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Knowledge by the Oz. Issue 8

What is the difference between a Porter and a Stout?

Stouts came up alongside porters in 18th-century England, where they were known as “stout porters” otherwise known as a stronger version of a porter. Eventually, the “porter” was dropped from the name and stouts came into being in their own right.

Most would argue that the true difference is in the recipe: porters use standard malted barley, whereas stouts use mostly unmalted roasted barley, which gives them their characteristic dark coffee flavors.

Should I be paying close attention to the IBU number of beer?

If you are a hop-head more than likely you will already know this, but IBU stands for International Bitterness Units, and as anyone can now probably figure out, they are used to measure the bitterness of beers. The scale runs from one to a theoretical 100, although there are some who claim to have made hop-bomb beers well above that number. You can easily expect an IPA to have higher IBUs (usually 60 to 70) than hefeweizens (which could be in the single digits), with double IPAs tipping the scales toward the top.

Once you understand what styles taste like, these numbers shouldn’t matter to your casual drinker. After all, they don’t tell the full story: some beers with high IBUs (such as imperial stouts) still have a smooth finish. IBUs today are most important to brewers developing recipes and breweries trying to sell beer to people obsessed with hops.

How many beers are in a keg?

The short answer to this question is 165 beers. This of course is with the thought in mind that the beers poured are 11 oz beers.

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