Truly traditional Porters?
Ok so are there any traditionally, ie "historically" brewed porters out there? Other than St. Peter's that is?
Scouring the net for the truth, I was only able to find that St. Peter's is the only brewery that makes a semi-traditional porter by blending an aged and new ale. Historically three were blended.
The porters we know now aren't "traditional". They're the result of brewers cutting to the chase and brewing a single beer to have the flavor and character of the three. An older ale, a newer ale, and a cheap pale.
Which then gained its popularity and as the style evolved, and stronger versions came into being. Such as Stout Porters. Which were eventually shortened to "Stouts" which at that time rightly meant they were a stronger beer.
Eventually the two styles split to become different beers. And have come to be quite a mystery since they're largely similar, with the only real difference being the roasted barley. And of course "Porter" naturally remaining uniquely British. Except for being used now, to likely describe a dark beer which isn't a "stout" due to not having roasted barley.
Now that the beer history is out of the way. Are there any other traditional or semi-traditional porters out there?
Sure maybe it will taste the same as I'm used to, since porters came to be brewed as a single beer. And I'm ultimately not missing out.
However, I get a kick out of old fashioned attention to detail and touches like that.
Are all three ales a similar recipe?
The link between three-threads, as the blended ale drink was known, and porter, is specious. Even if the conventional wisdom is to be accepted, that would make three-threads an ancestor of porter rather than a 'traditional' porter. More info here.
The trouble with 'traditional' is that beer styles have largely been in a constant state of evolution. It hasn't been until quite recently that people have tried to codify them. The first beers called 'porter' were heavily hopped and brewed entirely from brown malt, until the invention of black 'patent' malt, when a mixture of pale, brown, and black (and occasionally amber) took over as the standard grist, which it remained for quite some time, at least among London breweries. Here is a fairly typical (and quite delicious) porter recipe from 1834.
For my money, the porter that tastes the most 'traditional' is probably Fuller's.
new glarus old english porter
Have you ever tried the New Glarus Unplugged Series "old English Porter" (sorry it's only avalible in Wisconsin) It's a wonderfully sour version of classic porter. It's been stored in infected oak. If your a Sour Beer lover like me this is a great beer. I would question if it's "true to style". the assumptions most people make is that all old style beers would have had some sourness because it's impossible to store beer in clean barrels all the time.
We were talking about the JW Lee's Manchester Star here...
If any of y'all could contribute to that it would be be mightily appreciated.
Thanks for the recipe link and the info. Though I'll avoid sour bit. hehe Can't take sour beer, when it's from fruit even.
The porter info, I'm going to take into consideration. I suppose if I can't find the one I'm looking for, I'll just take common themes it's had over the ages and whip up my own with that inspiration.
I rather like the idea of using all darker malts. And considering my first use of liquid yeast has been successful, I had my eye on some interesting British yeasts from White Labs. So may haps I'll just stick with the spirit of beer and whip up my own porter.
Here's a historically correct recipe for the 1850 recipe of Whitbread London Porter; the only adjustment I made was with hops for simple economy. Goldings or Fuggles would have been the hops of choice, but the amounts necessary for 63 IBU would be be excessive. The 'Brown Malt' listed is a homemade version to approximate the historical ingredient as is very different from the Brown Malt now available.
Simple straight forward process, using Maris Otter (or similar English pale malt):
45 minutes at 250 degrees to thoroughly dry the malt
45 minutes at 300 degrees
45 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent scorching
1850 Whitbread London Porter
23-A Specialty Beer
Author: Durden Park Circle
Size: 6.0 gal
Calories: 212.88 kcal per 12.0 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.064 (1.026 - 1.120)
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 (0.995 - 1.035)
Color: 25.72 (1.0 - 50.0)
Alcohol: 6.29% (2.5% - 14.5%)
Bitterness: 63.8 (0.0 - 100.0)
5000 g Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt
1000 g Brown Malt
300 g British Black Patent
40 g Magnum (14.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
1.0 ea White Labs WLP023 Burton Ale
Ambient Air: 70.0 °F
Source Water: 60.0 °F
Elevation: 0.0 m
00:03:00 Dough In - Liquor: 4.0 gal; Strike: 166.49 °F; Target: 152 °F
01:03:00 Saccharification Rest - Rest: 60 min; Final: 152.0 °F
01:33:00 Lautering - First Runnings: 0.0 gal sparge @ 150 °F, 10 min; Sparge #1: 2.65 gal sparge @ 180 °F, 10 min; Sparge #2: 2.65 gal sparge @ 180 °F, 10.0 min; Total Runoff: 7.86 gal
Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.6
Flyangler, WLP023 in a porter seems counterintuitive but potentially really interesting. Any tasting notes?
Shut Up About Barclay Perkins is the most comprehensive site of accurate historical information on stouts and porters dating back through the 1700s. They have some truly traditional recipes as well.
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