Master Thomas’s East India Porter

I haven’t decided on a final name but yesterday I brewed my first East India Porter and I felt like it needed a mildly British sounding name and Tom hasn’t had a chance to get in the action (besides helping to fix stuff around the brewery). The concept of the beer is as it sounds, a overly hopped Porter for travel to India. Inspiration based on records from East India Company stating that IPA was a drink of officer and porter was a drink of the people (soldiers). Champion City Brewing makes beer for the people so this is a perfect match. The recipe is as accurate as I can make it without traveling back in time and moving to England. I tried to reproduce the water, the grist and hop bill, and the yeast. I used a partial mash as I am chicken and it allows for a faster brew day. The ingredients have very interesting origins and although some are probably turn of the last century inventions, there is a large amount of history behind them.

UK Fuggles

The hops have the most interesting of stories to tell. For the beer, I wanted to make it as close to traditional for IPA and porter. Fuggles and Goldings are probably the prototypical hops for British style beers and a combination of two should give the beer an earthy woody aroma. UK Fuggles are the more recent invention and would have been the new up and comer hop in the early 1900’s. Probably expensive for the time. On the other hand, the Goldings are the stalwart hop of England. UK Goldings date back to the 1790’s era. The origination of the namesake for these hops has some interesting history.


Malt bill - a combo of Black, chocolate, 6-row, and Maris Otter Malts.

The malt bill is a combination of new and old but truly british malts (minus the 6-row). Black Patent Malt leading the way to the creation and evolution of porters by helping differentiate it from brown ales. From H.S. Corran’s A History of Brewing (1975), “On March 28, 1817, he obtained British Patent No. 4112 for “A New or Improved Method of Drying and Preparation of Malt. The adoption of malt made according to Wheeler’s patent, and called ‘patent malt,’ marked the beginning of the history of porter and stout as we know it today, and put an end to the period during which the term ‘porter’ was probably applied to any brown beer to distinguish it from pale ale. The new process was effective, economical, produced a palatable product and freed brewers from charges of adulteration. It was quickly taken up throughout the British brewing industry. Whitbread’s Brewery recorded stocks of Patent Malt in 1817, as did Barclay’s in 1820, and Truman’s showed stocks of ‘Black Malt’ in 1826.” Chocolate Malt, also a roasted malt, is not as intense and gives a nice rich chocolate, coffee flavor. Although Maris Otter Malt is a recent invention (1950’s), it is considered by many the best and most rich and full flavored english malts. A nutty, toffee like character should work perfectly in the beer. 6-row just brings enzymes to the party to make sure everything converts well.

For yeast and water, I tried to emulate many of the character found in England during this time period. I went a little crazy with yeast and used White Labs Bedford British Ale Yeast. Obviously, this is probably not the best, most authentic yeast but I think this yeast offered the high attenuation that I wanted and should also offer a nice estery profile when fermented at 68 degF. Bedford yeast is basically that of Charles Wells Brewing. Charles Wells, who left school at 14 and boarded a ‘Devonshire’ frigate for India in the 1850’s. I figure he would have had opportunity to try the beers of this style as his military career advanced. He started his brewery soon after returning to England and I believe that his yeast strain might offer something different from that found in the London breweries.

Thats the beer in a nut shell. A combination of new and old, traditional and non-traditional but it should make for an excellent hoppy, malty dark beer with the aromas of coffee, toffee, and fresh hops.  For those who want to try to reproduce it, the recipe is below. Enjoy

Master Thomas’s East India Porter

 OG: 1.070 SG
 Expected FG: 1.016 SG
 Apparent Attenuation: 76.0 %
 Expected ABV: 7.0 %
 Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 55.5 IBU
 Expected Color (using Morey): 33.4 SRM
 Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
 Fermentation Temperature: 68 degF
 Ingredient            Amount                When
 US 6-Row Malt        10.00 oz          In Mash/Steeped
 UK Pale Ale Malt     10.00 oz          In Mash/Steeped
 US Chocolate Malt    5.00 oz           In Mash/Steeped
 UK Black Malt        3.00 oz           In Mash/Steeped
 Extract - Dark       10lb 0oz          Start Of Boil
Variety        Amount          When
UK Fuggle      2.00 oz         60 Min From End
UK Golding     1.00 oz         60 Min From End
UK Fuggle      1.00 oz         15 Min From End
UK Golding     1.00 oz         15 Min From End
UK Golding     1.00 oz         1 Min From End
UK Fuggle      1.00 oz         1 Min From End
UK Fuggle      2.00 oz         Dry-Hopped
UK Golding     2.00 oz         Dry-Hopped
White Labs WLP006-Bedford British Ale</pre>
Water Profile
Target Profile: Burton-On-Trent (UK)
Mash Schedule
 Mash Type: Extract with Steeped Grains
 Schedule Name: Single Step Infusion (153F) for 60 min
Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply