17 October 1814. It took place when one of the 22-foot-tall (6.7 m) wooden vats of fermenting porter burst. The pressure of the escaping liquid dislodged the valve of another vessel and destroyed several large barrels: between 128,000 and 323,000 imperial gallons (580,000–1,470,000 L; 154,000–388,000 US gal) of beer were released in total. • The resulting wave of porter destroyed the back wall of the brewery and swept into an area of slum dwellings known as the St Giles rookery. Eight people were killed, five of them mourners at the wake being held by an Irish family for a two-year-old boy. The coroner's inquest returned a verdict that the eight had lost their lives "casually, accidentally and by misfortune". The brewery was nearly bankrupted by the event; it avoided collapse after a rebate from HM Excise on the lost beer. The brewing industry gradually stopped using large wooden vats after the accident. The brewery moved in 1921, and the Dominion Theatre is now where the brewery used to stand. Meux & Co went into liquidation in 1961 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Beer_Flood
  4. What is Brown Malt • Brown malt was called so

    because it was relatively browner than the other malts and produced a brownish beer. The original brown malt had enough enzymatic activity to convert itself and was used for centuries as the base of many beer styles. • As the hydrometer came into common use, it was found that pale malt produced more extract per pound and was much less expensive to make. • To further brown malt’s demise, heavy levies were imposed on malt during the French Revolution (C.E. 1789–1799). • During the mid-Nineteenth Century, brown malt was still widely used but was being specifically employed for its character (e.g. as a specialty grain) rather than its fermentable product. • The greater amount of fermentables that could be drawn off a given quarter of malt made brewers focus on finding alternatives to brown malt’s character. • Using less brown malt reduced the character of the beer and it was left for the brewers to develop other ways to mimic the flavors and color of brown malt. Most were sugar-based (blackening of sugar), but some were roasted malt husk products, as we see in use today. Most of these increased the color, but did little to produce the astringency that one gets from brown malt. Brewers used many different spices ranging from coriander to grains of paradise, but more prominently liquorice. Sugar-based molasses and treacle products and a malt-derived concoction called essentia bine were the most common for adding both flavour and color to the beers. The death knell for brown malt was sounded with the creation of black patent malt in 1817. Although its use continued into the Twentieth Century, most brown malt had been replaced either by black malt or by various sugar substitutes.
  5. What is Brown Malt • Most brown malt made over

    the last 200 years has been of the non-enzymatic type. Originally brown malt was made from green malt. The green malt was removed from the withering floor (e.g., germination floor) earlier than regular ale malts. It was then spread out thinly over the tile floor of the kiln and heated moderately until approximately half the moisture was removed. The malt was then “blown,” the process by which brown malt receives all its peculiar qualities in the kiln. Simply, escaping steam puffs up the kernel and the continued high heat sets the kernel. This is accomplished by adding either straw or hardwood (oak or beech) to the kiln so the temperature climbs to over 200 °F (93 °C). This process was more expensive than making pale malt, due to fuel and labour. On top of this, it reduced the extract by approximately 20%. • Brown malts were originally dried with straw, wood and fern. Straw dried was by far the best, being used for only the best malt. Wood had a tendency to lend a harsh smoke quality and lesser quality malt was usually used for the wood-dried brown malt. It was common practice to use a great quantity of hops and to age the beer made with wood-dried brown malt 9–12 months to rid the beer of the unwanted smoke character. Fern dried malt was the worst, lending a tarry character to the malt, but for a period of time it was the most widely used because it was cheap and plentiful. This leads us to a very specific question. Did brown malt have a predominant smoke character? The accounts are quite spotty, but it seems that beers made with brown malt did not have an overt smoke character. On the other hand, the smaller brewers who malted their own grains did seem to have a smoke character in their brown malts. • As the use of coke became prominent, the way brown malt was produced and its character changed. The invention of the drum roaster nearly completes the progression of brown malt to its current form. It was roasted in a perforated cylinder in a cast iron casing. A low coke fire was employed and turned slowly and held at approximately 220 °F (104 °C). After steam escapes, the fire is increased, the malt is blown and the kilning continued until the desired temperature (320 °F/160 °C) was reached. Today’s brown malt is made in a much simpler way. It’s made in a direct heated rotating drum where the heat is brought up to around 266 °F (130 °C). The final time and temperature are based on the specifications of the customer. The malt is no longer blown, so will have less of the acrid bitterness that was once associated with the malt. Modern brown malts range in colours from 50–75 ° L. https://byo.com/article/brown-malt/
  6. What is Amber Malt https://homebrewanswers.com/amber-malt/ • Amber Malt is a

    traditional British malt made from winter or spring barley. Its principal function is to impart color and flavour to darker ales, especially to porters and stouts, as well as to old ales, mild ales, brown ales, and bitters, and to furnish these with some viscosity and a brownish head. Amber malt was a common type in the 1800s and widely used in porters, where it sometimes made up the bulk of the base malt. • For many years amber malt was unavailable, but specialty maltsters have started to produce it again due to demand from craft brewers. • Amber malt is made much like typical English pale malt, but after steeping, germinating, and kiln- drying, it acquires its color by undergoing an additional, brief, and severe heating step. In the old days of direct-fired kilns, this final step was carried out over an open fire, which also gave the malt a slight smokiness. Nowadays, the final heat is applied either in an air-heated kiln or, for a more homogeneous product, in a revolving roasting drum at approximately 150°C (300°F). When finished, amber malt tends to have a very low moisture content of perhaps 2%–3%, and its color is pale buff to copper in a range of roughly 40 to 65 EBC (roughly 15°L to 25°L). Unlike the old amber malts, modern amber malts have little to no enzymatic power. • Because of its intense flavour, which is dry, bready, biscuit-like, slightly toasty, and without any residual sweetness, amber malt usually amounts to no more than 1%–2% of a beer’s grist bill. Only in rare cases does it exceed 5%. It is often used in conjunction with such other color malts as brown, crystal, chocolate, or black malt, or roasted barley.
  7. BJCP Porter Styles •2008 Guidelines – Robust Porter https://winning-homebrew.com/robust-porter.html Beer

    Style Overall Impression Aroma Appearance Flavour 9C Baltic Porter A Baltic Porter often has the malt flavors reminiscent of an English porter and the restrained roast of a schwarzbier, but with a higher OG and alcohol content than either. Very complex, with multi-layered malt and dark fruit flavors. Rich malty sweetness often containing caramel, toffee, nutty to deep toast, and/or liquorice notes. Complex alcohol and ester profile of moderate strength, and reminiscent of plums, prunes, raisins, cherries or currants, occasionally with a vinous Port-like quality. Some darker malt character that is deep chocolate, coffee or molasses but never burnt. No hops. No sourness. Very smooth. Dark reddish-copper to opaque dark brown (not black). Thick, persistent tan-coloured head. Clear, although darker versions can be opaque. As with aroma, has a rich malty sweetness with a complex blend of deep malt, dried fruit esters, and alcohol. Has a prominent yet smooth schwarzbier-like roasted flavour that stops short of burnt. Mouth-filling and very smooth. Clean lager character. Starts sweet but darker malt flavors quickly dominates and persists through finish. Just a touch dry with a hint of roast coffee or liquorice in the finish. Malt can have a caramel, toffee, nutty, molasses and/or liquorice complexity. Light hints of black currant and dark fruits. Medium-low to medium bitterness from malt and hops, just to provide balance. Hop flavour from slightly spicy hops ranges from none to medium-low. 13 C English Porter A moderate-strength brown beer with a restrained roasty character and bitterness. May have a range of roasted flavors, generally without burnt qualities, and often has a chocolate-caramel-malty profile. Moderate to moderately low bready, biscuity, and toasty malt aroma with mild roastiness, and may have a chocolate quality. May also show some non-roasted malt character in support (caramelly, nutty, toffee-like and/or sweet). May have up to a moderate level of floral or earthy hops. Fruity esters moderate to none. Diacetyl low to none. Light brown to dark brown in color, often with ruby highlights when held up to light. Good clarity, although may approach being opaque. Moderate off-white to light tan head with good to fair retention. Moderate bready, biscuity, and toasty malt flavour includes a mild to moderate roastiness (frequently with a chocolate character) and often a significant caramel, nutty, and/or toffee character. May have other secondary flavors such as coffee, liquorice, biscuits or toast in support. Should not have a significant burnt or harsh roasted flavour, although small amounts may contribute a bitter chocolate complexity. Earthy or floral hop flavour moderate to none. Medium-low to medium hop bitterness will vary the balance from slightly malty to slightly bitter. Usually fairly well-attenuated, although can be somewhat sweet. Diacetyl moderately-low to none. Moderate to low fruity esters. 20 A American Porter A substantial, malty dark beer with a complex and flavourful dark malt character. Medium-light to medium-strong dark malt aroma, often with a lightly burnt character. Optionally may also show some additional malt character in support (grainy, bready, toffee-like, caramelly, chocolate, coffee, rich, and/or sweet). Hop aroma low to high, often with a resiny, earthy, or floral character. May be dry-hopped. Fruity esters are moderate to none. Medium brown to very dark brown, often with ruby- or garnet-like highlights. Can approach black in color. Clarity may be difficult to discern in such a dark beer, but when not opaque will be clear (particularly when held up to the light). Full, tan-coloured head with moderately good head retention. Moderately strong malt flavour usually features a lightly burnt malt character (and sometimes chocolate and/or coffee flavors) with a bit of grainy, dark malt dryness in the finish. Overall flavour may finish from dry to medium-sweet. May have a sharp character from dark roasted grains, but should not be overly acrid, burnt or harsh. Medium to high bitterness, which can be accentuated by the dark malt. Hop flavour can vary from low to high with a resiny, earthy, or floral character, and balances the dark malt flavors. The dark malt and hops should not clash. Dry-hopped versions may have a resiny flavour. Fruity esters moderate to none. 27 Historical Beer Pre-Prohibi tion Porter An American adaptation of English Porter using American ingredients, including adjuncts. Base grainy malt aroma with low levels of dark malt (slight burnt or chocolate notes). Low hop aroma. Low to moderate low levels of DMS acceptable. May show low levels of caramel and biscuit aroma. No to very low esters. Light adjunct (liquorice, molasses) aroma acceptable. Diacetyl low to none. Clean lager profile acceptable. Medium to dark brown, though some examples can be nearly black in color, with ruby or mahogany highlights. Relatively clear. Light to medium tan head which will persist in the glass. Grainy base malt flavour, with low levels of chocolate or burnt black malt notes, along with low levels of caramel, biscuit, liquorice, and toast notes. Corn/DMS flavour acceptable at low to moderate levels. American hop bitterness low to moderate and American hop flavour low to none. Balance is typically even between malt and hops, with a moderate dry finish.
  8. Bring Your Daughter To The Porter •A Robust Porter (BJCP

    2008) • Bring Your Daughter To The Porter – amber malt • Bring Your Porter To The Slaughter – brown malt • Bring Your Old Bat To The Vat – Oak and brett aged Year Competition Flight BOS 2015 Black Friday Gold Bronze 2016 London & Southeast Bronze 2016 UK Nationals Gold 2016 Black Friday Bronze 2017 Black Friday HM 2017 Brew Con World Series I Silver 2018 Hertford Brewing Club #1 The English Sessions Gold Gold 2018 Welsh Nationals Gold 2021 Hayesenbrau Gold Gold
  9. Recipe • Amber or Brown Malt for speciality flavour •

    Brown malt and amber malt are similarly toasted malts with brown being darker and more toasty and bready. Amber malt is lighter in color and has less of a pretzel-like flavour and more of a light bready flavour. • There is variation between maltsters • Crystal Malt for sweetness • Crystal Rye for a light spiciness • Cara-Pils for head retention • Mix of Pale Chocolate, Chocolate and Black to layer toastiness and roastiness • Mash at 66 – (recently increased this as per Shallow Grave) • 1060 OG, 60 EBC • Any bittering hop (recently gone for clean high alpha as per Shallow Grave). 35-45IBU total • 1or 2g per litre hop addition at 15mins for some hop flavour/aroma (mostly I’ve used homegrown for this) • Water – High calcium/bicarbonate typical – eg London! • Any ale yeast – West Yorkshire is my go-to English style yeast • Time – improves over 2-3 months
  10. Bring Your Daughter To The Porter 2015 2016 (Slaughter) 2017

    2019 (Old Bat) (Slaughter) Pale/Extra Pale (4) 70.5 69.3 59 69.1 71.3 Brown Malt (150) 14.4 12.5 Amber Malt 12.8 12.4 12 Cara-Pils (4) 2.6 2.5 2.5 2.4 2.5 Crystal Malt (150) 4.5 4.3 4.3 5.3 4.3 Crystal Rye (175) 3.2 4.3 3.1 3.7 3.1 Pale Chocolate (500) 3.2 1 3.1 3.7 3.1 (mash cap) Chocolate (1000) 1.3 2.2 1.2 1.5 1.3 (mash cap) Black (1280) 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.3 1.9 (mash cap) Mash 66 66C 66C 66C 68C OG 1056 1056 1056 1055 1061 EBC 59.4 60.7 60.1 57.7 62.7 IBU 37.3 43.1 34.1 34.8 37 IBU/SG 0.672 0.772 0.609 0.631 0.607 Hops Aurora Fuggles Pacific Gem Fuggles Sybilla Fuggles&WGV Vic Secret Hedgerow Colombus WGV Yeast West Yorkshire Ale Thames Valley Ale II London ESB Pacific Ale West Yorkshire Ale
  11. Recipe Ideas •Home-made blown/brown/amber malt •Smoked malt (Old Bastard annual

    synchro-brew near Guy Fawkes) •Wood ageing •Dark sugars (dark brown, muscovado, Piloncillo, molasses, Treacle) •Orange/Bitter orange •Chocolate/cacao nibs •Spicy adjuncts – Black Pepper/Grains of Paradise/Long Pepper/Chilli •Rye/Sorghum etc •Herbs – gruit, tonka •Mushrooms