Friday, 24 December 2021

Let's Brew - 1881 Whitbread Porter

Though in the wane elsewhere in the country, Porter was still a big deal in London. Though no longer Whitbread’s biggest seller – that honour had passed to X Ale – it was still number two. In 1881, they brewed 75,423 barrels of Porter.

Called simply “P” in the brewing records, it had originally been the Running Porter, i.e. the unaged version. By this time, “K”, the Keeping Porter, had been discontinued for around a decade and the giant vats used to mature it had been ripped out.

Ever since the invention of black malt in 1817, London Porter almost always had a grist of pale, brown and black malt. Though over time the proportion of the three varied. Most brewers outside the capital had switched to a simpler grist of just pale and black malt. Interestingly, Whitbread’s Porter was all malt, while their Stouts contained sugar.

Two types of hops were employed, both from the 1880 harvest. One was English and the other “Bavarian”, which probably means Hallertau.

1881 Whitbread Porter
pale malt 11.50 lb 86.79%
brown malt 1.00 lb 7.55%
black malt 0.75 lb 5.66%
Hallertau 90 mins 2.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 3.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1055
FG 1010
ABV 5.95
Apparent attenuation 81.82%
IBU 65
SRM 27
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 160º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale


1 comment:

Andrew said...

I brewed this up and have been enjoying it on tap for several weeks now. Brewed faithfully to the recipe other than the use of Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale rather than the Whitbread Strain - hit OG and was 2 points short on FG.

A simple recipe but a good one. Some tasting notes to share:

Tasting Notes:

Roast, coffee and chocolate aroma
Dark reddish brown. Pours with a 1-2 finger head that lingers a couple minutes. Leaves lacing on the glass.
Chocolate and roast flavor up front. Finishes with a moderate bitterness which is balanced by a slightly sweet malty flavor - these linger quite some time after the swallow. Pretty well balanced between bitterness and malt character. It has a bit of a fruity character to it as well on the finish
Medium-light bodied and pretty dry. Maybe a slight bit of astringency on the palate
A richly flavored dark beer. Has a good amount of complexity and is fairly easy drinking. At 5.6% I can have a couple of these and not feel too much of an effect. I really enjoy having a dark, roasty, beer on tap.