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Porter or Stout?

I like both and can honestly say that if there were no labels on some of them I may not be able to tell which is which.

From a brewing perspective, what in your opinion the difference between a Porter and a Stout?? Thanks!

There’s not a lot of difference honestly. Historically a “stout porter” was a stronger version of a porter and was more black in color where a porter was more brown, sweeter and maybe a bit less roasty. Lots of crossover among the two styles.

Personally I brew my stout more like a dry irish stout and my porters are a bit sweeter. Both are generally in the 5.0-6.0 abv range but that’s just a personal preference too.

Even the BJCP guildelines only give you marginal differences in the two styles saying one originated from the other.


Not much difference. Stout a little more roasted barley maybe. Now if I served my Porter on nitro I’d call it a stout so to me it’s mouthfeel .

I always figured a typical Stout was very dark, almost black while Porters were more toward brown. I also agree with @dannyboy58 that a Stout is usually more roasty. I like my Stouts dark, roasty and strong like an imperial Stout. Best served on Nitro of course.

If you are into it, enter a dark beer in homebrew competition in Stout and Porter and see what they think. Even if you don’t come home with a ribbon, you can get some great feedback.

The grain bill is quite different for the stout and porter recipes that I’ve brewed the last few years.

Stout is simple. Just Maris Otter with some roasted barley and a little flaked barley. Bittered around 40 IBU. Fermented with Irish Ale yeast.

Porter is Maris, brown malt, c80, choc malt and a little roasted barley with 1/4-1/2 lb of molasses in the boil for the last 10 minutes.Bittered in the low-mid 30s IBU range. Fermented with American Ale yeast.

So you can see there’s a lot more going on in the porter recipe indicating I want a more complex flavor as opposed to the stout which for me is just a roasty dry irish stout.


A nice touch for Porter.

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Yea I saw this Treacle Porter recipe someplace a few years ago and decided to try it. Been brewing it that way ever since. Because molasses has a much stronger taste than honey I feel like it actually imparts some flavor.


Awesome idea @dannyboy58! What type of molasses do you use? This site says to use the lightest type of molasses when substituting for treacle, but I think you’d lose all the molasses flavor when used in beer. Could you post your porter recipe? I pretty sure it will go to the top of the Next Brew List. :yum:

I also use molasses in my Porter. 12oz dark molasses

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Recipe below. When I’ve bought it at the store it’s been dark molasses. Last time I brewed it with locally made black strap molasses. So yea pretty dark stuff but I love the taste of it.

I BIAB with pretty traditional grain/water ratios then sparge for my pre-boil kettle volume. I get pretty high efficiency. This recipe is based on 80% so adjust to your efficiency. I also shoot for about 6 gals post boil to get at least 5.5 gals in the fermenter so you may want to adjust for your volumes as well.

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Fool’s Porter
Brewer: Danny Clarke
Style: American Porter

Recipe Specifications

Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.061 SG
Estimated Color: 31.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 82.9 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 69.6 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 2 10.9 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Caramel Malt - 80L 6-Row (Briess) (80.0 Grain 3 10.9 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.3 %
4.0 oz Roasted Barley (Briess) (300.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.2 %
1.50 oz Willamette [5.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 25.0 IBUs
1.01 oz Fuggle [4.10 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 7 10.3 IBUs
0.26 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 8 -
0.53 oz Willamette [5.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 3.4 IBUs
4.0 oz Molasses [Boil for 10 min](80.0 SRM) Sugar 10 2.2 %
1.0 pkg American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124 Yeast 11 -

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My 2 cents
Porters are lighter and use more Chocolate malt. Sharper taste.
Stouts are smooth and many use Roasted Barley and Flaked Barley or Flaked Oats in the grain bill.
There are a lot of variation on both but they are definitely different styles.

There is no difference, not really. From any particular brewery, their stout should be a stronger version of their porter. However, when comparing examples from different breweries, one guy’s porter can be stronger than the next guy’s stout. In reality, they’re all the same damned thing.


The name stout originated as a stout Porter so as @dmtaylo2 says one man’s Porter is another man’s stout. It’s like the difference between a pale ale and IPA they are both pale ales. Brown ale, Porter, Stout are all Porters

While I agree that porter and stout have the same heritage and are essentially the same there are many ways to brew a beer that make it quite different from another of the same style. It’s all relative.

My wife got me a Year of Beer calendar for 2019. Look what came up yesterday! I realized it was quite timely after crushing the page to toss it this morning so I kinda smoothed it out and took a pic for you guys. Hope you can read it…

Pre-Prohibition Porter

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