Sunday, November 25, 2012

Brew Day: East India Porter

For the past few months, I've been reading a lot about the history of the British East India Company, so when I saw this recipe on Ron's blog, I knew I had to brew it. While I would have liked to use my historical brown malt in place of the modern stuff - as the flavors between the two are really quite different - I figure I can do a re-brew once I get around to making another batch. The recipe I am using is nearly the same as the one posted, although I will be using a single infusion mash and adjusting the hopping for a more reasonable bitterness. When I calculated the original recipe for my hops, it came out to over 200 IBU's. Instead, I'll aim for 90 IBU's... I can always go back to the original hop amounts when I re-brew this beer. Hops will be whole leaf, 2011 EKG and I will be using some WY1028 London Ale yeast that I had originally cultured for a batch of imperial stout. Aside, this recipe was originally brewed nearly a year after the Government of India Act of 1858, in which the East India Company transferred all of its possessions and administrative powers to the Crown, following the relative success of the Sepoy Mutiny. It would be interesting to find out if the amount of porter brewed for India changed after 1858, as the British began fortifying their new holdings with landed gentry and additional English troops.

Barclay Perkins 1859 EI : East India Porter

Recipe Specifics:
Batch Size (Gal): 4.25
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.85
Anticipated OG: 1.067
Anticipated FG: 1.014
Anticipated SRM: 37
Anticipated IBU: 90
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 120 Minutes

71.7% - 8.50 lbs. Golden Promise
19.0% - 2.25 lbs. Brown Malt
5.1%   - 0.60 lbs. Amber Malt
4.2%   - 0.50 lbs. Black Malt

3.00 oz. EKG @ 90 min for 60 IBU
1.50 oz. EKG @ 30 min for 22 IBU
0.50 oz. EKG @ 15 min for 8 IBU
1.00 oz. EKG @ Dryhop (serving)

Yeast: Wyeast 1028 London Ale
Mash 156F for 90 min
Brewed on 25 November


  1. How did this turn out?

    1. It is currently aging in the keg and is tasting really nice so far. Very chocolaty with a light roastiness. The bitterness isn't as strong as I had thought it would be, although it does have plenty and a good amount of hop flavor. I'd like to give it a few more months, but it might not last that long.

    2. Any updates? Would you do anything different next time?

    3. I'll post the tasting notes this weekend. Until then, it is a fantastic beer, although I never did get around to dry-hopping it.

  2. I have brewed this beer several times now, in fact it is a staple, it is fantastic, I love it and always a hit with my beer friends.

  3. Oooh, brown malt is lovely, and ready to drink very quickly. Made a version of this changing the pale malt for mild ale malt, scaled it down to 1.040, and pitched Bedford wlp006. Tastes lovely at two weeks. Serve cask conditioned and fairly flat and warm, it's a session brown porter! Thanks very much for all your inspiration!

  4. and a little rauch malt gives a smokey thing if you fancy it...

  5. I am curious if you attempt to recreate historic water profiles or if you just take aim at something that makes sense and keep the pH in line. I found this blog, and your recipe here, a while ago. I finally got the ingredients together and plan to make it within the next week or so. I have been debating how I want to balance the water.


Leave a comment. No spam please.