Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1915 Courage Porter

Like all London Porter breweries, Courage brewed a range of Porter and Stout. We’re going to step through the set from 1915.

Don’t expect hugely differing recipes. That’s not the way breweries worked. They operated in a much simpler way. Through parti-gyling they’d spin several different-strength beers from a single recipe.

In addition to the classic pale, brown, black malt bend, there’s also some sugar. I’ve guessed No. 4 invert, as that was the type usually intended for Stout. In the brewing record what it says is Sacc. SM. My money is on that standing for “Stout Mix”. Which would definitely imply something along the lines of No. 4.

The gravity of 1050º is about typical for a pre-WW I London Porter. Early in the war, not much changed.  And this was brewed in March 1915, less than one year in.

1915 Courage Porter
pale malt 6.75 lb 60.00%
brown malt 2.25 lb 20.00%
black malt 1.00 lb 8.89%
No. 4 invert 1.25 lb 11.11%
Fuggles 90 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.00 oz
Hallertau 30 mins 1.00 oz
OG 1050
FG 1018
ABV 4.23
Apparent attenuation 64.00%
IBU 36
SRM 46
Mash at 148º F
Sparge at 181º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 64º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale

This recipe is in my wonderful book, Let's Brew!:


Andrew said...


Would the no. 4 invert be a dark syrup (a shade darker than the #3)?

I’ve been feeling the need to brew another dark beer recently. I’m going to try this recipe


Ron Pattinson said...


yes, No. 4 is the darkest invert syrup, 300 SRM compared to No. 3;s 70 SRM.

Andrew said...

I brewed this up back in September. Cooked up some invert #4 using Demerara sugar. Did a low and slow cook which took close to 6 hrs - called it quits once it was just about black (but prior to any smoking).

I overshot the starting gravity by 5 points but hit the target FG of 1.018 using S04.

It's a nice recipe. Some overall impressions:

Roast, coffee, and a bit of chocolate aroma most prominent. Has a slight fruity character as well and maybe a bit of a sweet smell
Black/dark brown. Pours with a 1 finger of tan head when gentle with the beer (quite a bit thicker if agressive). Foam fades to a thin rick after a couple minutes. Leaves a little lacing
Roasty flavor up front which becomes more of a coffee flavor in mid palate. A bit of sweet malt character on the finish. Has a medium level of bitterness on the finish as well which balances the malt pretty nicely. The roasty and malty flavors linger for a while on the palate after swallowing. Get some chocolate in the finish along with a slight fruitiness. Slight alcohol flavor to it
Medium-light bodied. Fairly dry and pretty crisp with the roast and bitterness. This is makes it pretty easy drinking and calls you to take another sip
I really enjoy a roasty flavored beer and this is a very enjoyable one. It think the balance of this recipe is quite nice - has a small bit of sweetness that prevents the roast and hop bitterness from becoming abrasive but is by no means a sweet beer. Makes for very good drinkability. There isn't anything extraordinary about the beer but it is boldly flavored and offers a good amount of complexity to go along with it's drinkability (quite a bit like a Guinness I would say).