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Porter grist

I’ve been reading a lot of old public domain brewing books lately and ran across this table for Porter. I was surprised by how varied the grists were. Number 5 sounds pretty tasty.

Interesting…what book did this come from? Something very old I imagine.

The definitions of what modern malts fit the categories is the tricky part. Depending on your interpretation, seems you could end up with almost anything…

It was from the Theory and Practice of Brewing (1850 edition). There are a bunch of old books on google books. A good point about the grain…I wonder what they considered ‘brown’ malt back in the day.

In older books Ive seen it called blown malt. I don’t think modern brown or amber malts are near the same thing.

This one was written for homebrewers just a number of years after black patent was invented. ... gZAAAAYAAJ

Pre-Pasteur stuff can get kinda funny sometimes but that ones pretty solid.

I’m not going to claim that I know anything about anything when it comes to historical recipes, but based on number 6, I would guess amber is not the same as Crisp Amber Malt. As far as I can find, Crisp Amber Malt doesn’t have the diastatic power to convert itself. I’d guess vienna or munich would be better approximations since they’d be able to convert themselves.

As I see, it number 5 would read:

48% Pale Malt
24% Dark Munich
24% Crisp Brown Malt
4% Black Patent

This grain bill would have enough enzymes to convert itself.

A few notes though -
Dark Munich (15.5L) barely has enough diastatic power to convert itself so that might not exactly read across to amber malt. It is the darkest, (mostly) self converting grain I know of however. If mashed long enough, I’d quess you could get full conversion. Any darker and too many enzymes have been lost.

That much brown malt, with that much black patent is going to be quite acrid. Actually, that much black patent alone is too much for my tastes. It’s (quite) possible that brown malt back in the day was less kilned than now.

I choose black patent because black patent was invented in 1817 and the book you mentioned was from 1850. If my memory is correct, black patent mixed with pale started to be used to make porters after it’s invention rather than 100% brown malt. Apparently brown malt had diastatic power back then. How this is possible despite dark munich being the darkest self converting malt these day, I have no idea.

What is being called “black” on the table, may have also been roasted barley rather than black patent. That would make for a less acrid beer in my opinion. However, I can’t find any literature saying when roasted barley was first made.

Sorry to ramble, I find this all quite interesting.

The old brown malt would convert it’s self. Pale malt had much higher extraction rates. Since malt was taxed it made economical sense to use more pale malt and supplement it with black malt.

I want to make a “Full Blown” porter but I’m not ready to make a kiln.

More rambling here… ... arley.html
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