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Bear Creek Malt Supply Blog
Porter vs Stout
We are following up with some feedback from our last video blog. A few of you reached out to us and asked us to go into further detail about porter and stout beers. We wrote a lot of notes which we will refer to during the video blog; but since we deviated from what we wrote quite a bit, we included our notes in their entirety here:
We first need to discuss the differences between the porter and stout beer styles. To do this we need to go back to the 1700’s when these beers first appeared. The porter was more or less a robust brown ale that was very popular with the London working class. The popularity of this beer quickly prompted breweries of the time to brew different porter styles including the Single, Double, Triple, and Imperial Stout Porter. Simply put, the Stout was a strong Porter. Eventually the word porter was gradually dropped from the name and the beers were just called stout. Even Guinness Extra Stout was called Guinness Extra Superior Porter until about 1840.
Fast forward to today, there is a lot of confusion and overlap between the two beers. Many breweries use the term stout because market research shows stout sales are higher than porter. Today’s beer judge would most likely differentiate the two beers in the following way: a porter is more malty with a complex and flavorful profile; while a stout is stronger with a bolder roasted, bitter and slightly burnt profile.
Our Robust and Roca Creek Porter recipe kits could have been called a stout, but we wanted to be true to the beer style. We are currently developing a stout recipe kit which we will also pour in the video.
Lets turn our attention to the first two beers we are going to pour in this video. They are both partial grain recipes, meaning we conducted a full mash on the specialty grains and used sorghum syrup during the boil in place of the pale malt. We have found that this technique gets both the best bang for your buck, but also allows the malt to attribute to a greater degree than simply steeping it in a partial mash process.
Our Roca Creek Porter that we are pouring today was developed with a graduated approach, meaning that we didn’t just use dark malts to create a dark beer. Instead, we wanted to create a beer with the full flavor profile characteristic of a porter. In contrast, the other dark beer we are pouring today is very one dimensional. We used a prototype gf LME that was flame reduced which resulted in a dark color profile. This process did not alter the flavor profile much, mostly affecting the color. We then used only gas hog rice malt to get the beer to the desired final color. But because we focused only on color, and not the grain bill, this beer turned out very one dimensional and left a lot to be desired. But that was our objective with this beer, to prove that color isn’t always everything.
Enjoy the following video:
Need to get your own hand crafted bottle stopper featured in the video? Or maybe a GFHB t-shirt like the one worn in the video? You can find both here: https://www.glutenfreehomebrewing.com/STORECategory/130/Reading-Eating-Barware.html