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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > What makes a good Porter?
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default What makes a good Porter?

Hi everyone.
I have been looking at a lot of porter recipes trying to come up with a good one.

And figured to ask you who have made porters before and like the style.

What makes a good porter?

Is it the grain bill, is there something that HAS TO BE in there in your opinion.

Or does it have to do with hops and/or mash temp.

It is most likely a combination of the lot but what is is IN YOUR OPINION

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:04 PM   #2
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You're going to get answers all over the place. It all depends what you like. Personally I prefer to let the grains/roastiness speak for itself and I go very very moderate on the hops.

If you're trying to brew for a competition, BJCP says "English hop aroma moderate to none.".

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Originally Posted by firebird400 View Post
Hi everyone.
I have been looking at a lot of porter recipes trying to come up with a good one.

And figured to ask you who have made porters before and like the style.

What makes a good porter?

Is it the grain bill, is there something that HAS TO BE in there in your opinion.

Or does it have to do with hops and/or mash temp.

It is most likely a combination of the lot but what is is IN YOUR OPINION

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:11 PM   #3
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A balanced grain bill is important. The difference between just enough and far too much roasted malt isn't that big. With dark beers, you may need to adjust your water if it's very soft.

Other than that, I think you can make great porters and stouts with a lot of variation in ingredients and process: black patent, chocolate malt, roasted barley, brown malt, amber malt, crystal malt are all perfectly legitimate but optional. IBUs can be anywhere between low and high, late hops are optional.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:13 PM   #4
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I tend to agree. I go easy on the hops as well, small amount of high AA to bitter, no flavor hops. I also prefer black malt (patent) to chocolate malt in porters. Though I have become a fan lately of blends of the two. I also like a nice amount of crystal to offset some of the bitterness from the roast malts. Yeast- I actually prefer a clean yeast like 1056, mash higher and let it do it's crazy attenuation to get me somewhere in the 1.016 range. English yeasts are ok to me but I like to really taste the malts.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
You're going to get answers all over the place. It all depends what you like. Personally I prefer to let the grains/roastiness speak for itself and I go very very moderate on the hops.

If you're trying to brew for a competition, BJCP says "English hop aroma moderate to none.".

M_C
Yeah I know answers are going to all over the place, but like you say, grains/roastiness. What I am perhaps looking for is how you get that roastiness, because there are perhaps diff. ways to get it.

If in your opinion it must have roasted barley AND roasted rye or certain black malts, well then that is what I am looking to hear

I like the style and I am familiar with how it should taste, this is more of a curiosity as to how others make it.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlpred55 View Post
I tend to agree. I go easy on the hops as well, small amount of high AA to bitter, no flavor hops. I also prefer black malt (patent) to chocolate malt in porters. Though I have become a fan lately of blends of the two. I also like a nice amount of crystal to offset some of the bitterness from the roast malts. Yeast- I actually prefer a clean yeast like 1056, mash higher and let it do it's crazy attenuation to get me somewhere in the 1.016 range. English yeasts are ok to me but I like to really taste the malts.

Great

I have only used patent so I don´t even know what I would get from using chocolate malt.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ølbart View Post
A balanced grain bill is important. The difference between just enough and far too much roasted malt isn't that big. With dark beers, you may need to adjust your water if it's very soft.

Other than that, I think you can make great porters and stouts with a lot of variation in ingredients and process: black patent, chocolate malt, roasted barley, brown malt, amber malt, crystal malt are all perfectly legitimate but optional. IBUs can be anywhere between low and high, late hops are optional.
Care to elaborate

Perhaps a certain percentage or combination
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:23 PM   #8
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The difference between just enough and too much is roasty vs acrid and burnt. I don't know the exact percentages, and they will vary with water profile anyway. You should be fine as long as you don't aim for a beer much darker than black.

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Old 05-16-2011, 11:34 PM   #9
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I use black patent and chocolate in my porter (2% and 6%, respectively). I think it is a good combination, but the next batch I will add some roasted barley, as mine currently isnt very roasty.

I am trying to figure out how much roast I want. If it's a lot, then it's a stout, so I need to slowly work my way up from where I am now.

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Old 05-16-2011, 11:37 PM   #10
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I like a little hint of smoke in the background. No alot, just a hint, no more than 4 ounces in a 5 gallon batch.

When I did extracts with steeping grains, I also used to use a small amount of brewer's licorice in my porter.

If you're looking for a porter recipe, the Perfect Porter recipe in the database seems pretty good. I've only tried it green so far, I'm one week into the secondary. However, it was really good already, probably drinkable already.

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