Shot in the Dark Pre-Prohibition Porter Recipe

This is an "Americanized" version of an existing style in the colonial sense – brewed using what was available in early America – rather than in the “extreme” sense, as we see with many other styles.

Josh Weikert Oct 31, 2018 - 3 min read

Shot in the Dark Pre-Prohibition Porter Recipe Primary Image

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.053
FG: 1.011
IBUs: 25
ABV: 5.7%


4 lb (1.8 kg) Maris Otter
4 lb (1.8 kg) Pilsner malt
1 lb (454 g) Chocolate rye malt
0.5 lb (227 g) Fawcett Crystal 45L
0.25 lb (113 g) Carafa II
0.5 lb (227 g) molasses (pre-boil)


1 oz (28 g) Northern Brewer [9% AA] at 25 minutes


Wyeast 1007 (German Ale) Yeast



Mill the grains and mix with 3 gallons (11.5 l) of 163°F (73°C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 152°F (67°C). Hold this temperature for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle (this is a good time to add your molasses—the hot wort and agitation should dissolve it nicely). Sparge the grains with 4.2 gallons (15.9 l) and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 l) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule.

After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 62°F (17°C). Aerate the wort and pitch the yeast.

Ferment at 62°F (17°C) for the first 7 days, then allow to rise by a degree or two per day to 70°F (21°C). Hold at that temperature until 2–3 days following the termination of fermentation. Cold crash, then bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to 2 volumes of CO2.

Tips for Success

A light touch of fermentation character is desirable. If you find you’re getting too much, dial back the fermentation temperature to 60°F (16°C)! It’s not a true lager, but it’s also not intended to be, and while it can be made with a lager yeast, I prefer a clean ale strain.