Original Porter (circa 1750)


O.G. 1.090

For 1 gallon (4.5lt):

  3.5 lbs (1600g)  Pale Malt

      8 oz (226g)     Brown Malt

      8 oz (226g)     Crystal Malt

      4 oz (112g)      Black Malt

    1.5 oz (42g)       Fuggle hops

Using a very stiff mash, mash grain for 3 hours* at 150º F (66±1º C). Raise temperature to 170º F (77º C) for 30 minutes.

Sparge slowly with hot water at 180 – 185º F (82 – 85º C) to O.G. or required volume. 

The first runnings from the sparge are best used for this beer (i.e. the highest gravity) in order to attain and OG 90. The further runnings can be used to make a lower gravity beer.

Boil with hops for 90 minutes.

Cool and ferment with a good quality ale yeast.

Mature for at least 6 months.

*(with modern malts this time can be reduced to 60 minutes.)


Mash Tun

Ministry of Information World War Official Collection

1750 porters would have contained mostly brown malt. These cannot be made satisfactorily from present-day brown malts. This recipe is constructed to meet contemporary descriptions of 1750 porter, i.e. black, strong, bitter and nutritious. It is one of the circle’s favourite old beers. It might not be authentic, but it is good!

Horseshoe Brewery, London. The London Beer Flood was an accident at Meux & Co’s Horse Shoe Brewery, London, on 17 October 1814. It took place when one of the 22-foot-tall (6.7 m) wooden vats of fermenting porter burst. The pressure destroyed another vessel, and between 128,000 and 323,000 imperial gallons (580,000–1,470,000 l; 154,000–388,000 US gal) of beer were released. Eight people were killed in the accident. The jury returned a verdict that the eight had lost their lives “casually, accidentally and by misfortune”.  The coroner’s inquest reached a verdict that it  was an Act of God.