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Recipe – Black Porter


I’m the kind of beer drinker who doesn’t really enjoy dark beers when it is warm. I guess that is at least partly a cultural thing because dark beers are popular in some warm countries, for example, Guinness is almost a national drink in Nigeria. But for me, there just is something about roasted flavors that makes them more enjoyable when the weather is cold.

So, to have something roasty and dark on tap for autumn I put together the recipe below. I’m not sure if it should be called a porter or a stout but I suppose in the end it really doesn’t matter that much. The malt bill is some Chocolate and Black Patent malts over a base of Maris Otter. To give the beer a full mouth-feel while keeping it in the session-ish range I threw in a healthy portion of flaked oats and mashed high. For hops I only used a bittering addition of Admiral, no later hop additions. Finally, for yeast I went with Mangrove Jack’s Burton Union dried yeast which is quickly becoming my go to yeast for English styles.

Generally, I haven’t really been happy with the dark beers I’ve done in the past. They’ve been ok but not as good as some of the commercial porters and stouts that I like (Old Engine Oil and Fuller’s London Porter come to mind as particularly enjoyable examples). Hopefully this will be the beer that breaks that spell.


Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 3,2 / 7,05
Anticipated OG: 1.047
Anticipated SRM: 30,5
Anticipated IBU: 23
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


81,3%  2,60 kg / 5,73 lbs    Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett)
9,4 %   0,30 kg / 0,66 lbs    Oats, Flaked
6,3 %   0,20 kg / 0,44 lbs    Chocolate Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
3,1 %   0,10 kg / 0,22 lbs    Black Malt (Thomas Fawcett)


10,0g / 0,35 oz. Admiral (Pellet, 16%  AA) @ 60 min for 23  IBU


½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
2g Calcium Chloride in mash


Mangrove Jack’s M79 Burton Union, 1 packet rehydrated


24,47 Litre BIAB @ 68 Celsius for 60 mins (6,46Gal/154F)

8/9/14 Edit : Wrong mash water volume, corrected


31/8/14 Decided to trust the numbers that the new software gives for mash volume and mashed in 20 liters, then after taking out the grains added rest of the volume, 4,5 liters. Mash started at 68C/154F but ended up at 66C /150F  – usually the wort only cools one centigrade during the hour, need more insulation next time. Preboil gravity was 1.038 and after an hours vigorous boil OG was at 1.046 so only undershot the estimate by one point – seems my numbers are now pretty accurate. Collected 18 Litres of cooled wort to the better bottle, shook for 2 minutes and  then added the re-hydrated yeast and shook again a few times.

1/9/14 No activity in the morning, long lag-time. Good start to fermentation at the 24 hour mark in the evening

2/9/14 Strong action, some trub up in the blow-off tube

20/9/14 Moved to a keg with 30 grams of sugar to naturally carbonate. Nice roasty smell.

30/9/14 Lifted to kegerator. Pulled a sample, FG = 1.012, ABV 4,5% Already nicely carbonated and the sample tasted very nice.

Tasting here. Could have used some crystal malts but not too bad as it is.


From → Recipes

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