Difference between stout/porter... is it ale or lager?

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nerdlogic

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Hey, I've brewed a lot of pilsners... all lagers really... and I was interested in doing my first stout (although I'm not sure what the difference is between porter & stout). Basicaly I wanna do a dark/thick/oatmeal type beer thats not as strong as a guinness but not as weak as a Black&Tan.

Anyone know what I'm really looking for? I'm sort of confused, but I can say that I want to use mostly extracts (I've done carapils grinding before) and I don't know if I'm making a lager or ale this time, since I'm not really sure what exactly a stout/porter is or the difference is.

Best case response for me would be a link to a recipe you've tried and a description of what stout/porter are... and whether its an ale or lager... I'm so confused :drunk:
 
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nerdlogic

nerdlogic

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I posted this under extract, but im moving it here...

Hey, I've brewed a lot of pilsners... all lagers really... and I was interested in doing my first stout (although I'm not sure what the difference is between porter & stout). Basicaly I wanna do a dark/thick/oatmeal type beer thats not as strong as a guinness but not as weak as a Black&Tan.

Anyone know what I'm really looking for? I'm sort of confused, but I can say that I want to use mostly extracts (I've done carapils grinding before) and I don't know if I'm making a lager or ale this time, since I'm not really sure what exactly a stout/porter is or the difference is.

Best case response for me would be a link to a recipe you've tried and a description of what stout/porter are... and whether its an ale or lager... I'm so confused
 
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nerdlogic

nerdlogic

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....but is it an ale or a lager? I see on that page that sometimes they use lager yeast and i suppose that means more often not? Whats the difference between stout & porter?
 

Revvy

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....but is it an ale or a lager? I see on that page that sometimes they use lager yeast and i suppose that means more often not? Whats the difference between stout & porter?

I've never seen Stouts or Porters using lager yeasts....If they do it's some quasi thing...traditionally they were ales...

And as to the difference I suggest you look at the history...it will explain since they are related....


Porter (beer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stout

It's starts off.....

Porter is a dark-coloured style of beer. The history and development of stout and porter are intertwined.
 

carnevoodoo

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This is the best source for understanding different beer styles. BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines - Index

Porters and stouts have a fascinating history, just like IPA's do...if you do some googling you will find the history of them...there's also a few threads on here discussing the history of them.
BJCP guidelines only really discern styles.

Historically, there's no real difference. It is sort of a cloudy mess of history, but there's a lot out there. The modern differentiation as far as I've ever found is as follows:

"Stouts should get their bitterness and darkness through the use of roasted malt and barley, whereas Porters should be more obviously hopped with their darkness coming from black malt."

That's about all the difference that can be noted, but I've seen recipes for porters with roasted barley in them, so we're sort of back to square one on that.
 

carnevoodoo

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....but is it an ale or a lager? I see on that page that sometimes they use lager yeast and i suppose that means more often not? Whats the difference between stout & porter?
+1 to the above poster. They're both ales. Porters and stouts are not lagered.
 

llazy_llama

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The style Stout actually evolved from the Porter over the years. When Guinness was first introduced, it was classified as a Porter, because Stout was simply an adjective used to describe a beer, and not a style.

I'm looking for a podcast I heard recently that was very informative on the subject, but I can't seem to find it. It did have a lot of great history about Porters and Stouts and how the two styles evolved over the years. I'll post a link if I can find it.

Edited: Oh, and yes, they're both ales rather than lagers.

Edited again: Maybe it wasn't a podcast, but a chapter in Designing Great Beers I'm thinking of. I don't have my copy handy or I'd go check for certain. Sorry. :eek:
 

GAbrewer

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Porter and stouts are both ales. As I understand it, the main difference between lagers and ales are the fermentation temperatures and the type of yeast used. Ales use top-fermenting yeast strains, and are femented at temps close to room temperature. Lagers are fermented using bottom-fermenting yeast strains and are fermented at much colder temperatures and often for longer periods. Most homebrewers start with ales, because its much easier to brew them without needing some type of refrigeration.
 

flyangler18

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Recalling from memory in reading Daniels, stouts are a derivative of porter - which is considered to be the first truly industrial ale manufactured a truly massive scale, designed with all sorts of foul tasting adjuncts in the UK during the Industrial Revolution. 'Stout' was a descriptor assigned to porters of strength.

In terms of grain bill, roasted barley is a key component of stout where black malt (black patent) or brown malt is a characteristic ingredient of porter. The lines blur among homebrewers however. There's an excellent chapter on the history of porter in Designing Great Beers. I'll have to pull it out and excerpt some passages here.
 

Ceedubya

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Recalling from memory in reading Daniels, stouts are a derivative of porter - which is considered to be the first truly industrial ale manufactured a truly massive scale, designed with all sorts of foul tasting adjuncts in the UK during the Industrial Revolution. 'Stout' was a descriptor assigned to porters of strength.

In terms of grain bill, roasted barley is a key component of stout where black malt (black patent) or brown malt is a characteristic ingredient of porter. The lines blur among homebrewers however. There's an excellent chapter on the history of porter in Designing Great Beers. I'll have to pull it out and excerpt some passages here.
This is my understanding as well. The Stout was originally and adjective, as in a Stout Porter. It now seems to have grown into a style all of it own. I think the main difference is the grain bill.
 

SkewedBrewing

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A Stout is an ale. A Black and Tan isn't a style of beer its a mixture of two (in the US at least), usually Bass and Guiness.

A Porter is similar to a stout but is a little lighter and usually doesn't use something like a Black Patent Malt or anything like that.

You can find some great Oatmeal Stout recipes in the Recipe Section
 

SumnerH

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I posted this under extract, but im moving it here...

Hey, I've brewed a lot of pilsners... all lagers really... and I was interested in doing my first stout (although I'm not sure what the difference is between porter & stout). Basicaly I wanna do a dark/thick/oatmeal type beer thats not as strong as a guinness but not as weak as a Black&Tan.
I don't think "strong" vs "weak" is what you mean here.

A Black and Tan is almost always stronger than Guinness; Guinness is one of the weakest beers there is, aside from light beers and near-beer/non-alcoholic. It's very thin (texture/gravity-wise), which is what allows it to float on the ale in a layered black and tan.

Flavor-wise, anything you did that was thick/oatmeal type is going to be a _lot_ stronger than a Guinness.

Numbers-wise, Guinness Draught clocks in at about 125 calories at about 4.2% ABV. The only common beers that are weaker are all light beers (or low/no-alcohol beers), and Guinness is actually closer to Bud Light than it is to Budweiser (which is a considerably stronger beer than Guinness, despite being fairly weak in the general scheme of things).

Compared that to, say:
4.2%/110 for a Bud Light (similar for Coors Light, Miller Light is slightly lower)
5.0%/145 for a Budweiser (or similar for a Miller or Coors in their non-light versions), 5.5%/160 for the Bass it'd be layered with in a true black and tan,
5.6%/175 for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
9.5%/295 for a McEwan's Scotch Ale.

Beer Calories, Beer Alcohol, Beer Carbohydrates.
Beer Calories, Beer Alcohol, Beer Carbohydrates.
 

remilard

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While the first porters and stouts were ales, there is in fact a historical (and contemporary) precedent for the use of lager yeast in both styles. In particular, Caribbean made stouts and Baltic Porters are often made with lager yeast. Some porters in the UK have been made with lager yeast as well.
 
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nerdlogic

nerdlogic

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You all rock. So what i've learned is that:

1) a stout or porter is an ale
2) what i meant by "not as strong as guinness" was really "not as bitter"

Can anyone recommend a recipe?
 

david_42

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There are Black lagers, Schwartzbier is one of the more common ones; but they aren't related to Porters or Stouts. They mostly get their color from de-husked darkly roasted malts.
 

carnevoodoo

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You all rock. So what i've learned is that:

1) a stout or porter is an ale
2) what i meant by "not as strong as guinness" was really "not as bitter"

Can anyone recommend a recipe?
I would just look for a dry stout recipe and dial back to like 35 IBUs. You don't want it much lower or you'll be really imbalanced.
 

SumnerH

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You all rock. So what i've learned is that:

1) a stout or porter is an ale
2) what i meant by "not as strong as guinness" was really "not as bitter"
Guinness is not very bitter, either. A lot of porters and stouts are going to have higher IBUs than a Guinness draught.

There are four things that might be what you're thinking:
1. Guinness is dark (in color), so maybe that makes it psychologically "less light".
2. Guinness is a bit sour (be it from lacto or acidulated malt)
3. Guinness has more "roasted" notes than a porter will.
4. Guinness used a nitrogen system to give it a very fine head of tiny bubbles.
 

SumnerH

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I would just look for a dry stout recipe and dial back to like 35 IBUs. You don't want it much lower or you'll be really imbalanced.
I think maybe it's the sourness he doesn't like. Leave the hops as is and drop any souring step or acidulated malt. Or go for more of an oatmeal stout or a porter that skews toward the nut brown end of the spectrum.
 

McGarnigle

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While the first porters and stouts were ales, there is in fact a historical (and contemporary) precedent for the use of lager yeast in both styles. In particular, Caribbean made stouts and Baltic Porters are often made with lager yeast. Some porters in the UK have been made with lager yeast as well.
Correct! Baltic porters are probably closer to doppelbocks than to Irish or British stouts.
 

carnevoodoo

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What, that many Baltic Porters are lagers? Check out post #3.
Yeah. I was totally unaware of that until now. I guess the style out here doesn't really take the tradition into account. I'd be interested in trying some of the more true to style examples.
 

remilard

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Okocim and Carnegie are both lagers I think. Sinebrychoff is an ale. Those are the common European ones around here.

I have seen some US ones that are lagers, can't think of one off the top of my head.
 

remilard

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Can we agree that the OP was probably asking what a traditional Stout was and it is, indeed, an ale fermented with ale yeast.

Here's some recipes...

WTF, my first post was moved hardcore...
I don't know what a traditional stout is, but a lot of stout and porter has been made with lager yeast longer than any of us have been alive.
 
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