First ever Stout & Porter - ideas?

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ChilledGecko

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I'm currently outside my comfort zone.

I've just ordered a couple of dark beers from Malt Miller, a Deya – Hokum Stomp Oatmeal Porter and an Oatmeal Stout – Jon Finch while stocking up on my kits.
I thought I'd get a couple to see how I got on.
I plan to brew the Deya 'as is' but I'd like to experiment with the flavour of the standard stout to make it more interesting.

As part of my order I grabbed some LorAnn Flavouring – Peanut Butter 1fl dram/3.7ml with a cunning plan of lobbing it into the JF Oatmeal Stout, supported by some Maltodextrin to sweeten it. I assume the oatmeal will give me a 'full' mouthfeel.

I'm looking for feedback on this cunning plan. Good idea or should I be looking at doing something different?
I prefer my Stouts/Porters to be sweeter rather than too bitter if that helps.

To be honest I'm not sure if I understand the real difference between a Stout and a Porter. They're black beers, innit!

I want to have them for drinking for the winter, I was thinking of brewing them soon with a view to give them plenty of conditioning time.

Thoughts and comments most welcome.
 

Baldylocks Brewery

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Hi CG
I’m about to brew the Hokum Stomp as well as an AG batch and am equally mystified as to the difference between stouts and porters?
Anyone got a official line on it ?
 
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Hi CG
I’m about to brew the Hokum Stomp as well as an AG batch and am equally mystified as to the difference between stouts and porters?
Anyone got a official line on it ?
Whilst there maybe some aficionados out there from whom you might receive a different answer: here's my pontification on this matter

Remember, beer names are all about marketing, there is no such a thing as a beer name police. Breweries will label a beer whatever their marketing people conclude will sell more beer

I worked at Robinsons Brewery in Stockport (as a tour guide) for a while, and what ever happened to their best bitter? - well bitter is no longer seen as marketable and so it became (same recipe) "a premium golden ale".

Why is Old Tom a "barley wine" - because in the 1920's wine was becoming more popular - so call beer a wine made from barley

Whilst we are on the subject, what on earth is a craft ale?

Just enjoy the beer and forget the name

In fact, just enjoy the beer until you forget your own name
 
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Where Porter stops and Stout starts is very subjective and as much marketing as anything else as OB states. It is certainly a Venn diagram situation.

Historically Stout meant strong so Stout Porter was a strong Porter. With the reduction of OGs over the course of the 20th Century this distinction disappeared as Stout became lower in alcohol and synonymous with dark beer.

Meanwhile Porter all but disappeared as a style as running beers like Mild and Bitter dominated. Porter is now enjoying a recent revival, but Dickens probably wouldn't recognise any of the new versions as true Victorian Porters.

If you can track down a copy, Martyn Cornell's Amber, Black and Gold is the place for an authoritative history of British beer styles.

On the subject of Hokum Stomp, I've not brewed the MM kit or drunk the original beer but I have brewed a very similar clone recipe and it is excellent. Well worth brewing 'straight'.
 

ChilledGecko

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Thanks for the feedback guys, does anyone have a view on the optimum time to brew a winter stout? - Now'ish? Late summer? Bonfire night?

Also, should I adulterate the JF Oatmeal Stout with kinky adornments such as the peanut butter flavouring?
I find normal stouts very meh! so would prefer to mix it up.
I've had some interesting stouts that were pimped with marshmallow, peanut butter, plums and the like so would like to emulate something similar.

ATB

Kevin
 
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On timing, I find my dark beers drink well relatively quickly (4-5 weeks in bottle) but then improve gradually and last well. I'm not sure when 'peak' is but they don't fade like hoppier styles. The only risk of brewing a winter Stout now is drinking it all by the autumn!

I can't comment on the pimping of the kit as I'm a bit of a stuck in the mud on Stout and like them to taste like beer rather than a peanut butter chocolate brownie espresso smoothie. But ignore an old fart like me and I'm sure someone with better taste and more experience will be around to advise soon.
 

ChilledGecko

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I have the Deya stout kit that I will brew as intended.
I deliberately purchased the Jon Finch kit with a view to emulating something along the lines of some of the interesting enhanced flavour stouts I've tried.
After some investigation I'll either go the peanut butter route as I have the flavouring or perhaps a coconut route using toasted coconut.
The jury is still deliberating.

Though I've never tried a treacle based stout !
Thanks for the input OFAP
 

The magistrate

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Stout, historically, meant a stronger porter (about 9%) and porter was soured. Today's porters are nothing like that at all and I guess if they were the modern palate would reject them as being 'off'. Harvey's Imperial Russian Stout is still soured (or was the last time I had some), and is probably the only modern surviving example of the true style. Mild meant porter before it was soured. If you want some authentic recipes go for the Durden Park Beer Club's "Old British Beers and how to make them". Modern mild is generally partigyled from running light beers and darkened by the use of caramels; Norman Hurts's reply is very good.
 

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