How to Brew a Brown Porter

There are some beers you just can’t get at home… at least not the true to style beers…

Brown Porters is one of those beers…

Like most exports, brown porters tend to pick up a bit of oxidation on its way to the States, and the only way you’ll be able to taste a good sample is to either go to England or brew it yourself…

Well, I’ve been to the Big Ben and had my share of fish and chips so for now I’ll stick with the latter…

I just posted a video of my brew day for this Brown Porter:

Here are some tips and notes I took during the brew day…

While I planning and preparing for my brew day I realized that I was going to have to do quite a bit of water adjustments for this recipe given I brew with RO water (essentially distilled water)…

To avoid that, I ended up holding the dark grains from the main mash, which is one of the many techniques I cover in more detail in my training program Mash Control

If you go back through my videos on my Brew Beer and Drink It YouTube channel, you’ll notice that I’ve been playing around with my setup… one of the reasons is to see what works best for mash efficiency…

For a while, I had very good results with continuous sparging, but I started to test other methods and have found that batch sparge is not only faster, but can probably get you better mash efficiency if done right…

Also, I want to note that I am doing a bit of testing with yeast pitching rates…

If you notice with this beer, I am pushing the dryness of the beer a bit by mashing at 152 °F and using WLP013 London Ale yeast, which attenuates a little more than most English yeasts strains…

One thing I’m checking for is to see if the lower pitching rate will keep the yeast from fully attenuating or not…

Most literature I’ve read says that if you want your yeast to fully attenuate, then you should pitch a higher pitching rate…

Well, I’m testing to see if pitching a lower rate fully attenuates the beer… since I mashed low, and will be fermenting at 68 °F, then the only variable left should be pitching rate to test for full attenuation…

One last thing…

I had to do a slight modification to my recipe since I couldn’t find Crystal 30 °L…

So my final recipe looks like this…

Brown Porter Recipe:
8 lbs Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett)
0.75 lbs Brown Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
0.315 lbs Crystal Malt 20 °L
0.315 lbs Crystal Malt 40 °L
0.5 lbs Chocolate Malt 350 °L (Thomas Fawcett)
0.13 lbs Victory Malt

1 oz East Kent Golding Hops (30 min)
1 oz East Kent Golding Hops (15 min)

WLPO13 London Ale Yeast

Mash @ 152 °F
Ferment @ 68 °F

RO Water
68 ppm Ca
85 ppm Cl
49 ppm SO4

Stay tuned for the review…

6 Comments

  • robert olsen

    Reply Reply November 16, 2012

    Hi Jorge,
    What is the hopping device you have on your brew kettle? I is it homemade or OTC?

    Bobby Olsen

  • Joe From Hell

    Reply Reply October 10, 2014

    I always mash at 150 -152…. more alcohol less unfermented sugar… ps nice recipe..I think I will use it as my base this Sunday…

    • jorgitoz

      Reply Reply October 10, 2014

      Awesome!! let me know how you like it! Cheers!

  • Chris B

    Reply Reply October 26, 2014

    I brewed this recipe today with a few adjustments due to availability. May hopps were 7.1 AA. The wort had a great flavor but may be a bit hoppy.

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