Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foster.)

Discuss all things about brewing beer

Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foster.)

Postby PeeBee » Mon Jan 22, 2018 13:25

This thread seems to have quietened off again. I'll admit, I did originally post to it to cause a bit of controversy, but the controversy came from a completely unexpected direction! What I wrote was...

PeeBee wrote:... those by Ron Patterson <sic> (although I can't entirely agree with some of Ron's deductions). ...


...and it seems to have been ignored.

How could I say such a thing? Question the hard work by the great Ron Pattinson? I rely on Ron's work for much of my knowledge on brewing history as do many brewers. I do not question that work, but maybe some conclusions he comes to (if you read his stuff you'd know he encourages disagreements with some of his ideas - probably because he likes a good argument). And in relation to this thread my disagreement was about "porter", specifically smoke.

S'cuse me a moment. I'm just climbing onto this very high horse.

He states that maltsters at that time (2-300 years ago) could dry their malt without making it all stink of smoke. Which would be true. It is a mistake to think the guys back then were too primitive to do anything to a high standard. But it is not a mistake to believe the infrastructures were more primitive. Lots of small maltsters, not a few big ones like now, very limited inspection, and human nature being what it is so lots of people willing to take shortcuts to increase profit. Couple with that an attempt to make a product affordable to the skint masses and ... smoky porter. These guys are not going to use clean straw and expensive hornbeam when they can get away with second hand railway sleepers, mucky coal (not Trump's American "clean" coal) and other unspecific fuels.

So I think porter should taste smoky. Of course we can't emulate old porter because the smoked stuff we get is smoked for flavour (not to dry it) using good wood. The smokiness will "transmute" into quite a different and mellow flavour when subjected to the aging given to porter (some writers pick this as one of the reasons for aging, or "vatting", porter). But the biggest reason I think porter should be smoky: 'Cos I like it that way!
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby PeeBee » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:22

The forum elves have ripped my ramblings out of it's original thread and started this one in a more appropriate place: A good thing too, I was steering the original thread well off-topic (it was in the "Water" section).

But to give this some context (which it never had in the last thread either): I'm talking about circa 18th century porter which was made from 100% brown (or "blown") malt. The 19th century stuff was using pale malt (which was then being made in quantity and reliably). Porter still used brown malt but it was roasted darker to keep the colour of porter the same. The new brown malt had no enzymes as a result, more like the modern "brown" malt. Later came (patent) black malt, perhaps some amber malt and crystal malt. But no smoke flavours.

When I've got a bit of time I'll record what I did to get traditional "brown malt". I'll just say now I wasn't attempting to make the stuff from scratch (some real enthusiasts are doing just that).
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby CraftyTim » Tue Jan 23, 2018 23:02

Ahh context, always good. So to a simple brewer such as I, to make a Porter smokey, regardless of the other malts used to make ‘Porter’, is it not just as simple as adding smoked malt?

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy :D
User avatar
CraftyTim
Brewer
 
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 14:20

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby PeeBee » Tue Jan 23, 2018 23:28

CraftyTim wrote:Ahh context, always good. So to a simple brewer such as I, to make a Porter smokey, regardless of the other malts used to make ‘Porter’, is it not just as simple as adding smoked malt?

'Tis all I did. Two kilos of Warminster in a 45L batch. After four months it was very definitely there as an "old-living-room" mellowness. Put more in and you may have to wait longer? I'd been using the Warminster smoked malt for a while, so had an idea how much I'd need to get what I wanted.
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby jaroporter » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:29

c'mon peebs, you're tryin to start a fire with no firewood..

ron draws his conclusions with evidence and wide experience of the subject. i actually have no problem believing that what you're saying could have been true in many cases. it's not really a radical or new view and probably quite likely. but if you want to go to war on it you're going to need more than a rumour of WMD's. :nono:

some contemporary accounts would be a good place to start. malting records, ledgers, dodgy tabloid exposés..

the floor is yours, but you better jump on it 'cause the audience is a little restless.. the pubs are opening and there's not really been an opening statement made yet. no facts, just appeals to sentiment..

:D
User avatar
jaroporter
Brewer
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 13:21

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 19:10

Has anyone approached some of the older maltsters for comment? They should have a good idea of how their malts ended up.

Also consider that porters were routinely aged for a year, then mixed with young beer and you get an idea of how porter would’ve tasted (and smelt). Much of the smokiness would certainly have subsided by that point imo. Plus you’d have the influence of Brett giving funky notes and thinning the body of the beer.

I doubt porter in those days was anything like we are familiar with today.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
User avatar
HTH1975
Brewer
 
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 19:16
Location: Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby PeeBee » Wed Jan 24, 2018 19:16

jaroporter wrote:c'mon peebs, you're tryin to start a fire with no firewood..

ron draws his conclusions with evidence and wide experience of the subject. i actually have no problem believing that what you're saying could have been true in many cases. it's not really a radical or new view and probably quite likely. ...


I wasn't trying to start a fire :scratch: . Honest. And what I was talking about wasn't radical or new; I know that. It was Ron's statements on one little subject that were radical and I was disagreeing with them.

jaroporter wrote:... but if you want to go to war on it you're going to need more than a rumour of WMD's. :nono:

some contemporary accounts would be a good place to start. malting records, ledgers, dodgy tabloid exposés..

the floor is yours, but you better jump on it 'cause the audience is a little restless.. the pubs are opening and there's not really been an opening statement made yet. no facts, just appeals to sentiment..

:D

"Go to war"? No thanks. Nor do I want to dredge through ledges, etc., cos Ron's doing a perfectly adequate job of that and it wouldn't be practical for me to try. My arguments were 'social-anthropological' and as such are way more open to opinion. But I'll take your nudge to get on with what I was leading up to and publish my take on the subject. Flip, more work ... you'll have to be a little more patient. There is no opening statement because this post has been relocated from another tread.
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:37

dredge through ledges
!

If you do that it will taste like pidgeon shit :rofl:

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin
User avatar
INDIAPALEALE
Brewer
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:37
Location: Gascony France

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby PeeBee » Fri Jan 26, 2018 13:46

INDIAPALEALE wrote:
dredge through ledges
!

If you do that it will taste like pidgeon shit :rofl:

Picky so-an'-so! Okay may hand is a bit unreliable and I don't always hit the keys hard enough. What's your excuse for hitting the "d" when you don't want it? :twisted:
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Fri Jan 26, 2018 17:45

Shame Bilbo Baggins is not a homebrewer. He had an effective way of dealing with TROLLS :clap:

There is nothing wrong with spelling pigeon as pidgeon it may be an archaic form usually reserved these days for use as a nom de famille but a valid spelling none the less. I am very old and I often use words that are no longer in common usage as I have just SHEWN. :thumb:

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin
User avatar
INDIAPALEALE
Brewer
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:37
Location: Gascony France

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby PeeBee » Fri Jan 26, 2018 19:40

INDIAPALEALE wrote:Shame Bilbo Baggins is not a homebrewer. He had an effective way of dealing with TROLLS :clap:

There is nothing wrong with spelling pigeon as pidgeon it may be an archaic form usually reserved these days for use as a nom de famille but a valid spelling none the less. I am very old and I often use words that are no longer in common usage as I have just SHEWN. :thumb:

"Pidgeon"? Bah, your explanation adds up so I'll have to go with it. I'll drink a few more glasses of archaic styled porter to get in the mood.

I'm still writing up my ideas of reproducing ancient porter, nearly done, but as my arguments will back up the "pidgeon" spelling too I'd best not disagree with it. Sorry for the delay getting this thread going again, but the unexpected relocation of my original post has suddenly exposed me to critical eyes and caught me on the hop.
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby CraftyTim » Sat Jan 27, 2018 02:10

I mean really, they waited a year? they didn’t live long enough in those days to have a year to wait. It must have been some pretty special Porter was it only reserved for Davos?

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy :D
User avatar
CraftyTim
Brewer
 
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 14:20

Porter Discussion (holistic approach!)

Postby PeeBee » Sat Jan 27, 2018 17:10

I've committed myself to describing how I think traditional brown malt should be emulated, and therefore my take on an 18th century porter. This is more of a "Blog" post than a forum post, never mind.

This is going to take two shots. The first is the rational; WARNING, this is going to get a bit kooky! No-one can really say what true 18th century porter tasted like. Even whether it was served as one beer from a single cask is debateable now. But many folk have an image of what it was like. So, people with different opinions = raging arguments. There are people reading this that are just itching for an argument. Sorry, I'm going to disappoint you.

But there are the established and inarguable facts that must be got right.

If I was developing a historical (18th century) estimate of what porter was then I'd have to go about it by reading up published information, like from Ron Pattinson. Then research the facts further and base my recipe on it being exactly that. But I'm not, nor could I. I'll read up on what I can (mainly from Ron's work, Durden Park Beer Circle, CAMRA "Homebrew Classics" publication and other sources) and then build up my own imagination of what porter should taste like and go from there. We all apply this technique to all sorts of things without really being aware of it. So it'll be wrong? Possibly. But no-one can really say that! They might modify how to think so as to have you design it differently next time ... or they might not.

Avoid some of the obviously fanciful information, such as that spouted by the American BJCP, so as to keep things moderately in the realms of reality. You won't find "historical" British porter amongst the BJCP descriptions anyway, just lunatic descriptions of "robust porter", "english porter", "brown stout", RIS, "baltic porter" and other distorted ramblings.

The historical bit is fairly easy because a fair few folk have already done that work for you. Like it will be made from 100% brown malt. It was matured for quite a long time, not at the Pub which left actual times up to the landlord, but at the brewery (matured for maybe a year or more). It will have fairly high hop levels to survive the extended maturing times (by the 18th century they had figured out that hops helped beer to keep even if they didn't know why). When you've finally got your porter to serve, don't look to "kegging tables" and the like or you really will be entering "Neverland" - Porter was sold from casks with cask levels of carbonation (if any), because there wasn't much option for anything else back then (well glass and stoneware bottles were available but inconvenient, likely to explode, expensive and, just not used much for this purpose; yet).

Looking at Durden Park Beer Circle's "original (1750) porter" recipe, which was my inspiration behind this project, (http://www.durdenparkbeer.org.uk/recipes.html#Original%20Porter it is no longer in their 3rd edition book, probably because it didn't meet with their "authenticity" criteria) we get a suggestion of OG90 (!) and about 66IBUs. I think I'll moderate the OG, OG70 will do, and aim for about 60IBU. This will still fit with a common porter description mentioned by Durden Park Beer Circle of "black, strong, bitter and nutritious". Nutritious?

This is where it gets kooky and enters the realms of "holistic".

So to make something like porter I need a connection with the past: Memories of granny's living room - not my granny (Naini) who lived along way-a-way in a "modern" 50's bungalow, but a mate's Gran who lived local in an old small terrace heated only by coal fire. The memory of the atmosphere and smells of these places help find that connection to a past. Problem; this is only connecting with late Victorian, or Edwardian, period of porter, certainly not 18th century, but I'm only after an impression in my head. Youngsters may only have a connection going back to the Wars, but telly fills in a fair bit of expectation for everyone, young and old (right or wrong, not really the point here). Of course, if you don't live in the UK you cannot build the required connections with the past, which sort of explains the abominations that filter out of America (which some UK brewers unfortunately copy). But more places than the UK historically produced porter, the UK was just the first and 18th century UK porter is what I'm trying to make.

So, we've got into our head what it's going to be like. We've read up how the required "brown malt" is made. We've figured we can't obtain the required "brown malt" and can't be arsed trying to make it (which is no guarantee of success anyway). Next...
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby Aleman » Sat Jan 27, 2018 17:21

Nice start PeeBee, I will admit that I have had several 'discussions' with fans of Ron and also from the DP beer circle regarding 'smokiness' of brown malt. Like you I also agree that some needs to be prevalent, although with the extended cask (and later Porter vat of the 1900's) aging that character would probably have faded to a significant degree.

FWIW The Original Porter Recipe was probably not included in the 3rd edition, because they had worked on decoding an additional load of recipes from other brewing ledgers, something had to give. :) ... I've made Durden Parks 'Pale Amber' malt in quantities suitable for a 20L batch, I'm not sure I'd want to do so with Brown ... although diastaic amber malt is available from some suppliers ... unfortunately not the authentic 17th Century article though ... I do wonder If I can add the required smokeiness using the cold smoking kit on my ProQ though ... That would give me the option of trying loads of different smoke sources

please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
Albert Einstein wrote:Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
User avatar
Aleman
Curmudgeonly Brewer
 
Posts: 2859
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 00:28
Location: Mashing In Blackpool, Lancs, UK

Porter Discussion (holistic approach!)

Postby PeeBee » Sat Jan 27, 2018 17:27

Porter was made from 100% brown malt. Brown malt was most likely a "shortcut" in malt production to keep it cheap and plentiful (compared to artisan "country" producers, whose techniques were quite impractical in the expanding cities). Brown malt was dried fast using high temperatures, just being careful not to burn down the... oops, there goes another malt-house. It was scorched and pretty brown in colour. Unlike modern malt the old malt grains would have been subject to varying temperature throughout the grain bed being heated. The high temperature and damp grain would cause some malt to "pop" or be "blown" (or "explode", to make it more dramatic). There are some suggestions that some of the grain "stewed" during the process to produce something akin to crystal malt within the grain bed (basiclly "mashed" insitu). This suggestion is taken further by some suggesting quite a high proportion "stewed" and the end result was sold as "porter malt" - I can believe this as it suggests further "shortcutting" ending up with an inferior product which rather than being ditched is sold as an advancement - would never happen in commerce today would it!

There's a writeup of traditional brown malt production here: http://www.beeretseq.com/new-insight-into-brown-malt-and-1700s-porter/. But we needn't rely on this to decide what's best, it just makes an interesting read.

So how do I emulate this (I can't be bothered to try making it from scratch). Old brown malt was diastatic so I'll start with modern day Pale Malt. Making brown malt will have resulted in a fairly random range of roasts, so I'll cut the Pale Malt with Extra Pale ("Low Colour" or "Lager") Malt, "Munich" Malt and Mild Ale Malt. And because I'm convinced I need smoke flavour I'll further cut it with a Smoked Malt. This gives:

25.5% Warminster Maltings Pale Malt
21.0% Warminster Maltings Low Colour Pale Malt
15% Warminster Maltings Smoked Malt
14% Warminster Maltings Mild Ale Malt
2% Warminster Maltings Munich Malt

I used Warminster Maltings malt because that is what I had and from previous experience I could estimate the amount of "smokiness" I'd get from the smoked malt. The quantities are pretty random to reflect the randomness of roasting in the historic stuff. Determining the "random" quantities was easy; it's what I had left in stock!

You can probably see where I'm going with this. I was pleased with myself devising this approach to emulating traditional brown malt, but have since found out this is more or less how Meantime went about formulating their "London Porter" (can't seem to get it any more). http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/post1640/. Ideas are never "new".

Now for colour and "roastiness". I believe the (modern) brown malt is important because it is strongly flavoured and I don't want to miss out on that. I'm not bothering with the dehusked dark malts to reduce bitterness, because I won't be using much:

6.0% Warminster Maltings Amber Malt
7.0% Warminster Maltings Brown Malt
2.5% Warminster Maltings Chocolate Malt
1.5% Warminster Maltings Black Malt

And finally, to pay lip service to the "stewing" ideas (and add a bit of extra flavour):

2.5% Warminster Maltings Crystal Malt
1.0% Warminster Maltings Crystal, High Colour, Malt
2.0% Warminster Maltings Crystal, Extra High Colour, Malt

I mashed at 67C for 75 minutes, raising temp towards 75C in last 15 minutes. I'd dropped my brewhouse efficiency expectations to compensate for high gravity and fairly old (left-overs) malt. It was sparged, which isn't historically correct but what the hell.

Boiled for 60 minutes with East Kent Goldings (whole) to give 81 calculated IBUs, but the IBU contribution wasn't reduced to account for hop aging (2/3rd were a year old, 1/3rd left-overs and two years old). No late hops.

Fermented with Wyeast #1099 (Whitbread Yeast) which is a pretty old strain and not very attentuative. Pitched at 16C, allowed to rise to 19C to complete primary ferment (4 days), then cooled to 14C. OG70, FG18, about 72/73% attenuation.

Casked after just over two weeks and primed for about 1.3 volumes CO2. Matured 3 months. Served on hand-pump (not really historically accurate - hand-pumps were invented by the 18th century but not properly developed until the 19th century), maintaining a scrap of CO2 top-pressure (2PSI).

Not like any beer I've ever come across! Very strongly flavoured, near enough addictive. Black, not brown (it's actually very deep red) so next time could throttle back on the roast malts. Not at all as bitter as I was expecting which was surprising, some bitter "harshness" from roast malt detectable but not an issue. Very slight "prickle" from the carbonation. Smokiness is subdued and mellowed as expected and adding very much to my perceived "oldness" of the beer. But its just reinforced my idea of what porter might have been like, even less reason to believe (in the short term) some of the newer ideas of what it was.

What of "coffee", "chocolate", "vanilla" and other wierd and wonderful flavours that often get added to "porter" these days? Obviously they are undeniably historically incorrect, but I think you could even add a vindaloo curry to this recipe (a "black IPA"? Geesh) and you wouldn't notice - it really is that powerfully flavoured!

Things I might do differently next time: Up the hops just a little bit (10-15%). Reduce carbonation, holding to 0.75 - 1.0 PSI. Reduce more strongly roasted malts (chocolate and black) by about 1/3rd.

(EDIT: Having started the second cask, I go back on the suggestion to add 10-15% more hops. It is quite bitter enough as it is. May be due to the initial higher carbonation of the new cask? May be because it is not currently being served on hand-pump and the mellowing effect they have, yet?)

Last edited by PeeBee on Sun Jan 28, 2018 15:05, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby PeeBee » Sat Jan 27, 2018 17:36

Aleman wrote:Nice start PeeBee, I will admit that I have had several 'discussions' with fans of Ron and also from the DP beer circle regarding 'smokiness' of brown malt. Like you I also agree that some needs to be prevalent, although with the extended cask (and later Porter vat of the 1900's) aging that character would probably have faded to a significant degree.

FWIW The Original Porter Recipe was probably not included in the 3rd edition, because they had worked on decoding an additional load of recipes from other brewing ledgers, something had to give. :) ... I've made Durden Parks 'Pale Amber' malt in quantities suitable for a 20L batch, I'm not sure I'd want to do so with Brown ... although diastaic amber malt is available from some suppliers ... unfortunately not the authentic 17th Century article though ... I do wonder If I can add the required smokeiness using the cold smoking kit on my ProQ though ... That would give me the option of trying loads of different smoke sources

Thanks.

"Nice start", it's all done now so I hope you can think "nice finish"? I have a suspicion some people are going to be disappointed.
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby Aleman » Sat Jan 27, 2018 20:17

Yeah, Nice finish too. Porters were big bold beers, and dark beers hide a lot of sins :whistle: I remember a group of us converting the 1885 Ushers Stout, and ended up with quite a varied grain bill, although simpler than yours. I can appreciate a use up bill, but if it was me, The Mild and Munich are similar malts, so I'd probably drop the Munich, (even though it's one of my "secret weapon" malts ;) ) Knowing how strongly flavoured Crystal malts are, again I'd simplify the bill by dropping the two lighter colour ones. ... This is one of those beers that is just begging for ageing in a wooden cask for 6 months and then being put on with a fresh cask, and mixed Mild and "Sour" or "Old"

That diastatic amber malt in my post should obviously read diastatic BROWN malt! Seem to have amber on the brain :lol:

please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
Albert Einstein wrote:Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
User avatar
Aleman
Curmudgeonly Brewer
 
Posts: 2859
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 00:28
Location: Mashing In Blackpool, Lancs, UK

Re: Porter Discussion (Was Porter water profile. Terry Foste

Postby PeeBee » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:39

Aleman wrote:... I can appreciate a use up bill, but if it was me, The Mild and Munich are similar malts, so I'd probably drop the Munich, ...

Which reminds me: I left out a big chunk to explain how I arrived at such a complex grain bill (apart from just using up left-overs).

"Brown malt" was created by a fairly hap-hazard method which didn't create an even colouring throughout. You can draw this as a distribution curve (positive skew) thus:

Brown Malt.jpg
Brown Malt.jpg (14.66 KiB) Viewed 1818 times


Modern malts have a much stricter EBC "distribution curve", forming just a spike on the graph. So I just crammed a number of these "spikes" on a graph so that they collectively form a similar curve to that following a rough idea of what "brown malt" curve was. I didn't literally draw a graph, just formed one in my head. So most malt would be pale (diastatic) tailing off in quantity towards black.

Similar malts like Munich and Mild could just be clumped together as one.

Aleman wrote:... Knowing how strongly flavoured Crystal malts are, again I'd simplify the bill by dropping the two lighter colour ones. ...

I was a bit lax with the crystal. Just choosing about 5% because I knew that wouldn't create an over-whelming flavour. But I didn't take into account the influence of the high roast crystals which I was adding a significant amount of. I didn't include crystal as part of my roast distribution "calculations" either.

Smoke malt just amounted to pale malt in my "calculations". I chose 15% because I knew from experience it should be what I'm after.

Aleman wrote:... This is one of those beers that is just begging for ageing in a wooden cask for 6 months and then being put on with a fresh cask, and mixed Mild and "Sour" or "Old" ...


A few years ago I had an out-dated impression of Porter - that it would be intensely acidic from infections due to long unsanitary storage and quite undrinkable to modern palates. But it wouldn't be like that, though ageing in wooden casks would encourage Brettanomyces infection. Is that what you mean? I've never messed with Brettanomyces but this project is offering a good reason to start.

(EDIT: I never bothered to make adjustments to emulate "blown" malt. Like a bit of torrified barley perhaps? Same with emulating under-modified malts. Perhaps a bit of roast barley and that torrified barley? Can't see what difference it would make.)

(EDIT2: I first explored making "historic" brown malt about 18-24 months ago. It was following a suggestion to emulate brown malt with 80% pale malt and 20% Special B malt. But I was advised that much Special B would make an undrinkable beer.)

Last edited by PeeBee on Sun Jan 28, 2018 17:27, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales

Holistic Approach?

Postby PeeBee » Sun Jan 28, 2018 14:05

When writing this project up I didn't want to suggest how I think porter should be made. I wanted to encourage anyone who wanted to have a go. I'm presuming most folk, like me, haven't the time to "dredge through ledgers" or engage in experimental archaeology (make brown malt from scratch). So I came up with (retrospectively) the "Holistic Approach".

After all, we are talking 18th century porter here. A lot of history on the matter is lost in the mists of time. Historians can give us a framework of facts to work in, but filling in the blanks is a free-for-all.

And "filling-in-the-blanks" is going to be a quite personal thing. I gave examples of building up expectations of what porter would be like ("connecting with history"). No-one can really tell you what porter was like, but you can tell yourself. On the flip-side, you (nor me) can tell anyone else that your end result brewed from these ideas is what porter tasted like. But the important bit is that it tastes like historical porter to you.

I'm just a fresher student in Holistics, I put "holistic approach" in the title only to be mildly amusing, but let me just illustrate how kooky holistics can get: I started on this project because I needed to use up a large amount of year old crushed grain I had after a hip replacement had put brewing on hold for a bit. To stop this happening again I bought a malt-crusher and now buy my grain whole. In holistics everything is interconnected and to be viewed as a "whole". So:

To make porter:
1. I needed to get my hip replaced with "car parts".
2. I had to buy a malt-crusher because I had a large amount of ready-crushed malt.

Kooky enough?
User avatar
PeeBee
Brewer
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 16:57
Location: North Wales


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest