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Thread: Calling on the Experts! LIZF! ZAGPHISH! 03ALUM!

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    Default Calling on the Experts! LIZF! ZAGPHISH! 03ALUM!

    I have a beer question for this forum’s learned scholars of the brewing arts...and I’m way too lazy to just Google it, so I will pose the question to the smartest people I know that I don’t actually know:

    WHAT is the difference...between a porter...and a stout?
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    "The only main difference many brewers still agree on is the kind of malt that should be used to brew each type of beer. Porters use malted barley and stouts are primarily made from unmalted roasted barley, which is where the coffee flavor most people associate with stout comes from."

    -- Pope John Paul II, in the Library, with the candlestick

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    Technically, the porter is not really defined. It's a blurry line as a result.

    I like what Reno posted, as that comes about as close to a defining line as you might get -- but front loaded with the "many brewers agree" qualifier. So, you know, soft definition.

    I feel like porters are like port and stouts are like brekkie -- all oatmeal, toast and coffee.
    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Much like the differences between a Pilsner, a Lager and a Beer. Some would throw Ales into this mix as well, but they are brewed differently. Probably Lambics and Sours as well.

    I like them all, but like Porters much more than Stouts...at least with what is commercially bottled.
    Hoping you have a sense of humor too!

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    I actually did Google this topic before I Foogled it. For the most part, it sounds like any real distinction between the two styles is often lost, because brewers themselves use the labels interchangeably.

    Thanks to all who participated in the discussion so far. I’m hoping to continue it a little over the next day or two.
    “There is no premium content on the GUBoards. We get what we pay for.”
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    To me, and it is completely subjective, MOST stout is too dark and too strong flavored, while MOST porter is less so (I do like a good Black and Tan).

    There are some Stouts that I really like and there are some Porters that I do not, so it really is just my own prefernces and opion.

    That being said, I mostly have been drinking IPA's when I drink something other than mainstream commercial brew.

    I also DO remember the Budweiser slogan that 'Nothing beats a Bud', and I honor that to a 'T;. If the choice is nothing, or a Bud, I do what they said...I choose nothing.
    Hoping you have a sense of humor too!

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    Both get color from the dark roasted barley. Primary difference would be volumes of said barley. With a porter I am more apt to use special malts and caramel flavors as opposed to heavy roasts. Porters can be flavorful but less bitter because there is less astringency from those dark grains. Porters, because they tend more malty, lend themselves to be a great base for experimentation with flavors. Stouts, because of the dark grains, don't lend themselves as much experimentation... that isn't to say it can't be done, but usually in that case you are also dosing it with lactose to sweeten it giving the beer a nice base... but even then flavors tend to go chocolate. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Just to make it more succinct... a stout was originally called a stout porter which got shortened down to a stout. But nowadays, lines between many styles get blurred as brewers get creative.
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    Both get color from the dark roasted barley. Primary difference would be volumes of said barley. With a porter I am more apt to use special malts and caramel flavors as opposed to heavy roasts. Porters can be flavorful but less bitter because there is less astringency from those dark grains. Porters, because they tend more malty, lend themselves to be a great base for experimentation with flavors. Stouts, because of the dark grains, don't lend themselves as much experimentation... that isn't to say it can't be done, but usually in that case you are also dosing it with lactose to sweeten it giving the beer a nice base... but even then flavors tend to go chocolate. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Just to make it more succinct... a stout was originally called a stout porter which got shortened down to a stout. But nowadays, lines between many styles get blurred as brewers get creative.
    thank you
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    Also, just to be clear, Porters were originally all called George, after George Foreman, the first Railroad Porter.


    (I heard that in a Clive Cussler book. I believe he researches thoroughly).
    Hoping you have a sense of humor too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    ...dosing it with lactose...
    Mmmmmm. Dosing with lactose.
    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheZagPhish View Post
    Mmmmmm. Dosing with lactose.
    Just sweetening the pot!
    Hoping you have a sense of humor too!

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    Not an expert in this discussion but I kind of think of a porter as a watered down stout, kind of like a pale ale compared to an India Pale Ale. My experience is that porters generally have less flavor and lower alcohol than stouts. This is why I usually gravitate toward a stout over a porter.
    Bring back the OCC

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    Quote Originally Posted by gu03alum View Post
    Not an expert in this discussion but I kind of think of a porter as a watered down stout, kind of like a pale ale compared to an India Pale Ale. My experience is that porters generally have less flavor and lower alcohol than stouts. This is why I usually gravitate toward a stout over a porter.
    Not really. If anything porters are more likely to have an higher abv than an average stout because the malts used tend to produce more fermentable sugars (caramels/medium roasts/etc). Dark roasts don't produce fermentables as the roasting process tends to breakdown the sugars before you have a chance to extract them. They, instead offer bitterness/flavor and color. I wouldn't say that Porters have less flavor so much as the kinds of flavors are different. Stouts, excluding sweet stouts (milk stouts), have a more robust flavor due to the astringency added by the dark grains. Porters tend malty. Because of that they don't have that pronounced flavor but instead offer more malty sweetness. Now a sweet stout tones down the astringency of the dark grains and offer a smooth mouth feel as the lactose is not a fermentable sugar. I LOVE sweet stouts because it takes the bite off without completely overpowering the roboustness of the beer.

    LOL... I almost brought up the IPA/Pale Ale thing. I mean there ARE differences between the two, but those are really dependent on the brewer.

    Also, don't get me started on water chemistry. Definitely some differences there between stouts and porters as well. Same with Pales and IPAs
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

    "Gonzaga is a special place, with special people!" - Dan Dickau #21

    Foo me once shame on you, Foo me twice shame on me.

    2012 Foostrodamus - Foothsayer of Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    Not really. If anything porters are more likely to have an higher abv than an average stout because the malts used tend to produce more fermentable sugars (caramels/medium roasts/etc). Dark roasts don't produce fermentables as the roasting process tends to breakdown the sugars before you have a chance to extract them. They, instead offer bitterness/flavor and color. I wouldn't say that Porters have less flavor so much as the kinds of flavors are different. Stouts, excluding sweet stouts (milk stouts), have a more robust flavor due to the astringency added by the dark grains. Porters tend malty. Because of that they don't have that pronounced flavor but instead offer more malty sweetness. Now a sweet stout tones down the astringency of the dark grains and offer a smooth mouth feel as the lactose is not a fermentable sugar. I LOVE sweet stouts because it takes the bite off without completely overpowering the roboustness of the beer.

    LOL... I almost brought up the IPA/Pale Ale thing. I mean there ARE differences between the two, but those are really dependent on the brewer.

    Also, don't get me started on water chemistry. Definitely some differences there between stouts and porters as well. Same with Pales and IPAs
    aaahhhh, ok, thank you for the education

    good thread
    Bring back the OCC

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    Quote Originally Posted by LongIslandZagFan View Post
    Not really. If anything porters are more likely to have an higher abv than an average stout because the malts used tend to produce more fermentable sugars (caramels/medium roasts/etc). Dark roasts don't produce fermentables as the roasting process tends to breakdown the sugars before you have a chance to extract them. They, instead offer bitterness/flavor and color. I wouldn't say that Porters have less flavor so much as the kinds of flavors are different. Stouts, excluding sweet stouts (milk stouts), have a more robust flavor due to the astringency added by the dark grains. Porters tend malty. Because of that they don't have that pronounced flavor but instead offer more malty sweetness. Now a sweet stout tones down the astringency of the dark grains and offer a smooth mouth feel as the lactose is not a fermentable sugar. I LOVE sweet stouts because it takes the bite off without completely overpowering the roboustness of the beer.

    LOL... I almost brought up the IPA/Pale Ale thing. I mean there ARE differences between the two, but those are really dependent on the brewer.

    Also, don't get me started on water chemistry. Definitely some differences there between stouts and porters as well. Same with Pales and IPAs
    LIZF, what can you tell us about water chemistry?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gu03alum View Post
    Not an expert in this discussion but I kind of think of a porter as a watered down stout, kind of like a pale ale compared to an India Pale Ale. My experience is that porters generally have less flavor and lower alcohol than stouts. This is why I usually gravitate toward a stout over a porter.
    I decreed that you are an expert and your expertise is needed. Please study up and return to educate the masses on the finer points of malt roasting and fermentation processes.
    “There is no premium content on the GUBoards. We get what we pay for.”
    Pope John XXIII in his remarks to the College of Cardinals
    -12-21-2012
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