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What Are Porter & Stout Beer?

Learn about porter and stout, two beers you can brew at home, from home brewer Chris Cuzme in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name is Chris Cuzme. I am a long-time member and current president of the New York City Home Brewer's Guild. I've been home brewing since about 2001, and I love it. I'm crazy addicted to it, and I'm happy to share it with you today. I'm also part of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team which I formed with my partner, Mary Izett, I'll be showing you how to home brew today. Cheers!

Porters were the beer that the porters drank in England in the late 18th century and basically, it was a mix, it was a blend. They would go to the bar and ask for a blend of everything they had on tap.

So stout is used as an adjective, or it was used as an adjective, for strong porters. In about 1817, they invented a kilning machine that kilned at high temperatures. What is kilning? Kilning is how we create the different flavors of malt to barley.

In kilning, basically, if you heat it at high temperatures for a long period of time you'll get dark, roasted notes. There's a reaction called the Maillard reaction, which is the same thing when you toast bread, when you roast barley. That's what's happening. It's between enzymes and the reducing sugar, getting you to get color and flavor compounds from that. It's beautiful, it's a wonderful thing. It's what makes the beers the different beers that they are.

That said, created this patent for a black patent malt. It was this crazy kilning machine and they started using that, the malted barley from that, to make porters and stouts, but to a larger degree, the stouts.

So now, according to the Beer Judge's Certification Program, porters won't use roasted barley but stouts will use roasted barley. However, in commercial examples they cross the line a lot. I think it comes down to the brewers decision whether or not to call it a porter or a stout.

To me, they're equally popular. I love porters, love stouts, and I think they are wonderful when pairing with roasted meats and barbecue and just general ""quaffability."" It's one of my favorite beers.

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