My maternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright, includes two recipes for porter in her book, Old time Recipes for Home Made Wines, one for bottling, the other for immediate use. Porter dates back to the early 1700s when it was made in England. It is a dark beer related to stout and has become increasing popular in the US during recent years. Porters were the first beers to be aged at the brewery which was accomplished in large vats. Originally Porters had an ABV of 6.6% but taxes during the Napoleonic war drove the ABV down. According to Beer Advocate, however, the average ABV of American Porters ranges from 4.0 to 7.5%.
Grandmother, of course, did not give any indication of the ABV of the beer produced by her recipes and made no mention of aging it. Here are the recipes in Grandmother’s own words:
Eight quarters pale malt, six quarters amber malt, two quarters brown malt. Mash it twice, with fifty-five and forty-eight barrels of water, then boil with one hundred-weight Kent hops, and set with ten gallons yeast, seven pounds salt, two pounds flour. Twenty barrels of good table beer may be had from the grains. If deficient in color, add burnt malt.
Porter, for Bottling
Five quarters pale malt, three quarters amber malt, two quarters brown malt, burnt malt to color if required. Mash with twenty four, fourteen and eleven barrels of water, then boil with one hundredweight Kent hops, and set with seven gallons yeast, three pounds salt. Mash the grains for table beer.