Feb 25, 2014

#IHP2014 - St Stephen's Porter 1834

Bron stirring for me while it heats to
mash out
For the last four or five years Velky Al, aka the Homebrew Womble, has organised the International Homebrew Project. It's a great idea: a bunch of people around the world brew a historical recipe and then post their results. This year the beer was a Porter brewed in Norwich in 1834 by St Stephens Brewery. I think most people participating brewed on February 15 so I'm a little late on this one but I'm glad to participate this year rather than read along jealously as in previous years.

I love the idea of brewing historical recipes but I haven't actually gotten around to brewing the 20 or so recipes I've got. I tried the Barclay Perkins EI Porter last year but I got sick and someone tipped it out when we moved house. It was tasting delicious before that and I'm a bit sad that I never got to taste the finished product. Anyway, I want to brew these kinds of beers more often but I somehow never do so it's good to have something like this to bring me to it. I've also got a 1914 Courage Imperial Stout planned for later this year.

This porter uses the three basic malts that most 19th century porters seem to have used: pale, brown and black malt. It also uses lashings of Fuggles, up to 82 of your Earth IBUs which the balance value formula says will take this beer into Imperial IPA territory in terms of hop/malt balance despite the relatively high FG. I've gone for WY1028 as the yeast because that's what I had on hand. It's probably a higher attenuating yeast than is ideal (the original finished at 1.022) and I haven't used it before so I'm not sure what to expect but I'll ferment it at a fairly low temp so I imagine it won't be too expressive.

The brewing itself was nice and straight forward if a little longer than normal. But the smell! It's worth brewing for the aroma alone. During the mash it was a crazy mix of Milo, coffee and burnt toast and then opening the packet Fuggles to that floral and tobacco hop aroma was happiness. As I was chilling it there was an intense chocolate covered raisin and pipe tobacco thing going on. It was strange but nice. I kept coming back to it. It's totally different to anything I've brewed before. It's hard to reign in my excitement about this one!

My turban looking grain bag draining
after mash out
St Stephen's 1834 Porter (20L batch)
OG: 1.066 (1.065 measured)
FG: 1.018
IBU: 82
EBC: 79.5
ABV: 6.4%

72% Maris Otter
21% brown malt
7% black malt

60 IBU of Fuggles @ 120 min
22 IBU of Fuggles @ 30 min


  • Mashed @ 69C for 120 minutes with a 78C mash out
  • 4g CaSO4, 5g CaCl2 to increase the calcium but keep everything else pretty balanced

  • 120 minute boil
  • 120g Fuggles @ 120 minutes
  • 60g Fuggles @ 30 minutes
  • Whirlfloc @ 10 minutes

  • Oxygenated for 90 seconds
  • Pitched an estimated 280 billion cells
  • Fermenting at 17C until it's 80% complete, then increased to 20C to finish off

25/02/14 - Brewed

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