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"Historical" Porter homebrew exchange

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by NiceFly, Dec 29, 2012.

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  1. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    I would like to organize a homebrew exchange where we brew a Porter using some historical methods. The purpose of this brew is not to recreate a Historical Porter. That would be nearly impossible given the changes in gravity, hopping rates, etc. throughout time. The purpose is to have some fun and do something different brewing a beer by incorporating some of the historical methodology. There will be some elements that are mandatory but for the most part the brewer is going to have a great deal of latitude on how to use these methods and put their own personal stamp on the brew.

    Please try to keep this thread clean of comments like “that is not how they did it, brown malt is different, that is not essentia bine, etc.” especially if you are not participating. If you want to discuss what makes a Historical porter please start a different thread, that is not the intention here. If you chime in with comments like those be prepared to put your money where your mouth is.
    1. Grain bill- You are to use Base Malt and British Brown Malt. These are the only two malts allowed. No crystal, no Black Patent, No Roast Barley, we want to get most of the color from the other methods. Combine these in whatever percentages you want. If you have never used modern Brown Malt it is an intense malt, I plan on using it in the 7-15% range, I have not decided yet. Use whatever base malt you want, Pilsner, British, American, German, Belgian or whatever you think will work. Want to make your own Brown malt? You are the type of brewer we are looking for.
    2. Essentia bine- This is a mandatory addition, and is a sugar that has been cooked/burnt to a bitter blackness. You can make it from whatever sugar you want, cane, malt, some exotic stuff, whatever. The point is to make some kind of dark cooked/burnt sugar addition. No, you cannot just add D2 you must make it yourself. Add at whatever % of the sugars you want. Ryane has a very interesting take on cooking sugars if you are interested. Throwing some cane sugar in a pan and cooking it or taking a blow torch to it is just fine also.
    3. Leghorn Juice- Another mandatory addition, an extract made from Licorice root. It is also known as Spanish Juice. If someone will post a guideline recipe I would appreciate it, my google-fu is weak on this one. I currently plan on dicing up a few ounces of root and reducing it in some water. No licorice stick, the point is to make it yourself.
    4. Mashing/boiling- Optional, but you can do some crazy mashing/boiling routine like you can find on Ron Pattinson’s blog. You may want to reduce some of the times on the secondary mashes and boils due to the smaller scale of a homebrew operation.
    5. Label- Mandatory and must include information on your process regarding each method. I don’t care if it is hand written and taped over the existing label, just let others know what you did so they can compare it to their process.
    The rest of the specifications are up to the individual brewer. OG/FG, hopping rates, yeast selection and fermentation, carbonation, water profile are all up to you so express yourself. Want to split a batch? You are exactly the type of homebrew we are looking for.
    There is a lot going on here, I understand that. Each brewer will be expected to do a little research on their own about ingredients and methods unfamiliar to them and carefully consider how to incorporate them into their brewday.
    We will brew it any time between now and April and exchange it sometime in August-September depending on climate conditions. These types of exchanges can get time consuming and expensive so consider that before joining.
    Without fail, someone will have a problem, and that usually is not a problem as long as they communicate. Don’t drink the all of your brew until all your packages have landed, trust me. We will send 2-3 bottles to each participant and I will try to keep it around 5 participants. That is usually all we get on these, I will be surprised if we get 5 participants on this one.
    I will take submissions until the end of January and after that we will communicate via private conversation.
    Let it begin.
  2. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    Apparently I am close to some word limit, I tried to put a line between paragraphs:flushed:.
  3. Naugled

    Naugled Crusader (737) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    Wow! That's quite a write up. You can count me in. I'll do a little digging in my historic brewing texts to see what I can find on spanish juice. I know I've looked before and didn't find much, but I'll see what's there.

    Maybe we can summon Ron Pattinson to help on the juice? Ron you reading this?

    I'm leaning towards making my own brown malt... just the kilning part, not the malting part. But I also may try to source some home made brown malt. MDWalsh you up to the challenge?
    NiceFly likes this.
  4. BobCS

    BobCS Aspirant (200) Sep 15, 2006 New York
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    sounds like fun - I'd like to participate
    NiceFly likes this.
  5. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (625) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Yes., I'm reading this.

    Not sure I can be much help on the Spanish juice. I know it's made of liquorice, but I don't know how. The way the name is given in recipes without further explanation implies it was something fairly common.
    NiceFly likes this.
  6. nathanjohnson

    nathanjohnson Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2007 Vermont

    Assuming the timeframe holds, count me in.
    NiceFly likes this.
  7. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    If someone has a 2007 Zymurgy it might help on the Spanish Juice. Thanks!

    On that note I stopped by a new lhbs and found a few oz of licorice root.

    It is a pretty broad timeframe :wink: so I will count you, Naugled, and BobCS in so far.
  8. nathanjohnson

    nathanjohnson Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2007 Vermont

    Certainly more doable than some of the "SHIP 5 BEERS IN 3 WEEKS" that I've seen. I drink my brew, dammit, not let it sit around.

    Btw, are you combining the concept of "historical" porter over several decades? I'm a big fan of Ron's blog, and I'm curious if you had a time period in mind. As we've seen with "mild", a term/concept can change dramatically over time.
    NiceFly likes this.
  9. Naugled

    Naugled Crusader (737) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    I have a book titled Treatise on Brewing printed in 1834, 8th edition.

    Can anyone (Ron) tell me if this is a good source or not?

    This is one of a few porter recipes in the book.
    Does anyone know what the magical porter extract is? It seems to be in all of the porter recipes in this book.

    Here's how the book describes brown malt.

    Here's a recipe where ground liquorice root is used in the tun.

    Here is what it says about liquorice.
    NiceFly and BobCS like this.
  10. BobCS

    BobCS Aspirant (200) Sep 15, 2006 New York
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Naugled - what a strange coincidence. I was just reading a newspaper article from 1875 (from Victoria Australia) that referenced this text

    dang - I can't figure out how to post an image here. But here is a link to the paper


    It doesn't add much brewing info, just an odd coincidence
  11. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (625) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    The book looks similar to many other published in the early 19th century. The recipes are typical of the ones aimed at domestic brewers, i.e. brewers not for sale. Using anything but malt and hops would have got you into deep trouble with the authorities if you were a commercial brewer.

    Look like it has a good explanation of Spanish juice.
  12. marquis

    marquis Crusader (741) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    I remember the old homebrewing books by CJJ Berry. He recommended the addition of liquorice in cases where the bitterness was too strong.
    I presume you know that Worksop in your home county was once famous for growing liquorice?
  13. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    The premise is not to pin down a Porter from a particular period. It is to incite the brewer to incorporate items inclusive of Porter iterations. I crack myself up sometimes.

    Naugled, nice work! I had to look up fumiferous- it means "producing smoke" and since the brown malt is impregnated with it, I wonder if brown malt gets smoked a bit in the process.

    Also a good description guide for the Spanish juice.
    I have a Google book I downloaded one day called "The complete and practical brewer; or Plain Accurate and Through Instruction in the art of brewing Ale, beer and Porter including the process of Bavarian beer including small beers bla bla bla adapted to the use of Public brewers and Private families" by some long winded dude named M.L. Byrn M.D in 1860.

    I will go through and figure out how to post some excerpts, there is some interesting stuff in there.
  14. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (625) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I didn't, actually. Liquorice turns up regularly in Scottish Stout recipes after 1880.
  15. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,305) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    If you are an AHA member, you can read that online. They have them back almost to 2000 online now.
  16. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,288) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    re: "porter extract" Not sure when "porterine" was first developed and became a commonly available brewing additive- I've found references to it only as early as 1880 in articles about US beer and adulterations.
  17. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    I am giving this a bump to see if we can get one more person.
  18. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    Um, seems we lost a member. Looking to replace them an possibly add one more.
  19. JimmyTango

    JimmyTango Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2011 California

    I'll do it. PM me!
    BobCS likes this.
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