Porter vs Stout

Porter goes back to the early 1700’s when it started to be popular in pubs for the “common” drinker. Someone’s claim it would have been made by blending 3 different beers, also partially for tax reasons. Thanks to its increasing popularity the Porter was made somewhat later as one beer out of mainly brown malt. During its whole history the grist bill composition of Porter has been changed tremendously: using 60 to 100% “diastatic” (popped/blown) brown malt to the use of non-diastatic malt at smaller percentages in the grist bill with even colours between 130 up to 900 EBC and with addition of Chocolate malt(800-1000EBC and Chrystal malt (some 170-200EBC). For the second types one needed a base malt for conversion of the sugars. In the beginning that was Ale malt, much later Lager and partially Munich and Ale malt. At last extra use of sirops (molasses) and other ingredients as roasted barley and malted rye. This variation in production has created obviously a variation of porters today.

It is not clear when exactly the Stout made its entrance in the brewing world. Generally Stout is seen as a kind of porter with in the early days a 1-2% higher alcohol content. Porters are generally lighter in colour and alcohol than Stouts with a range of chocolate, coffee and caramel flavours, but without the burnt, roasty qualities usually reserved for Stouts. Just see that as a general comment: there are many Porters using some dark roasted malts and the biggest Stout producer uses a lot of roasted barley.

Stay tuned for the next blog about brown malt…