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Old 11-01-2007, 06:18 AM   #1
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Default What the hell is the difference between a porter and a stout?

Someone asked me this the other day and I had no idea...

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Old 11-01-2007, 07:04 AM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...ypes_of_Porter
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...Types_of_Stout
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:58 PM   #3
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According to the BJCP, the styles have some overlap. There are going to be different definitions from everyone. One way some people distinguish between the two is with the addition of roasted barley. i.e. stouts have it, porters dont. Ray Daniels, author of Designing Great Beers typically agrees with this method. However, he also states that it is perfectly acceptable to use roasted barley in a porter; just in very minuscule amounts. My own interpretation is, in a 5 gallon batch .5lb or more of roasted barley, and you got yourself a stout. Less than that, depending on the other grains of course, and you could realistically define it as a porter.

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Old 11-01-2007, 02:04 PM   #4
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You want to sound like a beer snob?

Ask WHAT KIND of porter or stout?

I mean, there's a big difference between a Russian Imperial Stout and a dry Irish stout. "Porter" can be a relatively small, dry beer like a brown porter, or something sweeter and thicker.

The most widely-cited theory is that the term "stout" derived from requests for "a stout porter," but given that the most widely-known example of a stout (Guiness) is really a pretty small beer, that doesn't really hold true for all contexts.

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Old 11-01-2007, 02:56 PM   #5
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Stout - porter plus 1/2 pound of roasted barley. Palmer's condensed style guide.

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Old 11-01-2007, 03:55 PM   #6
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...$0.50 a pint...

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Old 11-01-2007, 05:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubbies
According to the BJCP, the styles have some overlap. There are going to be different definitions from everyone. One way some people distinguish between the two is with the addition of roasted barley. i.e. stouts have it, porters dont. Ray Daniels, author of Designing Great Beers typically agrees with this method. However, he also states that it is perfectly acceptable to use roasted barley in a porter; just in very minuscule amounts. My own interpretation is, in a 5 gallon batch .5lb or more of roasted barley, and you got yourself a stout. Less than that, depending on the other grains of course, and you could realistically define it as a porter.

That's been my rule for stout vs porter as well. well, more of a guideline than a rule really, well, maybe not a guideline exactly, but...

..ahh, you get the idea
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
The most widely-cited theory is that the term "stout" derived from requests for "a stout porter," but given that the most widely-known example of a stout (Guiness) is really a pretty small beer, that doesn't really hold true for all contexts.
The comments and Lew Bryson's response linked are worth the read:

http://stonch.blogspot.com/2007/05/d...-is-irish.html

In his book Stout, Michael Lewis tells that "the earliest use of the word 'stout' clearly referring to a beer beverage appears in a letter of 1677", and writes of a 1734 text in which "stout butt beer is mentioned as a feature of London breweries of those times". Arthur Guinness didn't start brewing in Dublin until 1759, and his brewery didn't start using the word 'stout' until 1840, long after his death. Furthermore, Lewis contends that porter originated from stout, and not the other way round.

If further evidence were need that stout was not an Irish offshoot from London porter, beer writer and historian Ron Pattinson (author of the online European Beer Guide) tells me that "all the London brewers whose logs I´ve looked at were brewing beers called 'Stout' well before 1800 ... I'm 100% certain stout originated in London".
.
Ron has also found evidence, in The London and Country Brewer (1736), that stout predated porter, and not the other way around. This backs up Lewis' theory, and is contrary to the assertion on CAMRA's website that "the strongest versions of Porter were known as Stout Porter, reduced over the years to simply Stout".
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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My definition has to do with drinkability - I tend to think that porters can be consumed any time of day, usually after a work shift. This comes from many days of drinking pints of Edmund Fitzgerald with habanero beans and rice every day after work in Ohio.

All of my porters are designed to be flavorful, medium bodied, and deliciously drinkable. Somewhat arbitrary, but I see it as the antithesis to stouts, which are definitely after-dinner pints. There are exceptions, of course, but thats just where my tastes lie.

I also agree about the absence of roasted barley in porter, even though my great shining beacon, Edmund Fitzgerald, has a little roasted character. I usually answer the question about the difference between the two with "Well, USUALLY porter doesn't have a significant roasted flavor..." and then go from there.

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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I would never put roast barley in a porter...and I would never make a stout without it.

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