Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1937 Courage Stout Porter

I’m not sure what’s come over Kristen. Because he’s done something odd. He’s combined two recipes into one. The original log contained both a Porter and a Stout, parti-gyled together. This recipe is halfway between the two.

Courage was a funny old brewery. Horsleydown only had two recipes: one for their Mild and Burton Ales, another for Porter and Stout. Unusually for a London brewer, they only had one Stout. Before WW II they’d made two, Double Stout and Imperial Stout. The latter was an early wartime casualty and never returned.

Stout was still a standard draught beer in the 1930’s. In London, at any rate. So I think it’s safe to assume that Courage Stout was available in both draught and bottled format.

Now here’s a strange thing. I was just looking at more London Stout analyses from the late 1930’s. According to the brewing records, Porter had an OG of 1033º and Stout 1048º. Neither gravity tallies with many of the analysis gravities. It looks like Courage were doing what Kristen has done with this recipe. They were blending Porter and Stout. Though in their case it must have been post fermentation.

I’ve seen examples before. In turns up in Truman’s brewing records. In their case, it looks pretty odd. They’ve already parti-gyled more than one beer, then blend them to create even more. Not quite sure why you blend post-fermentation when you’re parti-gyling.

Here are the Courage Stout analyses:

Courage Stout 1934 - 1938
Year Price size package OG
1934 7d pint bottled 1050.1
1935 8d pint bottled 1048.9
1935 7d pint bottled 1036.5
1936 6.5d pint bottled 1037.7
1936 6.5d pint bottled 1037.4
1937 7d pint draught 1040
1938 8d pint bottled 1037.6
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.

The first two look like the Stout as brewed, the others a mix of Porter and Stout. So maybe this recipe of Kristen’s isn’t as half-arsed as I though.

For comparison purposes, here are some more London Stouts of the same period:

London Stouts in 1937
Brewer Price size package OG
Taylor Walker 8d pint bottled 1035.8
Truman 8d pint bottled 1041.5
Charrington 8d pint bottled 1043.9
Truman 3d nip bottled 1045.4
Mann 8d pint bottled 1046.5
Whitbread 8d pint bottled 1049
Barclay Perkins 8d pint bottled 1049.2
Charrington 7d pint draught 1045.1
Mann 7d pint draught 1047.1
Watney 7d pint draught 1048.9
Whitbread 7d pint draught 1050.8
Taylor Walker 8d pint draught 1053.9
Wenlock 7d pint draught 1054.4
Truman 8d pint draught 1054.7
Barclay Perkins 8d pint draught 1055.3
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.

Oddly, the draught versions are generally stronger. You can see that both Courage’s draught and bottles Stout were towards the bottom end of the scale gravity-wise. Interesting that Charrington and Mann, both originally Ales brewers, made the weakest draught Stouts and Truman and Barclay Perkins, who started as Porter brewers, the strongest. Not sure if that means anything, really.

Time for Kirsten to weave his magic . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Notes: So, I’ve always been averse to mucking with any of the logs we do. Ron and I both translate as best we can, verbatim if possible, and whenever not, it’s because something is no longer made. I’ve done so many stouts and porters and variants on gravity as well as the whole party gyling. The vast majority of the time, there are different sugars and hops going into different gyles so the beers end up pretty different. For this one, ‘All the sugar in the one copper’. The second gyle gets none and is pretty weak. The third gyle is the standard ‘liquid’ blending for getting the right gravities. So basically it makes this pretty easy. Both are pretty damn low gravities; Stout 1.048 & Porter 1.030. So here, we are splitting the difference. If you’d rather make one or the other, do it. On ward…

Malt: The base is a simple mix of two English pale malts. Pick your poison. Something robust tasting as this beer is just a little guy and could use some help. You’ve all hopefully been playing along for quite sometime so you know my preference for brown and black malts. Really, whatever you’d like. A digression, do not use Carabrown-type. Ever. For this, you want character so stay away from the debittered black malts. Regarding the oats, flaked/malted/pinhead/steelcut/oldfashioned doesn’t matter. As long as you cook them with your trusty golden spurtle, how can this beer turn out wrong?! The sugar is quite exotic…from Mauritius no less!! Make sure you source it!!! Or use a nice brown/demerara/muscovado. If you want to rock the boat, feel free to use some dark invert. Oh, shit, I forgot about the caramel. Holy buckets there is a metric butt tonne of it in this baby. Something seriously like 60 srm!! The beer is damn well in the 40’s anyway. If yous gots its, use its. If not, meh.

Hops: Any. Really. No, not actually really. Just don’t use anything that smell grundely, of the unwashed masses or of squishy fruits.

Yeast: Any English. Yes, this time I mean any. Really. Whatever you use, this beer is going to dry out anyway. Use something that has a nice character or just as important, something you have at home so you don’t have to drive anywhere and meet new people or deal with the suburban drivers and their vans of destruction or their whisper quiet hybrid vehicles or single speed riders that don’t follow any of the traffic laws. They’re the wurst. Really though, any English yeast.  

Cask: Standard procedure:
1) let the beer ferment until finished and then give it another day or so. For me right around 5-7 days.
2) Rack the beer to your vessel of choice (firkin, polypin, cornie, whatever).
3) Add primings at ~3.5g/L
4) Add prepared isinglass at 1ml/L
5) ONLY add dry hops at 0.25g/l – 1g/L.
6) Bung it up and roll it around to mix. Condition at 55F or so for 4-5 days and its ready to go. Spile/vent. Tap. Settle. Serve at 55F.


Barm said...

Would you perhaps blend post-fermentation because you discovered the demand for beers was different to what you'd anticipated when brewing? I can think of breweries today that do this.

Moaneschien / Ingo said...

The malt extract, I've seen it in very few recipe's you've published and wonder why a brewery would use it. I can only think of a correction for lack of efficiency?

Ron Pattinson said...


no, it's not a correction for lack of efficiency. They put it in every brew. And that isn't how they'd make a correction. My best guess is for enzymes.

IMalt extract is common in recipes from the 1930's through the 1960's.

Kristen England said...


It frankly doesn't make sense to me but it pops up in brewers over certain periods of time. Its enzymatic malt extract so would help give some added saccharification but with these recipes, one shouldn't need it and the malt doesn't seem to be of an inferior quality.

Ron Pattinson said...


in both the case of Truman and Courage they had beers that they never brewed straight, but only created by post-fermentation blending. Plus there would only be a couple of days between brewing and blending. 7 to 10 days maximum. Your planning would be pretty bad if you needed to change what you've brewed that quickly. Remember that the bulk of the beer they brewed was going straight to their own tied houses. Demand should have been pretty predictable.

Moaneschien / Ingo said...


Enzymes. Nice one. 'Normal' malt extract, what home brewers use has no enzymes left, especially the liquid version, spray malt maybe not sure of that. But there indeed is are special versions, diastatic malt extract, with enzymes.



Ron Pattinson said...


in brewing records it often specifically says "DME" meaning Diastatic Malt Extract.

Moaneschien / Ingo said...

Sorry, can't get it out of my head.

If DME is Dry malt extract it would make no sense at all to add it as it just raises the costs.

If DME is Diastatic malt extract it could be an extract where the enzymes have not denaturated. That would still not make much sense as a part of the enzymes from the DME would be needed to convert the malty part of it.

Diastatic ME is used in the bakery industries to have some starch conversion and thus make a fluffier bread, but they can and do use malt flour for that just as well.

That I think leaves us with enzymes enriched malt extract. That would make DME an "euphemism" for just adding extra enzymes and it would make sense. Especially if added late in the process it can help lauetering, like the "Kaltauszug" in German brewing.

Unknown said...

Well, I took they time to brew the Stout Porter recipe today without adding malt extract. It smelled wonderful when I placed it in the ferment-er. I did use WLP023 and add Burton Water Salts to the boil kettle. It looked like such a fun recipe, I could not resist not brewing it.

Michael said...

I made this over the weekend - smells great and looks gorgeous. What's your recommendation for bottling as far as CO2 volumes go?


Ron Pattinson said...


I'd keep the carbonation level pretty low, maybe a little higher than for cask beer.

Kevin said...

I brewed this recipe today exactly as posted. The only modern addition is that I used the boil in a bag technique. Everything turned out just as the recipe stated... OG, SRM, IBU's. I can't wait until fermentation is complete to try this!